July 2013 Posts

The Trip 2013 – Copán to Roatán

Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album The Trip 2013 – Copán to Roatán. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like.

So after the 4 day rest in Antigua and at lake Atitlan I was ready to hit the road again. This time I would we travelling with 16 other people on a GAdventues trip that would take us from Guatamala through Hondorus and Nicaragua finally ending in San Jose, Costa Rica in 17 days.

To kick things off we took a bus to the Guatamala / Hondorus border to the small town of Copan. From there we visited the famous Mayan ruins.



As I had already visited other Mayan ruins at Palenque and Tikal I mostly knew what to expect from the site. There were a few differences however such as the much greater number of inscriptions and statues, perhaps due to the high availability of easily carveable volcanic ash rock.

They also had some interesting flora and fauna such as this spikey tree


and this butterly named Steve that really loved my hat for some reason

There were also some beautiful but noisy Makaws flying about the park


This one apparently didnt mind the squirrel that was stealing its food


In the evening we decided to go to the hotsprings. So we hopped in the back of a coupple of vans and drove off. Unfortunately the rain cover they provided for the hour and a half journey wasnt particularly effective.


The hotsprings were a whole lot of fun. Set into a hillside burried into the jungle there were a number of different pools and areas for us to explore.


We brought a cooler of beer and spent most of our time in the large hot pool at the top of the hill drinkng and chatting.


After all the fun was over we headed back in the vans and took off for home. On the way back our van was leading with the other behind us. After a while we lost the other van, our driver eventually stopped and got out looking really nervous. In our broken spanglish translations we understood that he couldnt contact the other driver by phone and he was worried that he may have had an accident on the tretourusly muddy and steep roads.

At that point the fun and games immediately stopped in the van. After some hesitation the driver finally decided to turn round and drive back to see if they were okay. After a nervous 20 minute drive we finally encountered them. I jumped out and walked down to find that they were fine, all that had happened was a fand belt had snapped. Infact they had had the cooler with the Rum and beer in it so they had been having a great time getting smashed while we worried for them. Sighing we hopped back in the van and headed back to the hotel.

All day I hadnt been feeling well at all. I was glad when we finally got back to the hotel at about midnight. I knew we had to be up at 4am the next morning as we had a long trip to get to Rotan. I woke about an hour later really not feeling good at all. I ran to the bathroom where I promptly spent the next hour with the most violent diharrea and vomiting I had ever suffered.

Drenching with sweat I got my roomate Ray to wake Chris our tour guide up and tell him that I may not be able to make the journey in the morning. Chris told me to give it a few hours and see how I felt. I went back to sleep and woke at 4am not feeling great still but I thought I was okay to travel so I hopped in a public bus and we sped off.

I was okay at first despite having a lady in the seat infront be sick right in the isle. We stopped after a few hours and changed to another public bus, thats when the vomiting decided to come back with avengence. I found myself vomiting out the bus window before someone found me a container to put my face over. I felt really delerious at this point, I really wasnt having a good time.

Finally we reached the ferry port where we were due to catch the 2 hour ferry across to Rotan island. We had a coupple of hours break at this point which gave my insides a little time to calm down.


We should have known that this ferry journey wasnt going to be pleasant when the staff handed out free sea sickness pills and vomit bags to everyone onboard. Oh boy, that boat was definitely a low point for me. I think out of 17 people on our tour only one or two people managed to avoid being sick. Incredibly I was one of them partly due to the number of drugs I was on by this point and partly because I decided to go stand outside with the sea wind and water blowing my face.

Finally we arrived the beautiful island of Rotan. I immediately went to bed at this point and slept for a solid 16 hours, when I awoke I felt much better.


We spent that first half day exploring the beautiful west end of the island





That evening it was the 4th of July so one of the bars on the beach had fireworks to celebrate


We spent the evening in a rocking Kareoke bar on the beach




The following day Kelsie and I hired a scooter and took off to drive around the island. I had hired a scooter previously in Vietnam and it was one of the best things I did on that trip, the sense of freedom and mobility is awesome, so I decided to do it again.


We stopped at a super market and picked up a packed lunch which we ate at a small beach along the way.


The beach was nice but the number of biting sand flies there wasn’t so we swiftly moved on. After a few more hours drive the tarmac road ran out and turned into a dirt path, we decided to keep on driving for a bit, im glad we did as we reached this awesome spot right at the end of the island.



We stopped for an hour or so and had a drink, a diary update and a little rest



On we way back we had a little accident, I accellerated a little too hard while turning on the dirt path and crashed the bike off the dirt path. I was okay but I was really worried I thought I had broken Kelsie’s leg, fortunately she only had a few scrapes and bruises. I felt go guilty tho, sorry Kelsie!


Shes a trooper though and got straight back on the bike and was even able to take this video while we were driving along. Note that the bike’s speed always read 0kph so we had no idea how fast we were going.

Unfortunately we had to leave Rotan the next morning early. I had a brilliant time there and didnt want to leave but the trip had only just started so I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of it was going to be like!

The Trip 2013 – El Ramate to Antigua


Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album The Trip 2013 – El Ramate to Antigua. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like.

After our awesome trip to Tikal in Guatamala we returned to our hotel on the lake shore in El Ramate. It had been a long hot day so we relaxed by paddling in the warm waters of the lake.


The following day we hopped in another bus and headed to our next destination, Rio Dulce. We stayed at the backpackers which sits on the river


We were quite literally on the water as the rooms were on stilts over the water


I spent the afternoon learning how to stand up paddle


It was good fun tho I felt it needed spicing up a little


That evening we had fun playing around in the river around the hotel



The following day was spent taking a day trip up the river to some small villages buried in the jungle




In the jungle were a number of caves that we explored. We spent some time jumping off a ledge in the dark into one.


The last part of the boat trip took us to the famous town of Livingstone to see the native people there, I however was more interested in the forna of the region


That night was our last big night together so we partied in style.




The following day we made our way to our final destination, Antigua, Guatamala. There we had our final meal together in a rather nice resturant that served savory and sweet pancakes. They didnt think much of their own terrace however.


I spent the last 32 days with these peeps travelling all the way from LA, there were ups there were downs but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Jac, Dan, Rosie, Ralph, Kelsie, Simon, Emma, Suzanne, Colette and Madeline, cheers guys!

The following day I made my way to Lake Atican for a relaxing few days at a health retreat on Lake Atitlan high in the hills 2 hours outside of Antigua.


This was exactly the perfect environment I needed to unwind after the previous month of being on the road.



It even had a traditional Mayan sauna


The place was a perfect stop off before we embarked on the next 17 day adventure that would take us through 4 different countries




The Trip 2013 – Playa del Carmen to Tikal


Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album The Trip 2013 – Playa del Carmen to Tikal. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like.

After the wet and long trip from Chichen Itza we were all thoroughly ready to party it up in style in the party town of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.


We rocked up to our hostel which was a really cool place where all the rooms surround a central space filled with tables, benches and hammocks. We had a great time that first night drinking great quantities of Tequila, Mescal and Corona.


We spent the rest of the night dancing without our sandles on in a club right on the beach, no photos of that particular debauchery unfortunately.

The following day we hit the beach. I remembered to remove all electronics from my pockets this time before going in the sea.


The following day we made our way for the tiny island of Caye Caulker in Belize.



We had a great time in Caye Caulker. It was a tiny play with a really cool laid back feel to it.


We spent the first evening there sampling the local food and drink.




The following day we took a day tour out on a boat to explore the reef. On the way out we had a small bird problem.

When in the water we saw all manner of things, from Manitee’s..



.. to turtles…


.. to fish on the reef



The following day we had to say a font farewell to Belize and make our way into Guatemala. First up in this beautiful country was the stunning lost Mayan ruins of Tikal.




We had a great time there climbing up the various temples.



Temple 4 was the largest temple there and offered incredible views over the jungle, including this one. Points to anyone who can guess which movie this view was in:


There we also saw loads of animals including some monkeys..


.. and some of these cute things




We also saw some not so cute creatures




I really enjoyed myself at Tikal, a truly magical place…




.. I cant believe that less than 1% of this place has been uncovered, I can just imagine the treasures just waiting to be uncovered below the jungle.


Needless to say Tikal for me is definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me… so far!