The Road To Semuc Champey

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Central America Caribbean » Guatemala
January 14th 2017
Published: February 4th 2017
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As you head south from Flores, you meet a traveller whom talks of a limestone bridge located high in the mountains that is nothing short of spectacular. With a 12 hour bus journey between you and this natural wonder, you decide to take a leap of faith and head deep into the Guatemala jungle.

While the local bus speeds along the mountain edge roads, you brace yourself by holding on to your seat. With only makeshift speed bumps constructed out of coke cans slowing the traffic, you laugh in bemusement, turn up your headphones, and ignore the insane speed of the local bus rollercoaster.

Stop, rewind, repeat is the first thing on your mind, you have got to love life’s little patterns. Getting stung in the face by a scorpion and ending up in hospital to repeat this bus journey a week later, a painful delay to this exciting overland adventure.

Eventually hopping back on the same bus a week later, you cant help but watch out for scorpions in your new found paranoid state. Without a scorpion in sight your attention soon drifts towards the sleepy locals head flopping around searching for your shoulder to lean on. As their sweaty head sways side to side you politely give them a nudge in a desperate attempt to maintain your personal space.

While passing vibrant green landscapes, small smoky bush fires and little tin houses, you nervously smile at the road workers carelessly waving machetes around and children shooting toy guns at the bus from the street.

With limestone cliffs covered in dense green jungle vines and howler monkeys swinging from the trees, it really feels that you are on a bumpy adventure right into the heart of the Guatemala Jungle.

Eventually arriving in Lanquin, you make the mistake of giving a stray dog a biscuit. Now followed through the muddy streets by a packs of hungry dogs you make a quick escape and jump on-board a 4x4 heading into the mountains and on to the beautiful and remote Greengos Lodge.

Waking up at the crack of dawn, you watch the cold morning mist break over the jungle mountains. As the sunlight breaks through the clouds and warms your body, you feel energised and ready to hike towards the limestone bridge and swim the colourful jungle pools of Semuc Champey.

Climbing muddy mountains and holding onto tree vines in an effort to reach the view point is an exhausting experience. Viewing Semuc Champey embedded deep within the Guatemala jungle an amazing reward for an adventurous morning.

Swimming across the jungle pools with fish attacking your feet is fun. Sliding down rock slides on you ass and hoping not to break a leg your challenge for the day.

Finishing the day tubing down a fast flowing river you cant help flash back to the terrible events that unfolded when arriving at Semuc Champey. With an Israeli girl drowning in the river during my arrival, we helped pull the police truck out of the mud from the rivers edge. With police and locals running around in a panic, it truly was a very sad experience and reminds you of the risks we take as third world travellers.


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