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Livingstone

Puerto Barrios, Guatemala


The last time I sat down to write an entry I was in Rio Dulce about to head off to Livingstone, that was a good couple of weeks ago so much has happened since and I am now in a completely different country on a little island in the Caribbean!

The boat ride from Rio Dulce to Livingstone was maybe one of my favourite things yet - it was the most beautiful journey and so peaceful. The river was surrounded on each side by 100ft banks completely swathed in jungle greenery and as we travelled pelicans with 4-5ft wing spans would just glide along the side of the boat at eye level. I honestly could carried on the journey all day but sadly it only took a couple of hours to reach our destination. To fill you in, Livingstone is completely different from mainland Guatemala, as it is home to a mix of lots of different races and cultures. Coming from the mainland which is predominately inhabited by Latin Americans (fairly obviously!) Livingstone has a strong Caribbean influence as many Carib and African people settled there ages ago. The change was quite dramatic and walking through the town on the way to the hostel it felt like being in a completely different country. The houses were all painted in the pale blues and turquoises and there was a lot more noise - not intrusive but bustling. The hostel we wanted to stay at (Casa de la Iguana) was full on our first night so we checked in a little hotel down the road which was basic but perfectly adequate. We went for supper at Iguana though as they serve up a big meal to everyone in the bar area so it was great to chat to different people and find out what there was to do on the island. We found out that the beach and jungle tour was pretty fun so we signed up to do that the next day. It was a good choice as we basically saw the whole of the island in one tour which was perfect as we were only planning on staying for two nights. We met up with our local guide and he first walked us round the town giving us a bit of history and showing us the important local things like the schools, church and cemetry (a huge thing there as they celebrate the Day of the Dead) and then we headed into the jungle. Possible the hottest I have ever been in my life, it was still great to wander through jungle undergrowth past Mayan settlements and stray goats! The walk took lead us down to the river which we gratefully paddled in until our little boat came to pick us up to take us downriver to the beach. It was a little dug out canoe that we had to sit cross-leeged in single file in to fit us all in - absolutely gorgeous, I think Daddy should get one to add to our canoe collection at home. The beach was all white sands and beautiful blue waters so we all had a swim and some lunch before heading off to what I suppose was the highlight of the tour - the Siete Altares (Seven Altars) which is a series of seven waterfalls that are shallow enough to walk up to the largest one at the end which as a great plunge pool to swim in. We all agreed that there was probably not much better than swimming at the base of a waterful in the jungle! We'd managed to book into the Iguana hostel for our second night which was good fun, defintely the place to go if you're looking for a backpackers haven with plenty of rum!



permalink written by  veritykent on March 30, 2009 from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
from the travel blog: Up, up and away
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