Following the regular howler monkey wake up call, the predawn chorus of birds drew me out onto the balcony and my hammock in the cool morning air.
Watching the sky gradually lighten over the jungle with the sound of the river and birds in the background was magic. A couple of these guys were members of the dawn chorus.
The trip to to and across the border with Guatemala was unique 😀😀😀. After regretfully leaving our little slice of paradise by the Lacanja River, we traveled down the mountain side on an extremely steep winding road driven by a kamakaze driver on a caffeine high. Am glad I was somewhat sleep deprived and not really aware of what was going on. Several people were a little green around the gills when we reached the bottom and Mexican customs to pay our exit tax. The next leg of the journey was via boat. Suffering from minor whiplash, our group straggled across the sand and rocks, dragging and carrying our luggage – there are no docks here – and embarked on a 45 min ride upstream to pick up our bus to Guatemalan immigration and customs.
The boat trip was stunningly beautiful, passing native Guatemalans doing their laundry along the shore, fishing and just hanging out.
Once on the other side of the river we were faced with a steep climb up a soft sandy bank. Luckily some of the enterprising young local men met us and for a modest fee ran up the bank carrying two to three heavy bags at a time – works for me. Once all the luggage was loaded onto our new transport
we set out over roads so bad that the bus didn’t go faster than 30 km/hr for the first 1 hour of the journey – did I mention the dust? The blessed relief of pavement greeted us shortly before Guatemalan immigration and customers – at that point, windows could be opened again and core muscles could relax.
After grabbing a quick lunch in a local cantina we set off again and at around 5 officially arrived in Paradise on the shores of Lake Peten. The hotel on the shores of the lake had dinner waiting for us – an excellent grilled fish done on the barbecue with spices and salad, topped off with a very nice Chilean red. Life is good…
Tomorrow we visit Tikal and Flores Island as well as enjoy a boat trip around Lake Peten.