Melissa Murphy


Melissa Murphy

Leon was not really great, I mean not bad but not great. After seeing so many people walking around sporting bruises and cuts and hearing stories of broken bones we opted out of volcano boarding, which was slightly disappointing as I was really looking forward to it but it was also $40AUD, a lot to pay for an impending injury. Also the hike up in the blaring sun, even just for an hour, didn’t sound so amazing. This left us with just the city, which is neither big nor beautiful. So the main square is impressive, yes, but it’s also very small and revolves around a church which we were denied entry to, in a very strange fashion. We entered, people were sitting drinking as if it were there house, they asked us if we were ... read more

Our morning was off to a rocky start with the second bad breaky in a row, though this time with eggs, but bad eggs are still.... bad. My patience was wearing thin with the Aussie girl joining us to Santa Ana as we were ready to go before she was even out of bed, she complained all through breakfast then insisted we go explore the market before the bus comes, even though we knew the bus would leave before 9am if it was full so we shouldn't leave. Then she was so obnoxious that she took up a whole seat for her backpack as we watched locals stand.... the whole 2.5 hours to Santa Ana. The driver then unapologetically dropped us off on the side of the road in Santa Ana, not the bus station. Fabulous. ... read more

Central America Caribbean » El Salvador » Western » Juayúa January 21st 2018

Unfortunately, our hostel is at the very edge of town, like we overlook nothingness on one side and the last property on the street on the other side. Unfortunately, unfortunately the town also doesn't seem that great, safety wise. Our long walk here was through the market and then past corner shops that serve through the metal door and houses covered with fences and barbwire on the rooftops, not exactly giving us the feeling that we were in the right spot. Too late now. Oh, and its up a big hill, probably not that bad but we both still have Acatenango muscles so its quite the bitch. Despite only being two hostels in town and it being the weekend (when the famous food festival is on) there was only one other person in the hostel. We ... read more

Central America Caribbean » El Salvador » Western » El Tunco January 20th 2018

With no choice but a bus to El Tunco if we wanted to go to El Salvador, we found ourselves beachside, not loving life. Though we did wake up with enough time this morning to run over and get our last egg sandwich, apple pies and carrot cake (a poor replacement for the banana bread that was not yet ready - bastards). More bad news came when the only other guy at our hostel, Mr Wanker Hat was also on our bus. In fact, everyone on our bus was shit; perhaps we should've seen that as an omen of what was about to come. hindsight. Up the back were the heavy drinkers, the front seat was occupied by a sweaty american who later got kicked out for not knowing how to count and overstaying his C4 ... read more

Todays early morning wakeup wasn't so bad, I was already awake anyway so it was kind of nice not to have to try to sleep any longer. Also, we had the best wakeup ever "Morning, the sunset is about to rise, here are some altitude tablets!" A true gift from God - none of us could take them soon enough! Around the campfire were those dying so much of altitude that they'd been up all night, finding it easier to breathe in a sitting position, rather than lying. The sunrise was very, very impressive, yet absolutely nothing on last night. breakfast was a croissant, banana and coffee but I didn't even finish the croissant, not feeling well enough. Lets just say altitude poos are a thing, as confirmed by google. Coming down was a bitch, again ... read more

A 6-something alarm is never great; especially when you got to bed three hours after your 9pm self-imposed bed time, especially especially when you woke up three minutes before said alarm and especially especially especially when you know getting out of bed means hiking a freaking volcano. I did have a reassuring dream though that getting to the summit from basecamp wasn’t too hard, though I brought the wrong lens with me so had to get the train(!) down and go back up again. We’d packed the night before so didn’t have too much to do other than reassure each other that we wouldn’t die, were capable and, yeah pretty much that we wouldn’t die. Our hostel insisted on us taking a few bananas each and what the call banana bread (what I call bloody disgusting/inedible) ... read more

Our time in Antigua has been great, we haven't done much, but its been nice to have a routine. Get up, eat breaky, get an egg sandwich before Spanish school followed by two apple pies (they're small), learn, have the worlds best banana bread in the break, finish school and either cook dinner or go to Toku Baru for falafel. We've had great friends here in Fernando, Fernandos roommate (well another room but same AirBnB) Jeff (a kind of annoying American), the two Swiss guys Patrick and Thomas and us. We're never short of company, which is particularly great because we hadn't met anyone new at any of the five hostels we've stayed at either. You see our first hostel, El Hostal was too far from Spanish School, so we moved to one across the road, ... read more

I was super careful with breakfast, eating only a few pieces of fruit and half of a tiny roll with jam. But that still led to a trip to the toilet. I went back to bed till noon, chatting with Simone and dozing on and off. Around 1pm I mustered up the courage/energy to go for a walk to the market and Spanish school but quickly determined that this was a bad idea. Wayyyy too hot (only 22 so probably me) but dear God. The market was also terrible with all of the smells and claustrophobia. I wanted a roll for lunch, but Simone insisted that rice would be better so we found a restaurant and ordered some. I managed to eat about 1/4 before rushing to the toilet to throw it all up… only I ... read more

After losing track of time last night and finding all of the travel agencies closed after dinner we had no choice but to pray that there was an available bus to Antigua today that we could book this morning (though I was happy to stay here another night). This kinda killed me considering I like to have somewhat of a plan and my inner-control freak had no power. Regardless, Simone went out as soon as they opened and found us a cheap ticket for 1:30, sort of a compromise in that it would give me half a day here. We went out for strawberry-mango/mango smoothies, walked around and then had our last quesadilla across the road from the hostel (bloody amazing!). At 1:30 - surprisingly on time - we boarded our crappy-ass and over-full boat to ... read more

After our dissappointingly small granola, fruit and yoghurt bowl for breaky from the hostel we had a smoothie to make things better then went to explore the town of San Pedro. Lake Atitlan has plenty of different towns around the edges, San Pedro, where we stay, is one of the biggest (apart from Panajachel) and most popular. The streets are completely lined with hippies selling their jewellery and locals their various crafts and creations but it didn’t take long, though up a ridiculously steep hill, to reach the local part of town. surprisingly, there were 200x more cops (well we were yet to see one in the tourist part). We got plenty of weird looks as to why we were there but it was quite interesting, though similar to Asia in the sense of badly built ... read more

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