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Meredith’s Travel Diary

Monday, 15 Jan 2007

Location: Lanquin, Las Verapas, Guatemala

MapEl Retiro, Lanquin, Middle of Nowhere

El Retiro boldly claims to be a travellers´ paradise. Travellers are a simple bunch and hammocks beer and chess in a tranquil setting can keep us entertained for hours. Lanquin is most famous for the Semuc Champey pools which are a spectacular 40 minute pick-up ride away. The road winds up a very steep range past tiny communities of mud houses, lush banana trees, roaming dogs and tiny tiendas.

After 5 days of swimming and lazing we once again took a deep breath and folded ourselves into a mini van bound for Flores in Peten. The drive descends from the cool coffee growing Verapas mountains into the sultry sticky Peten region. Bizarrely we had to stop at a compulsory agricultural checkpoint at the regional border. Apparently it is forbidden to transport fruit because the govt is trying to stop the spread of the european mosquito. I tried not to laugh because the customs guys had very large guns, but I´m sure I spotted about 50 mossies making their own way over the border.