After over a month of playing house in San Pedro, it was time for us to hit the road again, but not before getting together for one last celebration. We hiked up the infamous Indian Nose with a couple we met who are headed to Uruguay in their Honda Element Ecamper, and had a bon voyage dinner or two with Patagonia or Bust, Overland the World, and the Long Way South.
As we prepared for this trip, we read and followed numerous blogs, never realizing how important our own blog would become for meeting other travelers along the way. It was incredible to connect with other overlanders and we hope to see them again on the road.
Leaving San Pedro, we had two weeks to kill until we needed to be in La Ceiba, Honduras to catch a boat to the Bay Islands for some diving. We pointed Suzie north towards Fuentes Georginas Hot Springs near Quetzaltenago. We love hot springs. So far we’ve traveled through five countries and managed to soak in every country except Belize. We plan on continuing this trend as we head south. Fuentes Georginas currently holds the prestigious title of Ken and Anaka’s most favorite hot springs (a title that changes with startling frequency). Skirting Queltzaltenago on CA-1 we went up and over one of the highest points on the PanAmerican, at 10,334 feet, and drove into prime Guatemalan agricultural country. Ken, having been born and raised in Amish country Pennsylvania, thought he knew what agriculture land looked like. Neither of us were prepared for the near vertical fields carved out of the mountains by hand, irrigation pipe laboriously carried and connected, and the tiny concrete, mud and wood huts of the workers’ homes nestled between the fields. To my horror a majority of the crops were onions, my nose wrinkled in disgust at the pervading scent in the air (I hate onions). Luckily, the acrid scent of onions was soon mixed with the sulfury smell of hot springs. As the road narrowed, we climbed steadily up the mountain through the fields of onions, radishes, and cabbages, and into the clouds. We slowed to a crawl, sure that to our left was a bus-plunging cliff and afraid that around every corner a death defying Toyota pickup filled with farm workers would be hurtling towards us. Regardless of the dangers surrounding us, we pulled up to the gigantic metal gates marking the entrance of Fuentes Georginas unscathed.
We parked Suzie and threw our suits on, ready for some soaking. There are three different areas with pools in Fuentes as well as a few cabins available for the night. The first area consists of three pools and a restaurant. The first pool abuts the rocks where the scalding hot water cascades down, and was much too hot to soak in for any extended period of time. We were content with the second pool and soaked for an hour or so waiting for everyone to leave so we could navigate Suzie into a prime parking spot for the night. After a delicious dinner, we climbed back in or cold, clammy suits and set our sights on the pool we had passed as we entered Fuentes. Tucked into the cliffs with a lone street lamp, a sliver of moon, and a few scattered stars to light the way, it appeared to be a steaming witches cauldron. It wasn’t. It was pure heaven.
The next morning we awoke to a deserted parking lot and went for a soak in the third pool. Again, we had it to ourselves. Sitting in the steam in the jungle, we looked at each other in disbelief. We are really in Guatemala sitting in a spectacular hot springs in the middle of the jungle at 7,900 ft with a view of the tallest mountain in Central America (Volcan Tajumulco, 13, 926 ft). True contentment.