Joys of backpacking!

A day in the life of Miss Lopez – 23 December 2005

Our day started in Rio Dulce, Guatemala.  We were sick all morning, fever, shivers, diarrhoea hummm the whole caboodle. Seriously I’ve never been so sick in my life. Vincent was in the same state as me if not worse as he was vomiting on top of it all. According to the pharmacist, I was in a better state because of my parent’s genetics.

We decided to avoid the boat ride to Livingston (3 hrs long) as we weren’t sure if we would make it before rushing to the toilet! The joys of backpacking! We even took Imodium and that didn’t work at all, we had an intestine infection apparently.  At one point, I thought I had malaria or dengue fever.  So off we went to Livingston by direct bus, yeah right. It stopped in every single town of Guatemala, I was so fed up, and when you think they can’t humanly put any more people in the little minivan they put some more, we had our backpacks on top of us and lucky Vincent has this huge lady next to him or should I say on top of him, I couldn’t stop laughing.  We were so close to Puerto Barrio where we had to take the ferry when we hit some major traffic, our driver took the opposite lane and went in front of everybody, I thought to myself, this is it, we’re going to die, but surprisingly we managed just fined …and then we saw the reason behind this major jam, a big trailer truck was on its side, causing mayhem all over the place. There was no way we could pass … so the driver decided he was turning back and told us nicely (please note my sarcasm) to get off the bus !!!!!!!!!

I think we were so tired and sick, we got off with resignation, took our backpack and slowly, in the afternoon heat started to walk towards Puerto Barrio. We walked 1 km and saw the sign to the city another 3 km to go, there was no way we could hack that, sick as we were and still carrying our backpack. A taxi driver was trying to charge us 6 x the price so I told him where to go. We had enough, we were tired! We managed to grab a chicken bus, fully packed. Have you ever tried getting in those yellow school buses with your backpack? Those are meant to be for kids, not adults carrying backpacks! We did manage to arrive in time for the hour long ferry across. By then my fever had started again as my period, and the migraines that comes with it. I was popping pills like no tomorrow, and as I wasn’t taking enough pills, I took my malaria tablets! I felt horrible especially that I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I was in pain, my empty stomach was having trouble with the mixture of pills. It wasn’t even a comfort that Vincent was not feeling the greatest either! We found our way across the island and manage to take the loudest hotel ever. Right next to the bar. We hardly slept all night. We were alternating our toilet time. It was horrible. At this point, Vincent couldn’t hack any more Merengue or Salsa. The next day we moved to a better hotel, a bit of luxury didn’t kill anyone; spend 4 days on the hammock just trying to get better. I did also break a hammock. To my defense, I sat down and the thing broke, landing my poor self on the floor. Someone thought it was funny. I won’t be naming any names. I just thought, great, things can get any better.

We made our way to El Salvador, left Livingston at 7 am and arrived in El Salvador at 7 pm with those nice direct buses yeah right. So much for wanting to get there before sunset. We had to get a lift with a guy in back of his pick up truck as the last bus was no longer coming, they were watching the football game, really we can see the important things in life. Of course, after what happened to my dad, I wasn’t about to tell my mother, I rode in the back of a stranger’s pickup truck, standing in the back, driving 100 km an hour. Some things are better left untold.

We did managed to find a hotel in Santa Ana where we were going to spend the night. I was trying to convince the hotel manager that Vincent and I weren’t a couple and that we wish to have two separate beds to no avail. He clearly didn’t believe us. On a funny note, we ended up in the honeymoon suite with a heart shape posted bed and a full size mirror in front of us.

ps: surprisingly, we didn’t take any pictures of Livingstone so here are some pictures of Guatemala. Hope Vincent doesn’t kill me for posting that one with the heart in our honeymoon suite, El Salvador.

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