Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A series of unfortunate events trying to get to Honduras!

So this day was just comedy value from start to finish....!

First of all I got up at 3.15am for the 2nd day in a row for a 4am bus to cross the border.

9 hours later at 1pm I was still waiting with the bus eventually turning up at about 1.30pm...I like the relaxed attitude over here but that was slightly too relaxed!

So we eventually set off on the supposed 6 hour drive to Copan just across the border.

The journey took forever, with loads of accidents and the bus driver seemed to want to be part of it all, as he was crazy!

There were some particularly hairy moments when we realised that the border crossing may close at 7pm and we were about 40 miles away at 6.50pm!

Then to top it all off - we got a flat tyre about 5 miles from the border! So after standing roadside for what seemed like forever and changing the spare tyre (I played no part in this!) we were on our way again but it was by now wayyyy after 7pm!

Luckily when we got to the border the driver managed to get us across without having to wait until morning - phew!!

Definitely the most hectic bus trip so far...!


Sunday, 27 November 2011

San Pedro La Laguna

After my intense week of Spanish school, I decided it was time to relax again and get some sun so headed to Lake Atitlán for the weekend!

After an amazing boat ride over the lake itself I checked into a hostel with a lake view and a swimming pool - pure luxury and the photos below show the views!

I spent the weekend laying in the sun and working on my tan - it's a hard life!


Shoe thief!

I am slightly outraged that before I joined Spanish school, I realised I have been the victim of theft and someone has stolen my walking shoes!!

Who on earth steals someone's shoes I do not know?! Especially walking shoes when my clammy feet have sweated in those bad boys many a time on a hike!

So I now find myself on a constant mission to find some new bloody walking shoes!


Friday, 25 November 2011


So after my Lara Croft esc day at Semuc and catching the 'Zephyr Flu', (which is still hanging about and refuses to go away), I decided it was time to move on and headed to Antiqua.

To be honest I haven't really got too much to say about Antiqua apart from that it's a nice little town surrounded by volcanos and full of little shops!

Spent a couple of days wandering round here and the vibe reminded me of Oaxaca & San Cristobal in Mexico.

Took a couple of photos to show what I mean...


Thursday, 24 November 2011

La familia en Guetamala!

So while at Spanish school I opted for a home stay with a Guetamalan family to practice my Spanish and really get to know what it's like to live here!

The family I was assigned to were really sweet, although they spent the first few days laughing at my very poor Spanish!

There were about 8 people living in the house and throughout the week I still didn't work out the relationships of all the people! What I did figure out was that the mums name was Gladis and she had 3 children; Mario who is 15, Berenice who is 11 and Isaac who is 3 (although I think he was adopted). Then there was also a cousin from America and the grandad living there. On top of that were 2 youngish women and I have no idea who they were to anyone!!

Xela & the house was bloody freezing all week and I was sleeping with about 5 blankets per night just to stop shivering!

The family lead quite a simple life and they pretty much stay in the house all day just milling around, with the main event of everyday being the meal times. Some evenings we watched films but mostly we just sat around. Think I would go out of my mind living there for longer than a week - but everyone seemed pretty happy which I suppose is all that matters.

The grandad was really sweet and he helped me with my Spanish and we studied together. He even tested me on my verb pronouncation!

I couldn't get a photo with all the family but I got a few shots to show my adopted family in Guatemala - well for a week at least!


P.s. I didn't have the heart to tell them that they were actually swearing at the camera rather than making the peace sign...!

Spanish School!

So I have now officially completed 1 week of Spanish school in the city of Xela.

My teacher - Sandy was really sweet and was really sympathetic to the fact that I knew next to nothing when I started which was a big help when I was learning.

After the week I now have a full notepad of Spanish verbs that I need to study study study at every opportunity! Fingers crossed in a few weeks and with some practice I will be able to chat to a local and actually understand what they are saying, rather than piecing little bits together.

Wish me luck....!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Semuc Champey

After my couple of days relaxing in the sun, I decided it was time to do something a little more active & booked on a trip to Semuc Champey.

When we arrived our first stop was a 1 hour trek (!) to a viewing point of the natural limestone bridge & turquoise pools that Semuc Champey is famous for. The first photo shows the view, which made the hike pretty worthwhile! Even more worthwhile was the way down because we got to swim and explore the pools.

After lunch the real fun began with a bat cave tour in the pitch black with only candle light to help!
Inside there were some parts where you could walk, but mostly you have to swim whilst keeping your candle in the air in 1 hand the whole time! Oh and the water was bloody freezing!!

The cave was literally like an assault course in the dark with rock climbing, rope ladders and stepping stones all with bats flying around above your head... It was pretty insane!

It took about and hour to get to the centre and back to the entrance, by which time everyones candles were completely burnt out - eeeeeek!

It was a really long day as I left the hostel at 8am and didn't get back until 7.30pm - by which time I was shattered and headed to bed about 9pm!


Saturday, 19 November 2011


My next stop was the tiny town/village of Lanquin which is pretty untravelled and the road is so uneven it takes about an hour to drive 2km!

The town is set next to a really clear flowing river with lots of caves to explore by candle light.

The atmosphere was very chilled and basic (there were no showers for 4 days!) but the hostel was busy & lively at night with a great happy hour and a giant game of drinking Jenga - which went down a storm!

I spent a couple of days here just chilling in the sun, working on my tan and tubing down the river with a few beers... (that's right I now drink beer!)

The first photo shows the view I woke up to at the hostel...Not to rub it in at all!


Friday, 18 November 2011

Jungle Wildlife!

So the snake is the deadliest snake in that part of the jungle! The tourguides brother actually got bitten whilst leading a group and only just survived!
The one we saw was a baby, which makes them even more harmful as they cannot control their venom!

I also 'petted' a MASSIVE tarantula - it was pretty sick and did I mention it was massive?! I was petrified and horrifically uncomfortable with it just crawling on me... A picture says a thousand words and it's def not my best side - HA!


Thursday, 17 November 2011


The next day I headed to Tikal - one of the most famous ruin sites in Guatemala - and the sun was out in full glory.

It was a super early start and we left the hostel at 4.30am - I was not in a good mood that early, especially as I had gone to bed at 2!

We had a really interesting and very passionate tourguide with so so
much knowledge of the site as he had lived there all of his life. He had some pretty crazy stories and even saw a friend getting eaten by a crocodile when he was younger!

He was very 'at one' with nature, which meant that he went out of his way to show us some crazy & very deadly wildlife - photos to follow shortly!



After a few days on Caye Caulker, with my first taste of a Caribbean island slightly satisfied and after my bank balance had taken a heavy beating, I headed to Guetemala and over my first land border crossing. This literally consisted of a tiny hut on the side of the road where you have to show your passport!

I headed for the little town of Flores which is an island centred on the middle of a lake with amazing views (although they would have been better if it wasn't so cloudy!)

As we were so close to the jungle, there was wildlife galore and the hostal that I stayed in was literally like a pet shop and even had a live-in Parrot!

I spent the first day wandering the town, taking in the views and swimming in the surprising warm lakes.

I also came across my first real glimpse of Christmas with a giant Christmas tree in the town main square. To celebrate the lights being switched on, there was a local festival on Saturday night, where literally every local and the whole of the neighbouring towns turned out and were located in a square about the size of a back garden! Hectic does not cover it!


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Caye Caulker

After my amazing last Mexican supper, I headed for the 1st border crossing of my trip into Belize and the island of Caye Caulker.

On the boat, I met some Hilarious English girls - Amy & Jess who I ended up hanging out with until we left the island.

My camera skills where pretty bad over the 3 days that we were there and I managed to take about 3 photos in total!

That may have had something to do with the 'ladies drink free rum' at Oceanside nightclub. Or perhaps the mere 6 bottles of rum that we drunk between 5 of us one night!

Lobster dinners were super cheap and really the only thing on the menu, so we made the most of it - when in Rome and all that!

During one of the days (with a mega hungover!) we went on an amazing snorkelling trip and saw lots of wildlife and manatees, sharks & stingrays, whilst trying not to be sick!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Last Mexican Supper...

I've just noticed recently that there is a serious lack of food photos and food talk on my blog so wanted this to be changed ASAP!

On my last night in Mexico I bought dinner from a little lady on the street, and it was the best food I ate in the whole of Mexico - not sure the photo really shows how amazing it was!


Tulum Cenotes

Whilst in Tulum I visited a couple of the freshwater Cenotes for a very cold & 'refreshing' swim!

Cenotes are underground rivers where thousands of years ago the roof collapsed to make a sink hole full of freshwater. They are full of amazing wildlife but as they are caves they are so dark! You need a good underwater torch to explore properly and you have to be so careful as the ceilings are so low when you are swimming - sometimes less than an inch from the top of your head!

A few photos below, but they don't really do it justice to be honest. Our tourguide did take some good snaps on an underwater camera so I will post them up as and when they come through to show more of what it was like!


Friday, 11 November 2011

Happy Movember!

Hilarious Mezcal bar opposite the hostel I stayed at in Tulum...

Just for you VV & Mullet (or should I say Jose & Juan!)


Tulum Ruins

Even on the beach that can only be described as complete paradise, you will find some Mayan ruins!

These were amazing and the views from the top are incredible - again the photos kinda speak for themselves.

Little fact for you (as I know a few people have been liking my David Attenborough esc facts so far..!) - the Mayans built Tulum as a lookout for invasions but also as a warning system to tell them if there was a tropical storm coming in. It is still really effective now and the locals use it as their weather bible and it hasn't failed so far over the last few thousand years!


Beautiful Tulum

To recoup and get some rest after being ill, I headed straight for Tulum rather than hitting the party town of Playa Del Carmen - shows how bad I was feeling as when do I ever give up the opportunity to party?!

Tulum was unbelievably beautiful with a perfect picturesque Caribbean beach complete with white sands, crystal clear blue water and hammocks looking out across the ocean!

The photos kinda speak for themselves...