Blogs from Central America Caribbean - page 7


Our Arrival The ferry dropped us off one street back from the park in the middle of town. Where We Stayed Hotel Cayo Zapatilla - on the SW corner of the park. $25 for a double room with TV and bathroom with hot water showers. Hotel had a kitchen, communal balconies and good internet. We were on the 3rd floor and it worked well in our room. There is cheap laundry available. Apparently Bocas Del Toro is a big weekend destination and when we arrived on a Saturday afternoon a lot of places were full. What We Did Walked to the beaches on the East side of the island. Playa Bluff has a couple of bars/restaurants at the end of the road and big waves. It is a long walk of about 11kms. You can rent ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Jamaica » Negril March 22nd 2014

As we were leaving St Maarten, George noticed what we thought was a rather large animal / critter bite on his stomach. It looked red and very angry, but at the time, did not hurt too much. Once we were settled into our Jamaican hotel on Wednesday, we made a visit to a local pharmacy and he diagnosed that it was possibly an allergic reaction to a bite and gave some steroid cream to put on it. The shop also helped us with some other counter products for this too. Over the last couple of days, the original bite area site has grown viciously and rapidly from his stomach around to his left hand spine in some very nasty deep oozing red blistered areas. It feels very sore, is preventing sleep and carries an intense bruised ... read more

A cement mixer has been rented. We've laid down a chunk of the court with hand-mixed concrete; this will be faster but more rote. Today I've mostly been dipping water buckets from a big plastic cistern, carrying buckets of concrete, and shoveling sand and gravel. Breakfast was sweet potato, a yucca/plantain mash, and spicy pasta. I added a can of tuna salad later. While I sat on the porch eating, an old man came over and began to talk to me in French. We conversed briefly, then he gestured, took my tuna, and ate it. I gave him the crackers from the packet. He handed back the can and two girls took it an fought for it. Local lunch: Rice cooked with bits of salty fish, maybe sardines, salad, and frijoles negros. I ate a little ... read more
Plenty of gravel to shovel
View across the court

This is how we crossed the border from Costa Rica to Panama without using a shuttle service. We went from Puerto Viejo De Talamanca to Bocas Del Toro on Saturday. 1. Catch the bus to Sixaola. In Puerto Viejo the bus ticket office is on the road next to the sea. Buy a ticket there costing 1,720 colones. The bus to Sixaola stops at the yellow house on the corner (Deelite ice cream shop/Caribbean Tours). We caught the 8:30am bus. At 8:30 2 buses pulled up, 1 was heading to Manzanillo and the other to Sixaola, the destination is in the front window. It arrived in Sixaola at 9:50am. The border crossing is not the last stop but most people will get off the bus and it stops near where lots of trucks are parked. The ... read more

Yesterday I completed the final objective of Central America's high points, Volcán Tajumulco in Guatemala. Even though it is the highest of the high points it was by no means the most difficult. Actually, it was quite easy once we got to the trailhead, a 2 hour o'dark-thirty drive from Xela. Most people do the trek as an overnighter with a camp very high close to the summit. That normally involves taking chicken buses to and from the trailhead, each way a 3½ hour trip. Moreover, it is purportedly very cold and windy at the camp making for an uncomfortable and sleepless night. One day round trip was the way to go and I was lucky one of the tour operators had such a trip going the day after I arrived in Xela. $US ≈ 7.7 ... read more
Volcán Tajumulco
Volcán Tacaná
Volcán Tajumulco


Central America Caribbean » Jamaica » Negril March 21st 2014

We had decided to leave our one Jamaican tour for this day so that we could make it extra special. The trip we booked was to YS falls and it was an excellent day. We booked the driver for the day that had brought us from the airport on Tuesday evening. Our driver from the airport has a large comfortable mini bus with recliners. It was a private tour for just the two of us so the day was made very personal and comfortable. He picked us up at 8.00am. We originally thought this was a bit early, but later in the day it became very apparent why we left so early. The drive to the falls took us through many Jamaican villages and small towns and was very interesting to us to get an insight ... read more
Below the falls
Bottom pool
Lower levels

A pretty warm and noisy night, with roosters, goats, and periodic shouting. At about midnight, the power came on, and therefore the fans, but also the bright-enough-to-read-by bathroom fixture. The walls don't reach the ceiling, so the bulb shone directly in my eyes. There doesn't appear to be a switch for this one. One corner of my mosquito net fell down, but I have two corners tied to window louvers and was able to get it taut enough by tucking the edge firmly under the foam mat I'm sleeping on. No mosquitoes in my net; didn't have to step around/on/over sleeping people to use the bathroom. This probably means I'm dehydrated. I moved some supplies into my netting, making it easier to get to them during the day. I couldn't find my watch, so I couldn't ... read more
Los niños at the door
Our escort
A house in the batey

Time flies when you’re having fun. Or so they say. In any case, a lot of time has passed since the last post – I’ll try to do the Reader’s Digest version of the last 6 weeks. On February 13th, we sailed from St. Croix to St. John and spent the night at Salt Pond Bay. The next day, we sailed over to Virgin Gorda, where we pulled into a slip at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Our plan was to check into the British Virgin Islands, check out the summer boat storage facility at the marina, and tidy up the boat in preparation for our guests who were arriving the following Wednesday. Saturday morning, while I was below decks and Jon was in the cockpit cleaning, there was a crash and boom, then quiet. I ... read more
In the Travel lift
Preparing to lower centerboard
Centerboard down

Central America Caribbean » Jamaica » Negril March 20th 2014

Theresa had been to Jamaica once before back in 1991 and one of the things she remembers is Ricks Café, but was in for a great surprise when she saw it again. The hotel where we are staying is across the road from here and we can hear the very loud music until about 1.00am most nights. Think the locals ignore the music as it brings other business into the area. It did not keep us awake at all. Reggae rules okay. Rick's Cafe was opened in April 1974. At that time, Negril was a sleepy fishing village with little development. It lacked many modern amenities such as electricity, telephone and hot running water. Ricks Cafe was the first public bar and restaurant of its type on the West End Cliffs, offering an alternative to Negril's ... read more
Parts of the original Cafe
Typical Jamaican
Jumpers from the top shelf

I can't mark quite where Batey Isabela is on this map, because it's hard to locate on the somewhat contradictory online maps. It's about where I've placed the route marker. Bateys are sugar cane plantations, and as a quick look at the DR/Haiti border reveals, many of the people in this region were brought over/came over to harvest. New legislation in the DR has disenfranchised multiple generations of people of Haitian descent, effectively rendering them stateless: Now, intensifying a long and furious debate over their place in this society, the nation’s top court has declared that the children of undocumented Haitian migrants — even those born on Dominican soil decades ago — are no longer entitled to citizenship, throwing into doubt the status of tens of thousands of people here who have never known any other ... read more
Beginning construction
The court on Day 1
Shoveling gravel

Tot: 1.035s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 14; qc: 69; dbt: 0.8542s; 69; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 6.5mb