A Rio Dulce (part 1)

Kristin warned me not to take a Pullman. And I would have listened to her. But when I left Guatemala city, I felt overwhelmed and under attack. Everyone I talked to warned of the danger of being robbed, and I merely wanted to exit the city. After dropping Kristin off at the airport and returning to the hotel at 5am, I realized I had left my key in my room. And with no night watch and no instructions on how to call for attention, I was left the options of sleeping on the couch or trying to climb in to my second story window. I opted for the former.
When I asked the owner/desk guy how I might get to Flores using chicken buses (after he’d let me into my room at 8:30 and I had slept through checkout at 11am), he told me I should go to Fuentes Norte. Thinking that this was a part of Guate where there were buses, I agreed to a Q60 cab ride, only to find he had sent me to the equivalent of a greyhound station. Like most greyhound stations, this one was in a pretty nasty part of town. What choice did I have? I said fuck it and bought a “turista” ticket for 3x what a Chapin would pay. The bus driver claimed it would take ~8 hrs to Flores, but as the bus drove on, and stopped for 30min at a time without apparent cause, I started to realize that it would be a looooong ride. 12 hours later with no plan as to where I would stay, we pulled into Santa Elena and a helpful taxi driver took me to where I would stay for the next 4 days (unbeknownst to me at the time).
So when it finally came time to leave, I knew that it would be on anything but a Pullman.
To Be Continued…

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