June 1-14, 2015

Day 13: Non-Rolando

Unique to this morning was the fact that we were all beginning to realize that our trip was coming to a quick close. For some of us, this has its bright sides, as the end of being homesick (or actually sick) was coming nearer. Besides that though, the fact that we’re out here in the most amazing place doing amazing things is so great to me; I could stay for so much longer! We all woke up to our own alarms around 7 or 8, and after some of us took more warm showers, we headed over to breakfast. We eat our meals in a different building, and breakfast was served on the front porch of it, overlooking the lake and the trees. All of us ate as many crepes with jam as we wanted, which was really luxurious compared to our usual one bowl of cereal or oatmeal at Mari’s. Either way, every meal we’ve been served here has basically been amazing.

After breakfast, we packed up all of our weekend bags and headed over to the boat dock. After we waited for our planned boat driver, Don Rolando, we were approached by a man who spoke in Spanish with Angelica. They talked quickly, and he confirmed with her that he was, in fact, Don Rolando. We all piled into the water taxi with our bags, but then we were herded back off of the boat almost instantly. As it turns out, this man was an imposter… Angelica had gotten in touch with the real Don Rolando on the phone, who said he would be sending one of his coworkers to drive us. It was a little stressful because not only had we been lied to, but we had also been running late and confused as to which dock was even our rendezvous point. In the end, we made it into Don Rolando’s friend’s boat, and crossed the lake to Panajachel. This, however, was not the end of our chaotic morning. Because of the time crunch, we took tuk-tuks to the Reserva Natural, where we were supposed to be ready to zipline at 11 AM. Three of our tuk-tuks, including Angelica and Jason, didn’t end up arriving at the same time as the rest of us. Those of us who were there on time signed our release waivers, and patiently sat around (Khoi found more ice cream; he has been buying it virtually every day). Eventually, our other half made it to the reserve. This was at 11:08, but we were still let in, and got right to ziplining.

The hike up was about 25 minutes, crossing rickety, hanging, wooden bridges over large streams (white water rafting material), and through the jungle where we encountered raccoon things and monkeys, which was really cool. Once we reached the top, we all waited in line as one after one of us got latched on and swept away. My favorite part of the ziplines was the fact that you brake yourself. You are given gloves with layers of thick leather, and you have to grab the line behind you and pull it down. I liked this factor because it was such a rush, even though the men at the end do have emergency brakes if necessary. We zigzagged down a total of 8 lines, and the view was spectacular (I recorded my high-speed travels and I’ll be posting a video somewhere, sometime soon!). After the zipline course, the final test for us all was a quick ropes course, which Andy, Khoi and Carter can all tell you about! The ropes course basically defeated the guys, but it was still super fun! Before we left, we visited a butterfly exhibit that was really cool. There were a lot of different types of butterflies, and it was open-air, so they just flew all around you.

We made our long journey back to Mari’s house, and arrived there around seven. We ate dinner, and talked the night away. Buenas noches!

Until next time, xoxo, Kylin Brown