El Salvador | Guatemala

Day 8 : Poptun, Guatemala

Well, one thing is -  Our journey so far has shown us is that no matter how crazy you think someone else's  driving is  (uh hum...Roland) ...you have not been on a bus in Guatemala. Oi Vey! It is unlike anything we have experienced. When Brian´s eyes get as big as they can go, and he mutters "Jesus" under his breath...you know it's a ride.

You Coloradoans, imagine Black Bear pass (near the waterfall).  THAT wide, THAT rough,  and turns so tight you swear you just made a full circle....over and over again. Oh - and all in a greyhound size bus screaming along at about 60 mph. You truly believe it will fall over and you are just waiting for the wheels to screeech. We had to laugh the entire time, because, hey, what else can you do? A cross between pure amusement (that no one else is noticing but the white folks) and nervous laughter perhaps! Those things corner like they're on rails.

Taking a Tuk-Tuk with Catherine from Poptun to our destination.
Entering the Finca... view from a Tuk-Tuk.
Bri hanging at the main house.
The Finca Isobel - this way. Our home for the next 2 days.
The main house with plenty of chill out spots
Community dinner spot. By the way the food here was crazy good. Huge group breakfasts ad dinners are given every day. Lunch is a pay as you need kind of a thing.

THE FINCA : The story of this specific Finca is very interrestig, sad, inspiring:
In the late 1960's (of course) an American couple Mike and Carol DeVine purchased over 400 acres in a remote area in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. They established Finca "Ixabel".

A Finca is a working farm, ranch.....They made an open area for travelers to camp and built 3 tree houses to give other traveles a safe place to stay and rest before they continued on. Stories of the hey-day of this place circulate aroud the property knows as the good days. It is now 3x as big. In June 1990 Mike was murdered by the Army. This prompted the U.S. Give to suspend military aid to Guatemala. After a lengthy investigation and fighting the case for years, Carol, his wife, still owns, remains at and ruins the Finca. Some of the oftcers in the murder were captured, some let go and some never found. The story is interesting and probably can be found online. Their website is  www.fincaixobel.com

Our tree house we stayed in. Melanie, show your Dad! We'll expect one next time at the Farm.
The inside of our tree house - bunks? So much for that Honeymoon!
The pond was awesome - and perfect temp for a swim - and we did.
The bar.
The front porch to our little tree house.
We decided to explore around the property.
It was awesome. In the far back of the property was a little party place. The Pond a bar and fire pit. Totally the Farm of Guatemala Melanie!
Oh my God - The Weight room Finca-style. Geoff who needs 24-hour fitness?

It is almost completely self sufficient here. Most all their food is oganic, grown on property, they have their own cows, chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, horses...the ususl. They offer tours on property like cave expeditions, tubing down the rapids, hikes, and horseback riding.

Every night they have a large family style dinner and happy hours at their "bar". Melanie´s dad would freak our if he saw this. "The Farm" Guatemala style. We liked it so much we stayed an extra day.


Hostel/texas chainsaw murder/the hills have eyes/touristas....all rolled into one The tool shed
For Ryan and Sara...............its Orley-Cow! Yep - sorry but this cow looks just like your dog.
Inside the Cave
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk - I want out! I'll eat anything, try anything - but spiders that can clamp onto my face - is where I draw the line.
Hahaha, Brian LOOOVES horse rides - not. And we took a 2 hour ride. All we heard about were how much his boys hurt.
And meet Carmella. the Finca dog. She is sausage-y. For Mel and Dieter, We call her Guatemalan Timber
Decided to take a cave hike. This was our Tour guide. Machetti in right hand, and do not forget your 1970's metal flash light.
No No No. This is Not out of scale...it's really the size of his head and NOT the only one! This almost did me (M) in on this little adventure.
mmmmm delicious. Dinner served. 40Q = $5.50. Almost as good as subway price right Brian.
Our old travel game - pong, where brian kicks my ass every time
Nothing like a cold glass of rice-hopper "drink" Aussi style (catherine)
And drinking-checkers is Always fun.

So now we are off for a 1 km hike down a dirt road to wait on the side of a Guatemalan "highway" wondering if a random bus will show up. Its what we do.  In the meantime we will talk to a Guatemalan - Mormon- missionary-deportee on a rusty bike in a polo shirt and boston redsocks hat ....just to kill some time.


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