Archive for December, 2010

Whirlwind.

December 23, 2010

I have nine minutes. This post will be another memory jogger. The past few days have been insane. Jeff and I are lunatics. We took a bunch of local buses through Honduras and then to San Miguel, El Salvador. We spent the night at cheap hotel behind the main bus terminal. We ate at a fantastic and authentic papuseria. We caught a 5am bus the next morning north to San Salvador. We walked a few miles with our luggage through the center of town to the puerto bus station. We left our stuff at another cheap hotel and then set off to find the buses to La Libertad, the local port city. We made it over there, I had an excellent chicken soup and then we took local buses up to a famous beach, Sunzal. Jeff rented a surfboard and I also took it out for a bit. We caught a bus back into town and I bought some ceviche to bring to the Alvarez’ house. The Alvarez’ hosted me the last time I was in El Salvador, and they graciously agreed to meet up with us for dinner. Our bus went right by there house, so we navigated our way directly there. They gave Jeff a tour and then we went into town. I love this family. They are incredibly generous.

We woke up the next morning and caught the 5am bus to Guatemala City. We arrived in the city a bit before 10am and walked with our luggage for two hours in search of our next bus station. These long walks are intentional and force us to see parts of the city we otherwise wouldn’t. Adittionally, it is phenomenal exercise! We bought tickets on the 9:30pm overnight bus to Flores. With that out of the way, we found a bus to Antigua and explored that gorgeous colonial gem for a few hours. We caught a bus back into Guat City and had a couple hours to kill before meeting friends for dinner. We decided to walk to the restaurant four miles across town, still with all of our luggage! Dinner was nice. We caught our bus and woke up in Flores. We explored Tikal today. It was one of most spectacular places I have ever been. We then had an adventure and are now staying the night in San Ignacio, Belize! To Cancun tomorrow!

Blazing through Central America update — for posterity!

December 19, 2010

My buddy Jeff Marlow and I met in Panama City at 2:30am on December 16th, 2010. I made it there via DC, where I attended Caltech’s science policy trip. Something significant happened. My layover in Atlanta was a nightmare. We were grounded on the tarmack for five hours, first waiting in line to be de-iced. Then our vacuum pump broke and the lavatories stopped working. They wouldn’t let us of the *international* flight for security reasons while they fixed the problem. They didn’t serve water or food while we waited, for obvious reasons. I was super comfortable and elated from some DC encounters, so I sat back and watched as people self-destructed out of frustration and discomfort. Jeff and I met at Luna’s Castle hostel in Panama City. We spent the next day exploring the canal, casco viejo and old town. I described these areas in an older post. We used a seven hour overnight bus to the Costa Rican border as our dormitory. We then spent most of the next day transiting Costa Rica. We arrived in Puntarenas around 7pm and spent the night there. We woke up at 4:45am this morning and made our way north to the Nicaragua border via municipal buses. We made it to Granada around 2:30pm. Explored the markets and colonial buildings for the rest of the afternoon. We are waking up early again to catch buses north to Honduras and then ideally into El Salvador. The borders are INSANE right now as Central Americans travel around for the holidays. We are going to spend quite a bit of time in line.

Siempre Norte!