Page 2 of Omentide Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk September 15th 2010

Wednesday - today was a scary day. We got our tax numbers (this was very, very easy) and opened a bank account. That was scary. We didn't put a lot of money in it - that can be done later and in a less scary way from the UK. We are trying to arrange for stuff to be sent to us there which does seem possible though not entirely uncomplicated. We had cay then wandered around a couple of areas. The cay was good, and in a nice garden with water and ducks. The owners seem to have adopted a crow which is no longer bothered by people. The funniest bit was when it ran up behind a lady and pecked the back of her ankle. There is a great deal of building work going on ... read more
The view
Luxury flats

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk September 14th 2010

Tuesday and we are in Selcuk. This morning we were in Istanbul. After breakfast and paying the hotel (a more reasonable rate than they quoted over the phone) Ashley found the tea garden with the goldfish where we have been with Hasan in the past. They do nargile and good tea. Then by public transport to the airport. Very pleasant flight to Izmir with THY. It's less than 50 mins in the air but they fed us a decent salad and chicken sandwiches with very good pickles. We got a bus at the airport to the Otogar in Izmir then a dolmus to Selcuk. We thought we had a reservation but we didn't. They still found us a room but it is not our usual one. We had to push beds together. Went for a stroll ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet September 13th 2010

We went to Bosphorus Harley Davidson, it was an interesting experience. There was the usual levels of customer service. We got a business card and left our details so contact has been made and we can start to build a relationship. We learnt how much a new Harley will cost in Turkey, which I was sort of aware of anyway, but it is now confirmed - road vehicles are considered a luxury and taxed accordingly. If I were to buy from them they would do all the paperwork which is very complex (even more so for foreigners) and that is included, so all I would have to do is turn up give them my details (passport) and a great deal of cash. They were of the view that even if I tried to import mine there ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet September 11th 2010

Friday after work we haded to Luton and, after very pleasant meal headed off with Nicky and Alan to quiz night which was fun. Saturday we got some food at the airport and good seats on th Easyjet plane to Istanbul. We were held up for over an hour as someone had forgotten to close a valve after filling the drinking and toilet water tanks. It didn't take long to fix but we missed our slot. Apart fro that the flight was fine. We took a taxi to the hotel as it was getting late and we were hungry. Had a very good meal and a few beers then watched the basketball in which Turkey won the semi final. There was much jubilation. Yesterday we almost missed breakfast. Then all day long it rained and rained ... read more
Van Cat
Hotel Poem
Storm in Istanbul

We took a tourist shuttle to Lake Atitlan. For once I must disagree with Huxley, it did not make me long for the Home Counties although, to be honest, the volcanoes were shrouded in mist. The lake is very pretty though Panajachel (where we were taken) is a total tourist trap and somewhat tacky. We refused a number of trips on lanchas (although some were very reasonably priced) and headed for one of the restaurants built out over the lake for breakfast. After breakfast we managed to find the wildlife reserve. This is, I think, privately owned. It used to be a shaded coffee plantation but they have allowed the jungle to grow back and they encourage the wildlife. They have some coatis from a zoo breeding programme and a small group of spider monkeys hang ... read more
Volcanos in mist
Monkey with banana

Yesterday we were woken by our fellow hotel guests (the very large party) and the hotel parrot who had taken to squawking. Our intention was to go to the Lagunas de Sepalau. These are three lakes that are said to be very beautiful. However, this proved difficult. We followed the directions in the book. We went to the plaza and inquired. It was, however, market day and everything was busy. The market was interesting. We tried to work out how to get to the lakes and concluded it was possibly only viable in tourist season. We think a lot of the stuff in the books only works during tourist season... We decided to head back to the hotel, pack our stuff and head for Antigua. Microbus to Coban (1.5 hours) with some excellent scenery. Got lost ... read more
Hilary with Volcano
Ashley with volcano

We decided no jungle on Sunday due to the level of bites we were both suffering. This disappointed Carlos the boatman. We headed to Raxruja (2.5 hours on the microbus) but didn't like the hotel recommended by the guides. We really have found both Lonely Planet and Rough Guide to be of limited usefulness. OK Lonely Planet is a bit out of date, but we have the latest edition of Rough Guide and... for instance, the recommended restaurant in Chisec was a male-only beer drinking establishment (which we discovered after we had sat down). Ah well... We booked into the hotel (forgotten what it's called) which was fine The AC was good, but noisy. The fan didn't work and I got a shock from the electric shower. It was also highly insecure (couldn't close the windows ... read more
Main street
Chisec, waiting for the bus
Cancuen, first view

On 7th May 300 Qs got us a lift on a lancha to Bethel where we sorted a dolmus. Oddly it only took 2 hours to drive back along that same unmade road. Ashley saw a grey fox but I think I was asleep at that time. There were certainly hummingbirds at the place we waited for the microbus. We got dropped off at a junction then caught another microbus to Sayaxche where we booked into the Hotel Rio (with real AC!). At this point laundry was becoming a problem. We started washing a couple of bits out in the shower... I liked Sayaxche. Dusty frontier town - no more than a dozen streets in each direction and building out all the time. The ferry from where the microbus dropped us into town was 2Qs each ... read more
River Pasion
Entering Ceibal
Break from mosquitos

North America » Mexico » Chiapas » Yaxchilan May 6th 2010

On 5th May we went to Mexico. Easy enough to get on the right bus and we were put into the front seats by the driver. Four hours down a bumpy, half-made road to Bethel where passports are stamped out of Guatemala. Then another half an hour of bumpy road to La Technica where we paid 100 Qs for a lancha across to Frontera Corazol. We stayed in the Jaguar ecolodge which I kept thinking of as a reservation. I guess that's unkind - it's an economic project for the local people - so they can earn a living without chopping down and burning the rainforest. Yes, that is a real issue here. Somewhere there must be a balance between preserving this essential and beautiful resource and actually allowing people to feed their families. The forest ... read more
Escude Jaguar Jungle Lodge
Sunset Frontera de Corazol
Yaxchilan acropolis

Ashley reprimanded me because I forgot to say how, the night before last, the ground failed to rise up to meet his foot and he fell out of a restaurant. This scared me a lot but, fortunately, he did not hurt himself. We didn´t do much yesterday. We watched Central American fishes in their natural environment. There are lots of some kind of livebearer here, reminded us of the Amica. Also, some cichlides which we think are Nicaraguans. Not sure though. They are yellow but darker beneath. Some others also seen but not identified. Guarding fry. Acting very similar to the way the Central American cichlids act in our tanks. Today we went to Yaxcha. It´s a hard place to get to independently - the last 11 Km being down an unmade road where buses do ... read more
Plaza from temple

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