Yesterday we spent 10 hours bouncing around winding mountain roads. It seems bad to have spent that much time in a van filled with 13 other travelers, and only the thick humid country air to keep up cool. But in reality it was one of the best days so far.
Imagine taking a roller coaster ride through the most picturesque mountains, slowing down to move through a crowded city – on market day – with more people than you can count crowding the streets, most clothed in traditional Guatemalan dress. The majority of the travelers spent the day with their heads bobbing trying to fight off their next nap but we were captivated and couldn’t keep our eyes off the road. Mostly because of how beautiful and lush the scenery was but partly because the man behind the wheel handled the roads like a professional rally car driver.
Our final destination is Utopia, an Eco Hostel that is three hours deep into the jungle, between Lanquin and Semuc Champay.
We were and still are in complete shock at the beauty of this place. We were welcomed by Jon, the owner, and walked upstairs to the sleeping quarters. There are bunk beds situated in the center of the room with six private Nooks taking up the perimeter of the floor. The ends of the room are wide open to the nature so the view from anywhere in this place is amazing.
After we settled in and signed up for dinner, we relaxed with a rum and coke and chatted with our new travel friends, Katie and Darren (of Sasktoon and Calgary) and Zoey (of England). Soon after the sun set, the candles were lit and dinner was served. All meals here are vegetarian, and as it turns out huge portions of deliciously prepared food. Last nights bruschetta was all the rave.
This morning we woke up with the birds, and after a cold shower we are sitting in some rocking chairs planning what to do or not to do with this wonderful day.