Having spontaneously decided to go to Semuc Champey in the east of the country, we left Antigua at 8am. I went there with Ofir and Shay but met two English girls on the shuttle. They happened to be Jewish and so did everyone else as most of the others were Israeli. It was a hilarious journey consisting mainly of turning the music up to full volume, the Israelis arguing about politics and general banter throughout the whole 9-hour ride. One of my favourites so far anyway.
We arrived at a hostel called the Zephyr Lodge, which was set in one of the most breathtaking sites I've stayed at. In an open setting, the hostel overlooked jungle-based mountains and flowed around the surrounding area. The place was also meant to be the party hostel of Lanquin and had a pool.
Once we ate we sorted out our Semuc Champey tour for tomorrow, which cost 190 Quetzales ($24) for a full day of activities. We then showered and started drinking the bottle of rum we bought in Antigua as the price of alcohol in the hostel was high.
I quickly had a breakfast smoothie (no where enough for the day) and we then all jumped into the back of a jeep and had to stand up for 45 minutes to get to Semuc. The easiest way to explain what Semuc Champey is to imagine many turquoise blue pools that run above a verocious river. Basically paradise in-land.
First we went caving where we had to walk in the dark with just a candle each! This was actually a bit disappointing as it ended at a pitch black waterfall, which I wasn't going to jump off! It just meant the way back out was the same old thing. We then went on a massive rope swing that you sit on as it fires you out into the river. I managed to land wrong on my side and I'm now pretty sure I've cracked a rib or two.
We then headed to the mirador (lookout point) up a massive hill that would give us the first view of Semuc Champey from above before going in. It was unbelievable. The colours really were fantastic. The water itself was so refreshing and we basically dropped down each pool whether that was jumping in or sliding down. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip simply because of the natural beauty in such an unlikely area.
We then went back to the hostel, saw that Brazil got smashed by Germany and then played some pool before going in the pool! The night was tame as I didn't have much cash left (no ATMs in Lanquin).
Tomorrow I'm back on course to Flores in the north east of Guatemala.