Blogs from Central America Caribbean


Left Atitlan on the 24th of February. Hired a private car to take us directly to Copan rather than taking one ride to Antigua, another to Guatemala City and a third vehicle to Copan. Cost for the ride was $200 US in total. Six hour trip along some good roads and some bad. Our driver, Hector, schooled us on our Spanish while we cruised through the Copan river valley. High mountain ridges clad in jungle on our left and right. Fertile farmland on the flats. This area was once controlled by the United Fruit Company now known as Chiquita. The agricultural wealth here is what financed the construction of Copan between 100 AD and 800 AD. The area was originally settled about 1,400 BC but building of the city did not start until much later. The ... read more
KJ and 18 Rabbit
The Great Stairway
Ball Court

Central America Caribbean » Panama February 26th 2015

Up at 6:45 am. We join the other passengers on the front bow of the ship to witness our entrance into the Panama Canal. An unseen narrator provides a blow-by-blow description of what we are seeing. The locks on the Atlantic side raise incoming boats 85 feet, the height of the inland Gatun Lake, in three stages. There are two separate channels that operate independently but in coordination, allowing two boats to move through at the same time. New, larger locks are under construction just to the left. They are supposed to open in a year or so. We patiently wait our turn, then enter the first lock. Four so-called "mules" have attached themselves to our vessel by wire cables. These are specialty vehicles that travel on tracks alongside the passage and guide us through the ... read more

This my first entry in my blog and thought it would be a good place to start. We went to Costa Rica last month and one of the things I wanted to accomplish was to zip line. I think Costa Rica is a good place to start if you have never zip lined. We chose, or I should say I chose ,because husband wasn't wild about doing it, Monteverde in the rain forest. All the different locals have zip lining to chose from, but after some research, we chose Sky Trek. We had a family of 4 from Halifaxs and 2 young ladies from Minnesota in our group. We had 2 extremely nice guides that were very reassuring and that made the experience more "comfortable". I'm not sure husband would agree, because he has a problem ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba February 23rd 2015

Hola Everyone! Our final tour days took us to the town of San Diego where we stayed at the lush mountain resort of Soroa known as the rainbow of Cuba. The resort was built back in the 50's and much of the decor and facilities represented that era. This is where Americans came for holidays before the revolution. The area of Soroa is a rainforest and there has been a lot of re-forestation since the days when much of the land was cleared for sugar cane and coffee plantations. Much of the area reminded us of Costa Rica. We hiked up a steep 2km climb to the top of a mountain with a stunning view. It was quite a work out!! Next door was a lovely orchid garden with about 70 different varieties of orchids both ... read more
Delicate Orchids
A famous revolutionist
Orchids and collage from the orchid garden

10/02/15 Nicaragua. We hadden plannen om te liften richting de grens maar het was duidelijk dat dit heel moeilijk is vanuit een grote stad. Dan maar met de bus. Op naar " dos manos ", één van de drie grensposten. De grens Honduras - Nicaragua, heel rustig, bijna geen auto's en toeristen in geen geval. Heel veel vrachtwagens met bananen en volgens mij uiteraard..koffie! De volgende poging om te liften, ' tja alstr gèn oto's zin kundje moeilik liftn é '! ( koppig zoals ik ben dit 'olik' willen proberen maar na een uur rustig wandelen in deze ongeloooooofelijke rustige en mooie zonnige streek ja inderdaad gelukkig dat mijn reisgenoten graag wandelen en dit slechts met een veel te zware backpack rugzak en gitaar dan maar met de bus richting..) Ocotal, Negova .. / Nicaragua en ... read more
Biddende vrouw..
Onze adobe stenen, aan het drogen in de zon..
Het huisje..

Granada is said to be the oldest city in Nicaragu, it is certainly picturesque Colourful small houses line quiet roads and there are many lovely old churches. But Granada is also a real, working city. The market is large and chaotic. Smartly dressed school children walk to the Ash Wednesday mass in the cathedral.. On our first evening we come across the International Poetry Festival. Speakers are drawing a crowd but our Spanish is not up to appreciating their works. Then, on the second evening, we come across a mardi gras procession, now part of the Festival. The parade is led by a smart horse-drawn hearse! This is followed by dancers in all manner of costume - beautiful Spanish ladies; aggressive pirates; more pirates, these with horse masks; the grim reaper and friends; a hobby horse ... read more
Philosophers / rebels
Chicken bus from Granada
Le Merced, Granada

Central America Caribbean February 22nd 2015

JOHNNY'S JOURNEYS: CARIBBEAN CRUISE 2015 January 17, 2015 (Saturday) We're up at 3:30... That's less than 3 hours of sleep. Will probably be facing some "jet- lag" this evening. It was about 5:20 when we arrived at the Mobile airport, instead of 5:00. Several items could not clear security (larger than 3.6 oz). There was hair spray, toothpaste, a 1 pound jar of cream, Oil of Olay and a $60 tube of Josie Maran face cream. An expensive learning lesson. Saw Bethany and waved her back to the screening area. She "rescued" all our items that had been trashed. Then the P.A. called our names. There were 8 minutes for us to arrive at the gate, or we'd miss the flight. Made it! The U.S. Airways flight to Charlotte, NC left at 6:00 a.m. We flew ... read more

As nice as the lake is we still decided that we were getting too settled in our Atitlan ways and felt the need to re-experience life at sea level. We hired Lee, our host, to run us over to the Pacific coast for a two night road trip. Lee is a certified guide and has lived here for the past nine years with his wife, Elaine. We boated over to Pana where Lee keeps his ride, filled the tank for $3 a gallon and vibrated westward over pot-hole riddled roads. We stopped just above the lake near San Lucas Atitlan to catch the spectacular view of the volcanoes and lake-shore. An old man, sitting on a shady bench, told us some local facts in exchange for a few coins. Two dogs dozed under a bush. It ... read more
Takalik Resort
Riding To Takalik
Our Guide Bernardo With KJ and Lee At Takalik

Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Bay Islands » Utila February 18th 2015

02/02/15 Met de Utila Princess richting Utila... De kogel is door de kerk..uiteindelijk gekozen voor het meest gekende eiland Utila, " the place to be " om te leren duiken! Zou één van de goedkoopste plaatsen ter wereld zijn en tevens één van de grootste koraalriffen. Een andere doorslaggevende factor was UITERAARD dat het maar een uur varen is naar het eiland, wat een een stuk meer zou zijn naar Roatan. Met de nodige middelen tegen zeeziekte en "DORMIR" mijn maag juist voldoende kunnen...pff die golven blijken nog steeds niet voor mij te zijn... Eerste avond al in het juiste café beland met een ' open mike ', het niveau was niet al te hoog maar het was toch een heel geslaagde avond! Ik nam een' PADI ' cursus open water bij het Utila Divingcenter, een ... read more
Utila Princess..met zicht op La Ceiba.
Zot café..

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas February 18th 2015

It Was a Large Day (blog by Stan) Being in Cuba on December 17, 2014 was a highlight of our year here; to say that this was a big day for Cubans is a vast understatement. Several events converged to confirm the historicity of the date. To begin with, this was San Lazaro Day on the Catholic calendar of saints, commemorating the brother of Mary and Martha who Jesus brought back to life in the gospel of John. For practitioners of Santeria (a syncretism of African religions and Catholicism that is highly popular in Cuba), San Lazaro Day is their biggest feast day of the year. Unlike the Catholics, though, the figure venerated by the Santeria faithful is a melding of the African spirit-god of healing, Babalú-Ayé (made famous in our culture by Ricky Ricardo’s nightclub ... read more
The Five Heroes... 15 years is enough!
Prayer Changes Things
San Lazaros for sale down the street from our church

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