After wonderful week in Belize, we were really sorry to leave it. Nevertheless, we had only one week left and we had to head to Guatemala. It was not a regular trip though. After 3-hour ride in an american school bus along the magnifcient Maya Mountains and tropical forest we arrived to Punta Gorda (Belize). From there we took a boat to Livingston – a costal town in Guatemala, which can not be reached by land. What makes this place special is the blend between guatemalan and Garifuna culture. This place is inhabitted similar to Belize coast by Garifuna people, which are very friendly and easy-going. Their favourite activity next to playing drums is drinking caraibean rum. They excell at both. The food is, however, more similar to Guatemalan specialities including soups, tapadas (seafood stews), grilled meats and omnipresent tortillas.
Since Livingston has no road connection with the inland, we took a lancha (river boat) to Rio Dulce. The trip itself was a nice experience: we passed canyons, jungle, hot springs, lilly ponds, pirate castles, and bird island. The river was also amazing – at times it was even 200 m wide. The trip ended at the lake Izbal from where we took a bus to Guatemala City. Guatemala City is neither an interesting point on a travellers map, nor it is safe. Therefore, we took another bus to Antigua – a tourist paradise. Antigua is a small colonial town surrounded by three vulcanos (one active). It is very colorful thanks to the paint on mostly one-storey buildings and flowers everywhere. Cobbled streets make it look more natural then modern cities like Guatemala City or Flores. There are plenty of restaurants serving traditional food such as: chicharon (grilled meat served with salsa, potatos, spring onions, tortillas and salad), tamales (stuffed banana leafs), pepian (chicken in tomato sauce), frijoles (entrecote). On top of this it is an excellent base for hiking vulcanos and exploring Guatemala highlands. No wonder that this place is on UNESCO World Heritage list.
Tomorrow we are hitting the road again to explore some modern Maya culture and handicraft. More on this soon.