Imagine this road after a torrential downpour of 18 hours. Now imagine that it could be the next best thing to a running river of mud. It might in fact have ruts and divets. It might have a hole at the bottom of a small hill big enough to swallow a small car. Okay maybe not quite that big.
But it is a hole and there is a pile of truck and collectivo traffic passing through here for a Sunday. Still not sure about the trucks–mining up the road maybe?
Two guys who look like they spend the rest of the week tending maise in the fields or picking avocados are going at it–fairly successfully with a pick and a shovel and a small pile of rocks. It’s absolutely passable now.
I see the helper in the dumptruck ahead of me hand something out the window to one of the guys. The driver of my collectivo shouts back to his helper and a note is passed forward. As we pass, I see 5Q (less than a dollar) pass out the window to the other worker. The conversation is in the local Maya language.
I THINK I’m seeing free enterprise at work. No chance the local roads department is driving around rural Guatemala after a bit of rain seeing what they can fix. So a couple of farmers gather up some stones they likely had to pull off their land anyway, fill in the hole and the grateful commercial drivers hand them a tip for doing so. Road gets fixed well enough to pass and for a couple of hours work on a slow day, the farmers get some much appreciated paper money.
And then we get here. Finca de Perdido–the lost farm. Steam rising off the waterfall as it cascades from its hot spring on top into the cool waters of the stream passing underneath. Climb by way of the vines on the side and you’ll find the mud–charged with minerals–to cake yourself in. After the tepid showers that are Guatemala, it’s an extraordinary thing to feel the hot water kneading the muscles in your neck and shoulders and washing away the mud treatment. For 25Q (15 for the collectivo and 10 for the entrance))–about $3.50, you have just received a $200 spa treatment–in a much nicer location!