A Walk in the Jungle gif

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Mud and Misery

Mud trail.
mud trail

It became apparent almost immediately why the mud boots were recommended. I had theorized that January would be a great month to take this trip due to the cooler weather. What I didnít take into consideration was that January is the end of the rainy season in Central America. And when rain and dirt mix, you will inevitably get MUD. There was mud and water everywhere on the trail. I actually considered turning back right there at the beginning of the trail. "No," I thought, "Iíve come this far, I canít quit now. It will get better; the whole trail canít be like this!"

My feet were instantly soaked and mud came up to my ankles at some parts. Alan and I were the only people without the mud boots. The others sloshed fearlessly through the mud, seemingly without much trouble. Alan, who was smaller and lighter than me, wearing only tennis shoes, was determined to keep his feet dry. He hopped to logs and spare non-wet spots along the edges of the trail with uncanny grace and skill, like a jackrabbit with boundless energy. I wasnít as blessed. I did my best to both keep pace and keep my feet dry, but managed to do neither. I aimed for the non-muddy parts of the trail, but wound up stepping in more mud. I tried desperately to keep up with the rest of the group, but wound up at the tail end with the mules.

Taking a break.
Sitting on a log taking a break with fellow traveller and guatemalan guide

Finally, we reached a small encampment sometime in the afternoon for a much needed break. The camp was mainly used by forest workers who harvested chiclet (gum) from trees. The plan was to take a short break and keep moving to the next camp. But due to the late start and the late hour, the guides decided it was best to stay the night.

I was able to take off my horrible, mud-encased, shoes and change my clothes. We ate a nice meal, had a few drinks, and I got a chance to get to know my fellow hikers. We went to sleep in hammocks. Exhausted, I fell asleep almost instantly.

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