Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Travel to the Parts Unknown

To finish out our 3 month tour of Guatemala, we traveled to the parts unknown.....Semuc Champey & Tikal. The journey was a bit longer than we had anticipated (the guide at Icara Tours told us 10 hours) and there were a few casualties (like 5 flat tires & a broken front axle), but with luck (and the help of some mechanics along the way) we made it to Semuc Champey in 14
Flat #1

While we can't really speak highly of Hotel Las Marias where we stayed (there are only 2 choices) we were more than impressed with Semuc Champey! During our 10 minute walk to the pools we crossed a bridge that was screaming with adventure in the form of bridge jumping! Most of the boys were game, but girls stayed safely above, taking photos!

Look our below!

At Semuc we climbed to the mirador (lookout) to take in the idyillic view. Beautiful can hardly describe the aqua pools of freshwater that cascade down toward river rapids. After a short hike down, we did some exploration on foot to the upper side of the pools where raging Rio Cahabon river plunges into a cavern that cuts beneath the pools and reemerges again downstream. Lifeguards were stationed around with rubber boots and ropes in case of an emergency, but we didn't see any flotation devices....not that anything could help save someone from the roar of the river.

View of Semuc from the mirador

Rio Cahabon

Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey from Krista Lengacher on Vimeo.

Then on to the freshwater pools, for a little fun. It's possible to work your way through the pools by swimming & jumping from the natural limestone bridges that connect one pool to the next. If you stay still too long in one place, you will surely feel little fish nibbling at your feet! Unfortunately it was a bit overcast & chilly, so we didn't spend the whole day at the pools, but we still had plenty of time for some fun before the rain came.

Harris, taking the plunge

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