Archive for August, 2009

Road Rules of Central America

Road Rules of Central America

We’re now in Panama after travelling via chicken and Tica bus to Panama, crossing 5 borders in 3 days (check out The Gool’s new route map – top right, if your knowledge of Central American countries is as bad as mine was before this trip)! The last border crossing took over 3 hours and was particularly stressful, as a group of old Panamanic ladies kept trying to queue-jump, which especially upset the disgruntled Brits who’d been in line for hours already. Here’s a brief summary of some of the road rules and transport we’ve experienced in Central America… The most…

Click to read on...

Guatemala Part 3 – Churches and Lava

Guatemala Part 3 – Churches and Lava

We’ve been in Antigua for the last few days, which used to be the capital of Central America. It’s a very pretty town, with a lovely central park and it reminded us of San Cristobal de las casas in Mexico. We spent a day wandering around the shops and the ruins of the cathedral (3q/25p entrance fee), which has been destroyed twice by earthquakes. The contrast of the shafts of sunshine and shadows and the plants growing in amongst the columns and cracked walls made it look just as beautiful as a well preserved, lavishly gilded cathedral. Under the font…

Click to read on...

Guatemala Part 2 – Lanquin & Semuc Champey

Guatemala Part 2 – Lanquin & Semuc Champey

We’ve been staying in Lanquin for a few nights now, after a 9 hour journey by ancient minibus from Flores, involving us crossing a river on a makeshift ferry (see pic below) and a 40 minute delay while we waited for half the village to help another ancient minibus out of the roadside ditch opposite. We’re staying in a nice place called Retiro, right by the Cahabon river, full of other travellers and they do a big buffet-style dinner every evening for £4 /£5 depending on whether you have the veggie option (I did the first night, as the “meat”…

Click to read on...

Guatemala Part 1 – Tikal (Mum HG, beware the spider pics!)

Guatemala Part 1 – Tikal (Mum HG, beware the spider pics!)

Yesterday we went to Tikal, which meant another hideously early start (4.30am alarm to catch a 5am minibus), but it was well worth it. On the road to Tikal, we saw ocellated turkeys (a cross between a peacock and a turkey) and pacas (very cute rainforest rodents – Duncan, you would like them!) at the side of the road. There was even a sign saying “Jaguar crossing”, but unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of those shy, nocturnal creatures. We got to the entrance just before it opened at 6am and then took a 4 hour guided tour around…

Click to read on...

You better Belize it!

You better Belize it!

We finally got our parcel last Thursday in Chetumal (thanks Mum and Dad!) and got straight on a bus to Belize City. We got fined at the border for not having our Mexican tourist cards (remember the official at Nogales had just asked us for $5 and waved the bus through? Well he was supposed to have given us a tourist card to get stamped in a Mexican bank and then hand in on exit), so that was annoying. We arrived in Belize City and got a “taxi” (random man in his banger of a car) to take us to…

Click to read on...