After a few days in the Highlands I was ready to get back to civilization...but it wasn't easy! I had a 3-hr bus ride out of Todos Santos and then had to take a series of mini buses through the mountains and over to central Guatemala. It was a grueling 10-hr day of travel made even more painful because the road had recently washed out and I had to hike with my pack up hill about 2km to catch another bus. The pictures tell all here...I was the only foreigner for the entire 10-hr journey!
When I finally made it to Lanquin I realized it was all worth it. Lush green hills, a gushing river, hammocks everywhere, a great group of people, and a slew of natural wonders to explore over the next few days.
I went intertubing down the river with my friend David from Ireland...that was a little scary since he doesn't swim well and his tube ended up popping, forcing him to walk back to our hotel. We explored a huge bat cave and were surrounded by a million bats as they exited the cave at sunset...I couldn't believe they managed not to run into us! We explored another cave that had us swimming (they call it splunking) with candles through deep dark caves and underground waterfalls. We also explored the beautiful Samuc Champey, which is a series of pools cascading down into the Lanquin river...it was a nice place to swim. Finally, I river rafted down the Lanquin river where we managed to flip the raft just one time...enough to give me a nasty bruise on my shin!
My one complaint is that I managed to get absolutely devoured by mosquitos there...I should know better, they love me!
All in all, worth the long journey!