Slick Shoes

This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, November 27, 2007 was originally posted on December 02, 2007.

DAY 8:  I’ve titled this entry “Slick Shoes,” figuring that many of you readers out there of my generation will understand that it is a reference to the movie The Goonies, the immortal Spielburg/Columbus movie of the 80s where a bunch of Oregonian kids hike through watery underground passageways in search of the lost treasure of pirate One-Eyed Willy.  Slick shoes are of course, shoes that squirt out an oil slick via a mechanism in the heel, so that chasing bad guys can slip and fall, providing an easier getaway.  In the movie, they are invented by the Asian character named Data — and it’s already been established by a Frenchman on this trip (in Caye Caulker) that I “look like [him.]”

The watery underground passageway of this tale is the Cueva K’anba (K’anba Cave) of the Grutas de Lanquin (Lanquin Grutas) cave network, encompassing three kilometers of underground tunnels and caves.  It was only about a five-minute walk there from the Las Marias lodge, on the same side of the Cahabon River.  We walked there after breakfast — both ours and the one of the pet howler monkey, sadly tied to a rope.

By “we,” I mean our own international group of “Goonies”:  Welshman Matt, Polish girls Aga and Joanna, Berkeleyan Tilu, Bay Area Camilla, and me, Data.  Leading us was our guide Rojo, a happy Guatemalan man who spoke no English.

“Tu es el diablo Rojo,” I told him, noticing the candles strapped to his head like devil horns

Most of the group was wearing flip flops, footwear unsuitable for the ups and downs of the rocky cave we were about to explore.  Fortunately the cave guides provided beat up old sneakers and shoes to protect people’s feet, some with holes in their soles, with little-to-no traction — slick shoes if you will.  I was not wearing their slick shoes, for Rojo said my enclosed rafting sandals were adequate.

Regardless of me not wearing the provided slippery footwear, the comparison of me to Data of the Goonies would continue; I was the token Asian guy after all, with gadgets strapped to my head and to my body (something pretty common with me, even back at home).  Plus, the candles that Rojo provided weren’t ordinary candles; they sparkled up like dynamite fuses when he lit them, and I hoped they didn’t create any backfiring boody traps.  (“That’s what I said, boody traps!”)

Like in Goonies, our entry into the underground passageway was littered with bats; just walking into the cave a few feet where it was dark already, squeaking bats flew all around our heads.  From the bat zone, the water got deeper and deeper, and we had to hold our candles over our heads — and for a while, hold them while swimming with one hand in a section too deep to walk.

Exploring the cave involved more than one-handed swimming; it involved crawling, ducking, climbing ladders, and, if you wanted to follow Rojo’s lead at one area, jumping into deep pools.  Mostly we walked around, illuminating our way with our sparkling candles (picture above), mindful of the hanging stalagtites near our heads.  Some of the limestone formations resembled other things, if you had the imagination of our guide.

“[It’s a cow’s head.]”

“[It’s an elephant’s trunk.]”

“[It’s the feathers of a rooster.]”

The limestone formations provided the backdrop for some photos, and I became the designated photographer (just like Data) with my waterproof camera strapped to my neck:  Camilla and Tilu, Aga and Joanna, and Matt.  At one area near an underground waterfall, the group posed in Goonies fashion, before wading around a big stalagtite, walking through a waterfall, and finding the hidden cave behind.  Unfortunately, there was no treasure.

THERE WAS LIGHT at the end of the tunnel, literally, where the underground river fed out to a cascading waterfall that spilled out to the Cahabon River.  After a quick group photo, Rojo led us upstream a bit for our ride back to the lodge — via inner tube.  “Look how strong the current is,” Matt noticed with concern.

“We’ll end up in the Pacific,” I joked. 

“How are we going to stop?” he wondered.  Camilla translated the query to Rojo, who told us that we were going to build a train with the inner tubes, held together with our legs.  It was actually pretty efficient, and necessary so that no one would be carried away by the rapids or crash into rocks.  It was a fun experience — especially for Tilu — as we floated, spun around in different directions, and stroked in unison like crew members to get safely back to camp.  Once there, we chilled out and swam in an eddy, swinging and jumping in with a rope swing tied to a tree.

THE SKY HAD CLEARED UP significantly since the downpour of the previous day, providing for the perfect afternoon to enjoy the outdoor waterfalls and pools of Semuc Champey in all its glory.  Leaving the lodge’s four-month old Rottweiler puppy to nap, we hiked the fifteen minutes to the park entrance, on the other side of the Cahabon River.  As we crossed the bridge, a pick-up truck full of senior citizens with American accents drove by, all of them smiling and high on life — or perhaps just a bit inebriated; I noticed at least one of them, an old woman, drinking white wine from right out of the bottle, like a forty-ounce of beer.

“TOO-REEEES-MO!!!” she exclaimed to us in a very American accent.

Perhaps she was trying out her Spanish on Camilla and me on the assumption that we were locals with our coffee-colored skin tone — which almost fooled the park rangers if I hadn’t written “U.S.A.” in the registry book.  One confused park ranger was about to give us change for the local’s entrance fee instead of the tourists’ one, until the other ranger told him our written truth.

“[You look Guatemalan, but…]”

The afternoon at Semuc Champey was a relaxed one.  With the power of gravity, the River Cahabon flowed slowly at times, and fast at others, in areas that formed impressive whitewater rapids.  They might have been good for rafting outfitters if not for the water falling into a chasm and underground into the cave system.

What didn’t go down the hole flowed into beautiful green and blue pools, calm and serene, like out of a postcard image of paradise.  We spent the afternoon there, swimming and relaxing amongst the other tourists there:  the backpackers from El Retiro, the American senior citizens of “tooreeesmo,” and Guatemalan families as well; tooreeesmo isn’t just for foreigners after all. 

Before our bodies got all pruny from swimming, Camilla and I, and the rest of the “Goonies” packed up for a short hike up the cliff-side wall, on a treacherous, but designated trail of switchbacks.  We were rewarded upon arrival of the mirador on top, with a view of the pools below.  “Okay, group photo!” Aga declared in celebration.  And with that, we ended our Goonies-esque adventure, hiked back down, and ultimately back to the lodge.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t exactly the adventure from the Goonies movie — there were no pirates, chasing bad guys, or Cyndi Lauper songs after all — although I must admit that when hiking the riverbank of the Semuc Champey pools, I slipped on a rock and landed my ass in the mud.  I guess my makeshift Data had slick shoes after all.


At the Las Marias lodge, Camilla was still freaked out about bugs.  “Oh my God, is that a bot fly?!” she cried, seeing a weird-looking insect land on her body.  She swatted it away, only to have the same bug land on my leg.  I shoo’d it away as soon as I saw it.

“Oh man, is that a bot fly?!” I seconded.

Jim answered, “It’s supposed to look three times bigger than a house fly, and metallic gr…”

“GREEN!” I completed his sentence.  “That was it!  That’s what I saw!  It was a bot fly!  It was on my leg!” 

I hoped I shoo’d it off my leg in time, before any possible endodermal impregnation — I guess I’d find out in a several weeks, if it did.

Next entry: Karma

Previous entry: Pondering of Pig’s Milk

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Slick Shoes”

  • YO B -  you need to link the pictures!

    Posted by markyt  on  12/02  at  02:06 PM

  • HERE’S ANOTHER FOR THE WHMMR…  I’m still about three days behind, but am trying to play catch up today…

    Fifty Dollah bill!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/02  at  02:07 PM

  • Loving the return of the blog Eric, it’s the first one I’ve managed to follow day by day. Looks a bit cold to be swimming in photos but I’m guessing the clouds are deceptive. Keep up the good work!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/02  at  04:06 PM

  • Erik- was just thinking of you this weekend and was trying to contact you. I saw you IM me this morning but was in a meeting. What is your REAL DEAL email address so I can get in touch w/ you easier?
    BTW the Holiday party is 12/13, seriously considering not even going since you are global tripping this year…. HOPE you are SAFE, WELL and HAPPY!!! - Audrey

    Posted by AUDREY ALOI FROM DIGITAS AMERICA  on  12/02  at  05:48 PM

  • I like those pools - glad you knew beforehand that there would be swimming in the caves… that would’ve sucked.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/02  at  09:42 PM

  • i love the “perfection” t-shirt… another shoutout to the 80s

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/05  at  01:27 PM

  • That Sounds interesting, i agree with you. Please keep at your good work, I would come back often.

    Posted by Ann  on  01/12  at  12:51 AM

  • great range of Ed Hardy products. Ed Hardy Women’s Ellerise Lowrise Sneaker · Ed Hardy Women’s
    ed hardy jeans, ed hardy hoody, ed hardy shirt, ed hardy clothing, ed hardy cap, ed glasses, ed belts,
    women fashion shoes, men’s clothes. helping .perhaps you will like
    Ed Hardy
    Ed Hardy shoes
    Ed Hardy shirts
    Ed Hardy clothes
    Ed Hardy clothing
    Ed Hardy shoes
    Don Ed Hardy is an American tattoo collector raised in Southern California
    Ed Hardy Clothing,Christian Audigier,Ed Hardy Shoes,Ed Hardy Swimwear,Ed Hardy Hat,
    ED Hardy Caps
    Ed Hardy Sunglasses
    Ed Hardy Wallets
    Gucci outlet store online, numerous cheap Gucci bags, handbags, wallets, purses, totes, shoes on sale,
    cheap prices and authentic qualities
    gucci handbags
    gucci jewelryglil;

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  02:45 AM

  • its Discounted UK Tiffany Jewellery Sale Outlet provides designer Tiffany Ring, necklaces and other jewelry in wholesale price. UK Tiffany specializes in
    Tiffany jewellery
    Tiffany Bracelets
    Tiffany Earrings
    Tiffany and co
    We have all kinds of Tiffany Jewellery, such as Tiffany Necklaces, Tiffany Rings
    Tiffany Necklaces
    Tiffany Rings
    tiffany jewelry
    Choose, buy and shop for on sale tiffany jewelry including Tiffany & Co Silver Necklace, Pendants, Bangles, Bracelets, Earrings, Rings and Accessories.
    tiffany co
    tiffany and co
    UK Tiffany Jewellery Sale Outlet provides designer Tiffany Ring, necklaces and other jewelry in wholesale price. UK Tiffany specializes in
    Tiffany jewellery

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  05:21 AM

  • <a > michael jordan shoes </a> 
    <a > Air Jordan 1 Retro </a> 
    <a > Air Jordan 2 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 3 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 4 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 5 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 6 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 7 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 8 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 9 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 10 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 11 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 12 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 13 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 14 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 15 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 16 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 17 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 18 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 19 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 20 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 21 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 22 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 23 Retro </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 2009 </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 2010 </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 2.5 Team </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 11.5 </a>
    <a > Air Jordan 16.5 Team </a>
    <a > Women’s Jordan </a>
    <a > Women’s Air Jordan 1 </a>
    <a > Women’s Air Jordan 3 </a>
    <a > Women’s Air Jordan 4 </a>
    <a > Women’s Air Jordan 5 </a>
    <a > Women’s Air Jordan Spizike </a>
    <a > Women’s Air Jordan Six Rings </a>
    <a > Jordan Dub Zero </a>
    <a > Jordan True Flight </a>
    <a > Air Jordan Spizike </a>
    <a > Jordan Flight 45 </a>
    <a > Jordan 6 Rings </a>
    <a > Jordan Olympia </a>
    <a > Jordan Sixty Plus(60+) </a>
    <a > Jordan Trunner Q4 </a>
    <a > Jordan 25th Anniversary </a>
    <a > Air Jordan Fusions </a>
    <a > Jordan Fusion 3 </a>
    <a > Jordan Fusion 4 </a>
    <a > Jordan fusion 5 </a>
    <a > jordan fusion 6 </a>
    <a > jordan fusion 8 </a>
    <a > jordan fusion 9 </a>
    <a > jordan fusion 12 </a>
    <a > jordan fusion 20 </a>
    <a > Jordan OL School Shoes </a>
    <a > ordan OL School 2 </a>
    <a > Jordan Pro Classic </a>
    <a > Kid Jordan Shoes </a>
    <a > Michael Jordan Shoes </a>
    <a > Jordan countdown pack </a>
    <a > jordan L’style one 1 </a>
    <a > jordan phly </a>
    <a > jordan B’Loyal </a>
    <a > Jordan 23 Classic </a>
    <a > Jordan Blase </a>
    <a > Air Yeezy Jordan 5 </a>

    Posted by micheal jordan shoes  on  08/27  at  11:43 AM

  • ????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????IWC??????????;IWC??????;?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????10???·????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????<U><FONT color=#0066cc>????????</FONT></U>???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?? ????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Posted by ???????  on  08/29  at  10:38 AM

  • Our Replica louis vuitton handbagbags are your best choice which are well-made with high-quality leather.Our replica bag are the highest grade available in the market, we guarantee that. We have the best Quality and service fordesigner handbags on the internet. We also offer a return for refund or exchange policy.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/07  at  01:55 AM

  • <a >ADRIAN PETERSON jersey</a>
    <a >eric berry jersey</a>
    <a >MICHAEL VICK jersey</a>
    <a >Miles

    Austin jersey</a>
    <a >ELI MANNING jersey</a>
    <a >Troy Polamalu jersey</a>
    <a >vernon davis jersey</a>
    <a >tom brady jersey</a>
    <a >Anquan Boldin jersey</a>
    <a >DENNIS DIXON Jersey</a>
    <a >sean taylor jersey</a>
    <a >wes welker jersey</a>
    <a >michael oher jersey</a>
    <a >KERRY COLLINS jersey</a>
    <a >ryan mathews jersey</a>
    <a >mark sanchez jersey</a>

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/16  at  10:11 AM

  • ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/28  at  06:54 AM

  • I am fascinated by your stories. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. There’s much more to be gained. It is the old what goes around comes around routine.

    Posted by five finger shoes  on  09/28  at  09:40 AM

  • effects53 The new Timberland boots is a kind of life style,modern culture in modern life is a kind of special performance.Timberland 6 inch boots in contemporary life often become shoes.Become a kind of fashion symbol,covers every aspect of life,such as a country walk, sports, travel,shopping,timberland boots uk etc.Please enjoy yourself,colorful life,cheap timberland boots has become a modern pursuit of life,not to quality of life index.The concept and connotation and timberland boots sale with this new life function was closely related with the ideal mode.
    Based on the nike dunk sb,the brand and shoes connotation to modify themselves,nike dunk high show yourself,obtaining an aesthetic pleasure and symbolic spirit.From the perspective of use should be practical,Nike dunk 2010 and aesthetic two basic functions,which will be serious lack of coordination effect nike dunk low, practical function shoes,nike dunk mid shoes is the premise of aesthetic,there is an important symbol of function extension of nike dunk shoes.

    Posted by timberland boots  on  10/14  at  10:56 AM

  • However, you can never forget the beautiful,Christian Louboutin Shoes brought to you.In fact, people generally like to wear skirts to wear Cheap Christian Louboutin, but what kind of dress boots with a better arrangement?? We guarantee Herve Leger sale ?you received will be exact?Discount Herve Leger clothingyou ordered.Inside of the building, there is one store selling?Hermes handbags?and other Hermes products with 860 square meters in two different floors?If you are just looking for Moncler Jackets or else Moncler products, why not try to buy one from us, 100% satisfaction. Thanks for your time, hope you can find what you exactly want in our Monclerstore

    Posted by awe  on  10/21  at  06:30 AM

  • dollars out offer contract, both parties will sign this week Last month, the magic sound of the company and the launch of joint brand Yao Ming, Yao has been hard crying: “This great soundproof Chanel  headphones, while my wife and I did not dare wear it, for fear of not hear the baby crying Played three seasons, he would go to European development 49 7-0 lead The expert described Chanel outlet  by NFL players can play as follows (a coach, 5 players): Chauncey - Chauncey Billups / coach Detroit uggs boot  Pistons Chauncey Billups during the period in effect plays a very important role, as he often hit shots at the discount uggs  crucial moment and receive the nickname “Mr So spare tire, Prada sale  Yao can enjoy the time on the bench 2007-08 season when the Celtics will be Kevin Garnett, Ray - Allen’s hiring, and Pierce formed a powerful trio, it now appears that this indeed was a successful operation, because the green jersey Army 2008 Finals Shouren Lakers, took the overall champion I am willing to use all my championship rings in exchange for Michael - Jackson’s lifeFriday morning, Hal Man wearing a T -shirt, Chanel sale  shorts and tennis shoes in a Vikings team’s training ground , drinking Gatorade , and coaches joking aside

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/22  at  12:56 AM

  • Test King helps you go beyond the Microsoft free IT certification test questions exam details and position you to pass your MCTS exam exam papers with confidence knowing you are best prepared to answer any applied Microsoft MCITP material using your foundational skills as a fully trained IT professional. Complete training is the only and best solution to ensure that your future and career are secured based on solid learning and understanding of even the most complicated Microsoft MCITP Certification advanced topics.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/28  at  12:23 AM

  • Loving the return of the blog Eric, it’s the first one I’ve managed to follow day by day. Looks a bit cold to be swimming in photos but I’m guessing the clouds are deceptive. Keep up the good work! Nike shoes is maybe the nearly all well-known brand when it comes to basketball footwear, Nike Air Griffey Max it is the particular major reasons why this specific set of trainers is remarkably copied or imitated, the particular nike dunks shoes brand just emits their footwear once yearly, nike dunk sb they do this to be able to keep the worth of the footwear as high as probable and make it a enthusiasts product, lebron james shoes having said that it’s clear that the accessibility to such merchandise will not be as high as all other trainers. nike air max The actual law of demand will definitely common to play since the supply of these kinds of sneakers is limited and the demand remains extremely nike dunk high which will certainly boost the value of the trainers.

      You can find numerous means nike air jordan that you could spot a inexpensive phony you in fact have the item before you, basketball shoes in the event that this really is not the situation then recognizing an phony is going to be a lot harder nevertheless, air max 90 you can find still several tips you could utilize to be able to determine nike force one the legitimacy of this specific merchandise, let’s have a review of them

    Posted by nike shoes  on  11/30  at  05:14 AM

  • The topic Network connectivity includes 220-701 Exam Windows Firewall,Remote Management, ability in configuring rules for multiple profiles with reference toMCSA Certification applications, configuration of notifications, and authentication of exceptions, configuring remote management tools, using remote management methods, and using MCSE 2003 exams PowerShell commands. Also knowledge about general networking practices including addition of a wired or free CompTIA practice tests wireless device, connection to a wireless network, configuration CCNA exam of security settings on the connected client, setting up of preferred wireless networks, configuration of MCSE exams network adapters, and location-aware printing.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  11:14 AM

back to top of page


Follow The Global Trip on Twitter
Follow The Global Trip in Instagram
Become a TGT Fan on Facebook
Subscribe to the RSS Feed

This blog post is one of thirty-nine travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour* (*with jaunt to Colombia)," which chronicled a six-week journey through Central America, with a jaunt to Bogota, Colombia.

Next entry:

Previous entry:
Pondering of Pig’s Milk


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.

Spelling or grammar error? A picture not loading properly? Help keep this blog as good as it can be by reporting bugs.

The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad. v.3.7 is powered by Expression Engine v3.5.5.