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Published: February 25th 2007
Kinda paradisical, huh?
Since the last installment, we have travelled through Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. God we've done a lot! I guess after relaxing for 2 weeks on Lago de Atitlan, we needed to do fit a little craziness into the itinerary.
In Belize we visited Placencia and Punta Gorda. Placencia was OK and it had a nice white sand beach, but it was cloudy and it rained for the two days we were there. Our hostel had rats too. And, I got cayenne pepper on "a sensitive area".... I blame Placencia.
Punta Gorda was pretty sweet. It is a really chill place filled with Garifuna dudes (they are decendents of black slaves, speak creole english and many of them are rasta). One night, Aden and I (Morgan was tired or some lame thing) went out to get some groceries (read: beer), and this Garifuna dude who lived down the street offered to show us where we could buy some, since it was late.
He took us to this little club in the South side of town... (sounds pretty sweet eh! It was actually the ghetto part of town, too...) Anyhow, picture the Douglas Hotel but filled with black
The fair in La Palma
We are feeling really rough right now.
Garifuna dudes. We went in for a beer.
We ended up having a really fun time chatting with this guy, his wife and his mom. We literally couldn't understand a damn thing that either of the women said. We have better luck with Spanish by a long shot. Anyhow, the man proceeded to tell Aden how he is a cop, and how easy it is in Belize for police to kill people and get away with it. This guy then gestured to the bouncer, who was also a cop, and mentioned that he had killed his cousin by shooting him in the neck... yipes! His mom really wanted to dance with me and was sort of hitting on me, so we left at that point. Wise move? I think so.
After Punta Gorda we ferried to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala, then bussed to San Pedro Sula in Honduras. San Pedro is a real hole: It is sketchy and filled with whores (they cost $5 or $10 for a good looking one apparently...). It is also the AIDS capital of Central America. Go figure!
From there we busted down to La Palma in El Salvador. What a sweet
Was it worth 10 hours of pain? I guess...
place. We were to only tourists around and man were they friendly. There is a really famous local painter called Fernando Llort, and all the buildings in town are painted with murals in his style, which is sort of reminiscent of Ted Harrison. There was a fair going on there when we arrived, and there were all kinds of rides: there were kids rides, a ferris wheel and a thing called "Rock and Roll".
Being the adventurers that we are, we decided to ride Rock and Roll since it seemed like the most badass. It was kind of like the Zipper at the Oak Bay Tea Party: there is one large wheel that rotates and lots of little cars (which you are strapped into) that rotate freely within the larger wheel. Anyhow, perhaps we were to tall for the ride, as our car seemed to be somewhat top heavy. The result was that our car was upside down for almost the entire, ten minute ride. What hell! We were strapped down only by a fairly thin metal bar across our thighs... man did it dig in. The whole time we were yelling "No mi gusta", or "No es bueno",
as our faces where pressed against the metal grill of the car. Everytime the car approached the bottom our faces came within inches of the ground.
El Sunzal, on the Salvadorian coast, was pretty cool too. Nice beach, we tried surfing. Not much else to say really. Our hostel was really cool and it was run by a JW lady who was really, really nice (huh!). We ate three meals a day there and slept in a fairly nice room... all for about $7 a day. The place is about 100 m West of Surfer's Inn, across the street, near the payphone, and is also a tienda, in case anyone is interested. It is highly recommended!
From El Sunzal, we bussed East, through Honduras, and to Leon, Nicaragua. Leon is a pretty nice colonial city. They really enjoy their cock fights there, so we went to check it out. It was pretty fun! The cocks get weighed, to make sure that they are the same weight, and then the get metal hooks attached to their ankles. Then a hen (the "bitch") gets waved around to get them excited. When the cocks get released they charge at one another,
Inside "Rock and Roll"
The fun is only beginning...
slashing at each other's necks. Eventually, they get pretty bloody, and one usually dies from blood loss (if one doesn't die within 15 minutes, it is a draw). There is a lot of pretty high stakes betting. Good fun!
After the fights were done, some dude kinda wanted to box me or something (he was pretty unthreatening, actually, he just wanted a fight). I politely declined, and then we arm wrestled (he beat me).
From Leon, we headed down to Grenada. Grenada is really nice, if somewhat similar to Leon. We didn't really do much there except relax.
From Grenada, our plan was to take the 16 hour ferry to San Carlos on the South Eastern side of the lake, then head down to Costa Rica to meet up with Colin and Kerry. However, we (ie Morgan!) made the mistake of buying 2nd class tickets to save the $1. It was like a slave ship down there! Everyone was jammed in onto these crappy little benches, and there was nowhere to sit. Within an hour, the bathroom was literally overflowing, spilling its contents onto the floor of the cabin. Unfortunately, I was having some trouble of the
diharreal variety at the time. Then, I got sea sick.... Over the side... Bad times.
Anyhow, we made the decision to get off at the stop at Isla Ometepe after only 5 hours. 11 more would've done me in.
Ometepe is pretty sweet. It is a volcanic island, made by two Volcanoes. Yesterday we climbed the bigger one, Conception. It is 1610 m ASL, making the climb about 1578 vertical metres. That is quite high (consider: Mount Doug is 260 m high). The path was really rough, composed of mostly loose, little rocks. It almost never cut back, but was rather straight up the whole way. Morgan just about quit when we were only a quarter the way up (but to his credit, he persevered and did it!). The last 200 m or so was a crazy scramble up a 40 degree grade of loose rubble. Then we got to relax at the top.... perched precariously on the side of the crater, in the midst of the sulfurous smoke, as the wind pelted us...
The way down was possibly even more difficult. Our legs were really sore and tired from the climb, so climbing down was quite
We don't look that happy do we... because we're not.
a chore. But we did it and now we can accomplish anything! (except walk today...)
Anyhow, we're heading down in the next few days to meet Colin and Kerry and the gang in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
I get back on March 10th or 11th. See you all soon!
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