Blogs from Guatemala, Central America Caribbean - page 5


This morning started at a bright and early 6am, I had tossed and turned throughout the night –especially because I could hear everything going on the streets outside our hotel even with the window closed, so I was still half sleeping when I went into the washroom to get ready. Today was the first day in a couple days that I got to brush my teeth; I still have to buy my own toothpaste because I forgot that also, but my roommate gave me some of hers. I have never felt happier brushing my teeth! I felt like a whole new woman. After I got ready my roommates got ready and we headed downstairs for breakfast. Breakfast was so good; it was done buffet style which offered scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, an array of fruit, ... read more

Yesterday was when I officially started my journey to Guatemala; I had a flight that left from Calgary at 7:15pm and took me to LA where I’d have to board another plane to Houston, and then from Houston to Guatemala. Let me take it back even one more day; I woke up on Sunday feeling like I was getting sick, it was a devastating feeling to say the least. Shortly after waking up I immediately started taking Vitamin C pills like they were candy, as well as taking some of my homeopathic medicine. Sunday night I took Tylenol extra strength cold and flu to knock me out so that come Monday I’d be –somewhat –okay to fly. Monday finally rolls around and at first it’s all going smoothly, it feels like I have all of the ... read more

It's been awhile since I wrote last - sorry! To be honest though, not too much really happened before Christmas. We just did the norm -- wake up, coffee (Roger is in LOVE with our espresso maker!), volunteer, dinner, sleep with a few hours of bass and books thrown in. Christmas wasn't really anything too different either. We decided not to exchange gifts since we're sharing all money and everything we own down here anyways. It was a bit of a bummer - I didn't think I'd be bothered by it too much but I really took it hard. It was so different (and not that awesome) to have Christmas without family, without snow, without yummy smells from the kitchen all day. And then looking at everyone's awesome times on Facebook made me even more sad! ... read more

Los Tortugarios Its 5:15pm sunset on the Pacific. I have joined a queue of excited children and their parents. Just yards from us rollers are crashing down onto the black sands.I am in Monterrico on the Pacific coast of Guatemala spending a few days on the beach. At 5:30 on the dot 3 workers from the Biotopo Monterrico-Hawii Wildlife Reserve carrying 2 big plastic baskets arrive and immediately establish order by drawing a big line in the sand parllel to the sea. We are not allowed to step over. Handing over our 10 quetzal tickets (about 70p) a precious tiny baby turtle is dropped into our palms. We hold these tiny crittars, flippers flapping ready for the off. On a count of 3 we drop to our knees and release these tiny crittars over the line ... read more
Mangroves at dawn
Sun Rising over the Mangroves
Me and the Dawn

Am drifting down the sweet Rio Dulce towards Livingston on the Carribbean on board a 43ft catamaran having spent the night experiencing coffin like conditions in my (thankfully) double berth in one of the keels! But I put this behind me. Its 6am only the crew and I are up and I am treated to daybreak with the local fishermen casting their nets around me from their tiny dugouts. The sun is rising and the jungle is awakening with bird calls. As the river narrows into the canyon before the port of Livingston, cranes and herons eyeball me from their overhanging roosts and black pelicans treat me to a fly past. Wow! Right now I wouldn’t be anywhere else, maybe I’m a Carribbean kind of woman. In Livingston the rasta locks of young travelling companion attracted ... read more
Beautiful Rio Dulce
Waterfalls and hot springs
Floating down the river


I leapt back with leg muscles all aquiver whilst a less than manly sound escaped from my rapidly constricting throat. In the black of night, this shape was darker than shadow. An enormous, bulbous body skittered past my right foot and by all ten of my toes. I had come within a centimetre of stepping on the biggest tarantula my eyes had ever seen. Such are the perils of leaving your tent to relieve yourself during the dead of night in the wilds of Guatemala. We were in the uninhabited far north of the country, with Mexico a handful of kilometres away. We had trekked to the largest of all the ancient Mayan cities, known today as El Mirador, where the tallest pyramid they ever constructed still stands. From atop these structures, the flat surrounds seem ... read more
Wild Turkeys in Guatemala are actually pretty damn cool!
My muddy leg at the end of Day 1. The following four days were the same.
Fresh jaguar print!

Last Tuesday, the 26th, a buddy of ours, old neighbor Dan, asked if we'd like to go to Belize for the weekend to renew our visas. Since our visa renewal date was coming up soon anyways we said "OF COURSE!" -- but he wasn't 100% sure of his plans so we agreed to chat at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning to decide if we really were going. By 9:05 Wednesday morning, we were emailing work and TRAMA and telling them we'd be out of touch for a week. A few hours later we were on our way to Belize with a very basic plan for the week: Bus to Guatemala City to catch a bus to Flores to go to Tikal and explore Mayan Ruins, then meet up with a friend of Dan's to spend the weekend ... read more
Seriously huge
Leaf Ant
Spider Monkey area

Into second week in Antigua and have moved out of the tiny hotel room into a more spacious apartimento consisting of large room, bed one end, chairs, table tv! Wee kitchen and bathroom. This is major improvement. Am in small community and Olga in big house provides all meals, good news especially as I get to sit, eat and socialise with the others. And in socialising, last week shuttled (shuffled) and hiked up mountain to eco lodge complete with restaurant, bar, hammocks, sweat lodge, tree house everything for the discerning traveller in Guatemala. Steep path down from the top to the lodge and then back up but well worth it. I was actually looking across the summits of smokey vulcanos instead of observing them up through the clouds. Ride down on pickup, bumpety bump but fun ... read more
Antigua and eco lodge 001
Antigua High Street
Antigua and eco lodge 003

As we were warily wading through the passages of a pitch black water-filled cave with a candle in hand, hearing the sounds of interior waterfalls and squeezing between rock formations, the thought crossed my mind that Indiana Jones is just a film, but this is the real thing. Deep in the jungles of Guatemala after a 15 hour journey over bumpy, rain-ruined roads, we had found ourselves in the village of Lanquin and exploring nearby Semuc Champey. We had been looking forward to visiting Guatemala to such an extent that it was often a little hard to appreciate the other places we were exploring. Now that we are here, I’ve realised that even the greatest expectations could not possibly lead to a sense of being underwhelmed in what must be Central America’s greatest jewel. Guatemala is ... read more
The natural rock bridge and swimming pools of Semuc Champey
Look at the colour of that water!
One of the better swimming spots in the world.

Weaving with ants. This week I have spent the afternoons with Maria and her grandson, who I have been teaching to count in English. He is stuck on 8. Likes to go from 7 to 9 . Makes sense in a Guatemalan kind of way. Maria has been teaching me traditional backstrap weaving . We sit on low stools (enter the ants) , the weaving suspended hammock style, one end on a hook banged into the roof and the other connected round my middle (hence the backstrap). Several hours spent setting it all up and then the weaving which took much patience from Maria till I got the hang of it. I am producing something that wouldn’t look out of place on a deckchair but am very proud of it. Then its a beer to recover ... read more
Weaving with maria and ants
Sunset on Lake Atitlan

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