The Dam of Chixoy

Last weekend we drove the half hour to the hydro-electric dam in Chixoy. We brought our friends, Hector and Ericka along as they had never been either.

The road goes down and down and down into a valley. After about 20 minutes of driving in the heat we pulled up to some men walking and asked how much longer it was and they said the dam was one hour away. We gasped. Hector asked if it took an hour by car. "Oh, no, by car only 15 minutes."

The sight of the dam is quite breathtaking. It reminded me of the fortress at Helm's Deep in The Lord of the Rings. Arriving at a security gate, the guard asked us if we had permission. I asked what that meant. He said we should have asked for permission an hours round trip away from an engineer who would give us written permission to visit the dam.

We didn't have this. Hector and I were certain we could convince this man with a bit of money that we weren't going to terrorize the dam and that his supervisors wouldn't be visiting as it was a Saturday. After 15 minutes of chatting with him, no dice.

There is a road that winds up the side of the mountain next to the dam and then through the mountain in a tunnel that takes you to the other side to see the lake and the hydroelectric plant. We weren't permitted to go there.

He did let us cross the gate and hang out by the river where some boys and men were fishing for tiny fish. Hector says they are good fried with tortilla. We skipped stones and enjoyed the view of the back of the dam.

Then we went up, up and up, back home.

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