Page 5 of RoscoRoundtheworld Travel Blog Posts


South America » Colombia » Cartagena March 18th 2012

After getting the private room I was craving following the trip and having a lie down on the comfy bed, it was time to meet the others at Harry’s Bar and collect our passports which hopefully have a nice big Colombia stamp inside. Harry’s Bar was situated only around 200m from our hostel so it was ideal and we didn’t have to think too hard to get there. When we arrived a few of the guys were there and it was slightly strange to see each other with different clothes on and looking clean after our adventure, everyone was a lot more upbeat and we all started reminiscing from the past few days. One by one everyone arrived including Fritz with our passports luckily enough. We all hung around for an hour or so having a ... read more
Cartagena
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
Cafe del Mar


Day 1 So, it was the morning of departure from Portabelo in search of Cartagena Colombia. Everyone was up quite early to make sure they had all their stuff packed and ready for the trip. We were supposed to meet at the dock at 10am so all of us started our walk with our massive backpacks, small pack and added carrier bags of food and drink (mainly clanging rum bottles) towards the dock. When we arrived there was a group of people sitting on the bank just alongside the dock but they didn’t look in the best of spirits...we first wandered if they were coming on the same boat as us but after a while we worked out that they must of just got off another boat coming from Colombia and they either all had a ... read more
Waiting for 'Fritz the Cat'
'Fritz the Cat' Catamaran
Our lovely room


We arrived into Panama via a bridge which was a strange boarder with large gaps in-between some of the wooden slats. The heat you could tell was a bit more intense from the previous places and standing in the sun waiting for a stamp wasn’t too much fun. We then got our bus followed by the boat across to Bocas del Toro and Isla Colon to be more specific. It was a Saturday afternoon when we arrived and after checking in at the hostel we soon found out there was a big party happening in a place called the Aqua Lounge which is on another island but they provide a boat for $1 to it. We went for a walk down the main street then arranged to meet Laura ‘Jill’ who is a fellow Guern and ... read more
Border Crossing
Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro


Tortuguero was next on the agenda and after reading that it is one of the most remote places in Costa Rica to get to we knew there may be a few methods of transport needed. The first was one of 2 buses to Cariari and then the other to La Pavona where you catch a boat down the river to Tortuguero as it can only be accessed via plane or boat. The boat trip took around 2 and a half hours as the river was reasonably low...apparently it can take a lot less time in wet season due to the river being high and the waters being deeper but also there are times the trip takes 6 hours when the river is right down! Along the way we managed to see a few animals including a ... read more
Tortuguero
Tortuguero
Tortuguero


What’s the best way to triple your spends in one day?? the answer is...cross the border from Nicaragua into Costa Rica...! With a 5am start me and Mike began our day of travel to Costa Rica and more specific Playa Tamarindo. The method of transport started with a taxi which happened to get a flat tyre 10mins from the dock but was fixed in time for the boat, a boat that went ridiculously slow towards the mainland but did make it, a taxi to Rivas to meet Karl who was joining from San Juan and then a further taxi which took us to the border. The border was a strange place which seemed more like a market than anything else, we were approached by one of the tourism guys who help people across and he showed ... read more
Playa Tamarindo
Tamarindo
Playa Tamarindo


I said my goodbyes to Alfie once again as we dropped him off in Rivas on route to San Jorge. It was me and Mike the Ozzie now in the taxi on our way to San Jorge where you catch the boat to Isla Ometepe... which is an island within Nicaragua made up of 2 volcanoes and is surrounded by a lake. When we arrived we took glance at the water and knew we were in for an interesting ride with it being so choppy due to the strong winds. A guy working for the information place told us there was a boat leaving at 9am but it was a smaller boat and then there was the ferry that was leaving at 9:30am which is a lot bigger and he recommended that one to us due ... read more
Boat ride across
Hammock time
Maderas Volcano hike


Ok well after leaving San Pedro at 2:30pm on the Thursday afternoon, I arrived in Granada, Nicaragua where I wanted to be at 9pm on the Friday night. This did include a 6 hr wait in hotel in Guatemala City which was a strange place to wait for a bus, but it did arrive and it took me to San Salvador which is the capital of El Salvador where I had to change bus then the next one would take me straight through to Managua which is the capital of Nicaragua. The journey was ok although going through soo many boarders was a bit of a pain. The arrival in Managua was a strange one as the drop off point wasn’t at a main bus station it was at the office of the bus company which ... read more
San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur


So it was now my first night in a strange Guatemalan home with people I can’t really communicate with....I would be lying if I was enthusiastic at this point but I knew I had to give it a go. With saying bye to Karl and Alfie the same night it was a completely different feel to what I had been used to for the past few months. I walked 5mins out of the main area to the home, pushed open the corrugated iron door and walked up the alley, let myself into the house and sat in my room. The room was nice enough with a double bed but there was no natural light so had a bit of dungeon feel to it. There was a shower and a toilet in the hall which were ok ... read more
Lake Atitlan
Homestay room
Lake Atitlan


As expected we had a little minibus once again and were told the journey would be 7-9hrs...I couldn’t contain my excitement, especially as I woke up not feeling very well and my stomach wasn’t in the best of shapes for some reason. We arrived after what turned out to be a horrible 8hrs as expected and the best achievement for me was not being sick. We got ourselves a hostel then walked around the cobbled streets of the city. The streets were similar to the ones I have seen back in Paraty Brazil with large cobbles, high pavements and traditional buildings. Antigua is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and all the buildings are preserved in their traditional way...so for example as it’s known as a touristy place in Guatemala and the fast food outlets are there ... read more
Antigua
Antigua
Antigua


We left Flores on the 9am bus and jumped on our minibus that awaited us. Our bags were chucked on the top and as many people as possible got in. The journey was a long painful one with us being crammed in for 8hours and the driver definitely not knowing how to use his brakes....he was erratically slamming on just before every speed bump then accelerating pretty hard afterwards....there was literally a speed bump every 100 meters for a lot of the trip so a lot of braking was done in 8hrs! After passing through the city of Coban we made our way to Lanquin. The trip got a lot more interesting for the last 2 hrs as we turned onto a dirt track that was narrow, rocky and zigzagged its way through the highlands to ... read more
Loft 'room'
Caves
Waterfall in the cave




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