Page 3 of SuzanneandDavid Travel Blog Posts



Suzanne here... Few people come to Guatemala without visiting the main tourist attraction of Tikal. However, for a while it seemed that we'd do exactly that. A State of Emergency was declared in the area after a massacre by a Mexican drug cartel. The UK Government were advising against visiting the area, and anyway we've tried to avoid being massacred on this trip. When we got close enough that we had to make the decision Peten was still under emergency measures. However the Government were no longer advising against going and the police and military presence had been dramatically increased. We're not foolhardy and we don't take our safety lightly but we decided that actually, with the extra measures in place, it was probably a safer time than ever to see the area. For a chance ... read more
Flores Lake view from our hotel
Flores
150 year old tree in Tikal


David here... The bus journey to Coban was surprisingly comfortable with not too many people on board, with a stop on the way where we had a very nice chicken sandwich. We arrived in Coban early in the afternoon and checked out a few hotels before staying at the Posada de Don Pedro which had clean enough rooms, shared bathrooms but a nice garden area to sit in. It was here that I noticed that the bag I use daily had been slit while we were traveling either from Guatemala City or the previous day when the buses we were on were particularly busy. Fortunately as the bag had our pac-safe in it, the slit they had made was too small for anything to be pulled out, so we lost nothing. After a quick patch up ... read more
Lanquin View from our hotel
Lanquin - Dog and Shop
Lanquin scenery


Suzanne here... The promised Pullman coach to Panajachel turned out to be the usual decrepit, over-crowded chicken bus, but that's nothing we're not used to by now. The journey took about three hours so we arrived at 10am, early enough to stop for breakfast before finding our hotel. The hotel we chose was Larry's Place. Decent sized room and a terrace to sit on. A bit pricy we thought at Q150, but the guy looked at us blankly when we tried to haggle. Ok, not the done thing for rooms in Guatemala then... To be honest, Pana was a bit too full-on and touristy for us. Every few steps we were accosted by someone trying to sell us scarfs, bracelets, purses, drugs.... it got very tiresome. We tried to look around the market but the hard ... read more
Lake Atitlan - Beauty....
...and the Beast
Lake Atitlan


David here... We had a 06:00am bus to catch that would take us from Honduras to Guatemala, a place we had only recently decided to visit. We left the hotel room to find the kittens outside our window, so we said goodbye to them and jumped into the shuttle minibus. There were only 5 of us in there so it was not too much of a squeeze. We got to the Guatemala border in about 30 minutes and paid $3 to leave the country and $2 to enter Guatemala. We then had to endure over 7 hours in the (hot) van as we got stuck in traffic a couple of times. We finally arrived in Antigua at around 14:00 and found our hotel, Casa Cristina, with no problems at all. The room was clean and comfortable ... read more
Antigua
Antigua - Volcano
Antigua - Cross on the Hill


Suzanne here... When we've told people our plans on our travels we've often been told not to go to Honduras. "It's too dangerous you'll be robbed / kidnapped / shot / disemboweled with a potato peeler " (well, maybe not that last one). Even the guidebooks say it is one of the most dangerous countries in Central America. The most positive people we met said it was ok if you were careful but there was a lot of anger, hostility and unfriendliness. We decided to go anyway, to be careful and to make a swift exit if it was as bad as people said, and not to tell my mum how dangerous it was supposed to be (Sorry mum). I'm glad we ignored all the doom and gloom. It's actually a really nice country. Some spectacular ... read more
Pulhapanzak Falls
Santa Rosa de Copan - Parque Central
Santa Rosa de Copan - Parque Central


David here... As we are a bit behind with the blog, this is going to be a very quick run through of the remaining areas of Nicaragua we visited. We left Ometepe, using bus, shared taxi, ferry, taxi, bus and finally a bus to Masaya. The bus dropped us off in the middle of a huge market area, and we promptly got lost. We finally found our way to the main square after asking so many people. As we've said before in this blog, as the roads have no names it is difficult to get your bearings. Even people who live in the town do not know where they are on a map. The best option is to just jump into a taxi when you arrive, but we're too stubborn for that. We found a hotel ... read more
Matagalpa Chocolate Tour
Matagalpa Cathedral
Matagalpa Hostel Rabbit


David here... We left Costa Rica on the Ticabus, that turned up about an hour after we were told to be at the stop, though we weren´t too worried. Normally we would worry about such things, but not this time. Maybe we are getting a bit more laid back. It did also mean we could have a McDonalds breakfast as that was essentially the bus stop. We got to the border and got off the bus to get our departure stamps. We queued with everyone else however when we got to the front, we didn´t have the form required to go with your passport. We should´ve been given it on the bus however as we got on at a late stop, not San Jose, we were missed. So we had to go and fill out the ... read more
Granada - San Francisco convent, now the museum
Granada - Inside Euro cafe
Granada - Architecture


David here... We left Quepos on the 09:30 bus back to San Jose. The journey was 3 hours and was hot and humid as the bus was full. We arrived back at the Coca Cola terminal at midday and made our way to the Northern terminal round the corner where the bus to Santa Elena left from. We got there and waited for the ticket office to open at 13:30 ready for the 14:30 bus. Suzanne found a little Soda near the bus station and bought us a Cheese and Ham sandwich which was so good, I went back and got us another one. We bought our tickets and jumped on the bus, that left promptly. The journey to Santa Elena takes over 4 hours so we would be arriving in the dark, with nothing booked ... read more
Lizard on the night walk
That's not me climbing a tree...it's a sloth
Close-up of Sloth


Suzanne here... So, onward to the next leg of our trip... Central America. Our plane landed at San Jose Airport just before 5.30am. We planned to have a coffee at the airport and wait for the world to wake up, but there was nothing at arrivals. We headed outside and we´re immediately seized upon by taxi drivers. Admittedly nothing like as full on as Asia, but even so it seemed easier just to avoid them by jumping on a bus straight away. We found the bus stop in front of departures. As we were waiting I noticed that the waist strap had disappeared from my backpack. Annoying, as it´s this strap that distributes the weight onto your hips and away from your shoulders. We´ll just have to see how I get on. The bus took about ... read more
Butterfly in San Jose Museum
Butterfly in San Jose Museum
Butterflies in  San Jose Museum


David here... We arrived mid afternoon in L.A after a long 11 hour flight, without the benefit of watching many films as they started them all before they turned the screens on and Air Pacific only show the same films on a loop, though I did manage to see the bulk of Tangled. To make up for not being able to really watch films we drank a copious amount of white wine, making sure that we asked the gentleman serving as his measures were bigger. We jumped into a Super Shuttle (Blue Vans at LAX) who took us directly to our hostel in West Hollywood for only $16 each. We had decided to stay at the Banana Bungalow on Fairfax as: a) it was cheap, and b) it was only a 40 minute walk from the ... read more
Outside the LACMA
Sunset Strip with Kiss guitar
Sunset Strip




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