Posted by: Jack | November 19, 2007

Guatemala – El Remate

Immediately upon arrival we tracked down La Casa De Don Juan, a simple but adequate hostel. Finding anything in this town turned out to be a breeze as there is only one street and the town spans about one kilometer. We made arrangements with the hostel owner, Don Juan, to catch an early ride to Tikal the following morning and then set off to explore El Remate on foot. Given it’s small size, there wasn’t too much to see but some of the local kids were fairly entertaining. One youngster was enjoying his slightly modified version of pushing-a-hoop-down-the-road-with-a-stick.

Our Australian dorm-mate from the previous night, Jimmy, had recommended the Hotel Sak Luk which we came across shortly. Although it’s decor was unique to say the least, it’s prices could not quite compete with Don Juan.

It was a perfectly sunny and hot day so we decided to take advantage of the Caribbean-blue Lake Petén Itza. In attempting to find access to the water’s edge, we were delighted to discover that any pier located anywhere on the enormous lake is public. Just down the road from our hostel we found a well-maintained pier with a thatch-roofed hut at the end. Dawning our suits, we jumped in to find that the water was easily over 80° F. It also featured a couple feet of soft, silty muck at the bottom which when disturbed, would release bubbles of sulfurous-smelling gas. Keeping our feet up, we enjoyed the warm water and spent a good chunk of time just lying around on the pier.

Along the walk back to the hostel we picked up some rations for the following morning at Tikal and viewed some of the local “wild” life.

Some time later, as the sun began to set, we returned to our public — yet seemingly private — pier. Yes, I took this photo and yes, that is us sitting on the pier. Feel free to try to figure that one out.

Just across the street we found the quaint Comedor Susana and sat down for dinner. It was a bit of a special treat to eat here. We were the only customers this night and upon ordering, a number of children came out of the back room and hit the road in different directions. Moments later they each came back with one or two ingredients which had been purchased from other local vendors. Quite some time later, this assortment of items reappeared on our plates in the form of tacos. Susana apologized for the delay, explaining that they had to start a fire over which the meals were prepared. $2.45 each including a Coke.

Having left the highlands of central Guatemala, we were now amidst the malaria-infected-mosquito filled jungles of the North. This meant that I had my first opportunity to sleep with a mosquito net. Not really all that exciting. Don Juan had a very small library of donated and traded books from other tourists and among the few written in English I found one that just happened to fall into the limited category of books that I have a hard time putting down. So the latest addition to my list of recommended books is Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. We spent the remainder of the evening reading beneath our cozy bug-barrier.

Morning arrived quickly and by that time we were on a bus nearing Tikal.

Pink line on the Progress Map

Next: Tikal and back to El Remate



  1. […] Next: El Ramate to Tikal […]

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