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Published: September 3rd 2010
I was miserable after leaving Utila, but I clung to diving friend Tim´s sleeve to make sure I got to San Pedro Sula where he left me - far enough away not to spring back. So, I had to keep moving... I´d spent a lot of time in Utila and had changed my exit flight from Mexico City to Guatemala City. But with just over a week left, I still needed to get a wiggle on if I was to see anything of Guatemala. I decided Tikal would have to be sacrificed to the time god, and so Copan was a must... And it was well worth it. As I walked into the site, a strange pang of Rougemont Gardens came over me. I hadn´t expected the place to be so green - or in such good shape. The ruins are in tact enough that you can really picture life happening there, down to the ball court where the citizens population here apparently played a game where you have to keep the ball in the air without using your hands... Something like that!
After my bus from Copan to Rio Dulce was cancelled at 5 in the morning, I changed plans
again and decided to head straight for Antigua Antigua. This is the tourist hub for Guatemala and where there isn´t a church or a ruin, there is a hostel or a restaurant or a travel agent. I decided to spend the weekend in Antigua and then do a three day tour up to Semuc Champey before my flight to Miami for Barbados (tomorrow). These decisions paid off, as on Saturday, I joined some people from the hostel for a rugby tournament. At first, it seemed like a wild goose chase. We walked further and further out of the city (where there were no longer hostels or ruins or travel agents!) until finally we came across the ´cultural centre´ where, sure enough, a rugby 7´s tournament was fully in swing. It turned out that this was four teams, three of the best teams in Guatemala and "Antigua" - a team made up of three Irish (from our hostel), two Argentinians, a Frenchman, an Englishman and one local Antiguan. After some spectacular rugby, "Antigua" came out on top..! Obviously the Dutch and English cheerleading helped!! and I was invited to the trophy presentation / afterparty to witness some great sporting Guatemalan party
Then it was goodbye AGAIN and time for Semuc Champey. It´s a geological wonder and the day there was packed with scary candelit water caving, enourmous swings across (and into) the river, a climb to the awesome mirador, and jumping and swimming and messing about in natural pools in the enourmous cliff valley. Another great day - and a bit of Irish luck that some of the rugby boys were also there.
Now, I have no more tours, no more long bus journeys (the one scheduled for 6 hours yesterday took 11) and no more money!! But still one last treat before home... Two weeks in Barbados! Okay there may be some hurricane weather, but visiting The Griffith´s, I won´t have a problem having a great time.
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