goodbye, belize!

Reporting live from Livingston, Guatemala, where I have not stopped sweating since arrival two or maybe three days ago. The constant state of sweat is the least of my worries right now, as things have not been going so well. Someone is our hostel broke the travelers code and stole my ipod right off my bed while I was eating breakfast right outside. I am not happy. Also my camera card got a virus and deleted all my photos of Belize, my so-called “indestructible” triathalete watch stopped working, I cant stop pooping, and my butt and legs are covered in a huge red heat rash. Lovely lovely lovely.

But Livingston is cool!

reunited and it feeeeels so good!

Its a beautiful town on the coast of the Carib, only accesible by boat, which makes everything really expensive. We reunited with our friend Indiana Kate, and it was a reunion of epic Gringa Fest proportions, with lots of clapping, “yaaaaaayyyy!!!!!”s and Gallos (so glad to be done with Belikin. Sorry Belize, but your beer is wack). We´re staying at this awesome hostel called La Casa de La Iguana, which has the genius business idea of giving everyone an open tab for their entire stay. Consequently, when I order beers for everyone, it feels like I am not spending any money at all! Am a wee bit nervous for the bill upon check-out tomorrow. On a side note, the halter top I am wearing in this photo later was stolen from me by the women who did our laundry on Lake Atitlan. I still get angry about that. It was my one nice shirt.

our own private jungle tour

We´ve met some awesome people with really cool stories. I want to dedicate a chapter to everyone. The manager of the hostel, Erin, is from Piedmont, CA, so we have a lot of stuff to talk about, and she´s played in Santa Barbara a lot, which is really cool. Last year, she was traveling South and Central America by herself, came to Livingston just for the night in November, went to a Garifuna music festival, and the hottest guy in the whole wide world came up to her. They´re now married. He speaks Garifuna, Maya, English, Swiss, German, and Spanish (be still my heart), is a master chef and runs a construction business. They started living together four days after they met.

“heyyyy heyyyy heyyyy!”

Yesterday they invited us on this jungle hike and we trekked through the rainforest, past wild corn fields and turkeys and ducks and pigs and crickets that make a sound like a child screaming and tried to look for monkeys. We passed Mayan men and boys carrying huge bags of rice tied to their backs and supported by their foreheads, women walking barefoot with tortillas on their heads, and men casually walking around with huge machetes, hacking through the bushes, and finally arrived to this fresh water spring pool.

The guys we were with went into the jungle and cut huge banana leaves, started a fire, and cooked us chicken, carne, potatoes and tomatoes wrapped in banana leaves and buried in sand under the embers while we swang in hammocks tied over the water and battled the crabs and mosquitoes. The crabs here are the funniest things, the grounds are covered with them, waving one huge arm in the air back and forth all day. Party crabs.

Today we´re going to Siete Altares, which is a series of seven waterfalls that the Mayan have some religious beliefs about, and tomorrow we´re cruising past monkey and stork islands and manatee reserves up the Rio Dulce and then decided between Guatemala City or Semuc Chempey. We´re a little bit anxious for some air conditioning, and maybe a mall (shallow, I know, but hey.) and some pizza or a movie, so the city might win.

We´re a bit behind schedule, but its hard moving on when we keep falling in love with the people and places we find.

Wish you were all here
Raquel

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