Blogs from Central America Caribbean - page 6


Friday 13th Up early again as today's a travel day. First we catch a direct bus to San Jose and it takes just over 3 hours. We pass beautiful countryside on the way. On arrival we get a taxi back to the airport and catch the Budget rental shuttle out to their depot to collect the hire car we've booked. Surprise surprise on picking it up to be told that the hire cost doesn't include any insurance at all. Not even basic cover like all other countries rental agencies. We get charged further 150 GB pounds ! I then get asked if I want to upgrade to a 4 x 4 for an extra $5 a day and when I say no thanks, we get given one as they don't have our car anyway. Finally we ... read more
Butterfly 1
Butterfly 2

Central America Caribbean » Cuba June 12th 2014

I woke bright and early to wait for Jimmie to arrive at my folk’s house. My mom made us turkey sandwiches with cheese and pickles for the plane ride we thought would take 5 hours. I drove through rain and sleet to our friend’s house in Denver where I would leave my car for the next month. It is always nice to leave Colorado when it is nasty out to go somewhere hot and gorgeous. At the airport we drank early morning bloody Mary’s and toasted to our trip. We contemplated buying a coke from a McDonald’s for the plane ride and our little bottles, but decided on an international flight, the cokes must be free. They were. I decided we needed to tell the lady in the seat next to me about our plan. Liz ... read more

===English version below=== Na een tussenstop in de hoofdstad San Jose, die verder niets te bieden heeft, reizen we naar het noordwesten van Costa Rica. Daar zijn we in 2009 niet geweest. Tijd om eens te gaan zien of het ons daar bevalt. We worden verwelkomd door een Zwitsers koppel, Agi & Guido. Zij wonen hier al sinds 1997 op een domein van 68 ha waarvan 7 ha sinaasappelen, met 17 paarden, 33 koeien en 2 honden. De eerste 10 jaren zonder stroomvoorziening via het net. Ze verhuren 'cabañas' met zicht op de rivier Sapoa dichtbij La Cruz. We zien hier al direct een krokodil en 2 iguanas. Al een goed begin, de volgende dagen zien we nog veel meer. Het eten is buitengewoon lekker. Eindelijk Europese keuken met super lekker zelfgebakken brood en pistolets. Amai, ... read more
Ontbijt - breakfast

Trinidad & Tobago are the home Islands of Brian Lara and Dwight Yorke respectively. Two world famous sportsmen are proud to call these Caribbean Islands home, so if it's good enough for them it's certainly good enough for me! T&T is actually a big hitter in the Caribbean thanks to their extensive oil and gas reserves, and a lot of the banking and finance throughout the West Indies now emanates out of the capital Port of Spain. Trinidad plays host to the Carnivale in February each year, where revellers flock from all around to enjoy the boisterous street dancing, calypso and steel drums. However, aside from this once a year event the Islands are not that well known as tourist destinations. As such I was curious to begin my travels on the fifth and final destination ... read more
Surf rescue hut in Maracas Bay
Boat at Maracas Bay
The beach at Maracas Bay

After Jiquilio I headed to my final destination in Nicaragua, the Corn Islands - literally and metaphorically a very different side of the country. The islands, along with much of the Eastern coastline, are culturally a world away from the mainland. The people are black, Criolle, usually English speaking, and there is a definite Caribbean vibe quite distinct from the Latin American feel elsewhere. To get to Big Corn you take a little plane from the airport in Managua. Once you reach the island, you can then get to Little Corn on a panga, a small open fishing boat with an outboard motor. There are two planes and two boats per day (in each direction) and if one is late, the other will wait - it's that kind of place. The panga is awful: like some ... read more
Little Corn, by the dock.
Little Corn, North beach.
The panga


Lunch of fresh avocado and mango straight from the tree? Yes please! I've had the opportunity to visit two rural communities in the last few days with the Centro de Salud - El Tanque and San Esteban. Of course the main focus was the public health aspect - vaccinations, consultations, a few pap exams, and treatment of any standing water against mosquito larvae - but I can't deny that I also loved the fresh fruit and the lovely countryside! The visits only happen once a month to each community and it sounds like not all the inhabitants get a check-up out of the trip, but it is a good effort and a decent amount of people are reached. For example, today we set up a clinic in one of the houses in San Esteban and locals ... read more
Fresh Mangos!
Learning about water treatment
Clinic in the field

The people of the West Indies seem endlessly intrigued by my wilder tendencies, which tend to surface every time I visit the Caribbean. "You're sporting bare feet man!" a woman in Barbados exclaimed in amazement the other day. The locals will stare at my feet likes it's an amazing sight to behold, but ever since I was a kid I've always loved to get around sans footwear. Sandals and other footwear can pinch and grate after a while, so it's great to feel wild and free here in the sun, that is between swims in the glorious blue waters of the Caribbean! So here I am in Barbados, a legendary resort island on the Caribbean circuit, and the island considered the most British in the region. The ties between the locals and the British are strong ... read more
Saint Lawrence Gap beach
Bathsheba beach
Store at Bathsheba beach

Friday, June 6, 2014 Today is our last day of the cruise. It sure has gone by super-fast, but been a fantastic time. As Royal Caribbean said in the Day 7 Cruise Compass, enjoy every last bit of your final day at sea. Everyone slept in this morning, except for me; I was up at 5:00 am. Kinda scary when I don’t need an alarm clock to wake up. I headed to the Champagne bar to work on grading papers and participating in the class I am teaching. Cindy meet me for breakfast at 7:30 am and we headed to the dining room for breakfast. As I have mentioned before, love being served for breakfast. Our table mates this morning were people we have say with before. Following breakfast, Cindy and I went to the photo ... read more
Michael and Brian Guo playing basketball
Jenny and Marcus getting ready to rock climb
Marcus getting ready to rock climb

Thursday, June 5, 2014 What the heck, it is Thursday and we have to leave the ship in two days. Today we arrived at the island of Curacao. I have heard some much about this island and how beautiful it is. Looking out the window, all I can say is Wow. The buildings are beautiful. Nothing like this in the Caribbean. We started our day off with breakfast at 7:30 am in the dining room. We meet some nice couples from NH and Kansas City. Breakfast is good this morning, as always. This morning our tour starts at 8:15 am. We need to be port side then. Today our tour is named Caves and City Center. This sounds very exciting. Michael, Brian Guo, Jenny and Marcus are doing the mini jeep adventure and beach. Our tour ... read more
Cindy posing with the Village People during the 70's party
Village people coming down on the elevator
Todd celebrating his birthday on our last formal night

After a typically delightful 3 hour chicken bus from Matagalpa, I arrived in Leon to find it characteristically hot and extremely wet. Bigfoot hostel (which had been pretty groovy on my previous visit) was rather disappointing. The clientele wasn't great (it was full of irksome Americans desperately trying to 'PARTAY') plus there wasn't space in the AC dorm (Leon is maybe the hottest and most humid place in Nicaragua; nowhere else would a luxury such as air con be deemed necessary). This meant a night of waking up whenever sweat levels became unbearable. Unfortunately my conscious moments seemed to coincide perfectly with the times at which two particularly considerate travellers chose to have sex in the dorm. For the record, THIS IS NOT OK. Volcano boarding - my sole reason for returning to Leon - was ... read more

Tot: 1.485s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 18; qc: 51; dbt: 1.3308s; 51; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 6.5mb