A Travellerspoint blog

Travels to Honduras

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Sorry it has been so long since we have written. We hope you are all well!

So our first chapter of backpacking, from Venezuela to Nicuragua, concluded with sitting in a beach side bar, drinking rum with a dude from Switzerland and spotting Hump Back whales on the horizon jumping, diving and splashing. An incredible experience we were very lucky! Lewy then stayed camping on the beach for the week whilst I travelled to Honduras.

It was a long bus ride of 15 hours, 3 hours being stuck in a ridiculous traffic jam due to a huge road accident. This meant that I missed the time slot for my accommodation. Luckily a really lovely Brazilian lady called Claer (turns out she lives in the same town as me now) took me with her to her hotel and fed me food and told me all about Honduras. She doesn't speak a word of English so spoke the whole way in "Spanish". She kept cracking up when i came out with made up words! She is a really lovely lady and does allot of work in the community here feeding local families and buying school books for the children.

The Spanish school that I went to was pretty much a waste of money and I didn't learn as much as I hoped. However I stayed the week with another student, a 56 year old retired policeman and professional body builder from Quebec (random and he only spoke French!) He shared his work with me and we studied for 6 hours everyday so I cant say the week was a waste of time. Travelling on my own for the week was fun and using my fantastical Spanish (!) was great experience, but I did miss my partner in fun a wee bit ... especially when a cockroach landed on my cheek in the middle of the night ha!

Life in Honduras began in Pizza Hut (would you belive)

So Lewy and I reunited in the shopping 'Mal' in La Ceiba, Honduras. He looked tired and a bit homeless after a 5.30am start two days in a row and so we had a coffee before buying a 'cell phone' and meeting Anne who was picking us up to take us to our new home. I am putting all new American vocabulary in quotation marks.

Anne is a very happy 71 year old lady from Toronto, with large colourful hats, she is very kind and would do anything for us. She took us to Pizza hut for lunch before taking us to El Porvenir and our new apartment.

Our apartment is a third of the size of the one in Reading, its basically one cute room with a little wooden cubicle for the bathroom in the middle and a row of worktops with a fridge, microwave and hotplate for the kitchen. Anne has spent a while doing it up for us so its nice and colourful. We even have cushions! Our apartment is attached to one of the main volunteer houses. In there are two Scottish girls from Aberdeen and Fife, a girl called Alex from Surrey (wooo brits!), two American year old boys who are both very sweet and one of them is a sponsored skate boarder which Lewy's pretty happy about. There is also Armede who is also American, but she is pretty cool and her accent isn't irritating so we like her ;) There are also two other volunteer houses.

For the first week we just chilled out. We live a 1.5 minute walk form the beach. All the kids here scream hello at us and they are ridiculously cute and boystress! There is sooo much fruit here so our diets are very healthy and although there is a lot of poverty here in El Porvenir everyone is really friendly and cheery and social. Here people, dogs, cats, horses, pigs and sheep really do all live united as one! A lot of kids don't go to school here, but most do most of the time, some houses are made of concrete and coloured- some are wooden shacks with four peices aluminium sheets for a toilet out side. There are some huge big mansions here and then right next door people washing their clothes in the river and houses without windows and doors and windows. But all the children here are so cheery and love showing us their houses and introducing us to their family and pets.

Posted by lewyandkerri 16:02 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Did somone say the English like to party?

San Jose and Nicuragua

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Hey guys!

Have just read Lewys blog.... who woulda thought that he´s actually pretty funny ey ;)

So Ill pick up from our time in San Jose. Everyone we have spoken to strongly disliked the place but I have to say I LOVED it. The hostel we stayed in was pretty shit; they were looking for staff so we were tempted to ask for a job and show them how to do their jobs properly. It was near the centre so we spent a day eating really unhealthy food. Siblings you will be pleased to hear the pizza hut here was not as good as the english and more expensive... obviously because no Griffs work there! The whole city is full of fast food places and thousands of busy people rushing about their business. Was kinda like a big Reading. I seem to like the hustle and bustle of cities.... Lewy not so much and anyway two days was enough there.

We met up with Norman who VERY kindly took us out for a huge meal with awesome fruit juices, we also got to see some of the real San Jose and met his family. Was really nice to meet somone we know and a lovely evening so thank you Norman!

At 3.30am that morning we awoke to catch the long bus journey up to Nicuragua. It was six hours along the coast which was beautiful (if you ignore all the giant billboars); the seats are so small poor Lewy was a bit crippled! Nonetheless we had some awesome cheesy nachos which cheered him up! The bus dropped us at the border and we walked across to Nicuragua (wierd I imagined there would be a line across the street or something but nope!) Was a slightly sketchy border. We then jumped on a chicken bus heading to San Huan Del Sur, the nearest surf town. It was so awesome to be back in a country where everyone sells street food, we love the smells and trying new food. Especially Lewy on the food part. People jump on the busses selling everything from sleeping pills and underwear to chickens and food. LOVE IT!

San Juan Del Sur... a small town on the coast with incredible beaches just a small car drive away. Its mainly a surf town and Lewy had a dabble. I didint I prefer to bob around like a rubber duck screaming when the HUGE waves drown me each time. Im building up my confidence, Its alright for Lewy growing up by the sea but the waves are bloody huge here and each time one comes I imagine a huge shark about to land on me so I sprint out and then Lewy drags be back in haha! The hostel we stayed in ´Pacha Mama´is the best place we have stayed since travelling. Full of all Europians and some lovely Costa Ricans (and a few Canadians!) Did you know we love Canadians??! We all went out on the raz four nights on the trot, danced alot and did a booze cruise, none of us even asked for names we called eachother only by country our name. Apparently the English drink alot??????????! Followed by the Germans! (Parents we are now having a week without alcohol dont worry) We met some awesome people and it was like being back at Uni- thus this had led to us all planning to meet in Belguim sometime next year perhaps to party again.

After there we headed to Grenada, a small market town next to a Volcano. Increredible markets selling fruit, veg, beans, spices, and other random things. We mainly went there to re-coperate after the previous antics and met two of the German Ladies from the previous hostel Main highlight being that we went out for an incredible steak! We also met a guy who runs a hunting business. Rich old men from Texas pay $3000 to go for 3/4 days to shoot ducks and stay in luxury accomodation away from their wives.... one of those men being the one who invented Tabasco! The guy invented us to his pool house ans gave us lots of free rum but we only stayed a few hours as he was pretty un-interesting even after a few drinks. We have now caught the bus up to the top of Nicuragua and are staying in Leon before heading to the beach tomorrow.

In one week (29th) Lewy and I will depart ways whilst I catch a 10 hour bus to Honduras to live with a host family (who speak not even one word of English) and Ill go to Spanish school for the week. The Tica Bus leaves from the Capital in Nicuragua and will take me directly to La Ceiba in Honduras, this was a little more expensive but means I wont have to get out at the border (they sort the passports etc...) this will be safest for me. Lewy is trying to decide where to spend his last week... Im sure the beach will lure him. Im a little nervous about this next part of the trip but extremely excited about the challenge, it will be good for me to be forced to use my Spanish without relying on Lewy. Lewy has taught me a lot of Spanish now so I love to babble away to people and stick any work I can say into conversation. If i ask a question I normally dont understand the answer so I giggle and say ci ci... I think I get away with it!

The last 9 weeks have been the best in life and we are really looking forward to starting our volunteering 4th Febuary.... we will let you know how we get on soon!

Big hugs xxxxx

Posted by lewyandkerri 15:52 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (1)

Panama / Costa Rica

sunny 30 °C

So yeah....

Boquete. Wet and cold and full of retirees from the US. Nothing against retirees though dad. We waited there to climb the volcano which is the highest point in Panama and you can see both the Pacific and Caribean from the top. However because of the weather we couldnt go. Needless to say Kerri wasnt that heartbroken. We spoke to some people who did it after and it was muddy and you couldnt see anything anyway so Im pretty glad we didnt bother really. Boquete town was really pretty with tons of nature as they say in America - I think they mean biodiversity. We had to leave there and get back to the beach. We also parted ways from the Quebecois, props to them. We went down to the Pacific because its rainy season in the Caribean right now, and we ended up in Boca Brava, a small island. There was only one hotel which was really pricey but luckily they had hammocks there. This is were the infamous racoon birthday cake incident occured. I had bought a cake for Kerri's birthday and left the WHOLE thing on the side next to our hammocks. We woke on her birthday to the news racoons had eaten it during the night. Cheeky buggers. We saw them the next night and they are naughty critters. We were also kept awake by howler monkeys! They sound like really pissed off dogs. On Kerri's birthday we just chilled on the beach, the sea was the flatest I have ever seen, pretty much like a puddle. But nicer. Its so warm there too. Then we had a posh meal in the restaurant and a few drinks after. The bar shut at 10pm so it wasnt exactly party central but it was nice.

After another day on the beach we left for the most isolated spot in Panama, called Punta Burica. This place is truly amazing. Its probably the best place we have been to, or nearly. We had to take a boat, three buses and walk an hour with alll our stuff to get there but its so worth it. There is just one place to stay with a guy called Juancho who has set up a reserve for monkeys. He feeds them eevery day and could help. There was golden Spider Monkeys, Howlers and White Faced Monkeys. If you held a banama they would jump all over you, it was awesome check out the photos. The beach was incredible - miles and miles of untouched beach all to ourselves. There were so many shells and rockpools and an island to walk to at low tide. Plenty to do then. We were just starting to relax when the Quebecois turned up again! Was good to see them so we built a bonfire on the beach and watched the stars. They were incredible down there. Unfortunately our time travelling is running out so we had to leave for Costa Rica. We also had no money or food left, which didnt help. We had spent nearly a week down there so it was probably time to move on.

We crossed the border into Costa Rica with minimum hassle, which was nice after our last two border crossings. We headed to Uvita, a small surf town on the PAcific coast for a couple of days and now we are in San Jose the capital to do a few errands and meet up with Norman, a friend from the Queens Head times. Hopefully we are going to meet him today.

Oh yeah. Here are the slogans for the countries we have been.
Venezuela = Socialism and Patriotism or death.
Colombia = Everythings possible, nothing is certain.
Panama = Only the smiles are free. hahaha. Not sure if thats the official one but seemed to fit.
Costa Rica = Pure Life.

Ciao xxx

Posted by lewyandkerri 07:33 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (2)

Colombia to Panama!!

I was on a plane to Panama...

sunny 31 °C

Hello!
Been two weeks since we wrote so there is quite a lot to say...

So after we left Cabo de la Vela we went back to Santa Marta for a couple of days to wash and chill out but unfortunately we all got ill, with stomach problems, except me *Lewy*. Was pretty annoying because I had to stay up drinking beer by myself. Then we went down the coast to Cartagena which is a beautiful colonial town with a really well preserved town centre. It was really hot there too and the water in the whole city had run out so we couldnt really wash properly so there three days we were there were really sweaty. We also visited a so called Volcano. When we got there it was a bit underwhelming, all 15 metres off it! But it had a mud bath in the crater so we went in that and got a massage. It was probably one of the wierdest things I have ever done. You couldnt touch the bottom and it smelt odd and everyone looked like mud creatures.

After Cartagena we headed to Carpaguna, the last town in Colombia. To get there we took a bus for 10 hours the second half of which was through the jungle at night on an unpaved road, not the most comfortable way to travel. Then after a night in Turbo we caught a two hour boat to Carpaguna which was through 2 metre waves in a small plastic boat. The first half an hour was fun but then the constant banging of our arses on the seats got a bit painful, especially after the bus the night before.

We spent Christmas in Carpaguna and we were there for a week. We camped in nice place which was all funky colours, cooked some good food on the fire there. Carpaguna is a small town or village with not a lot to do but sit on the beach, which suited me just fine. We also went for a jungle walk to some freshwater pools and waterfalls. It was nice to swim in some water that wasnt salty. Kerri finally got to see a waterfall, it wasnt that big though. For Christmas eve we went out clubbing in the local discoteca, was pretty funny. All the locals were really friendly buying us drinks and stuff, espercially one really sweaty man. He was a bit crazy but dont look a gift horse in the mouth right...

When we had spent our last pesos it was time to leave so we caught a boat over the border to Panama. The waves were double before and the boat was half the size, needless to say we got soaked. Might as well have swam the border crossing. Once we arrived in Panama we got it was a really tiny village with people that didnt seem to like us. Everyone arriving from Panama seemed to be getting stuck there because it wasnt clear how to leave and there was no way to get any cash. There was no food and nowhere to stay. We camped on a patch of grass 40m from the runway for one night but luckily we had a reservation for the plane so we flew to Panama city the next day. There were about 10 people stuck with no money who had to wait for the next flight in four days time. We decide not to sit with them because they killed our mood.

So we made it to Panama City. Its really western and quite expensive but the hostel is really cool with everything, even a cimema! We stayed here for 3 days and for New Years Eve. We had a party at the hostel and then went out and saw a band. Was a fun night but a bit random! We also went to a mall and visited the canal, which is really impressive.
Today were leaving for a place called Boquete, whcih is up in the mountains for some relaxation.

Will write soon,

Ciao

Posted by lewyandkerri 07:47 Archived in Colombia Comments (3)

Journey to the northern most point of South America

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We left the Finka and hitch hiked to the next town to catch a truck to last big city before the Colombian desert, Riohacha. Alex, his Colombian lady friend and the adopted kitten ploughed us with beers before we all clambered on the back of a truck (with the kitten in a bag to shield from the wind). It was a squish as the quebeckees have tonnes of musical instruments and there were also a bunch of colombians, a baby and a chainsaw on there.

Alex was telling us that our destination is Cabo dela Vela and we would all rent a car from Riohacha to continue into the desert and travel to the top of the continent. It was all a whirl wind and we needed the beers to keep us going as it was a little nerve racking going along with Alex who was a great guy but very happy go luck and clearly likes his booze alot!

We arrived in Riohacha. We went for a fantastic night out which led us to be drunk enough to not care about the discustingly horrifying hotel we were staying in. The next day we all got up early hoping Alex would have the car ready so we could leave te town, it was a shit hole rubbish everywhere, smelly and horrible people. Only good things were that i rode on a motorbike, we invested in a tent for the rest of the trip and ate Goat.

Turns out he stalled us for another day and night, to which we couldnt get drunk so had to sleep with tops over our mouths to stop the stench of human faeces and i prayed the cocroaches wouldnt climb over me. It was horrid. the third day in Riohacha us 5 were sesperate to leave and losing patience. We found alex who was jabbering in spanish and pointing to a car. he started packing all our stuff in and we thought "awsome on with he trip" to our massive suprise when we were all in the car he said see you there and shut the door! And no we never saw him again. So random!

So on with the trip.... the taxi stopped at a cross roads and from there we hitch hiked through the desert. We were very lucky as two hours in the car in front warned us to stop as they had been robbed at armed gun point and the car window was smashed. We waited for the police to come and they escourted us to our destination Cabo dela Vela (the Northern most point to South America). They told us there had been no robberies in the desert for 12 years so it was bad timing perhaps.

So the five of us camped on the beach 2m step to the water, ate fish and shrimps in the restaurants three times a day and hiked to the beaches on the otherside of the desert. The water was crystal clear and the sand picture perfect. Fish were jumping out of the water in the shallow and we picked up on the tanning again. There was no water or elecy so we chilled alot and enjoyed the birdwatching (pellicans, eagles, flamingos, stalks and vultures).

Today we arrived back in civilisation and showered. We are looking into where to go next so will keep you updated! Big love to you all and dont worry we have got the hang of it all and are staying safe! xxxx

Posted by lewyandkerri 13:30 Archived in Colombia Comments (4)

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