Miss Conduct

Miss Conduct

Miss Conduct

"A first walk in any new country is one of the things which make life on this planet worth being grateful for'
- Charles William Beebe

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. "
- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain

"Not all those who wander are lost"
-JRR Tolkien

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Kuna Yala April 29th 2012

“Man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it” George Moore, English Analytic Philosopher "Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone." The Dhammapada So this is it. The End. My final Central America blog. The journey started 3 months ago in Mexico and now finishes in Panama – a country I will remember for all the time I have spent on its beautiful islands – be it on Bocas del Toro, Isla Coiba or the archipelago of San Blas. In fact come to think of it, I don’t seem to have spent much time on the mainland at all… I left you last from the beaches of Isla Bastiamentos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastimentos_Island) and the blue waters of deserted Turtle Beach... read more

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end." ~ Ursula K. LeGuin, Novelist Fact: Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse countries on this planet. Fact: Costa Rica is a literal rainbow of green. Fact: Costa Rica is hot, humid and horrifically expensive. So much so, that I have nicknamed it Costa Lotta. In fact, it strikes me from my somewhat limited 8 days in this beautiful place that it is very much used as an adventure playground by rich Americans. Activities are prohibitively expensive ($50 minimum for anything be it zip lining, volcano visiting, rafting) and so what we have actually managed to ‘do’ here has been very selective. Costa Rica is the ecological equivalent of a multiple orgasm such is its ... read more

“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them” Amelia E Barr, Writer & Journalist I have arrived in Costa Rica, the penultimate country on this Central American odyssey and it’s hot. My god, it is hot. But not a comfortable dry heat like northern Nicaragua where it felt like a warm hairdryer was constantly blowing in your face because of the Pacific winds. Nope. Here in La Fortuna in the shadow of Volcan Arenal it’s hot and humid and wet. No matter how many showers a day you have, you feel like your body is coated in a fine layer of sweat at all times. It drips off you even if you are standing still – the backs of your knees, under your chest, the back ... read more

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” - Helen Keller I may have alluded on a number of occasions on this Central America trip that I have been not as excited by some of the experiences compared with past travels. It’s difficult to explain without sounding like a total ponce or namedropper but I have lived to travel these past few years and have covered a lot of ground (whilst noting this choice is not for everyone). From Antarctica to Zambia….. From 21,486 feet above sea level (on the Bolivian Altiplano) to 131 feet below the surface of the ocean (diving off the coast of Easter Island), from leaping out of a plane over the Namibian desert to cage diving with Great White Sharks in South Africa, from eating guinea pig (Peru), dog (Vietnam), and ... read more

“Make voyages! Attempt them… there’s nothing else” Tennessee Williams. The idyll of Belize seems a lot time ago now. We are now in Nicaragua, on the Pacific Coast where the ocean waves thunder down onto the black sands, enraged and tumultuous. Woe betide any surfer who wipes out in these foaming tempestuous waters. Leaving Tobacco Caye, the waters of the Caribbean were pretty turbulent. A Westerley wind had picked up shaking the coconut palms and causing waves to break on the peaceful side of the island. Munch, our boat captain was prepared to take us (hope he wasn’t stoned) back to the mainland and we navigated the crossing back to Dandriga in his little plastic boat bouncing and vaulting the swell. Reaching dry land was a relief as I don’t think our backs and butts could ... read more

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it” – Rudyard Kipling I am currently sitting in a mall (urgh) in the deeply depressing town of La Ceiba on the coast of Northern Honduras waiting until we can take the Utila Princess (fondly known as the Vomit Comet) out across the choppy waters of the Bay of Honduras to Islas de la Bahia – the country’s top destination and apparently the best place in the Western hemisphere for diving.I’m trying to keep my expectations down but whale sharks (largest fish in the world) have made an appearance here some two months early in their feeding , mating and migration cycles and I am hoping beyond hope that I get the opportunity to dive with these behemoths of the sub-aqua world. Since my last ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal February 29th 2012

Guatemala has always me think of two things: worry dolls; Those miniature colourful woven cotton handmade figurines kept in matchboxes and purchasable from the shop ‘Evolution’ “to take away your worries” and my friend Tree whose parents spent much of her formative years working tirelessly on human rights for Amnesty International in this part of the world. That’s it. I know little else about Country Number 2 of this travel adventure…. Leaving Mexico behind and crossing our first border took me further East into the isthmus of Central America. We decided to pay for the privilege of a ‘shuttle bus’ from San Cristobal to Lake Atilan as border crossings can be notoriously challenging and with warnings of the dangers of doing it alone, we wanted the easy option. For a few pesos more, the chicken bus ... read more

North America » Mexico » Chiapas » San Cristobal de las Casas February 13th 2012

"Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, advanced a stage or two upon that road which you must travel in the steps they trod" Aristophanes I like starting each blog with a travel quote (the internet is a wonderful thing innit?!) and this one is chosen very much for a special man, Malcolm Taylor – a dear family friend and neighbour who sadly passed away last week.He has known me since I was a foetus, and always read and commented on my recent adventure. This update is dedicated to him. I am currently nursing a filthy cold (possible a wee touch of flu as I ache like an over stretched gymnast)and have spent far too much of the past few days feeling sorry for myself and berating my laziness in writing up the past ... read more

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum February 2nd 2012

"Experience, Travel - these are as education in themselves" Euripides From the miasmic gloom of London town where nearly everyone wears black or grey, looks a deathly shade of pale, misery etched on the faces as they face the return to work (if they haven’t been made redundant) after the Christmas break to the myriad of colour that is the Yucatan Peninsula - Part Two of my 2011/12 travelling adventure has officially begun. SE Asia, you will not be forgotten but now it is time to look to the next 3 months – travelling and volunteering right through Central America with the most wonderful Sandy Maletschek. From Cancun to Panama City – through Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, (possibly El Salvador) Nicaragua, Costa Rica and finally Panama itself – back to the UK to celebrate both our ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Phayam December 23rd 2011

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang After the trials of The Killing Fields (and possibly in Andy’s case Cambodian reality TV), he made the decision that the trip wasn’t matching his expectations and that he wasn’t getting anything from it. No disagreement from me there although I find it helps to try a little to get something back. It was actually a relief when he announced he was going to go home. I suggested that perhaps returning immediately to London might not be the most positive option (after all, I know exactly what it feels like to want to run away from feeling rubbish – remember my arrival in Bangkok?). I asked him if he’d rather ... read more

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