Recap: 27 Days, 5 Countries, 2300 Miles, 22 Cities, 80+ Hours on Busses that would cramp a legless child (PART 2)

This is part two of my day to day recap of my trip… This is just a recap – most of the details and stories are in my earlier posts so some of this might seem rushed or incomplete – this is a casserole of day to day stuff and details that didn’t quite fit earlier, and an excuse to post the rest of my photos… Enjoy!

Day 13. Wednesday, Feb 27. After waking to what I thought was an earthquake at 2am (it was a two person horizontal earthquake of sorts on the bunk above me), I got up at 5am to catch a bus to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, AKA the MURDER CAPITOL OF THE WORLD. German Mike and I were joined by Lykke and Julia, two Swedish lovelies who had slept in a different dorm room at the Bigfoot but had coincidentally survived the very same earthquake. (I think the earth-shakers just moved rooms after I kicked them out…) I love Swedish women but one of them in particular had me infatuated but also disturbed in two ways… 1. I’m terrible at guessing age but she looked like she was 12. and 2. she looked like what can best be described as a hot female Christopher Walken. Very attractive, but all I could think was Walken. Very confusing. Mike hopped off in Tegucigalpa and the ladies and I continued to a hotel in San Pedro Sula – where, unbeknownst to us – Mike ended up checking in at our hotel later that night after changing his mind about Tegucigalpa. We were at dinner when he arrived and he left before we got up. Travel is crazy like that sometimes guys…

Pulhapanzak FallsDay 14. Thursday, Feb 28. I woke up thinking I’d be going scuba diving. I was wrong. Bobby from the D&D Brewery in the middle of the jungle in Honduras found my poll and got all of his friends to vote. I had a blast. The beer was great, the food was great and the company was great. I even got to direct a Harlem Shake video.

Day 15. Friday, Mar 1. Bobby’s friends from D&D Poll hijacked again sending me to the Mayan Ruins at Copan, Honduras. I spent the morning hiking to a tiny cave behind a waterfall and then caught a bus back to San Pedro Sula, just missed the last bus to Copan and settled for a bus that would take me as close as possible. I got off the bus when the road split at La Entrada figuring that I could hitch the rest of the way. It was only 7pm. The town looked pretty rough though and after a local woman from my bus told me it was too dangerous to even be outside, I checked into a hotel. Even the hotel clerk discouraged me from going up the street to a bar. It was a rough travel day. I just wanted a beer.

Day 16. Saturday, Mar 2. Once daylight came I headed outside to the bus stop to catch a ride to Copan Ruinas. Not knowing when the bus was going to come, I stood there for over an hour. Once every possible nook and cranny of the bus was filled with people, we slowly made our way to the ruins. Apart from stopping every half mile to pick up MORE passengers, and 30 minutes stuck on the bus while the driver ate lunch, we made great time. Upon arriving in Copan, I found a hotel, headed to the ruins, loved them to death, headed back, walked around town, dinner, then drinks with a British engineer named Andy at the Via Via hotel. Andy has been on the road for 5 years! (or was it 6?) Great dude – I picked his brain for places to go.

Day 17. Sunday, Mar 3. At 5:45am I headed downstair to catch my shuttle and found that the front door was deadbolted shut and I was locked in. I looked for the key and finally made enough noise to wake up the very annoyed employee who was sleeping in the next room. The shuttle dropped me at a dusty intersection outside of Rio Hondo, Guatemala. From there I took a bus to Rio Dulce and then a fast boat to Livingston. I stayed at the Casa De La Iguana where I enjoyed a sit down family style meal followed by sit down family style drinking games. In one of them, two people had to trade clothes. What a great dare, right? think about trading clothes – socks and undies and everything – with the next person you see. Fun stuff!

Day 18. Monday, Mar 4. I finally got my slow boat Jungle Book cruise down the river. Along the way, I met Ditte and Leo – a Dane and an American who paired up during their 3 week volunteer project and now were spending their last three days together. They were all over eachother. I think he was more sad than she was. Once we got to Rio Dulce, we headed out to check out the hot waterfall at El Paraiso where they DEFINITELY got it on up in the woods. We hitched back with a surveyor from Guatemala City (me in the cab of the pickup, lovers in the back.) The driver claimed not to speak English but his fluency came out more and more as he got frustrated with my broken Spanish. He was confident that I’ll be a movie star very soon. That night I slept in a depressing hotel in Rio Dulce. I’m not a fan of Rio Dulce.

Day 19. Tuesday, Mar 5. After being told at 12:40 that I had missed my 1pm shuttle to Lanquin and I’d have to wait until the next day, Angry Eli convinced the guy to make the shuttle turn around to pick me up. I may have lied about having to meet somebody or something but the truth was I just wanted to get out of that depressing town. The shuttle was a 4×4 pickup with a driver and a strange German girl who I would run into the rest of my trip. The drive was five hours of rocky washed out road up and down ridges and valleys and through tiny Mayan villages. When we finally pulled into Lanquin and I got to the Zephyr Lodge (my cousin worked there years ago and recommended it), they didn’t have any beds available so I slept in the attic above the bar. I loved it.

Day 20. Wednesday, Mar 6. I took the Semuc Champey tour – cave swimming/climbing, rope swinging, bridge jumping (if you want to see what I look like during a panic attack, click HERE),hiking and finally swimming in the limestone pools of Semuc Champey. I got a pedicure from a school of tiny, hungry fish. That night, I slept in a real bed right next to a huge window looking out over the valley.

Dusk in AntiguaDay 21. Thursday, Mar 7. At 8am I got on a shuttle to Antigua with my new bridge jumping friends. It was awful. The other passengers were bitchy, we kept stopping for no reason, the driver was saying terrible things about us thinking we didn’t understand his Spanish and it all culminated in me nearly getting in a fight with him after he almost ran into a buddy of mine. It’s a long story. It ended with me taking pictures of him rather than punching him – but it almost ended up with punches rather than pictures. I met up with an old friend, Eleanor, and spent the evening catching up over beers. That night I kept falling asleep while trying to post my final poll. I finally got it up around 2am.

Day 22. Friday, Mar 8. I woke up pretty early and saw that the poll results were sending me on an overnight bus to Tikal and to the shrine of Maximon. Exhausted but excited, Eleanor and I bought our bus tickets and headed out. Antigua was beautiful, Maximon was super interesting, and the bus ride to Tikal made me want to end it all. Busses in Guatemala are covered in HUGE “Jesus is my Savior” type decals and paintings so I spend much of that sleeples night trying to come up with a good joke relating their awful, aggressive driving (passing on blind corners) to their intense desire to meet Jesus face to face… There’s something there…

Day 23. Saturday, Mar 9. Our nine hour ride took eight hours. Tikal was great but I definitely wished our tour involved napping and less talking. We watched the sun go down and then had dinner with a bunch of dentists from Oregon.

Day 24. Sunday, Mar 10. We got up at 3:45 after not sleeping enough for the past week. We were the first ones up Temple 4 and had about 30 minutes alone above the jungle to sit in silence watching the stars. Since I’ve been back people ask me what my favorite part was – hands down, this hour was my favorite part. There are times in life when you get a little taste of heaven or peace or bliss or whatever you want to call it… I got my taste sitting up there above the jungle. I felt like I could breathe for the first time in months. That zen state carried me back down to breakfast, then onto a bus, then wandering through a strange town to another bus, across the border into Belize and another 4 hour bus, to a ferry and finally to a teeny tiny hotel room on the island of Caye Caulker.

Day 25. Monday, Mar 11. Snorkeling! I saw all kinds of fish, coral, nurse sharks, rays, barracuda, eel and turtles! I also sortof fell in love with a cool old dutch lady but then I found out she had a male companion (the good ones are always taken). Her travel partner evidently didn’t want to come snorkeling because he didn’t want to get stuck on a boat with a bunch of Canadians. This is my kind of guy. I met him after our trip – older British fellow – and got him talking about his dislike of Canadians. It was fascinating and one of the most amusing conversations I’ve had recently.

Day 26. Tuesday, Mar 12. It was a rainy day on the island and I had very little to do. I walked around, drank rum and did my best to avoid the weirdos at my hotel. I started getting a little bummed out by the gross touristy town and the gross people who came there and the gross people who lived there… It’s good to have this at the end of a trip because it makes you ready to go home. I was thinking about that at dinner at the very moment that I pierced my tongue with a rogue swordfish bone. I had to stick my tongue out to pull it out – it was about a half an inch into my tongue. Definitely ready to go home.

IMG_2484Day 27. Wednesday, Mar 13. I got up early, had a great breakfast while looking water and listening to electronic dance music, and then caught the ferry back to Belize City. I had some time before I had to be at the airport so I walked around town for a bit. I think the good part of Belize City left years ago and now it’s just the bad part of town and the worse part of town. Even more ready to go home. I got to the airport early and spent the remainder of my money on a sandwich and a bucket of beers. Twenty seven days and I end it with a sandwich and a bucket of beers.

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