Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 126/127 - Antigua - Semuc Champey/Semuc Champey

Distance travelled (by bike): 13,150

Day 122
Leaving Antigua very early to try and get through Guatemala city before the serious traffic started, this didn't happen, the traffic must start before 6am! After getting through the city i headed north into open country, stunning! It was a very long day, i was warned that the journey would take between 7-10 hours, although the distance is not in the grand scheme huge. The main roads were twisty, with road works, pot holes and random animals littered about. Cutting off the main roads into the real countryside it appeared that the Guatemalan authorities love speed bumps, and have no problem putting them anywhere. Wiggling through the mountains, villages and forests the scenery kept getting better. In the afternoon i turned off the road and followed a gravel track for about 40 miles to reach Semuc Champey. This was a great road, i met one other person on the road. Although arriving at Semuc Champey i now regret not filling up with fuel!

Day 123
Pools, waterfalls and caves. Semuc Champey is located in a valley, surrounded by dense forest on steep hills, at the bottom of the valley are a series of spring water pools, waterfalls and caves. 
The first part to explore were the caves, Armed with a candles as the only light we swam through the entrance to the cave networks, Even though we only went 600m into the network, with only candle light to guide you it felt like more. The caves were stunning, swimming, jumping, walking and scrambling through the network until we eventually saw the entrance and emerged into the light. We were then given tubes and sent sailing down the river until we reached the park entrance, where we were fish out. Its about a 5km hike to the the front of the park via the viewing platform to the pools, and it was hot, after the hike the pools were incredibly refreshing. In the evening there was a feast of typical Guatemalan food, really good.

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