When we left Las Conchas, the road was fine until we passed Frey. The road map shows it like being a Highway to Lanquin, the base for visiting Semuc Champey. But after a few kilometers the paved road ends and the roughest road begins for nearly thirty kilometers. It seemed that also donkeys and horses had problems with that road passing the Guatemalan mountains. After about 10 kilometers, embarrassed with the situation, locals recommended us to return, because the road will not become better.
One guy with a van came along and told us that we shall not be so stupid to return. The option was following that shit road for four hours or to return and then it takes seven hours getting to Lanquin. So we followed him with a speed, being faster by feet. It is easy to say, keep cool in such kind of situation, when you are not the driver. Kali tried sweating to ride our babe over rocks and holes on the narrowest roughest road, passing deepest hollows.
In the meanwhile Peppi enjoyed in the waggling van the gorgeous landscape and greeted the locals, especially children, waving all the time next to the “road”. We are sure: These guys haven’t seen travelers like us passing this road before. It was an experience, we will never forget. And we had needless to say: Our 508erin deserves a new Oscar for Lifetime Achievement (after Death Valley)!
The road got better and after about seven hours drive for only a few kilometers, we arrived at Lanquin. Fed up with the day and it was already getting dark, we chose the first hostel we found and it was right next to a river. They had nice facilities and after the first meal of the day we decided, it would be also a good day for a hang over the next day.
After discussing the much overpriced bill next day and paying the dorms two times, we were fucked up and left to the Cuevas Lanquin. At this place they also offer secured camping. We visited the caves, which are famous for hundreds of bats, (not very special, but for about € 4,00 it’s OK) and stayed there over night.
Next morning we took a Tuktuk to center of Lanquin and then a Collectivo to Semuc Champey trying to find out, why it shall be the most beautiful place in Guatemala.
This place it located in a valley with a white water river and jungle mountains surrounding. This white river gets hided under a 200 m long natural cal stone bridge and the water from the mountains around built natural pools on the bridge with brightest blue water. A trail leads you up to a view point, where you see this amazing colorful spectacle. Following the path down to the pools you are always looking forward to swim in them.
“Take of your shoes, there is no time to lose, there is …” much to swim in, we texted the lyrics of the band Dispatch new. With about hundred people we shared this experience. It is hard to say, if this is the best or the most beautiful place of Guatemala. This natural wonder is gorgeous and it was not comparable with something else we have ever seen before. But the unexpected low temperatures at this season didn’t invite to stay longer for swimming and relaxing. More enjoy!
After lunch by a Mayan food stall at the entrance we went back to our van at the caves. At evening we prepared barbeque and offered a meal to the two security guards, who take care of that place. The main language of this area is Mayan (second Spanish). They were so happy about our invitation, so we got a free Mayan lesson. When we went to bed, we were sure: This would be the safest night we’ve ever had at our travels! 🙂