The Seven Altars Waterfall, “Las Siete Altares,” is about six kilometers north and up the beach from the Hotel Leddie, which any school child or town rooster could tell you. When asked, Angela of Livingston Guatemala is telling John that it is a beautiful seven layered set of waterfalls where cascades of fresh water pool in rock basins, or “altars,” on their way to the sea.
But since it’s February, there will only be small trackings of water drizzling over the rocks. The best time to go is at the end of March, when the rainy season brings the altars to brimming life in their jungle setting.
“No-no no-no no no! Go no-ow-ow!” hyper crow the roosters. Worse than usual. All over town, hotel and hostel guests who are still trying to salvage five more minutes of sleep, grasp desperately at their pillows and pull them over their heads. Even at the much posher Hotel Villa Caribe down the street, the thick pillows and thrumming AC provide feeble protection from the onslaught.
John thanks Angela, careful to look over her left shoulder into the morning light, trying to avoid her full aura. It doesn’t really work, but the effort deserves merit.
He’s a mortal man so feels the pull, but he’s way too strong to wind up like the enchantment crash test dummies, Vermeer and Cellini. The love sick duo is now in the hotel’s small galley kitchen, making and slinging coffee and pancakes to the hotel’s capacity breakfast crowd.
Vermeer is irked to say the least with Cellini who’s horned in on his territory. Hoping to gain favor and increased proximity to Angela, Cellini has infiltrated Vermeer’s grounds, slaving for Leddie, just to be near Angela.
Cellini, now hotel slave number 3, at least for the breakfast shift, is waiting tables, sloshing coffee on guests and inexpertly clearing tables. He’s misgauging the number of plates and cups he can carry when a pile of them come crashing down on the patio flagstones.
Instantly, Leddie emerges from the front office, remarkable in a yellow muumuu of teapot and cupcake motif, which makes her look like she highjacked a set of kitchen curtains. She arrives billowing to find Vermeer and Cellini alternating between snarling at each other and picking up the pieces.
“Vermicelli!” she shrieks amid broken crockery, sticky syrup and startled breakfast guests.
Clearly, for Leddie these two have morphed into one big feral-haired appliance in need of a shave. ”Dios mio, you are going to bankrupt me with your stupidities. One more crashing and I’ll send you both to sleep on the beach,” she threatens, exiting back to the office to add the latest breakage cost to the Vermicelli bill.