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El Retiro

Arrived not long before dinner after another long bus journey, we all went straight for a swim in the surprisingly cold but very refreshing river. The hostel was in an amazing local location, in a valley with the river down the middle, cattle fields and lots of trees. The hostel was amazing too, with dorm rooms and private bungalows (being one of the bigger ones we stayed in), a platform in the middle of a large grassy area, and a large dining area with a tv room upstairs.

There were group meals again in the evening, when all 50+ of the people staying there all ate together. The food was a buffet and was really good and came in massive portions.

There was a really nice Guatemalan guy who worked behind the bar called Dieter, who loved English people (an English man had paid for an operation which he couldnt afford that saved his leg). Every time we ordered a big beer from him we gave him a glass, he started selling them for a special price- happy hour became more expensive!

We all had an amazing time her activities included:

-Some good games of ring of fire here with Dieter, Chris (an Aussie who worked behind the bar) and Brad (an cool American guy with rubbish tattoos).

-Tubing down the river, which probably wasnt quite deep enough, with a large bottle of

-Caving with a candle, walking through lots of tunnels, getting lost form time to time, blowing each others candles out a lot, scratching our feet and knees, jumping off rocks and a little bit cold at the end.

-The pools at Semuc Champey. We hiked up a hill to get a good view, which we got along with a massive sweat, went back down and spent all afternoon swimming and jumping in. Finished off by being taken to a waterfall that was slightly in a cave and doing about
a 7m cliff jump into the river.

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