A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: lewyandkerri

The End of Chapter One

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Its off to work we go....

storm 33 °C

9 Months, 9 Countries, Infinite Memories

We left England on a cold November morning: leaving behind family, friends; the luxury of putting loo roll down the toilet, having a cold draft pint and a take away curry on a Friday (Matty... we have been dreaming about your welcome home curry!)

We looked back at some photos from before we came away and cant believe what chubby, fun loving, little beer guzzlers we were! If you fancy a laugh do the same.... Although we have not changed in personality, we have lost a couple of pounds here and there along the way, gained a few new party tricks and Lewy has finally grown a man beard. We're quite sure y'all still love us, and as I write the last blog entry of "Beach Ahoy" please subconsciously think about this subtle subliminal message *COME VISIT US IN MEXICO*.

So last time Lewy updated you we had swam with Whale Sharks.... for all those who know me, and what a scare-dee-cat I am (how do you spell that?!) it was up there in the most terrifying things Iv done but was also possible the best! Glad we got to share the experience with Jess as she turned a little pale upon the boat and Paul who had a smile from ear to ear.

We left Isla Holbox (upon rumors of a hurricane) and decided to head for Isla Mujeres.... if were going to get a little rained on- may as well get the best of the experience and be stranded on a little island (Lewy and Pauls theory)we were staying at Hostel Pocna, where Lewy and Mori stayed 4 years ago (it hasn't changed much Mori and we imagined that you were there with us). It very much reminded me of the Pacha Mama Hostel in Nicuragua, extremely social, amazing people and amazing parties.

After a day of lapping up the smokin sun rays and dipping into the picture postcard turquoise waters, mother nature visited us once again. The bar shut at about 11, before this we had drunk a few beers, made some new friends and a dog had relieved itself on my leg. The wind started to howl and palm trees were almost horizontal. The four of us took a walk up onto the deserted promenade looking over the Caribbean waves. We stood holding hands (very romantic) on the edge of the pier in a line leaning forward a foot into the ocean as the howling wind forced us backwards away from the waves. We could barely hear ourselves talk! We then ventured into the town, everything was closed except a small shop with alcohol. There we found a group of other idiots wanting to stay up through the hurricane. We found a small bit of shelter, the boys got out there guitars and we sang in a mixture of languages from all over the world whilst the rain soaked us and the wind abused us like a child poking at an ants nest.

The hurricane left and so we ventured back onto the mainland of Mexico to the place we are now. Tulum. We have been here for a week being so incredibly lazy. Its a great hostel and the four of us have shared a Cabana and now know each other a whole lot better haha. The endless white beach here is amazing and there is so much to see and do. We have cycled around some Mayan Ruins (may I please get support in saying that after seeing 5 Mayan Ruins I don't need to see any more???). Yesterday we went to a beach called 'Akumel'. Incredible. Not only are there no hideous hotels, you can step into the turquoise waters off the white sandy beach into an underwater paradise. We saw Giant Sea Turtles (which has ticked my last Central American tick box), Barracudas, Giant Rays, a Coral reef and endless types of beautiful fish. It was the perfect last day to spend with Jess and Paul before they took us out for a lovely dinner and bought us the sea food platter in which we ate a lot of the things we saw that day (horrible but delicious?!)

Jess and Paul have now left us for Belize and Lewy and I are sitting here at the hostel on the last day of our EPIC Beach Ahoy Adventure. Tomorrow we start work an hour south of here and we are extremely excited to have a purpose once more and a routine (yes we are getting old!) I do have butterflies in my belly but cant wait for the second chapter of our adventure. We shall start a new blog (using this same site) to keep you up to date on our new life. Thank you so much for still reading our blogs we love you all and hope you continue to follow our journey :)

Top 10 Beaches: (1 being the best)

1.) Mono Feliz (Panama)
2.) Cayos Cochinos (Honduras)
3.) Cabo De La Vela (Colombia)
4.) Choroni (Venezuela)
5.) Akumel (Mexico)
6.) Capugana (Colombia)
7.) Placencia (Belize)
8.) San Juan Del Sur (Nicuragua)
9.) Las Penitas (Nicuragua)
10.) Tulum (Mexico)

Posted by lewyandkerri 11:10 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Goodbye Guate, Hello Mexico

Fun, sun, and whale sharks

sunny 30 °C

So...just got back from swimming with Whale Sharks, the world's largest fish! It was epic, more on that later....

Picking up where the last entry left off, we finished our stay at Earthlodge after six weeks. What a place, I cannot recommend a visit enough. Super chilled throughout, excellent food, and some good friends made to boot. Our leaving do was a typical hat party with beer, music and laughter, and cake of course. With us later blubbering up the treacherous hill with our rucksacks. Many thanks to all who made our stay there so much fun. We have made some very special friends and memories (special in many ways!).

We headed back down to reality and shopping in Antigua (again). Then we caught a night bus all the way to Flores in the north of Guatemala. We arrived at 6 AM and we were on another bus by 7am to visit Tikal, Mayan ruins deep in the jungle. Unfortunately we forgot our camera (due to early morning stress) so you will just have to believe me when I tell you how good it was. It seemed to be huge pyramids sticking out the canopy, ant eaters with babies out for a stroll, howler monkeys, other monkeys, many insects, and too many mosquitos spreading their love over 16km2 of sweaty jungle. We spent several hours exploring the ruins and trying to imagine just how those crazy Mayan folks lived. Must have been a bit crappy because there is almost no inside space, just big temples for killing people on. They seemed to love their religion a lot to build over twenty pyramids there.

We had one night in Flores and went to bed around 7pm, and then the next day we caught a direct bus to Chetumal Mexico, then we trucked on and caught another to Playa del Carmen. We left at 7 AM and arrived at our hostel at 1 AM the next morning. So in total 31 hours in two days on the bus. Not fun. But fairly straightforward. We were happy to sleep that night. And were still friends!

The next day we met up in a swanky resort in Playa del Carmen with Kerri's mum and sister, Karen and Laura. It was a joyful reunion for the family and nice for me to have some other people to talk to after that much bus time with Kerri. The vast majority of the time at the hotel was spent by the pool, reading and drinking many cocktails. As I see it if you pay for all-inclusive you have to make the most of it. This means drinking pina colada from midday and eating four meals every day, at least. We stayed for four nights and sampled the Mexican, Italian and Oriental restaurants with many stops at the all you can eat buffet in between. It was great to see some friendly faces and spend some time getting to know Kerri's mum (she loves tequila) and sister (she loves Mexicans) better. All in all a great holiday from our extended holiday/life.

Then Jess and Paul arrived into Playa del Carmen. The second night they were here we went to the world-famous Coco Bongo. For me, slightly underwhelming as I don't really like much (any) of the music they play and perform to, but the acrobats and general ambiance were incredible.

After another day chilling on the beach we left the mega tourist trap and headed to Isla Holbox, retracing my steps from four years previously. This time I slept in a bed which was nice. We explored the Island by golf buggy yesterday, and I figured out that going fast over the bumps led to Kerri and Jess raising 10cm off the back. Funny. Then today I swam with some majestic wonderful creatures. But enough about Kerri, Jess and Paul. The Whale Shark tour was excellent, there were hundreds of sharks over quite a small area and every way you looked another was coming right for you! Not to worry folks they are harmless though and only eat plankton. Some were around 4 metres, and they are beautiful animals with mottled markings and vast gaping....mouths.

Other wildlife seen on the trip:
Turtles
Whale Sharks
Pufferfish
Flamingos
Pelicans
Catfish
Trumpetfish
Nurse shark
Frigate birds
Iguana

Very nice.

We also caught fish and made Cerviche, which is fish cooked with lime juice with tomato, chile, onion and coriander. We had this in a incredible mangrove fringed lake with sky blue water. Jealous yet? ....

Lots of love,

Lewy and Kerri xx

Posted by lewyandkerri 16:32 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

The Treasures of Guatemala

... a snake lives in our bathroom!

storm

Hello lovely people,

I have just been reading back the first few blogs that we wrote... yikes I cant really believe that was us! Whether we were naive, crazy, brave or stupid... I don't know if I could some some of those things a second time. (The Venezuelan-Colombia border crossing and Colombia/Panama boat journey in particular). We are just coming up to being away 8 months and have traveled 8 fantastic Countries and passed through a whirlwind of experiences and emotions. We started with no fear, a hunger for adventure, excitement and Lewy perhaps for danger! We didn't care how many buses we had to take, where we slept or what street food we put into our bellies and we have made a awesome team and kept each other going through difficult, tired and horribly hot and stressful moments. It does help that Lewy only ever gets stressed when hes hungry (always an easy problem to solve!) I am quite surprised that I have not given up the dream by now and returned home to safe tap water, my little car, clean clothes, hot showers, mushrooms, popping up the pub and of course seeing the family and friends that we miss very much! Thank you Mr Man/Woman for inventing Skype o how we love you!

So now I sit in our living room looking out over three volcanoes, people sleeping away in hammocks and the sun beaming down (for the first time in weeks). We have been living here at Earth Lodge (www.earthlodgeguatemala.com) for the last month and we very much regret that it wont be our home for the next year. The guys who built this place from scratch are truly inspiring and they have hit a goldmine and made the perfect place for travelers to come and escape the bustling streets of Antigua and the perfect paradise for their two little children to grow up. We have felt very welcome here and enjoyed every moment, with fantastic food, picture perfect views and awesome people. Finally we dont have to move round to meet people anymore they come to us! And we are pretty much in the middle of nowhere and its quite a hike to get here so only decent travelers make it here, and we have made many fantastic friends in the last 4 weeks of people who have come and gone... you know who you are and thanks! I have also been helping at the local school twice a week with Art project which has been amazing, the kids are a dream to teach here and so adorable! Mayan children are seriously cute! And perhaps most importantly the three staff members Sophie, Emma and Jon (o sorry Jonathan!) Emma and Jonathan are a fantastic (rather quirky) couple with whom we have shared guitar/sing jams, stories from England, endless days lazing around and who have importantly inspired us to continue with the pursuit of teaching across the globe. And Sophie a marvelous joy from France who is always keeping us entertained and fed to the brim with wine and cake! I'm sure we will remain good friends after we leave this paradise. Thank you! WE WILL BE BACK!

This time 5 weeks ago we were worrying about money and contemplating the plan of returning home to save up again... then Lewy (or Luis as he is now often called) worked his magic! (I am so very proud!!!) After many painful long job application's and interviews we came across one job in particular which was in the perfect location for us, the perfect job for Lewy, with a chance to teach all age groups and work at a really nice school, but unfortunately not enough money for us both to live off. After the interview Lewy knew he wanted the job... unfortunatley it left us in a sticky situation as we would have to go into money we didn't have to live and live off rice and beans (again!) However after Lewy being offered the job and him mentioning my work experience (the little I have!), the lady (Lewys new boss) has worked really hard to find a paid role for me aswell! So we are very please that contracts have now been signed and we will be moving to our new home in Mexico, Phillipe de Carrillo for the next year. And who would have thought that the two of us have missed teaching!

And did I mention I AM SEEING MY MUM AND SISTER IN 14 DAYS!!!! I am so excited words cannot describe, I think I may cry a little bit! (Happy tears of course!) I wish the rest of the family were coming too... but don't worry we will be sending presents home for you via Mum and Laura! We are hoping Lewy's Parents will be able to visit us soon too as we miss you also... Lewy cries into his pillow every night because he misses his Mum haha (no pressure :)) We also have the lovely Jess and Paul coming to travel with us for 3 fantastic weeks of fun, sun and mexico... I hope they realize we are not as exciting as we once were when we started out- now we like comfy beds, healthy food and only the finest Gin! :) We are very excited to see them!

Finally finally HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lewy! We had a bit of a shindig last night and feeling a bit delicate today!

We will write again soon once we make it to Mexico. Thanks so much for reading this redicuously long blog!

Love you all muchly xx (p.s sorry England is so rainy!)

Posted by lewyandkerri 12:38 Archived in Guatemala Comments (1)

Guate Guate Guate!

rain 20 °C

So since I last wrote we have left Honduras behind and made it into Guatemala, one of the places I was most excited to visit. After leaving Copan we proceeded to have an awful journey into Antigua, due to our stubborn refusal to take a tourist shuttle and so we could save 10 bucks. After the beach for so long the awful weather in Guatemala was something of a shock. Its cold. And wet. However Antigua is a beautiful town, and really developed in terms of tourism, so much so we can't afford to eat in most of the restaurants or stay in the most popular hostels. Its full of people doing spanish courses and buying souvenirs it seems. It was nice to really feel safe in a place again, after the constant worry of Honduras. We spent most of our time in the market, which is awesome, colourful, full of cool and useful stuff and cheap places to eat. The bar scene in Antigua is also awesome and we certainly got our groove on. However that wasnt the reason we were here. We came to find a job, and after a handy tip off we came up to Earth Lodge http://www.earthlodgeguatemala.com/ and got ourselves a job, but more of that later...So we found ourselves with a couple of weeks to kill before we started.

First stop on our very small tour of Guatemala was Lake Atitlan. Its incredibly beautiful - a big flat lake surrounded by volcanoes. The water looks like glass and stretches as far as you can see. We spent a few days there in San Pedro and had a really good time despite the rain. There is loads to do, but we failed to do any of it, due to the weather, hangovers and our budget feeling pretty strained. After that we had had enough of the rain so we got down to the beach at Monterrico. We stayed for a week in a great hostel run by a great Italian chef. It was really quiet (we were the only tourists in town) but the beach was stunning, really long with dark sand and huge waves. HUGE WAVES. The weather was perfect and the hostel had a T.V so I was watching the football every day. Then we came back to Antigua or so before we were due to start work. We met up with Alex, who we were volunteering with previously, and had a good/crazy night out and a great catch up. It was really good to see her again. The next day was spent buying supplies for our job, we were in the second hand american clothes market for hours and funnily enough everything was in redic large sizes. But I bought a whole outfit of warm clothes for 15 quid incl trainers....

Then to Earth Lodge (where unfortunately we were ill for the first week due to cheap questionable food from the market). What a place this is we are so lucky. Its 20 mins and 6000 feet up the mountain from Antigua with an absolutely stunning view of two of the volcanoes. The job is basically working on the bar/reception. In return we get free bed and awesome organic food, all home cooked and vegetarian with big portions. We have a fair amount of free time so it barely feels like we work at all! Kerri wants me to add that she can now crochet and play black gammon. All the people are super chilled out and we have made some great friends, I recommend this place highly if your ever in Guatemala. There are some nice hikes to do and not a lot else apart from laze about, sleep in hammocks, play table tennis/board games or eat sandwiches.

This is perfect because as of today we now know what were doing with our lives. Starting mid August we will be working in the Yucatan in Mexico for a year. I will be an English teacher and Kerri will be Teacher/doing the promotion/marketing for the school. And we will actually make (some) money.... We are very excited to have a plan/cool home for the next year as we have realized we are over taking lots of chicken buses, sleeping in rubbish beds and being on the move everyday. So until we go to Mexico to meet Kerri's friends and family rest assured we are loving life in the mountains picking avocados and sleeping pretty much in a tree house!

Love to you all x

Posted by lewyandkerri 19:00 Archived in Guatemala Comments (1)

No more working for no money. Bye Porvenir!!

rain

Hiya!
So yesterday we left El Porvenir forever! What an amazing experience, changed my life, changed me as a person and it just felt so good to give back to the community y`know! No. Volunteering for those reasons would be selfish, and of course volunteering hasn`t made me into a smug git. I did have a great time though, made some good friends and got to live by the beach for four months. But really I did it for the kids - they were amazing and as much as they frustrated me by their refusal to learn any English, saying goodbye was sad. The last couple of weeks teaching were really fun and improved by fresh volunteers starting to arrive who injected some new energy into the various programs. On my last day we had a big party with all the kids which mainly involved them jumping on me, me carrying them around and then me getting soaked by water balloons. I really hope these kids continue to go to class as some of them are learning English and even if they don`t its still a good experience for them to be around people from different cultures, and to give them something to do instead of having to collect trash for their parents to sell. I really hope it makes a lasting impression on some of them and they were a little bit helped or inspired to continue with education and get to high school where they will at least hopefully find themselves ahead in English class.
On our last weekend it was carnival! in la cieba. It was epic. On the the thusday we went to the agricultural show, although we failed to see any animals. This included such highlights as a ferris wheel made out of a tractor and huge beers for a quid. On the saturday we went to carnival proper in the centre. All afternoond for about 6 hours there was the procession, which was by far the longest I had ever seen. I think mainly because it was so slow what with the people selling stuff, throwing stuff out of lorries and the fact there were no barriers, police or any kind of organisation. Just like the rest of Honduras. There were several hundred dancing horses, motorbikes and tuned up hondas. Then the floats, including such as the lard float the cocacola float and of course the several dozen army floats, complete with machine guns, bandanas and dancing girls. Violence has never looked so cool... There were also all the rest: mayans, garifunas, Egyptians(?), politicians, farmers, businesses and more likely than not the drug lords. Oh well, they all threw us shiny necklaces so we had a good time. After the procession we strolled around and got some food and tried not to get robbed. We failed, as a bout half of all the volunteers lost something ranging from a pack of ciggaretes to a ful wallet with cash and credit cards. I managed to lose 80 lempira, about 3 pounds so not too bad. There were so many pick pockets it was so easy to spot, but they still got us. I must have stopped about five or six attempts before I finally succummed. What was sad was that uit was often little kids being forcewd to do it by their parents. After this we went and watched the band, and forced to dance with crazy locals, who felt sure we could dance like them if we just tried it. White people can`t dance like Latinos. But we danced for a few a hours anyway and had some fun.
So our time ended with a bang. On friday and monday we went out for dinner with everyone which was nice. Then we said our goodbyes on tueday morning and we are now in Copan about to go see the Mayan ruins. To all the volunteers reading this; good luck and try not to miss us too much. Thankyou to everyone in Porvenir for making our experience. Laters. To everyone at home; we don`t know where we are going next but miss you guys lots of love xx

Posted by lewyandkerri 10:18 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

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