Blogs from Central America Caribbean - page 3

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I've never written a blog before so touch wood my debut post won't bore anyone - chances are it will though so feel free to cheese off at any time. Laura and I are currently chilling in some hammocks next to a mini makeshift indoor jungle at Hostel Oasis (conveniently pronounced Ooarsis). Really hoping I don't get bitten by any more mozzies - so far I have a bite on my leg and Laura has one on her toe - pretty happy with that! When we first arrived in Nicaragua we stayed the night in Managua which is the capital of the country but also not a pretty place at all, there's no denying it. We stayed in an alright hostel though called Backpacker's Inn and two friendly Germans told us to go to Granada and ... read more
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Six weeks feels like six days when doing development work. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by and that I now only have 3 weeks left working in my community, with the Centro, and with the wonderful people I have gotten to know here! Before leaving for this trip I thought 9 weeks was going to be an incredibly long time to do a project, but I have figured out very quickly that it is really only enough time to scratch the surface. It has been interesting as well to meet volunteers in other programs that are only here volunteering for 2 or 3 weeks (normally a decent length for a trip but now equal to the amount of time I have left) and I can’t even imagine at this point being here ... read more
Quiz time!
Myths & Facts -  Demonstrating what not to do...
Ensalada de Fruta para las Embarazadas!

Central America Caribbean » Cuba July 2nd 2014

Today was a travel day, my last day in Baracoa. I had one last breakfast on what I didn’t know would be the best terrace of the whole trip. Then, I walked to find a Cadeca (Casa de Cambio, or money exchange in Cuban Spanish.) It had been a week since I first exchanged money in Havana, and I was happy to discover that I was more than $100 under budget so far. I had been figuring on about $500 per week, but it is low season due to the rain and casas are cheaper than I expected by about $5-$10. I walked to the bus station to reserve a seat on the bus that would take me back to Santiago De Cuba in the hopes of continuing on to Bayamo from ... read more


This was our last day of planned activities here in “The jungle on the beach”. Our muscles were sore and tired, but we had another day of hiking, so we sucked it up and attacked the Manuel Antonio National Park. First, we learned that the land used to be owned by a man named...Manuel Antonio. For many years the locals had a path across it to the best beach around. Manuel Antonio was fine with that, so the practice went on for many years. After he died, a French man purchased the property and he erected a fence and put up “Prohibido el paso” signs. The locals climbed the fence and crossed through his jungle to the beach. He built taller fences, and they continued to go over. When he added even more security, the locals ... read more
Hungry monkey
Monkey mid-jump
Howler monkey


This morning we left the cool mountain top of Monteverde to head to the lowlands and the beach. I managed to sit in the front seat for the hair-raising descent on the dirt road that leads down and around the mountain. I think I was better off not knowing that Juan Carlos, our driver, talks with his hands...taking both of them off the steering wheel at the same time. On the drive to Manuel Antonio, we made a monkey stop to see some howlers up in a tree. I've always been particularly amused by monkeys in the wild, so I continue to get excited about sightings. We made a pit stop further down the road, and we managed to see some black-striped iguanas. I'm accustomed to lizards in Florida, but these are big! Our guide assured ... read more
Black-striped Iguana
View from below Monteverde
Howler Monkeys

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When we woke up this morning, our muscles reminded us that we spent 2 hours on horseback yesterday! Whoa! It was time to leave this pretty resort, and move to our next destination. Our guide has a degree in biology, so he was the perfect one to take us on a nature walk at the base of the volcano. He shared lots of information about the regeneration of the flora and fauna since this area was covered by lava in 1968. We walked for an hour, seeing orchids, bromeliads, bamboo, and young trees. He pointed out many of the things that we would have missed on our own. Nature guides are so good at seeing things before anyone else, and he pointed out a coatimundi moving through the trees. It's a raccoon/monkey kind of an animal, ... read more
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What a great day! The rain that we experienced the first few days stopped yesterday afternoon, and has not returned. Even though we are on a mountain, in a cloud forest, we had quite a bit of sun today. Still, there are water droplets in the air all of the time, and clouds move through regularly. Today was zip line day, and we were excited! I've done it before, but this was the best ever! There was a lot of uphill climbing between several of the lines, and I was the only one in the group over 40. I often had to stop to breathe, but the young guides were so helpful and supportive! Marshall was able to sprint up the slippery, steep walkways through the jungle. We had 16 different lines of all types. The ... read more
Coatimundi
Chocolate Tour
Oxcart

Central America Caribbean » Cuba June 27th 2014

I woke super early and walked along the beach past the baseball stadium, over a very questionable bridge into a tiny town where Playa Blanca is located. I was nearly alone walking for about an hour on the beach because it was so early, though when I returned it was crowded with locals, swimming and playing soccer barefoot. Playa Blanca is a tiny white sand beach with just a tiny shore between rocks I was afraid of swimming out through. I was alone on it for a small time and then a family joined me. They were cleaning fish that they’d recently caught. The girl, about 9 years old, spoke with me and showed me the various things she’d found on the beach, including her collection of tiny hermit crabs and various ... read more
The a little less scary pool
View from the top of the hike
Apparently this heart shaped lookout is in a Frech movie...


This morning we boarded a bus for a drive around San Jose before leaving for La Fortuna at the base of the Arenal Volcano. There is one building that was built in the last century and made of sheets of metal. It was shipped to San Jose from Europe, but the blueprints weren't included. The metal plates were stored for a year when the "direction book" finally arrived. On our drive through the countryside, we saw acres of sugar cane, coffee, papayas, bananas, and lots of other crops that I didn't recognize. We drove through Costa Rica's beautiful mountains on narrow, twisting roads as we climbed higher. Since this is the rainy season, and we are in the tropics, it rained most of the afternoon. The clouds were so low, that the drive in the mountains ... read more
Lomas del Volcan
View from our front porch


It rained all night, and when we woke this morning, it was still coming down. (We're in a rain forest). Apparently, nothing stops the locals from earning some tourist dollars, so we went horseback riding in the rain! Marshall had never been on a horse before, and it had been decades since I had ridden one, but we were ready to go! There were three honeymoon couples plus the two of us. I didn't feel old, did I? The caballeros matched us to the right horse, and we were off. Marshall got a really pretty gray one, and I got the biggest one (I wonder why?); it looked like an Arabian horse that we had when I was a kid. For the next hour, we rode through fields, across streams, and through the rain forest. Occasionally, ... read more
La Fortuna Waterfall
Ecothermale Hot Springs
Hot Springs After Sunset




Tot: 1.106s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 15; qc: 72; dbt: 0.9233s; 72; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 3; ; mem: 6.5mb