Blogs from Central America Caribbean - page 6

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29.5. Die Fahrt nach Antigua bringt uns wiederum 1000 Höhenmeter runter, es wird angenehm warm (bisher brauchte man jeweils abends ein Jäggli, hier ist das nicht mehr nötig). Wir kaufen ein PicNic im Supermarkt und essen Zmittag im Zentralpark, einmal mehr umgeben von schönen Kolonialbauten mit Laubenbogen und bunten Fassaden. Auch die Häuser in den Strassen sind bunt gestrichen, nicht höher als zwei Stockwerke, mit schönen Erkern und kunstvollen Vergitterungen und ergeben so ein gemütliches Ambiente. Wir spazieren den ganzen Nachmittag herum, bestaunen die vielen Kirchen-Ruinen, die alle gesichert und abgesperrt wurden, aber offenbar nicht dem Abriss geweiht sind, und die multikulturellen Läden, Boutiquen und Restaurants. Wir können der Versuchung nicht widerstehen und essen Znacht "chez Christophe", einem Lausanner, der seit 20 Jahren hier lebt und auf seiner Karte u.a.... read more
malerisches Antigua
Heilige mit Kollegin
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Hey! So here i will just write about daily life :) 07/06/2017 I´m here since almost a week now. And I can say: I really like it here. Yes, it is very warm, yes, it is very humid. But it doesn´t seem to bother me, so I´m fine 😊 Whenever I leave the house, the estimated walk time at least doubles, because I see so many things. Let that be strange “foam blobs” in puddles (apparently tungara frog nests), female dragonflies laying their eggs in water (looks really funny), or red-lored amazons (parrots) at dusk and dawn which keep you from sleeping or wake you up, respectively. Yesterday, I went to STRI Headquarters (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) for a really nice talk about Tungara frogs. I met some very interesting people. Today, we had a special ... read more


Here I post all the animals I see and manage to take pictures. If I find the time, I try to add scientific names as well :) Animals i have seen: Kaiman Crocodile (apparently) blue morpho menelaus (beautiful blue butterfly) Bird snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus, 1.5 m) trying to catch a cane toad, running into me and was as surprised as i was :) Armadillo - really fast, impossible to catch :D Common Basilisk / Jesus Christ Lizard (Basiliscus basiliscus) Armadillo Coati Chestnut-manibled Toucan Keel-billed Toucan Collared Aracari Fer-de-Lance Boa constrictor Tamarin Agouti Mot-Mot caribbean riff-squid sting ray Hummingbirds Blunt-headed treesnake Tungara frog Cane Toad Capibara... read more
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Hi Folks, after arriving at the Tocumen Airport in Panama City, my friend Leonie and Ahana picked me up. We went straight to the beautiful Casco Viejo to our airconditioned hotelroom. First things first: Icecold panamanian rum at the rooftop with a nice view of the nightlit skyscraper skyline :) After we picked up Nora from the airport (later), we went for some drinks and a (much too big) burger. After a full nights rest, we went to the city to go shopping in the mall for groceries and so on... Arriving in Gamboa i met my new roommates and could finally settle in my new room. To conclude the first days: no jetlag, very nice people, very warm and humid, and a looooot of animals - the paradise for a (proper) biologist #greetingstomyboringtechnicalbiologistsinstuttgart #haha ... read more
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Travel day back to Havana and the United States! Kirsten gave everyone an 8 am call to be ready and packed. And to our surprise, the minors were packed and ready. We had breakfast and waited for our 9 am ferry. Trying not to sweat our butts off. We had texted our cab driver who took us to the port on Wednesday to confirm that he could still take us to Havana. We got nothing from him so Kirsten got the receptionist to book us a taxi to the Havana Airport. We were still worried that our original guy might show up and were relived to not see his car when we got to the parking lot. Our new driver had Megan’s name and our room numbers on a piece of paper and we were excited ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba June 2nd 2017

Very happy circumstances marked the start of our trip to Cuba. I recently finished my PhD in Science Education after five years of study at Teachers College, Columbia University. I decided to go to graduate school in order to keep growing and learning, as well as open up opportunities in the future. I did grow a lot, and completing the degree stands as one of my life’s greatest challenges and accomplishments. I leave graduate school with no regrets and great excitement about the future. Before leaving, a whirlwind of activities kept us occupied. There were the graduation festivities to attend, and both my mother and mother-in-law were in town and staying with us in our one bedroom apartment. I often reflect on how the extent of my travels may lead one to believe that I am ... read more
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Last full day in Cuban paradise with nothing to do. We had breakfast, back to the room, changed and lubed up for the beach. Everyone had some part on their body over-exposed to sun. But for the most part, we were all doing well. Kirsten leaned that we could walk to a private beach. We were up for one more adventure. We headed down the sand to find the private beach. It was a good walk and we even had to take to the ocean to get around a bunch of dead trees to take up the path again. There was one sign that had an arrow on it and the word “bar”. Sweet! Think again, this is Cuba and our expectations needed to remain low. It was a private beach, and there was an area ... read more
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sitting with glasses
Who is the troll in the background


From Leon we travelled to the Northern highlands of Nicaragua. This whole region is off the beaten track, far from the backpackers super highway through Central America. This is where most of the coffee in Nicaragua grows. The highlands are the most rural in the country, and people live a simple life in the most basic conditions we can imagine. The boys herding the cows wear boots and cowboy hats, the women use traditional firewood heated kitchens to prepare meals based on tortillas and roast there small batches of coffee. We spend one day climbing, jumping off cliffs and swimming the Somoto canyon. Because of the rainy season the water level is nicely high and pretty wild at places. We climb across steep parts high above the water to go around the whirlpools, we jump from ... read more
Bearded trees
Somoto canyon
At the start of our Somoto trip


All our meals at this all-inclusive resort were buffets. We could handle that for three days. What we didn’t realize is that it was going to be the same exact thing each time. Not just the same type of food, but the actual food from the previous meals (leftovers). Breakfast was eggs made to order. So we had omelets with ham and cheese every day. The fresh fruit was awesome: pineapple, mango and bananas went fast. There were many things we just couldn’t bring ourselves to try. The meat sat out unrefrigerated by the grill and the following meal it was cooked and the third meal it was cut into smaller pieces. The bread would get more stale with every meal. The challenge became finding the 1 or 2 foods items that were new to that ... read more
Post Snorkle Photo
Sleeping out the rain
Dinner before the bugs


Manuel motioned to me strongly and blurted out in Spanish "dig, Vicente!". Alfredo gave me his fishing mask and said "dive for it". As I wandered through the remote Panamanian Darien Jungle days from any town in search of gold with a half blind 60 year old and hyperactive 19 year old Embera tribesman, it became clear that I had a story to tell. On a cold Seattle day in February, I was off for one month in Panama. Bags packed, headed for Seatac, heart beating as usual before I travel. This was going to be a very special trip so it was really thumping. As we took off on the first leg to LA, the ground and all my worries seemed to melt away below me. Nice chat on my flight with a Korean woman, ... read more
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