Monday, March 2, 2009


My wife Silvia by the river with cat in lap at El Retiro Hostel on the river bank.
Ray Auxillou reclining by the river waiting for PUPUSA for supper and drinking a GALLO beer. Wasn't bad beer either.
Must have been 15 or more beautiful gringa girls in bikinis trotting down the hill with big tractor inner tubes for a float down the river a mile. Current was about 2 mph. This is a tributary of the main river in the valley.
We had a private room in the main house for Silvia and me. $10 usa for both. Think the dorm beds are $3 usa each. This was our verandah. Hot water shower, nice bathroom in a seperate unit.
The dormitories are wild cane walls on a wood platform above the ground and thatched roof. Usually four beds to a little shack. The grounds are about 5 acres on the bank of this tributary. They have a restaurant, internet service for Q20 for the length of your stay, bathrooms are scattered around the yard, couple of horses, a cat. The sites to see are a few kilometers away. Quite place and PACKED FULL daily, with mostly girl European backpackers on long tours around Central America, the world, or Guatemala.
El Retiro Hostel grounds
lANQUIN cobbled street. Lanquin is a two hour mini-van collective ride from Coban. Q 25 each person and the road is highway, but little used, nice though up to the top of the river valley. Lanquin ( lankeen ) is on a tributary of a the Rio Cahabon, reputed to be a class 3 or 4 rapids, for huge inflatable boats. Another attraction are the colored pools of Semuc Champeya. Other attractions are hiking and some caves. This is a Guatemalan tourist small town of 5000 people or so, at the bottom of 2000 feet valley of winding country gravel road of 11 kilometers. They grow corn, beans, coconut trees, fast growing pine trees, a spice called cardomomo, and coffee. Much of it inter-planted with each other. We were interested to see this EL RETIRO HOSTEL we read so much about. Quiet tranquil place and chess seemed to be a main evening activity, or gossiping on the porches of cabins.

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