The bad news and the good news came all at once today. After a few beers on the hill in Flores, I was not in the mood for an early start. The previous evening I’d been informed that my bus was leaving at 5:30 am instead of 8 am.
Through a conversation in broken Spanish with the guy at the front desk in the morning, it appears I’m back on the 8 am. This did not translate to any extra sleep, but it meant I wouldn’t have to change buses in Coban.
When the van came at a little bit after 8, there was a lot of familiar faces from the bus I took from Belize to Guatemala. It’s been a common theme so far, meeting the same people time and again as everyone is following the same rough trail.
As the door to the van slid open, I let out a very audible “Fuck” as the van was just shy of being overbooked. Only 9 hours to go.
The trip was pretty straight forward considering the cramped seating arrangement and improvised passing rules. We let a couple of people off to catch a chicken bus in the middle of nowhere to make their way to Todos los Santos for the Day of the Dead festival. I’m not embellishing the middle of nowhere part, these guys were up for some proper adventuring.
Apart from the 10,000 speed bumps that had you headbutting the seat in front of you every 27 seconds, the roads were good. We had to wait for a ferry at one crossing, as previous rainfall had washed out the bridge. The waterfront seating at some restaurants were now an aquarium of sorts.
One stop at the Maccas in Coban, to see even more familiar faces, and we were on to the final stretch.
The last part down to Lanquín took an hour and a half to go an extremely short distance. Potholes and washed out roads were on the menu until we made it to our hostel, El Muro.
The walk up the hill to get to the hostel was most welcome after 9 hours in the seated position. The bar keeps at El Muro are every travellers dream. Welcoming, fun and down for a drink, especially after a long cramped day travelling.
The local dog El Chapo fleshed out the evening of Brahvas and tequila.
Bienvenido a Lanquín.
So we made it to Lanquín, gateway to Semuc Champey and adventure. Let’s see if we can make it out of bed for our 8:45 am tour of caves, rivers, pools and mountains!
To catch up on Guatemala, and some Mayan ruins, check out Day 1 to get up to speed.