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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Guatemala Part 13

    Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    Lanquin, Guatemala

    In the swing of things at Hostal Oasis in Lanquin, Guatemala.
    In the swing of things at Hostal Oasis in Lanquin, Guatemala.

    I pretty much took most of the day off to rest…or so I thought! In the afternoon, it was partly sunny, so I took a stroll from the Hostal Oasis, which is situated right on the Lanquin river out in a rural area, a half mile up into the dreary little town of Lanquin. My mission was to have a look around, shoot a few photos and buy some bananas and apples. I accomplished everything except, oddly enough, no bananas were on offer from the few street stalls that were open. So, I had to settle for apples and a couple of Chiky bars. The latter are small, square, triple-layer cookies with chocolate filling in between.

    The rustic Iglesia Evangelica Monte Sinaí in Lanquin, Guatemala.
    The rustic Iglesia Evangelica Monte Sinaí in Lanquin, Guatemala.

    At this point, the sky turned grey and unleashed a slight drizzle. After shooting photos at Iglesia Catolica Catedral De Lanquin, I started to head back to the Hostal Oasis. As I walked down a hill toward the edge of town, the rain started to come down harder, so I ducked under an overhanging roof. I was hoping the rain would only last a short while, and that it would either stop or return to a light drizzle. Boy, was I ever wrong! The rain just kept coming down without stopping, soon turning into a torrential downpour that showed no signs of letting up.

    Unintentional minimalism in Lanquin, Guatemala.
    Unintentional minimalism in Lanquin, Guatemala.

    The rain was coming down so hard, the concrete storm drains on each side of the street were quickly filling up with rushing water. One drain across the street was blocked by something that sent a huge, sustained, gushing wave of water surging several feet straight upward that looked like it was going to knock over a motorcycle parked right there. After a while, since the overhang I was standing under didn’t stick out that far, my pants, shoes and socks got completely soaked. So, I just decided to walk back to the Hostal Oasis in the driving rain.

    Faded paint and disintegrated pallets in Lanquin, Guatemala.
    Faded paint and disintegrated pallets in Lanquin, Guatemala.

    I proceeded out of town and down a muddy country road that was inundated with small rivers of water. I stepped right in the deep, rushing stuff a bunch of times, completely and utterly soaking my shoes and socks. I looked like I had just emerged form a swimming pool. It was so dark, the only time I could see the road was when it was briefly lit up by lightning or the headlights of an occasional passing vehicle. After a half mile or so, nothing looked familiar, so I figured out that I had made a wrong turn somewhere. This is the second time on this trip that I really could have used a flashlight. (I brought one, but I keep forgetting to put in new batteries.)

    Sunset over the Lanquin river in Lanquin, Guatemala.
    Sunset over the Lanquin river in Lanquin, Guatemala.

    Re-tracing my steps, I headed back the way I came. As each bolt of lightning illuminated the road, I ran for a few yards to return more quickly. Finally back in town, a local sitting in a truck asked me where I was going, and suggested I take a tuk-tuk. I was utterly exhausted and miserable, so I flagged down one and got a lift back. But, this was no ordinary “lift.” It was an unintentional thrill ride that was as dangerous as all get out! I was literally laughing out loud the whole way.

    Corroded batteries in Lanquin, Guatemala.
    Corroded batteries in Lanquin, Guatemala.

    Precariously bombing down an ultra bumpy, rutted out, rock-filled muddy road at breakneck speed on a sketchy three-wheeled contraption, I thought for sure we were going to tip over, crash into a tree and die. But, somehow we pulled up to the Hostal Oasis intact. Way more exciting than any ride at Disneyland, it was definitely worth the $1.50 I paid. But, I would never do it again in a heartbeat–or any other kind of beat. What a crazy ending to one of those unexpected, arduous adventures that I’ll always remember.

    Iglesia Catolica Catedral De Lanquin in Lanquin, Guatemala.
    Iglesia Catolica Catedral De Lanquin in Lanquin, Guatemala.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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