Today we used as a chill out day (well...almost). After breakfast we took a walk into town but it didn´t turn out to be very successful or nice. There is no ATM in Lanquin so we headed to the bank to see if we could take out money over the counter with our passports and cards...no luck there, which meant we couldn´t stay as long as we had hoped as we needed to get somewhere to get some cash.
Also, as we were walking around we got the distinct impression that we were not welcome. The only reason to come to Lanquin is for the Semuc Champey and the caves, and I think that most "Gringos" stay within the confines of their hostels (which have everything that you need). We said "buenas dias" as usual to the few people that we passed who looked our way, all we got back were frowns and scowls, or just looks of total confusion. There were a few groups of guys who pointed and laughed...now I am used to being stared at because of my hair, some people even giggle a little bit, but that's ok. But with these guys it was different, it felt really horrible. Also, a little boy waved and said "Hola" to us so we did the same back, his mum grabbed him and told him off, then held him close as she watched us. We have been told that a lot of people in these remote villages believe that tourists will steal their children. Altogether we both felt very uncomfortable so retreated back to the gringo whole from which we came...we didn´t venture out again!!
After a wonderfully chilled out afternoon we went on the evening cave and bat tour. The caves themselves were ok, the rocks were like sheet ice and the mud/bat poo was like super glue! But I´m not really a cave fan and I think I was all caved out my rainy holiday in France when I was 12! But it was really cool when we came to the sections that had loads of bats flying all around us. They were so quick they just looked like flickers of light. The tour took as back to the entrance in time for sun down, then they turned off all the lights to encourage all the bats to fly out of the cave. We were sitting in total pitch black and could feel hundreds of bats flying past really close. We could only see just how many there were when someone's flash on their camera when off. For a split second the cave was lit up and you would suddenly see a bat right above you or in front of you. You could also see the swarm of bats as they flew out of the cave...it was so cool!! And in case you are wondering, yes the photo for this blog is real, it just so happened that this poor fellow was right in front of the camera when our flash went off...its a good thing that they are already blind!!
It was certainly an experience we have never had before but I would love to do it again!