Saturday, November 7, 2009

ups and downs in the mountains

Well friends, I am in some outrageously beautiful mountains in Guatemala. We recently got out of a little van we´d been squashd into for 7 and a half hours, and the photographer in me just about cried not being able to take proper pictures out of the window of a moving (rumbly) vehicle. I can´t wait to go to bed so I can wake up in daylight to see more. (I am slightly appalled by how much of a morning person I´ve become on this trip.) We are in a hostel called El Retiro in Lanquin, and it may just win Best Hostel Yet. We´re in bamboo cabins, in a beautiful valley, right by a river, down the road from Semuc Chempey. That´s a national park with, apparently, a stunning, natural limestone bridge. We´ll be exploring that tomorrow. For now it´s another night at a hostel with a bunch of people who drink A LOT. Seriously, these travelers, it´s getting a bit ridiculous. Is there really nothing else you can do with your nights?

We spent the last couple of days in Florse, and didn´t actually get that much accomplished there. Flores is a lovely island people generally stay on when they visit Tikal, a great Mayan ruins site. Flores means flowers, for a reason. And Tikal was deep in the jungle, massive, very overgrown, with wildlife around. I loved seeing the birds just wheeling around and around these ruined pyramids, gaping empty doorways. The best part, by far, was climbing to the top of Temple IV, where you can sit, above the treetops, with an amazing view of the jungle, uninterrupted for miles except by the tops of other Tikal ruins. Sar and I went with Darren from New Zealand, a complete laugh. Jonah from Denmark, another complete laugh. These boys have a great energy about them, even if they are pretty steep partiers. And Andre, a tagalong. We sat at the top of that temple for a good long while.

The hostel we stayed at in Flores was another winner. Called Hostel Los Amigos, it´s full of flowers and growing things, has a fantastic dining, living area, incense, occasionally great music, and was full all 3 nights we were there. Great atmosphere. And DELICIOUS vegetarian cheap restaurant. Umm, this place was made for me. It even played music from Amelie.

We are traveling with Adam and Ellie from Scotland. We met these two at Bellas in Caye Caulker, and planned to meet back up with them in Flores, and our path remains the same all the way through Antigua. So we´ll probably be with them for 5 more days or so. And then Kristoffer, from Norway, whom we also met at Bellas in Caye Caulker, opted to change his travel plans to spend more time with us, so he´ll be around for about a week as well.

So Sarah is currently in 7th heaven, and I am... a little miserable. I just keep trying to focus on my beautiful surroundings, waiting the week out while not losing my opportunities here. I don´t know what to say, I´m lonely. We´ve had some great company recently, but the past couple of nights my brain hasn´t exactly been that exercised. And I feel COMPLETELY lame at the thought of hanging out by myself reading or writing, my usual fallback. And my other usual fallback, Sarah, is currently occupied. At least while I´m writing this I have some excuse for being alone. Why do I suddenly feel like I´m in middle school again where I had to eat lunch all by myself? Part of the problem is that at night, when it´s dark and there´s apparently nothing else for people to do, they all drink a ton. And that´s not exactly my bag. Sure, once in a while, but every night?

I can´t wait til we get to Antigua and I can see Eva again, I know I really enjoy her company.

Sometimes I fall into these negative or lonely funks, and it takes me a while to get out of them. I almost wish it was just Sarah, Kriss, and me. Then I could just hang out by myself without feeling quite so lame.

But buck up! I seriously can´t believe how gorgeous this place is!


Sven said...

Well it sounds like it's crazy beautiful down there. Too bad you didn't invite me along - I don't drink that much and I'm good company. Oh well - maybe next time. Keep having fun! This will be one of the best times of your life!

Anonymous said...

LOL. Drinking=expat life. Very uncreative, but in the decade or so I have been observing, that is about what it amounts to for most. At least resident ex-pats have jobs to occasionally get to, but backpackers, well, are a different lot. Drinking and sex. There must be a fair share of STDs to attend to when they get home.

Isn't it amazing how we never really feel grown up?

Rebecca said...

My advice (taken with a grain of salt, as always): Don't worry so much about being in a funk and spending time alone. You're there for 6 months, and that's a long time to feel happy and perfect and to always be 100% in the moment. Chill out. If you miss a little, you miss a little - you're still seeing and doing TONS. More than you could ever really process anyway. Read, write, feel a little lonely, and be okay with being yourself. Overall it will be amazing.

Anonymous said...

So, Sarah and Kriss are hooking up? :o