Our bodies were exhausted. Our minds, from the constant day to day challenges, were fried. Camera straps bruised my shoulder. The constant carrying of equipment, guarding our gear and securing it all was draining. On our last night, Lynda purchased a little piece of joy in the form of a 5 star hotel.
The place was secure, relaxing.......and a place to let our hair down. Guatemala has lots of wonderful accommodations in Antigua and Flores, but they become harder to find as you leave these areas. We entered the dark monastery and discovered a peaceful retreat where we could finally sleep. Our showers were hot. And most of all, the place was hidden from the rest of the world.
The hotel is built around former monastery ruins. It is a place for the rich to relax and escape before heading home. For us, it was a treat to have just one night here. In the background, recordings of chanting monks are played throughout the old stone hallways.
At night, the solitary blue green waters of the pool called to me. My body was sore and bruised from the bird hikes. And I submerged into the steamy waters alone and let my body finally relax. No more birds. No more anything. For two hours, I watched the monsoon skies light up the top of a volcano. And I allowed myself to clear all my thoughts so that nothing remained inside. No stress. No worries. No words. Just the deeper reflections in life that nothing is really THAT important nor worth the stress that we all carry within ourselves. All that matters is now. I watched water glide with the movement of my hands. Water evaporated from the pool like the mist does from the early morning hours on the Amazon river. A breeze carried the ancient songs from the Baroque period. A singular...solitary...moment.
For within this museum/hotel, I was reminded that it's all we have. It is strange to compare our now with their past. Were not their emotions similar to our own? How much of what we do truly matters? A universal truth for all of us.
My mind wanders much these days. Perhaps it's the wildlife chases. Perhaps it's about getting older. Perhaps it's that there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said before. It's one historical repeat after another. Are we as different than those who came before us? It's all a bit humbling.
On our last night and day in Guatemala, we walked the historical grounds of the hotel. It was nice to have peace of mind after long and challenging treks both mental and physical. As one adventure ends, another is just waiting to be discovered.........