Thursday, January 1, 2009

Monterrico Beach: E-mail sent to friends on 8/12/08

So this past weekend we decided to go to Monterrico Beach on the coast of Guatemala.  Its one of those black beaches because the sand is composed of volcanic rock...its pretty damn beautiful and the waves were massively huge.  Apparently it is one of the most dangerous beaches because the waves are unpredictable and will come and sweep you away in a actually seems possible.  
Anyway, so I decide to go with some friends I've made out here...Jean Paul who is my friend who owns the Spanish school...he's from New Orleans.  Rachel who is from London and Stuardo a Guatemalan.  Since JP and Stuardo live in Guatemala currently we actually take Stuardos car...ROAD TRIP! we get a case of Gallo cerveza and put it in an ice chest for the road trip.  Before we leave Antigua all of us are miserably hung over (en Espanol, estamos de goma, or at least the guatemalan version of hang over) from the night before working at the bar with a large private party.  Some how the group had convinced us to do tequila shots, and the night ended up being quite a blur...for those of you who don't know, I feel that tequila is a drug and should never be consumed by me.  Anyway, we end that night by passing out in the sofa area of JPs bar...slumber party of 5 people.  This is aside the point...we wake up hung over or still drunk as hell and to remedy I start drinking mojitos.  I have two before leaving Antigua.

So getting on our way, we have 24 beers in the back of the car, and I'm 2 mojitos in whic due to my hangover makes me drunk again....and so we start our road trip.

About 30 minutes in we start drinking beer in the back and along the way we encounter cattle blocking the road, bad American music, lack of bathrooms, etc.  Then we finally arrive at this dock where we are told to park the car and take a boat taxi to the hotel.  We find small Guatemalan children to carry all of our bags and the ice chest and get on the boat where we continue to drink.  We arrive at the hotel where we have reservations and the damn Frenchman who runs the place was extremely rude..."excuse me...and you are?" "well we did not receive confirmation from you and now we are struggling to get your rooms read" blah blah blah...I guarentee you we had confirmation, written in an e-mail document.  We are angry at the man and decide to take our business elsewhere.  We get back on the boat and proceed to drink more.  Finding the Guatemalan children to carry our stuff back to the car, we then proceed to drive to another dock to attempt to try a hotel where JP and Stuardo know the owner (its nice to have friends with connections!).

On our way to the second dock we get a little lost, so we decide to pick up more beer since we have finished the case.  We then finally make it to the new dock after finishing the six pack we had picked up and buy another six pack before loading our car onto a small wooden boat.  They then proceed to load a second car on the boat that has about 100 Guatemalans on it and they all spill out taking up all the room on the side of the car.  We continue drinking.  

Finally arriving at our destination we decide to eat dinner at the hotel and order yet more drinks.  I'm pretty sure we inhaled the food and I'm not even sure if it was good or not, but it tasted delicious at that point!  After dinner we decide to get ready to go out and I change clothes and reapply makeup....I lay down on the bed and pass out, the others do the same.

Having passed out at 9 or 10 pm I awake MASSIVELY dehydrated1  I had no idea what time it was, I was lucky to know where the hell I was, and who the hell was in my room.  No cell phones, no clocks, just a lamp, and looking outside a pitch black sky.  The bad news was there's no water in the room, you can't drink the tap water unless you want to die, but that would have been a moot point anyway because the damn water was turned off, and the toilet wouldn't flush.  So the breakdown is that there is no water to be found and only a half empty room temperature skank beer.  You know its a bad night when you wake up with a beer from the night before on your night stand.  The whole hotel is closed down for the night and there is nowhere to buy water.  JP wakes up in a similar condition and we sit and talk about how dehydrated we are for about 30-45 minutes.

So we discuss the options.  

1) We wait it out, but since we don't even know the time its not a risk worth taking.  I then "cleverly conclude" since the sky is dark that we're probably a long way off from sunrise and likely screwed on that first option.  Remembering that ipods have a clock feature I figure out that its 3 AM... GREAT!  We then decide it is an emergency situation and that we need to get water.  

2) I left my water bottle in Stuardos car, so we debate how to get my water bottle.  The discussion results in me using my ipod as a torche (as the British say, aka flashlight) to fumble in the dirty clothes, one handed of course as I hold the ipod in the other...I finally score they keys in Stuardo's pant pockets...thank God he didn't sleep with his clothes on!  I wasn't sure what he was sleeping in but I was trying not to look!  I tip toe out, expecting to hear the customary "uh uh" of someone waking up, but miraculously no one stirred.  With the grail in hand, we then race to the car tripping over shrubs and ill fated flowers, only to discover that my water bottle was like that of a man dying in the desert, not very full.  Oh shit, big trouble in little China.  Still dying of thirst we reevaluate the situation.

Option 3) we start trying to figure out how to break into the hotel kitchen area.  Option three turns out to be a bust seeing as how we cannot find a single way to break into the kitchen for some bottled water.  We then move on to option four.

4) We start taking ice from the ice chest and chewing it for water (yes I know its dirty and that is how desperate we were at this point).  I fill the empty water bottle up with ice from the ice chest hoping that eventually it will turn into water to drink.  However, we find ourselves unsatisfied with the amount of water being produced from this option and with the unhygenic nature of it, thus we continue to explore more options.

5) Our next plan of attack is to take the car and drive along the beach searching for an open lobby to buy water in.  In the process of going to my room to get money, I see a table of food, rum, and a HUGE bottle of water sitting outside someone's hotel room.  

I turn to JP and whisper...THERE'S WATER OVER HERE!  He is confused..."Is it clean water?" "Who's is it?"  This fridge type bottle of water (jug of water I guess you could say) with a pour spout is sitting outside the room (with the window open by the way) and is completely unopened.  We debate over it for a few minutes and decide that it is an emergency situation and that it justifies drinking some of their water.  And so we move on to Option 6) steal the Guatemalan's water.  We grab it quickly and bring it to the car and pour it into the water bottle.  We promptly begin taking turns chugging the water.  We drank so much that my stomach was sloshing around with water and I couldn't drink anymore.  After consuming more water than any one person should be able to in one sitting we look at the damage done to the water bottle and realize that the originally unopened jug was half gone.

We then put it back outside the room and think about leaving 10Q for the water, but then decide against it because it would only admit guilt, our hope was that since it was a large family they would assume that someone in their own group was the culprit.  We also contemplated leaving a note, but then we couldn't figure out which language to write it in.  Finally we say screw it...I mean if you were going to be upset about something going missing wouldn't you be more pissed off it someone drank the handle of rum instead of the water?  I would!  Anyway, the next day we wake up and realize that they have to know it was us because we rolled in so hammered the night before and the only other people staying in the hotel was a huge family of koreans...they wouldn't steal the water!  Well the table outside had everything still on it that morning but the jug of water that we had consumed half of, which had promptly been moved to another location before we arose that morning. 

Our first plan of attack when we woke up was to buy a few bottles of water to avoid turning paradise into a desert again.  I mean seriously, here we are in the middle of one of the most beautiful places on earth and we are suffering like looters carrying a case of Heineken across the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina.  We proceed to enjoy our day at the beach, remembering to hydrate along the way.

JP and I the day after the incident.

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