Guatemala Diaries – Day 6

You know when you say something and you know you’ve immediately jinxed it for yourself? Well I suggest you don’t voice your appreciation that there’s no roosters that live near to where you’re spending the night.

My van was scheduled for an 8 am departure, but I didn’t need an alarm as the local rooster population had materialized last night and had a battle to see who could crow the longest. I can tell you, they were all winners last night.

After a breakfast of eggs, frijoles and tortillas for 20 Q at Shalom restaurant, a short walk down the street from the hostel, it’s time for some more goodbyes and a trip all the way to the bottom of the street to rendez-vous with my transport for the day.

To everyone’s delight, the van had a lot more space in it than the previous van I came into Lanquín on. There were random pick ups of goods and people along the way, both also exiting and being dropped off just as randomly.

I saw some more familiar faces as we took a break at a large gas station about 5 hours into the trip, and nobody was surprised. It’s been a common theme for everyone travelling so far and I knew this wouldn’t be the last I saw of them.

The trip was relatively uneventful. We were lucky to have a much shorter wait for the ferry at Sayaxché, where the river had claimed a few houses and businesses as water levels appeared to have risen considerably.

I’d had to get money out at an ATM in Lanquín, as it was difficult to change currency there. The ATM fees are horrendous, so I tried to do my best to make sure I didn’t need another visit before I made it to Flores. This translated to me only eating what looked like a cousin to the regular banana, and a large bag of Cheetos. My budgeting was found wanting, and I’m covered in Cheeto dust. Mmm.

Today is Halloween and I’m checking into Los Amigos for my final night in Flores. This hostel is something else. A jungle garden greets you as soon as you walk in, and I couldn’t help thinking of the bar scene in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I only had a few quetzales to my name at this point after paying for my bed, so I made a visit to the top of the hill for a couple of burritos for the low price of 15 Q.

On the walk, there was a choir procession followed by a lady throwing out firecrackers. Huh? Ah yes, Halloween.

I was pretty damn tired after the van trip, but I changed some US dollars just in case a Halloween party I couldn’t resist made itself known. Beers up on the hill are only 7 Q, so I took a seat and watched the religious ceremony with a cold one or two.

Just prior to the ceremony on the hill, the bird activity was deafening. The firecrackers made short work of all their chatter. So we very quickly left with just the choir singing their songs and paying their respects to the dearly departed.

Since I had a few extra Q in my pocket I opted to grab some souvenirs before returning to my secret garden hostel. Looking for something to with my hands as I hung out the bar, I ordered a litre of Brahva and did some responsible things like banking, paying rent and emails, tasks that are easily forgotten while overseas and on the road.

I caught up with one more traveller I knew from Lanquín and decided bed was the best option as the bottom bar was being closed, to continue in the upstairs night lounge, which gives people like me the best chance of sleep while others turn on the party.

So an uneventful but pleasant day making my way north. I only have 6 hours of sleep before I get on the next bus to Belize City at 5 am. This time there’s no roosters, but I took care not to mention my thanks to that out loud. You can never be too careful at the power of the jinx.

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