Catching up on the last 3 weeks

Published: June 10th 2011
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My apologies to you all who have been faithfully following my travels, I´ve been out of touch of technology (well just internet cafes) in the last few weeks and have slacked on my blogging.

I am currently in Tulum, Mexico enjoying the beach, the famous ruins that are on cliffs overlooking the beach, and scuba diving in some great cenotes. Here´s whats been happening the last few weeks

I finished Spanish classes in Antigua and left Antigua after being there for a full month. I then spent a week in San Pedro la Laguna, located on beautiful Lake Atitlan. There I took another week of Spanish classes and hung out with backpackers in a great hostel - Yo Mama´s Casa. Thanks Carlos for the recommendation. San Pedro is one of those places that people get sucked into and wind up staying for 2x, 3x longer than they anticipated. Probably the highlight of my time there was contracting a common stomach bug - Amoebas - and shitting my brains out for the next 2 weeks. Hey, shit happens.

After San Pedro, I went to Quetzaltenango (or more commonly called Xela) located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Xela is the 2nd biggest city in Guatemala and also has good spanish schools. I took a week of classes at PLQ a well known school there. The highlight of Xela was hiking Volcan Tajumulco at the end of the week with a great non-profit organization called Quetzaltrekkers. Tajumulco is the tallest peak in all of Central America and its a 2 day hike to get to the summit. Day 1 we left at 5am and took 2 chicken buses for about 4 hrs to get to the base. We hiked for a good 4-5hrs and set up camp about 200m below the peak. We woke up at 3am and climbed up to the peak to see the sun rise over all of Guatemala. Tajumulco, in some Mayan language, means ¨into the clouds¨and once you see the pictures youll see how awesome it is.

After Xela, had a travel day spending 13 hours on busses on my way to Lanquin. Lanquin is just about dead center of Guatemala and is in the middle of nowhere. There I stayed at the Zephyr Lodge - great place - and went to see the nearby attraction of Semuc Champey. Every traveller I met raved about Semuc Champey so I had to go and check it out. Plus, it was on the way to Tikal in the far north. Theres 2 attractions at Semuc. One is the large cave system which you enter holding a candle and walk, swim, jump, and climb your way through the caves. Very cool. After that we hiked up to a hill overlooking Semuc Champey (natural springs and pools emerging from underground rivers) then descended to swim. There were lots of opportunities to jump, dive, and swing into the water. The highlight of which was jumping off a 10m bridge into the river below. Por que, no?

After spending 4 days at Zephyr and meeting Angus and Maggie - a Brit and an Aussie - who I would travel with for the next week, I went up to the town of Flores which is right outside of the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal. Flores itself is pretty cool because its an island in the middle of a lake in the middle of the Peten Jungle. Its hot and humid as hell there so I took an early morning (430am) tour to Tikal to try to beat the heat. Needless to say the heat beat me. It was hot and humid as hell but the ruins were great, see the pictures - theres not much more to say.

We left Flores the next day bound for Belize to get some taste of the Carribean in all its beauty. We took a 4hr bus to Belize City then a 1hr water taxi to the island of Caye Caulker which is located right on the giant reef. They speak English in Belize which twisted me up after being in Guatemala for 2 months. But they speak a weird reggae-island version of English that is often hard to understand. Caye Caulker is a small island with lots of backpackers, great snorkeling, and amazingly hot water. The highlight was hanging out at the Lazy Lizard bar every afternoon at Split - literally the location where the island was recently split into 2 by a hurricane - and watching the sunset while swimming in the warm water. Oh, we also went snorkeling for a day saw lots of sharks, sting rays, and turtles and I almost died getting sucked into a ripe tide. The guide had to swim out and save me and I got a little banged up on the coral. Life goes on.

And thats about caught up. I left Belize 3 days ago and took a water taxi and a 4hr bus ride to Tulum, Mexico. I´m thrilled to be in Mexico and eating delicous Mexican food. Today I went scuba diving in 3 different Cenotes, amazingly clear water and got to explore the inside of some caves.

If you´re still reading, you have more patience that I do and I commend you for that. I just posted lots of pictures on facebook so you can check them there. I´ll post some of them here in the next couple days but wanted to get a mass update out to you all first.


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