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Capital city: Guatemala city

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

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After a twisty turvy ride through the mountains I ended up pulling into the capital city of Guatemala. Throughout the Central Americas I had been sort of bypassing the capital cities as they tended to be a sort of a pain to maneuver through. For some reason, the bus companies tended to have their own stations so when you entered the city you were taken to whatever companies bus station. It was random where they were at so you might still be a hours journey away from the tourist center or where the budget hotels were. Then when you were wanting to leave to your next destination you always had to use a different company as usually companies offered routes only in a certain direction ie. north, south, east, or west. Because of that you had to utilize another company if you were heading in a different direction rather than returning the same way and therefore could again be across town in the opposite direction thereby making an exit quite a hassle. I did have an opportunity to bypass GC, but upon examining the guidebook I saw that the bus station that I would arrive on was right next to a recommended hotel which was also a short distance away from the tourist center. Being so convenient I figured what the heck and decided to take a look.

The hotel turned out to be rather nice, the area was shit and pretty dodgy at night, but as I had tv and a hot shower I really wasn´t too occupied with the going ons outside at night. During the day I scouted out the surrounding areas doing a snail shell circular route just to get a grip on the busy down town area. It turned out to be okay as the parque central was fairly large and a magnet for the locals. Lots of vendors and activities so I usually spent the afternoons just people watching. Other than that it was pretty uneventful. I did find a nice little locals place where they had their own tortilla making section in the entry way and some basic typical food on offer. It was primarily a bus stop place, but I found the atmosphere very interesting. It was run by a lot of young local girls wearing the more indigenous style clothes which were predominantly worn by the working class females and girls. The clothing is very beautiful and is not touristic which makes it all more interesting. Too bad males clothing like everywhere else I have been is fairly westernized in a casual working style slacks and poly shirt.

Upon exiting, I realized that the bus stop for my next destination was on the other side of town which utilizing a taxi would have been more convenient but costly however, disliking taxis in general caused a two hour walk through some pretty non safe places. It was worth it though as I really hadn´t been doing much trekking lately and it was nice to sling the backpack for a few hours.

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Although the girls harassed me the whole time it was very cool to be able to eat some good typical food while while watching fresh homemade tortillas being made. It was also very nice as they were hand making the tortillas by slapping them together in their hands, it made it sound and feel like they were applauding at my food eating capabilities.

Coban, Guatemala

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

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Coban is just a nice transit town. Basically it is a staging point for some beautiful scenic locations just out of town including the Grutas de Lanquín (caves) and the pools and cascades of Semuc Champey. Caves and limestone bridge forming swimming pools. Been there done that, so instead I ate cake and watched Americas Biggest Losers.

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After eating nine cakes, I got this weird rash and then my skin started peeling off. Luckily House was on and I was able to narrow it down to Kawasakis Disease or two weeks kayaking and roasting in the Belizean sun. I´m hoping for Kawasakis (still modifying my ultimate disease).

Photos: Tikal ruins (rocks), Guatemala

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
dscn1611.JPG One of those trees. I forgot the name. Pretty cool. Sits right at the entrance of the park. dscn1612.JPG [Continue reading this entry]

Back to Guatemala: FLores, Guatemala

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
dscn1610.JPG Crossing into Guatemala from Belize was fairly painless on the Guatemala side as I beat the bus tour group that was in front of me at the Belizean side. Three dollars and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Canoe races: San Ignacio, Belize

Sunday, March 7th, 2010
san-ignacio.JPG san-ignacio-1.JPG It was time to leave the island and Belize, but instead of making one long day of travel I decided to stop at the town of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos: Caye Caulker, Belize.

Sunday, March 7th, 2010
caye-caulker.JPG Fresh off the boat. caye-caulker-4.JPG caye-caulker-5.JPG caye-caulker-6.JPG caye-caulker-9.JPG [Continue reading this entry]

Screw the orphans Caye time for Steve: Caye Caulker, Belize

Sunday, March 7th, 2010
caye-caulker-71.JPG So this is where I got stuck. Caye Caulker is about a 45 minute water taxi ride north of Belize city. Now, I was actually really looking forward to this part ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos: Placencia, Belize

Sunday, March 7th, 2010
placencia-1.JPG The main access path running through town. placencia-2.JPG My buddy Coco placencia-4.JPG Art shot. placencia-8.JPG Sorry, another damn ... [Continue reading this entry]

Beach time: Placencia, Belize

Sunday, March 7th, 2010
placencia.JPG Remember the town of Boquete in Panama? It was that top five retirement towns in the AARP magazine. Well, Placencia is the beach side version of the same thing. After ... [Continue reading this entry]

Looking forward to it: Welcome to Belize, Punto Gorda

Sunday, March 7th, 2010
punta-gorda-2.JPG punta-gorda-3.JPG The run to Belize was a bit longer at two hours plus it wasn´t exactly the mirror calm seas that is conducive to the Caribbean. One of ... [Continue reading this entry]