Mark and Lara

MarkandLara

Mark and Lara

Mark and Lara continue our travels, now with a blog so we can write about the places we visit!



Central America Caribbean » Guatemala December 16th 2015

We made a very short visit to Guatemala today, on a day trip to Tikal, a UNESCO world heritage site with Mayan ruins in the middle of the jungle. Tikal was once a huge city of a few hundred thousand people, but now only a few buildings are visible above the jungle, with more buried beneath it. The site is huge, with only a small proportion excavated. In addition to the ruins, we walked through lots of jungle, seeing spider monkeys, leafcutter ants and the national bird!... read more
Main plaza
Temple


We spent a day in San Ignacio, between two days with trips further afield. We started with a nice lazy breakfast at Ko-Ox Han-Nah, and then headed to the green iguana conservation project. It's in the grounds of a large resort hotel, and we were a little dubious about the conservation part of the work, but it was great to get so close to so many iguanas. I had three or four small ones climbing on me at once! We then walked to Cahal Pech Mayan ruins. There was more there than we expected, and it was nice to explore the site on our own with relatively few people around. It was pretty warm outside of the shade.... read more


We went to see the Mayan ruins at Caracol. It's pretty well off the beaten track, and there were only an handful of other people there. It was a 3 hour drive from San Ignacio, time consuming not because of the distance, but the unpaved road. We stopped on the way at the Rio Frio cave which was impressively large. At Caracol, we explored the site with our guide, who explained the various buildings that have been excavated in the last couple of decades. The site was quite large, and surrounded by jungle, and we stopped to watch some howler monkeys for a while. We climbed up the tallest building, thought to have been home to the Mayan nobility in the heat - it felt like a long way up, and there was a good view ... read more


We were up early to pack and leave Caye Caulker on the water taxi to Belize City. Whilst it was a bit windy, it was nice and sunny and we got great views of the islands we passed, including one that was just a house on stilts! We arrived at Belize City to be greeted by lots of little shops people trying to sell us long distance express buses. If you wanted to get to Guatemala, it'd be no problem. As I was, we were quite keen on an express, air conditioned bus (we're not really adventurous when faced with a more comfortable bus!) and took one of them up on the offer. This saved us the walk to the bus station with our big bags, which we were able to leave. We had couple of ... read more


We arrived in Caye Caulker yesterday on the water taxi, after a half hour trip from San Pedro and an early morning of sea kayaking before it got too hot. We ate lunch in a little place by the ferry pier before finding our hotel. In the afternoon, we swam off our hotel pier (there's lots of sea grass right next to the shore) and found lost of interesting fish under the pier when we snorkelled. We wandered into the village and had a beer at the split, a channel through the island, sorted our laundry and located the bank. Dinner was delicious fish at the Rainbow Grill. Today we went on a snorkelling trip - we enjoyed the last one so much that we thought we'd splash out (sorry, bad pun...) on a second one! ... read more


We're staying at a lovely hotel (Sunbreeze) in San Pedro. It's right on the beach, with a pool and a shady garden area with hammocks. It's also really close to all the main things in town, where everyone seems to drive a golf buggy... We've never seen so many! Our first day here was really relaxing, sitting reading, admiring the view and swimming. And eating. And drinking. Lovely! Today we got adventurous and went on a boat trip to the barrier reef. There were just two other people, and the boat had a glass bottom. The first stop was shark ray alley, where we snorkelled with nurse sharks, sting rays and lots of fish. Amazing to see them up close, but a lot of other snorkellers around and it was a bit daunting to jump in ... read more
San Pedro


We got an ADO bus from Tulum to Chetumal. The journey took just over three hours, with very similar scenery (mostly trees, with the odd pineapple stand and a couple of small towns) with a bizarre selection of films on the bus. Sadly not Paddington this time, which we watched in Spanish on the journey from Playa to Tulum! Chetumal was a fairly sizeable place, but we only had to walk a few blocks from the shiny bus station to the market to catch our next bus. The buses to Belize are old US school buses that have been colourfully painted and a luggage rack hung inside. We managed to pay in Mexican pesos ($150 each) although for anyone reading this and planning the same trip, we realised as the bus pulled out that there was ... read more
Corozal

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum December 9th 2015

On our first day in Tulum, we arrived on the bus from Playa, which took a bit over an hour. We found our hotel, a short walk from the bus station. It had a handful of rooms around a nice little garden courtyard and was very pleasant. We hired bikes and cycled out of town to Gran Cenote, a limestone sinkhole connected to an underground river. We snorkelled in the cold, clear, water in the caves with fish and turtles, amongst some spectacular rock formations. After a hot cycle ride back into town, we stopped for ice lollies before heading to the beach. The scale on the tourist map is definitely a bit dubious, but after a fairly long ride, we got there. We found a quiet spot and cooled off in the sea! 'Rust bucket', ... read more

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Playa del Carmen December 6th 2015

After our very long day yesterday, we woke up in Mexico on the first proper day of our honeymoon. We found a nice little place for breakfast - eggs, spinach and retried beans, plus some very welcome coffee. We then headed to the beach, which was nice and quiet first thing and had lovely white sand a view over to Cozumel. We swam, bobbing in some really big waves - it looked like we were going to get some rain, but the clouds passed over and the sun returned. We ate lunch (Mexican, obviously) in a lovely restaurant, before heading to the hotel pool. Lara practiced snorkelling whilst looking a bit daft... the eBay £20 dive mask does indeed seem to have precisely the right prescription and doesn't leak, so thanks to the person who spent ... read more
Hotel pool

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Playa del Carmen December 6th 2015

We've arrived safely and pretty much on time in Playa del Carmen. Finding the bus at the airport wasn't particularly straightforward, but everything else has gone smoothly!... read more




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