from Lago Atitlan via Antigua and Guate, Rio Dulce and Livingston...and into Honduras
01.02.2011 - 03.02.2011 30 °C
Leaving San Pedro, we headed for Antigua for one night just to cut our travel time in half and send home some parcels with souvenirs and stuff we would not need anymore (like warm clothes, yeah!). We left early the next morning to head to Rio Dulce town. From Antigua we took a minivan to Guatemala City which actually did not look as grim as we had imagined, and then switched to a bus to get to Rio Dulce town. The latter trip was supposed to take 4 hours...as you might already guess, that did not really work out as planned. About halfway there was a gigantic accident on the road and we got stuck in the traffic jam for 3 entire hours - 3 hours in a bus with no airconditioning at a temperature of roughly about 30 degrees, watching a horribly bad movie, with no drinks or water and no shops anywhere in sight, and crying toddlers (we cannot blame them, we felt the same way). This was all we could see from the window as we got closer...
We actually passed the accident a little later and we can assure you: it was not a pretty sight. Two big trucks crashed frontally while one was trying to take over another car. There was nothing left of the drivers cabins except for black crumbled metal and oil, and since the road was blocked and there were no ambulances or police cars anywhere, we were pretty sure the bodies were still in there - and lots of local men just hanging around, watching, doing nothing, taking pictures. Just awful.
The only good thing about this episode was that we made new friends on the bus, Noor and Vincent (Dutchies!) who own a beach bar back home in Holland (we know where we will be begging for free drinks this summer!). We arrived in Rio Dulce town in the dark, much later than expected, and stayed at a very rustic but nice place run by a local orphanage right on the river shore.
Superhappy to have made it, we definitely had one too many beers with our new friends before falling into a deep deep sleep...just to get up early the next morning to go yet on another trip, namely taking the boat down the Rio Dulce into Livingston.
The Rio Dulce was just beautiful! So green, beautifully calm waters, huge birds everywhere...every now and then a cute tiny village along the shore...a real pirate fortress from back in the days...and nice little hotels in the middle of all of this, cut off from everything...we were very tempted to just get out and stay there but decided we better move on and save this for another trip. Just see for yourselves!
We arrived in the ramshackle harbour town of Livingston around noon. We just spend the afternoon walking around and trying to arrange our onwards trip (yes, more time on the road!). Livingston was not really a very interesting town and even a bit dodgy at times, so not worth lingering. But we ran into our friend Jens we had met in Lago Atitlan and we decided to hit the road together the next morning, leaving with the boat at 6 am....(not this one :-)
So the following day we took a boat to Puerto Barrios and from there a shuttle to La Ceiba in Honduras. On our 6 am boat we got into a terrible shower which basically meant getting our backpacks soaked, screaming and laughing...check out Malka's face! hahaha
And here an illegaly taken photo of us at the border crossing :-)
We arrived in La Ceiba around 1pm and had some time to kill waiting for the afternoon ferry to the Bay Island of Roatan, so we mostly hung around with everone from the bus, played some cardgames and taught the other how to play Regenwormen (yeah!).
We had already been warned about the ferry, also known as the "vomit comet", and yes, the ride was definitely very very bumpy! But we took some seasickness pills (always make Malka fall asleep within 10 minutes) and after one hour, we had passed the rough seas.
So there we were, finally, on Roatan Island in Honduras! YEAH!
(more about our amazing Roatan adventures coming soon...)
PS: Our contest winner is Tessa! Great souvenir coming your way! Ehem actually we did not buy it yet but it will definitely be AWESOME!