Haha, I didnt realize it was the 8th already. I thought it was the 6th.
I am writing from Nicaragua on Ometempe Island, a great place in the middle of a huge lake with two volcanoes. I will back up a bit and catch up with the fun so far.
After our trip to Tikal we went back to town, had a swim in our hotel swimming pool, grabbed a beer and started to think about dinner. We ended up going right across the street to a great restaurant. We were the only people there and the food, service, wine, company, conversation, music was perfect. I had the most amazing soup I have ever tasted-a kind of carrot soup with some warm just baked bread and a nice Chilean red wine followed by a nice beef medalions in a creamy mushroom sauce with mashed potatoes and some mixed veggies and we all had a great chocolate mouse for dessert. After we finished eating the woman who owned the place came over and chatted with us for a while. She told us of how the tourist season went in Flores, how she came to be living there for I think it was 16 years now, she moved from Mexico City and takes time off each year right around the holidays and new years to avoid the noise, drunks, and general chaos she described to us.
She also talked about politics in Guatemala, some of the crime that goes on, the conditions for people in the factories, some real horror stories of torture that young women end up getting subjected to from rich politicians and other people in power (read-with money), talked of the NGOs that work in Guatemal for short times and end up doing more harm than good, she explained it as giving people fish for a week but not teaching them how to fish themsleves. It was amazing to hear her speak of these things and made me realize how little of the history and current conditions I know of, an eye opener for sure. I look at things a bit differently now.
The next day was a day of no alarms going off early to signal the start of a tour. Instead we took our time walking around Flores, seeing the rest of the small town, climbing to the top of the hill and just hanging out in general. We went to a great cafe and had some of the famous Guatemalan coffee and a great little breakfast. Molly played guitar and sang a bit, it was a perfect way to spend the mid morning on the lake.
We checked out of the hotel, parted ways after I lost them in one of the internet cafes and I headed for Guatemala City for a couple days before my trip to Honduras. Very uneventful in Guatemala City.
I took a great luxury bus over the border which is the way to go for sure, no hastle, no chance of having to pay extra `exit taxes to the greedy corrupt guards and it even played a crappy english movie on the tv, AC that was turned way too cold, even with two blankets I was freezing since I had pretty much gotten used to the heat.
I went to Copan, Honduras and stayed in the beautiful town for two days, mostly just wondering around, reading, relaxing, doing laundry, eating good food and catching up in my Journal. I went to the ruins, guide book in hand since I decided to skip the way overpriced guide. Instead I made myself look busy reading as a tour would come near and I would listen to what the guide had to say. The stone carvings were quite amazing telling of sacraficies to the sun, rain gods and what happened during the rulings of the different kings. There is a stairway which is the largest running writing in the Mayan world but still to this day they have not been able to to decifer it because the stairs fell apart and they do not know in what order to put it back together again, the guide said the stairs were like humpty dumpty and all the scholars couldnt put it back together again, I got quite a laugh about the fact that he even knew of the childs tale.
Just outside the enterance there was a path leading through the jungle for about 2 miles, a pleasant stroll. The sign at the enterance spoke of how Mayan villages used to be in the area and to walk slowly and quitely and think of how it must have been 2000 years ago. I did just that and had quite a nice time watching the wildlife and just sitting looking at all the different kinds of plants and trees that were within view. The tropical flora amazes me.
The town itself was quite nice. Very hilly, the central had a very nice park, cobble streets, narrow sidewalks, lots of shops, little kids running all over eating ice cream and spilling it all over their hands-I did the same as in the sun it is pretty hard to eat it fast enough to keep it from melting all over you. I have learned to switch to flavored ice which comes in a cup and I can drink what has melted.
Copan was the first town that I noticed locals made a concious effort to keep the area clean. I didnt see quite as many people throwing their trash out the windows of their houses and the buses as soon as they were done with whatever they were eating or drinking. The trash, plastic and all, is still burned in small piles all over but from what I can tell that is only because there is no garbage service.
Wow! You’re really getting a taste of the true culture and lifestyles within South America. I think it’s great that you’re getting such a rich taste for the history too. Pete Greiner was just here in California for the weekend; so I hung out with him for a couple days. Liz just celebrated her birthday last week, and she’s actually going to Cuba with her dad (which is something only the cool Canadians are allowed to do apparently!). I’m sitting in California awaiting your return and countless hours on the phone hearing every last detail! Much love and hugs!
26 Feb 2008
It sounds like you are having a lot of fun as well as learning a bit about the culture. History is amazing and you are in an incredible place. It is facinating to listen to other peoples stories and it sounds like you will have a few to tell. Have you learned much about the plants? Or got any great recipes? The pictures and stories are AB FAB! I can’t wait to hear and see more. Miss you! Kimberly
16 Feb 2008
honest to goodness, you’ve got my eyes tearing up!!! breathtaking!
25 Jan 2008
Awesome Pics, J! You & your travels are soooo inspiring! Thanks a million.
24 Jan 2008
Hey! Its sonia, I’m thinking of joining you next week. I’m jobless right now with nothing to do… where are you going to be… email me back information
24 Jan 2008
WOW! I’m so glad for this travel blog! Your adventures are already making my life look INCREDIBLY boring! I’m so amazed at your determination to jump right in and pick up the spanish language, and props to you for truly “goin’ cultural” and talking with the natives. I can’t wait to see pictures. What’s the temperature like right now in Guatemala? Really really hot? Humid? BE CAREFUL! MUCH LOVE!!
16 Jan 2008
Hey buddy, Thanks so much for the update….It’s thrills my little landlocked heart to be your arm-chair travelling friend!
Whatever are we doing here???!!!! Amy Byers misses ya, and so do I…I wouldn’t suggest you shouldn’t have just to save us your loss, though.
I wanna hear ALLLLL about the criuse, so take notes or pics, or whatever. Brian Head just got back from the Yucatan, too! Small hotel, huh?
11 Jan 2008
you have no idea how jealous i am of you. i want no responsibilities for a few months. take tons of photos and i will see you in a month or so. cant wait to tear up Costa Rica
just think how nice it will be to have clean clothes and good company.
08 Jan 2008
Hey Jungle boy. Have your seen any cheeky Monkeys yet” The pictures look awesome. Can’t wait to see more.
08 Jan 2008
Jeremy!You are too cool! This is awesome. Man, if you had kids they would think that you are the coolest dad ever. I’ll have to show this to the monsters but they’re not allowed to go anywhere without me yet. :0)
08 Jan 2008
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog
posted Friday February 2008