Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Shmokers

Yes, it has been way too long since my last post. I have done and seen so many things since that last post.

I traveled through Nicaragua and really enjoyed it. Highlights include Leon, where I went Volcano Boarding and just generally enjoyed the town. Volcano boarding is like sledding down a volcano, it is a whole lot of fun.

Ometepe island is a cool island formed from 2 volcanoes in Lake Nicaragua. Beautiful island and I hiked up on of the volcanoes. Was quite difficult!

Tortuguero. Very neat rain forest town in Costa Rica accessible only by boat. Lots of wildlife here and just a cool, laid back atmosphere to boot.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The How to guide to taking cold showers.

So here in central America most of the showers have been cold ones. One would get used to this if it wasn°t for the fact that every few weeks, an amazing hot shower comes along. So with this in mind, you have to develop strategies on taking cold showers, because although packpackers are dirty, we aren°t that dirty!

1- Take showers late in the afternoon. This helps 2 fold. First, you may be warmer froma day in the sun and not mind a cold shower and secondly, many of the water tanks are big black aluminum things on top of houses, so that the sun and the heat of teh day warm the water slightly.

2-Get in quickly. There is no use waiting and psyching yourself out for a bad shower. Just get in!

3- Get completely socaked, then get out of the water and apply all your sopalike rpoducts at once. If you do your soap and shampoo at the same time, you save rinsing time in the coldwater.

4' Rinse thoroughly

5-Repeat as necessary!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I am currently doing my PADI open water certification course in Utila, Hinduras at an outfil named Captain Morgans dive center. So far it is goign really well. I am the only on ein my class as one girl unfortunately had to drop out due to panic attacks.

The first day was filled with reading, watching videos and then a confined dive just on the end of the dock. This was to get used to the feeling of being underwater and practice some skills like losing your regulator and mask and what to do if you run out of air.

The next day (yesterday) was to finish my theory exam (96%) and then I was on the boat with my instructor to go over the skills again but this time in open deep water. all went very well!

I continue the same thing this afternoon and I should be done my certification today! It is so much fin and something I would reccommend to everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Garifuna Death Rituals.

So our death rituals and ceremonies are very tame compared to those in the Garifuna community of Livingston in Gautemala. WHne someone dies, they have a big party a few days later in the Cemetary, with music, drinks, and bright coloured paint to paint the gravesite, which is usually a concrete box. They invite everyone to the party like a giant wake in the cemetary.

Also on All saints day in the beginning of November, they convert the graveyard into a Dance club with 2 dance floors, bars and again brightly coloured paint to paint the graves. The colour does not matter and your grave could have a new colour every year. They also decorate the graves elaborately with flowers and motifs, very intresting indeed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the Bay islands

These last few days have been pretty tough. The hardest decision today was to snorle or just to swim. We were on Jewel Cay, a small cay off of the island of Utila. It was beautiful, the water was a great blue colour, and the locals were very nice. I do not really have any funny stories from this part of the trip, it was just stunningly beautiful and very relaxing, which was much needed after almost 3 weeks of non stop going. I will post here again soon with more interesting stories.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tikal and Semuc Champey!

Wow these were 2 great sites to go visit, and some definite highlights from the trip so far.

First was Semuc champey, which is an underwater river which flows under a natural limestone bridge that accumulates runoff water to make pools! complicated I know. It was very beautiful and the pools on top are deep enough to swim and even dive into. Good times. We also had a guide who brought along a rope ladder and helped us climb down into the tunnel with the underwater river, perhaps a little sketchy climbing down a waterfall using only a rope ladder but hey, it all worked out nicely and provided an experience I will not soon forget.

Tikal are Mayan ruins that are very impressive. Just the setting of the jungle with Monkeys everywhere and Toucans is amazing. We once again decided on taking a guided tour and do not regret the decision whatsoever. Our guide was funny but very knowledgeable and I learned a lot and had fun...crazy concept I know. We were able to climb a few of the temples t get awesome jungle views. My favorite complex was one they had fully uncovered which showed 2 big temples with a cleared out plaza in the middle where ceremonies including sacrifices used to take place. The mayan are a very interesting people and I am determined to learn even more about them.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guate Guate Gaute

Back to the blog now that I am back in travel mode. I am here in guatemala with Marina and enjoying every minute. Some highlights of the first week include.

- Roasting Marshmallows over lava on a volcano. Pacaya was the volcano.

-Climbing another volcano and seeing others erupt. Santa Maria was this volcano. This was a tough climb bu tdefinitely worth it at the top.

- Seeing a 3 or 4 year old chop a coconut with a machete.

-Chicken busses. One trip between 2 cities that should have taken about 4 hours took us 7 busses and 7.5 hours to do. Included on this was the crazy guy who would climb over the bus while it was moving to talk to people at the back or collect money.....NUTTY! I would have died several times. Of course this was the only way for him to get back and forth as the bus was so packed.

- Lake atitlan was really beautiful and the boat ride was quite relaxing.

- Pineapple soda...man it is so good.

More to come!