When your misadventures become your best memories
After I came back from Guatemala, I had a lot of stories to tell ! We all hope that all travel goes the best way possible, like perfect trip … but no, it comes with its adventures and nightmares ! And that’s what is part of the travel journey. Until now, I never had much troubles during my trips, not even in Nicaragua for my first solo travel ! But in Guatemala, everything gathers like I had to catch up with the lost time of troubles ! I had to digest all those misadventures … make it few weeks after my return ! But at the end, thinking about it now, they might have been my best memories of this trip !
Why ? Because it taught me to do better, face my fears, discover some abilities I didn’t know about. And just to say that nothing is stuck in life, there is always a solution ! In those moments of nightmares, you learn about yourself, you have to bust your ass off to get out of a situation and at the end, you will get through ! And finally, be proud of yourself ?!
Let’s rewind on my misadventures/memories …
Memory n°1 : Force of nature
If you didn’t follow my itinerary, you can catch it here. Right after I arrived in Guatemala, Fuego volcano erupted. This incident could have compromised my whole trip but I let you figure this out after ! Luckily for me, I did my itinerary in the other way which makes me end my journey in Antigua, not far from Fuego.
Memory n°2 : Meeting with my phobia
Lanquin … Oh this little town has let me a bad memory ! But why loose myself in a lost shitty town ? To go see Semuc Champey natural pools !!! We are in low season, hostels are almost empty. At least mine. I have a dorm all for myself. And surprise when I find out that the door doesn’t come down to the ground !!! This is not luxury but it is good enough. Night falls out fast and after hours of travelling, I decide to have a shower. When I get out, I find out a spider on the door ! Not tiny one but neither a big big one … but this is my phobia !!! How did she get there ? By this f****** door that doesn’t end to the ground !!! Tears are coming, I am alone inside the dorm and I starts panicking. And I find courage to get out and get help ! A nice employee comes to get rid of this monster but the harm is done … I stress out for those 2 nights in here.
To put myself in the best conditions possible, I barricade all exits. I stuff a blanket under this f****** door which I put repellant over it. And then I also spray around the door and the window, too bad !
Other than this incident, no other drama came out here but I was super glad to get out of here !!
Memory n°3 : The longest ride of my trip
Le confort en mini van ? Déjà ce n’est pas un Chicken Bus !! Mais il est bien sommaire ! Au bout d’un moment, les fesses seront en compote, vos jambes ne sauront plus où se mettre … mais le paysage restera un souvenir gravé à jamais dans ma mémoire.
When I qualify Guatemala, the first word in my mind is wild ! Because it is really wild ! I feel like all hyper infrastructures hasn’t come in this country yet. And this is good. We keep some authenticity in the country. So, despite its small area, distances that seems not so long are in fact super long because this is still rural ! You have to count it in many hours of transportation ! The longest for me would have been Lanquin to Chichicastenango in 12 hours for about 250 km !!!
Memory n°4 : My hectic arrival at Lake Atitlan
After Chichicastenango, I head off to Lake Atitlan where I planned to stay 3 nights. I leave early in the afternoon and the ride only lasts 2 hours. Yes but … we are during rainy season. It rains from 3 pm. So ? When I arrive in Panajachel, I have to take a lancha which brings me to Santa Cruz de la Laguna. I board the boat but the lake is already rough. It starts to rain during the ride. Santa Cruz is there but the driver is letting nobody know and take off. And me, I was naive. I finally understood that the stop was behind ! I decided to get off the next stop. All alone … It is pouring rain. And there is only 1 private house. And I don’t know how to go back to Santa Cruz.
I have to protect my backpack, and I find out how to put a rain protection on it under a dripping tree because it is pouring rain !!!
Tip : learn how to put the rain protection before !!!
Anyway, I didn’t find any solution to my nightnare, I decide to enter the private property despite the sign « private property » to ask for help ! But I didn’t know where to go !!!! The landlord, lovely one, brings me a big umbrella ! I explain my issue and he tells me that Santa Cruz is only 10 minutes walking in this direction. Ok at the time, I am skeptical. But I had no choice, my hostel is there and the dark is falling. So I take the path the nice man told me, along the lake, always pouring rain !
Finally arrived, after 15 minutes walking, I discover the hostel I choose ! And when I find out the dorm, I panic because it reminds me the Lanquin’s one!!! Bad conditions and not well isolated … I don’t want to stay there, I ask to change the room but nothing makes difference. Everything looks alike, no way to reassure me ! At this time, I decide to go for the private room and mostly, leave the day after instead of staying 3 nights !
I don’t feel good at all, the night is here and surprise … an other one … there is NO wifi !!! This is old school, only computers with internet ! I have to book my stay for Antigua the next day ! And because my afternoon wasn’t crappy enough … Power failure all over Lake Atitlan !!!
I don’t know how I didn’t cry … It was just too much !
I decide to join a group to change my mind. Best idea of the day !
Then dinner at candle… Still pouring rain !
Finally after 4 to 5 hours without electricity, power is back !!
I go to bed so tomorrow will come faster. No shower, too scared to meet some kind of what. I do my techniques of Lanquin : stuff the holes and bug repellent !
The next day is here, and it is like I was in a different place … the lake is quite, the sky is blue and the landscape is just beautiful ! But the decision is made, I leave to Antigua !
Memory n°5 : Acatenango climbing
For that, I leave you to this article I wrote here. I nearly didn’t live this adventure because of Fuego. And what adventure !! One of the most difficult of my life !
Everyone will have its own misadventures. But thinking about it, it taught me a side of me I didn’t know about : being resourceful !!! And somehow, I am really glad I lived those moments ! I feel stronger ! And it makes stories to tell !
And you, best/worst memories ???