Rainforest Haven Inn and the Cahal Pech Resort
As we relayed in the last blog titled “Life in San Ignacio and More” Our occupancy of the room we reserved at the Rainforest Haven Inn was delayed by circumstances beyond our control. But, on Monday, July 7 it was available and we moved in. We now occupy the room at the top of the hotel with a common-use kitchen next door and an open deck above.
The kitchen has a stove, refrigerator, sink, storage cabinets and a dining table with six chairs. This is where we have eaten most of our meals since arriving at the top. There is a deck area in the front and side of our room, as well as the upper deck, which offers a sweeping view of the whole city of San Ignacio and across the river to our former town of Santa Elena.
The room is air conditioned with a ceiling and a floor fan, so it stays quite comfortable. We have mostly had the kitchen to ourselves. One guest shared a cup of coffee with me one morning, before filling his water bottle for his outing. Two ladies came in another morning and filled their water bottles, then left. Other than that, we’ve only been visited by the cleaning ladies and an occasional passerby on the way to the upper deck for a look see.
Serendipity on the Hill
There is also a resort by the same name where we hoped to have lunch. The views from the resort are quite stunning and we could not wait to get some photographs from this vantage point.
The Cahal Pech Resort can be seen above, as viewed from the Grand Mayan Prince Hotel. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was soaring to 90+ as we climbed up the last half mile or so, on the dirt road. On the way, we chatted briefly with a workman who was cutting tall grass along the road with a machete, and allowed that it truly was hot.
The Cahal Pech Resort commands the edge of the hill overlooking San Ignacio and Santa Elena in the Macal River Valley below. We found the restaurant to be large and well-appointed with friendly staff members. Even though we arrived a few minutes before opening time, we were seated in the deck area near the swimming pools and drinks were brought right away.
While looking over the menu, a 60-something gentleman came by and began talking with us. We exchanged some information; Art is from Allentown, Pennsylvania and is here with a group of archaeological students from North Carolina. The students are at the Cahal Pech site doing a dig with a PhD Archaeologist. He would be there with them, but pulled a muscle in his shoulder the day before and decided to rest it for the day. When our lunch came, Art went back to his books and papers.
The hotel manager came by just after we started eating to ask how everything was and invited us to go to the top of the hotel to see and photograph the view. Lunch was very good and the service was excellent. It started to rain while we were eating, but the intensity increased with the accompaniment of a few thunderous booms.
Thunder storms are common during the rainy season, don’t usually last long, and we were in no hurry, so we waited in the shelter of the patio dining area, enjoying the storm. Art returned and we continued chatting off and on during the storm that lasted an hour or more. He relayed a story about the statue by the pool. An artist was commissioned to carve the statue as the hotel owner thought it would be nice to have a statue of a gargoyle by the pool. The artist took the tree trunk that was provided and commenced to carve. Sometime later the owner went to the artist to review the project.
“Well, it’s not working out very well. This piece of wood wants to be a pterodactyl!” And that’s what the statue came to be.
While the storm deterred us from visiting the ruin that day, it was very pleasant chatting with Art; learning a little about him and the students. But for his hurt shoulder and the
timing of the rainstorm, we might have never had the opportunity.
(Originally published by Email as: Blog #9 071813 Our Room at the Top and Serendipity on the Hill)