Page 9 of RENanDREW Travel Blog Posts

HE SAID... Having spent the morning wandering the incredible Maya ruins at Tikal National Park and lunching at Lago de Peten Itza, we were leaving Guatemala and making our way to San Ignacio, a small town in western Belize. We left Tikal around 2:30pm and headed to the Belizean border for our first land crossing. We arrived at the border around 4pm, jumped out of the minibus into the searing heat of the afternoon sun, walked into the holding area between Guatemala and Belize, had our passports stamped, paid the 20 quetzal exit fee and walked into Belize. I was surprised how easy the crossing was. We loaded our packs into a minibus waiting for us on the Belizean side of the border and continued our journey to San Ignacio. We arrived around 4:30pm and headed ... read more
streets of san ignacio
roaring river creek
atm cave

HE SAID... We were making our way northeast from Santa Elena to Tikal today, and we had an early start. We took a couple of sunrise photos over the lake surrounding Flores (Lago de Peten Itza) before leaving Hotel Maya Internacional at 6am. We stopped to pick up our pre-ordered breakfast bags at a small roadside shop (El Arbol) on the way to Tikal National Park. The bags included sandwiches (egg and bacon; ham and cheese), ramon seed biscuits, fresh juice and green oranges. The food was fantastic, especially the homemade bread and biscuits. We arrived at the Tikal National Park entrance at 7am and met Juan, our guide for the tour of the Maya ruins. We made our way to the visitor centre and started walking into overgrown jungle in the searing heat – it ... read more
chaac the rain god

HE SAID... We were leaving Rio Dulce today and heading northwest to Flores, with an estimated drive time of three hours. We woke early at 5:30am, the fresh air breezing through our open air bungalow (with the ever present concern of mosquito bites keeping us on our feet with DEET-based repellent). We headed to the riverside deck at 6am to make use of the free wifi and relax in the still morning air. Our breakfast burrito (ixchel) came out of the kitchen at 7:30am, and it was fantastic – refried beans, egg, cheese and salsa. It was a shame to be leaving our El Tortuga bungalow, as our stay had been so relaxing. We loaded our bags onto the hotel’s longboat and made the five minute trip to a tiny dock under the imposing concrete bridge ... read more
streets of flores
streets of flores
lago de peten itza

HE SAID... We woke early again, thanks to the overly enthusiastic rooster that had set himself off at 3am every morning since we had been in Antigua. We made our way out of the Antiguan valley at 5am in bright moonlight and descended into Guatemala City with a blood red sun rising over the sprawling city. We were meant to be travelling to Semuc Champey, but political unrest in that part of the country had made it unsafe for travel, so we were venturing instead to Rio Dulce, close to the Caribbean coast. We had a six hour drive ahead of us, so we had stocked up on provisions. As I stared out the window of our minibus, the settlements on the outskirts of Guatemala City were a stark reminder of the extent of poverty that ... read more
shrimp cerviche
tortugal hotel

HE SAID... After a very long-haul flight from Hobart via Sydney and Dallas, we finally landed in Guatemala City at 7:30pm. The flight was basic to say the least, but it was comfortable. Our progression through customs was seamless, although we did get a scare when my pack was one of the last to appear on the baggage carousel. We made our way out of the airport, jumped into a transfer van and started out on the final leg of our outbound journey – a one hour drive to Antigua. After about 45 minutes we started our descent into the valley surrounding Antigua (dominated by three volcanoes – two dormant and one active), and within no time at all we were bumping along the cobbled streets of Antigua itself. We arrived at our hotel at 9pm, ... read more
arco de santa catalina
arco de santa catalina
palacio del ayntamiento

HE SAID... The lead up to this holiday was fairly hectic, with tenders to be lodged and deadlines to be met. The last week was particularly tiring, with long work days interspersed with sporadic holiday organising. Still, we made it in the end. The night before we left was incredibly quiet without Jasper, Oliver and Mia, but we were able to relax. With good planning and an early night, we were wide awake at 3am on the morning of our long-haul flight from Hobart to Antigua (Guatemala) via Sydney and Dallas. We are covering three countries in this trip – Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. It’s a part of the world we have not yet traversed, and by careful design and planning on Ren’s part, we’ll be in Mexico City for my 50th birthday. This is a ... read more
tassie autumn
oliver and jasper
tassie autumn

Everyone is the age of their heart...” ~ Guatemalan Proverb Don't hang your hat higher than you can reach...” ~ Belizean Proverb A good person finds their native soil in every country...” ~ Mexican Proverb Hola people! The big news is that we’ve crossed Mexico off our ‘travel wish list’ and transferred it to our ‘we are really doing this’ list. It’s been a long 15 months since we last travelled, and we’ve had lots of time to choose a super special travel destination for Andrew’s big birthday trip. In our initial planning we hadn’t set out to visit Guatemala and Belize as well, but given their very close proximity to Mexico and the low likelihood that we’d organise a trip to visit either of those two countries on their own – we’ve extended our itinerary ... read more
pre-travel reading
pre-travel viewing
sons of baja - tacos

Asia » India February 8th 2015

HE SAID... While it’s hard to paraphrase a month of adventure into a small reflective epilogue, there are a few standout memories that I’ve collated below. The Food: The food in India was sensational. Regardless of where it was cooked (or who it was cooked by), the food was always a highlight of our travel days. While it’s difficult to pick some meals over others, the following were absolute standouts: • Mushroom vindaloo and aubergine curry in Fort Kochi (our first meal in India) • Kerala fish curry in Fort Kochi • ‘South Indian Meal’ in Coimbatore (the best all-you-can-eat thali for $AUD1.70) • Potato and cauliflower curry wherever we stopped, with particularly memorable versions in Ooty, Mysore, Madurai, Thekkady, Ranthambhore, Fort Madhogarh and Pushkar • Roast chicken and baby potatoes in Masinagudi • Fish curry ... read more
kochi - chinese fishing nets
ooty - swarmy and swarmy tea plantation
mudumalai - mudumalai national park

Asia » India » National Capital Territory » Delhi February 7th 2015

HE SAID... Our time in India was over. We were flying back to Australia via Singapore in the evening (9.30pm), so we prepared for the flight as our last afternoon in Delhi drew to a close. We checked out of Hotel Gulnar at 5pm, jumped into a taxi and headed to Indira Gandhi International Airport. We arrived at 5.30pm, checked in and wandered around the duty free shops. I picked up a copy of Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Omnibus Volume II’ (a selection of short stories from one of India’s best known authors) along with a few gifts and trinkets that we’d not been able to find during our travels. We headed to the food court to try Indian McDonalds, and the Masala Grilled Chicken Burger was surprisingly good. We were fading fast, so we made our way ... read more
streets of delhi
streets of delhi
streets of delhi

Asia » India » National Capital Territory » Delhi February 6th 2015

HE SAID... We arrived in Delhi at 5.30am after leaving Pushkar the previous evening in an overnight train. We jumped off the train, negotiated the platform masses, traversed the overpass, evaded the rickshaw touts and finally found our taxi in the dark surrounds outside New Delhi station. We made our way through the backstreets of Delhi to Hotel Gulnar in Karol Bagh. We checked into a temporary day room, showered and then wandered the backstreets around our hotel until our room was ready. We had a masala chai (spiced sweet milky tea) from our favourite local street restaurant just across the road from the hotel, and we also stumbled upon a cricket match in a small dusty park area. We decided to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant, so we sat down to cornflakes with hot ... read more
streets of delhi
streets of delhi
voting booth

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