Mandy and Jon's Journey 2005 travel blog

Multiply these by thousands...

Inside the cave, awaiting the arrival of the bats

El Retiro is peaceful and quiet, with plenty of spots for reading...

Few places on our journey so far have trapped us in their web like El Retiro in Lanquin. A tiny town in the valley, Lanquin was blessed with electricity only five years ago, and the dirt road leading to it is fairly untraveled. To find such a wonderful refuge in such a town was amazing. Perhaps that was part of its draw.

We had been yearing a bit for the company of other travelers, as we had been through something of a dry spell for most of Guatemala. Our thirst for company was certainly quenched at this great hostel. An all-inclusive place, serving amazing food and drink in a thatched-roof restaurant was without a vacancy for the five nights we ended up spending there. Travelers came in droves to this special place, and so we were blessed with the company of amazing people,(most especially our British pals, Lenny and Hanna) We shared many stories over the communal dinners that were served every night at 7:30.

Touring bat caves by candlelight, tubing down rivers, swimming in the blue lagoons of Semuc Champey, full moon parties and bbq's, scrambles up nearby mountains, homemade food (such a treat!) and wonderful fellow travelers kept us from going anywhere too fast.

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