Yat's Big Trip travel blog

Passing by a castle on the cruise...

...some local people using river transport

My first sighting of the Carribean!

Reto wanted to go to Livingston, a renowned Garifuna village (black people on the Carribean). To get there, we had to take a boat down the river from Rio Dulce - which departed only once or twice a day. We were running a little late, as we had gone into town for lunch, and had to walk back not at London speed, but New York speed. "No, let's go at Swiss Alpine speed," Reto said.

We got back before the boat did, and Reto ran into a girl who went to the camp he worked at for the last six/seven summers. What a small world! He was really a magnet to his fellow Swiss... on the boat with us were three other Swiss people. Apart from my A'level German teacher, I didn't know any other Swiss. Little did I know at the time that I would later notice how many Swiss products and services there were all over the world!

Anyway, the journey was supposed to be quick, but an hour and a half later, we found ourselves more or less at the same place as where we had started. We had been taken on a detour to see a few sights, such as the Spanish castle, and now, we were docked at a floating petrol station to fill up. Great!

The journey to Livingston was pretty varied... we passed some villages with cute little thatched huts, with colourful clothes hanging on lines. We passed an island of birds. Then as we crossed the expansive lake, it begun to rain, and the guys quickly pulled a large piece of plastic over all our backpacks. Our boat had no roof, and we were drenched. I discovered that I had already lost my new £30 poncho, so faced the rain bravely in what I was already dressed in. After all, it's only a little bit of rain! When we saw land again, it was stunning jungle, with spidery vines hanging over trees.

Finally, we arrived into Livingston, where there were obviously touts trying to take us to their hotel. We separated from the other travellers, and found ourselves in a dingy place, where I probably wouldn't shower for the next couple of days. Luckily it was no longer raining, and we went for a stroll around the village.

It was pretty small, and the touristy part was short. We walked from the port side of the Carribean to the beachy part. What a shame the weather was overcast, and I did not find my paradise vision of the Carribean. But then, Guatemala wasn't exactly renowned for its short little stretch of Carribean coast. We went to the backside of the town, to the residential part, and got slightly lost. Hence worked up a good appetite for dinner - at an eccentric Indian like restuarant, where I was glad to have something other then rice and beans!

It was a Friday night, and Reto looked forward to some partying. To be fair, there were two beach parties going on... but both were pumping out loud music in an attempt to drown out the others, and wasn't very nice to be in the middle of this. Resigned to having a drink, we discovered that the thin crowd actually consisted of Guatemalan policemen... Hmm, no thanks! So we went in search instead for somewhere nicer... Too full to eat anymore, we took our beer towards the coast. There was a nice pier, which would have been great, had there not also been a watchful alastian dog there as well. So we settled for a pile of concrete in front of a floating petrol station, and took our position for some star gazing...

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