Travelogs & Reflections > Peter's Travelog > Central America

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Week 8 (read down)


Day 56; 9-1-05:

We got up early and got driven to the airport by our hotel manager. We boarded the flight and had a good trip over to Phoenix while watching the Interpreter with Nicole Kidman. In Phoenix we had some trouble getting our boarding passes and made the flight with one minute to spare. When we arrived in LA we went to the Kettle for lunch/dinner and then went back to Bill’s house. We stayed there that day getting organized for our trip.


Day 54; 8-30-05:

We decided to go to Cahuita to hang out at the beach for the afternoon. We stayed there and swam while waiting for a the wave-that-never-came. I made a hurdle course through the beach. When we finshed swimmig we went int town to eat lunch. We found a restraunt and settled down to eat. After lunch we got on the bus back to Puerto Viejo and looked around all the souvonier shps. By the time we got back it was time to fix dinner so we started to make our chicken tacos. After dinner we went to see the Watcher with Keanu Reeves that we didn’t like that much.


Day 53; 8-29-05:

Today we got up early so we could prepare for our day trip to Cahuita national park. We got on the 11:30 bus to the park and arrived there in 20 minutes. We entered the park and immediately started to see monkeys and other wildlife. We mainly saw howler monkeys in the trees and at the end of the day counted 47 of them. We also went swimming and realized that the beach in Cahuita was much better then the one in Puerto Viejo so we planned to go there the next day. When we got back to Puerto Viejo we went back to our room but decided to get food and make dinner. We went out to the grocery store and bought things for two dinners, two breakfastes, and one lunch. That night we enjoyed French toast for dinner. After dinner we went to the movie place and watched Kingdom of Heaven with Orlando Bloom.


Day 52; 8-28-05:

I slept in late but got up hungry for breakfast. We went to a nearby café and enjoyed French toast and pancakes near our hotel. Afterwards we went down to the beach to swim. After swimming we went back to our hotel and washed up before playing Othello and Monopoly in our room. Soon it got dark so we went to a restaurant that was having there debut that day and got a free appetizer for being the first customers. The food was served in small portions so after we went out in search of another place. We found a place called Hot Rocks café that had three free movies each night so we sat down and watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith. After the movie we went back to our hotel to go to bed.


Day 51; 8-27-05:

Today we got up at our hotel and took a walk to go to breakfast before our boat to Puerto Limon. When we finished breakfast we walked to Ernesto's tour service and waited for the boat. It finally arrived and we boarded the boat. During our ride Paul and I spotted a lot of birds on our list that we recorded. When we arrived in Limon we took a van down to Puerto Viejo and got dropped off at Rockin' J's. We looked around and decided to continue on to a new hotel. Near the middle we found a good one and stayed there. While we got settled I watched Matrix Revolutions, that I thought wasn't as good as the Matrix, but the ending was cool. Afterwards we went to eat and then headed to bed.


Day 50; 8-26-05:

Today we had to get up early to go on our canal tour at seven. We went out to the dock and met our guide, Roberto. We started off going across the tour and spotted a kingfisher, then my mom heard a sound like a frog, we learned it was a Keel-billed Toucan. We followed it to a tree where Paul and I spotted our first toucan. We went down a canal and saw an Anhinga, some other birds and spider monkeys. Soon we got to a place where there were a lot of Red-lored Parrots and a couple Chestnut-mandibled Toucans with some White-throated Capuchin monkeys and howler monkeys. Then we went through another small creek and spotted a few Spectacled Caiman (small Crocodileish creatures). When we where done the guide told us at two there would be some decorated boats going by the plaza so we planned to see that. Before we went to plaza we visited the beach to look at turtle tracks and my dad got some pictures. Then we went to the plaza and looked at the boats pass by. After lunch we went on a walk through the forest and in the middle my dad pointed out five Keel-billed Toucans that were really cool because we were so close. After looking at that for a while we realized it was time to eat dinner. After dinner we went to our hotel a watched a fireworks display.


Week 7 (read down)


Day 49, 8-25-05:

Today we got to on the bus at 10:30 a.m. in San Jose to Cariari. When we got there we had lunch and waited for the other bus. The bus took us to a banana plantation where we took a boat to Tortuguero. When we arrived in Tortuguero we got a tour for that night to go see the turtles nest. We found a hotel and settled in. We went to dinner at a local restaurant. Afterwards we decided to take a nap before our tour. We woke up a nine and went to the dock the guide met us there a little later and we started the tour a ten. When we got the beach we saw a turtle burrowing a hole in the ground. Then it started to dump rain on us, we were soaked. We saw the turtle lay its eggs and make its journey back to the ocean.


Day 48; 8-24-05:

Bus to San Jose


Day 47; 8-23-05:

We woke up early and quickly got on the bus to Manuel. As soon as we entered the park Paul spotted a sloth hanging on a palm branch. Down the beach we followed a group of people to where a group of White-Faced Capuchin monkey in a fruit tree. We continued on through a great load of trails until we finally got to a waterfall. After the waterfall we went to eat in the town. We had decided that after lunch we would go swimming at the beach. My dad wanted to go to this hidden beach where almost nobody goes. After a long walk we got there, one problem, no beach. So we walked all the way back to the main beach where we swam.  


Day 46; 8-22-05:

Today we were going to head to Quepos near Parque National Manuel Antonio. We caught a late bus out of Uvita to get to Quepos. In Quepos we settled down at a nice little hotel with good accomadations. After settling in we walked around the town to see what there was to do. After a little walk we found a café that was good so we stayed there till it got dark. Then we headed back to our place to get a good nights sleep before going to Manuel Antonio.


Day 45; 8-21-05:

Today we got up and ate breakfast so we could go to the beach quickly. When out there, Paul and I chased crabs down and tried to race them but it didn´t work. After getting all sandy from the beach we went to swin in the ocean to cool off. Afterwards we hung out at our hotel for a while to rest. We went to get Dos Piños ice cream to cool down and then headed to the beach for sunset. We played in the surf until it was time to go back and take a shower and head to bed.


Day 44; 8-20-05:

I got up and went to go get breakfast, French toast. After breakfast my dad and I went to the beach and explored a point that went out to a coral reef that could only be seen in low tide because it got washed under the water at high-tide. Then we saw hundreds of crabs on the beach in their little holes. When we got back to our hotel we learned that mom and pot had left to go to the bank. We started to walk that way and intersected with them soon. Then we ate lunch and my mom took a nap while we went in search of a Dos Pinos* ice cream store. Soon we sat down and watched a soccer game in the park. When we came back my mom was ready and we headed out to the Dos Pinos* store. After our ice cream we went to the beach to watch the sunset.


*Dos Pinos is a local chain of dairy foods in Costa Rica that provides excellent living for the cows and protects trees used for packaging. We first got our taste after the volcano Miguel took us to and then we got hooked for life.


Day 43; 8-19-05:

We got up early to go on a Quetzal tour at six. We saw a lot of cool birds and big old growth forest in the cloud forest but no Quetzals. When we got back to our place we started to pack again but learned that the guide was taking another tour with some other people so Paul and I tagged along. Much to our dismay the people were really mean, shoving everybody to get a good look at a bird. After our hike we came down and got on a bus to a nearby city. From there we took a bus to Uvita on the beach. We got there when it was dark so we found a hotel, ate and went to bed.


Week 6 (read down)


Day 42; 8-18-05:

In the morning Maria and her father, Miguel, picked us up (friends of friends in Eugene) and we drove to a volcano nearby. It wasn’t active but a crater was filled up with pure green water from the sulfur content. After visiting the volcano we went to their family farm. We started looking at birds and plants, and saw some cool flowers, coffee beans, and butterflies and birds. Then we went over and visited the chickens and the horses. After that we got to try something that looked like a super miniature pear and was high in Vitamin C but was really good. Then we tried something called a water apple that literally was a watered down apple and then tried something that was just pure sour. That was fun but soon we had to go. We took a taxi to a farm in the mountains to see Quetzals, the birds. We got there and got settled in. We took a tour just before dark to see some birds but soon we came back, ate dinner and went to bed.


Day 41; 8-17-05:

Today we went to the new restaurant we had found and relaxed in the hotel for the day. At night we watched a soccer game, Mexico vs. Costa Rica. Mexico won 2-0.


Day 40; 8-16-05:

Again we changed to a new hotel in a different part of town. Since my mom was sick, we three went on a walk for some food and found a really nice place to eat. Afterwards we came back and relaxed.


Day 39; 8-15-05:

We woke up and went downstairs to eat breakfast. Soon we decided to find a new hotel for less money. After a few failed attempts we found one called Hotel Elvis. That afternoon we walked down to a Papa John’s for a much needed pizza. Afterwards we came back to our hotel to get some sleep. Unfortunately we would not because my mom got sick and had to go to the hospital. After that we got some sleep.


Day 38; 8-14-05:

Today we woke up at 2am to get on the bus to San Jose. It was a long ride and we watched Taxi, Flight of the Phoenix and a lot of other bad movies. After 16 hours of driving we arrived in San Jose and got a taxi to our hotel and once again immediately stretched out and fell asleep.


Day 37; 8-13-05:

Today we got up ate breakfast and waited for the shuttle to Guatemala City to come. It came at 11 a.m. and brought us into the city. The bus to San Salvador left at one so we got on that bus. On the way we saw Hitch and Racing Stripes. When we got there we immediately got our room and went to sleep.


Week 5 (read down)


Day 32-36; 8-8-05 - 8-12-05:

During these days we would wake up at seven to eat breakfast and then walk to school and be there at eight. We would go to school and get out at noon and then be back at our house for lunch by one. After one we would do our separate things from the other two families staying there. We would do different things each day depending on what was available through the school and what we wanted to do. We would then arrive back at the house before seven for dinner. After dinner we would talk and then go to bed preparing for the next day. Here below, are the activities we did after lunch each day:

Day 1: Today we decided to go with the activity that the school was offering. What we did was climb to Cerro de la Cruz. From there, we got a beautiful of Antigua from the hillside. Afterwards we walked down to the market and found two hammocks and bought them. After that we went back and got ready for dinner.

Day 2: Today after lunch we went to the McDonalds to get an ice cream and then went to a museum near our home. Then we went and had salsa lessons that we got through our school, that turned out to be pretty fun. Afterwards we went back home.

Day 3: Today after class we hung out at our favorite café, Higher Grounds. We enjoyed a Mint Chocolate Chip Frappaccino and a brownie. After Paul and I finished our work we played a puzzle game where you build pyramids from small beads that turned out to be really fun.

Day 4: After lunch we went for a tour of the churches and ruins in the area that were really cool. In one of the big ruins we played hide and go seek, that was a bunch of fun. After the ruins we just went back to the house because it started pouring on us.

Day 5: After lunch Paul and I got a hair cut at Dorka’s (trust me, I tried to get out of it, I mean, how many people go to Dorka’s?). Next we went shopping to get snacks for the bus. That took a long time so we just headed back.


One of the things that impressed me in my journey in Guatemala was the amount of indigenous Mayas in Guatemala. Mayas compromise 44 percent of the population of this country and are divided up into 28 different indigenous groups. Some of the largest Mayan groups inhabiting Guatemala are the: Quiché, Cadchiquel, Kekchí, Ixil, and Mam. In almost any market you go to in Guatemala, you will see Mayan woman selling their wares. In the Chichi market there were tons of Mayan woman coming down from the mountains to sell there handiwork like: weavings, necklaces, hats, etc. Most of the Mayan population reside in the western highlands where we travelled when we went to Lake Atitlan and Chichi. Also on the bus to Chichi almost all the people on the bus were Mayan and all the people selling stuff at the market were Mayan. Most Mayas will often speak Mayan but some also learn Spanish. The most spiritual Mayas will often only speak Mayan. At a church at Chichi we saw Mayas practicing a combination of Catholicism and Mayan beliefs.


Day 31; 8-7-05

Today we got up early to go to the Chichi market. We got on a chicken bus and rolled on to Chichi. The chicken bus was packed! Even if the bus hit a bump you wouldn't move because you were so squished in. After an hour and a half bus ride we arrived in Chichi. The market is enormous! We were looking for a church to go to because we haven´t been to one since we started our trip so we looked around and found one in the middle of the market. We went to mass and then afterwards we went on our search of the market. After a while of getting used to the market business and bargaining we finally started to look for some stuff. Paul and I found a a giant rug a piece and got it for half the price they were offering. Then mom found some table cloths for coffee tables and got those. Afterwards we found a picnic blanket and a cool wallhanging. We figured that since it was late afternoon that it was time to get going. When we arrived in Antigua we immediately started to bring our stuff to our host family´s house and met everyone staying there. We were so wiped out that we just went to sleep after a little dinner.


Day 30; 8-6-05:

Today we got up at 9am to eat some complimentary breakfast, it was actually quite good. We got eggs, fruit, toast and pancakes. After wrapping up our breakfast we headed to the travel agency to wait for our bus. Once it finally came we started the long drive to el Lago (lake) Atitlan. On the bus we met a man from Texas who came hear to study salsa dancing and to get a break from school. Soon we arrived at the lake and immediately got some food. This became our favorite restaurant because of its fantastic nacho & guacamole plate. Afterwards we went in search of a hotel. We found one right near the lake shore. Once we found our place and got settled we went on a tour on the lake to a pueblo nearby. It was great fun sitting on the tip of the boat and bouncing up and down on the waves. Afterwards we ate dinner and then went to bed so we could wake up early and go to the Chichi market.


Day 29; 8-5-05:

We arrived in Antigua at 7am and got dropped off at parque central. We had a hotel in mind, it was called the Yellow House. After a bit of asking around we finally found it in the northern part of town. All they had was a dormitory, but free breakfast and free internet were provided (conveniently the internet was down our first day). We decided to stay there. We took a walk around town and found a quaint coffee shop five blocks from our hotel. At 6 o'clock a movie called the In-Laws was playing, we planned to come back to see it. Meanwhile we were looking for a Spanish school and home-stay. We found one that seemed to be very popular and had great teaching. The next moment we were signed up. We came back to our hotel for a little siesta and then off to see the movie. It turned out to very funny (tbs�c.television station�c.if you ever watch commercials you will get it�c.well, I guess you would also have to watch tbs.) and a rather good movie. Afterwards we went to bed because of a long drive the next day to Lake Atilan.


Week 4 (read down)


Day 28; 8-4-05

Today we woke up at 5am to catch a bus to Tikal. It was a long, tiring drive to Tikal in a little van that had no shocks what so ever. When we arrived we purchased tickets and a map and started our journey. The first temple we visited was a pyramid with a bunch of altars (circular stone tablets) and stelas (upright tablets with pictures on it usually). Since these were our first ruins it was very exciting. I thought that it was interesting how the Mayans carved everything almost perfectly. After walking about 100 yards we heard a deep shout from the trees. We looked around and spotted a couple of howler monkeys in the trees. We took some pictures of them eating. The monkeys were really cool because of the way they just sit and stare at you and make a deep bellowing noise. We started walking down the path towards the North Zone. We arrived at the North Zone after my mom got shit-on by a bird. We spotted the first one but didn’t notice the other one until we spotted it from the other temple we were standing on. After taking some pictures we went over to the biggest temple in the North Zone and climbed it. Unfortunately the actual steps up the temple were blocked off as with many of the temples. We started our walk to the biggest temple in the whole park at 61m, Templo IV. As we were walking down the path we spotted some spider monkeys that swing from the trees and act like spiders. We arrived at Templo IV and started to make a steep climb up the stairs about 50m high. I thought the stairs were cool, because they are basically ladders that you climb. It was really fun. When we got to the top we looked out across the canopy and could see Templo I, II, III and El Mundo Perdido (The Lost World). Next we trekked on to Templo III. On the way we saw some more spider monkeys that were peeing. When we got to Templo III it had not been excavated yet so you could only see the top on the temple. After taking some pictures we moved on to the Gran Plaza. Inside the Gran Plaza are some of the most famous ruins in Central America. In the Gran Plaza there are four different areas: Templo I (also known as the Grand Jaguar Temple, inside King Moon Double Comb a.k.a. Lord Chocolate is buried. We also found a secret passage inside Templo I, but we relized that our flashlight was not strong enough to penetrate the darkness.), Templo II, and Acropolises North and Central. Although the stairs that the Mayans had built were in good condition, you could not climb up to the top of Templo I because two people had fallen to their deaths (I bet they were screwing around because there is almost no possible way to fall off those stairs.) You were also not allowed to climb up the steps on Templo II either but they had built some makeshift wooden stairs so we could get up to the top. Next we looked around Acropolis Central a bit and then decided to go back to the entrance to get some food. Once we finished our meal we hiked out to El Mundo Perdido were we saw a lot of tucanettes. They looked really cool because their beak looked painted and not natural. Next we climb the highest temple we could climb on the stairs the Mayans built that was pretty climbing the real stairs and not fake ones. After we descended the temple it started to pour. It was fun being in a rainforest while it was raining because all the forest life seems to come alive. Our last temple we visited was Templo V. It is the second highest temple in Tikal but we weren’t allowed to climb it because it was so slippery. We walked back to the entrance and caught the 4pm bus back. When we got back we ate dinner and came back to the central park and played basketball. After basketball we decided to look around the markets. Although in the next town we would go to a colossal market I wanted to get a Tikal T-shirt. Soon we found a good one that I like so I got it. After shopping we came back to our hotel and rested until it was time to catch our 11pm bus to Antigua. We arrived at the bus station and got on board. The bus was supposedly a first class bus but it was the most uncomfortable thing. We were told we would arrive in Antigua at 7am, so we sat back and tried to get some sleep.


Day 27a; 8-3-05

Today we woke up late and started to pack for the bus ride to Benque. We finally got out onto the road and hailed a taxi that was going to Benque (the boarder). We arrived and got officially stamp out of Belize and then stamped into Guatemala. We met a family that was going to be going to Flores like us, so we split the fair of a mini-van into Flores. When we arrived at Flores we found it was a quaint town, an island just off the coast. We found a cheap, good hostel called Los Amigos and got a room there. We started to look for a place to eat dinner and got recommended to go to the Tucan so that’s where we ate. After dinner I went to go skate at the central park but there turned out that there wasn’t a lot to skate, so we played basketball with the locals for about three hours. We went to bed after that because we knew we would have to get up really early the next day to go to Tikal.


Day 26; 8-2-05:

Today we were planning to go to Flores and Guatemala but my mom had a cold so we stayed at trek stop. We woke up and had some oatmeal for breakfast and started to work on the computer. Soon my dad remembered that John (the owner) had said that you could find some Mayan pottery at a site that had been occupied three houses when the Mayan were in there Renaissance. Looking wasn’t that hard because you didn’t have to dig that much but soon Paul and I had found a couple pieces of pottery. Since mom was still sick us three went out to play some disc golf. After a couple rounds my dad finally beat his record and got on the charts. All this activaty called for a siesta in a hammock but soon dad went out to get lunch. Paul and I went to eat in the cabin but got kicked out by mom because of ants.


Day 24; 7-31-05:

Today we woke up and decided to go see the a nearby Mayan ruin called Xunantunich. We hiked to the ferry and then hiked a mile up hill to get to the ruins. We saw a bunch of ruins there that were really cool. One of them was gigantic. You can see my dad’s pictures for the details. We had a great time there.  When we got back, we decided to go tubing down the Mopan, a nearby river. We had a great time going down the rapids. When we finished we hung out and played darts until dinner and then watched Analyze That with Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal.


Day 23; 7-30-05:

Today we had decided to go to a semi-resort just outside of town called the Trek Stop. I really liked it. As soon as we got there we played two rounds of frisbee golf because they have a course there. I got the all time record with a score of 33. Afterwards we got a Sprite and played darts. Soon it was starting to become time to eat so we went to the restraunt and had dinner. Once done with dinner we played another game of frisbee golf and then started up a movie called Shanghai Knights with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.


Day 22; 7-29-05:

Week 3 (read down)


Day 21; 7-28-05:

Today we got up at eight to go on our snorkel tour at Laughing Bird Caye. We arrived at the tour shop and picked up our supplies. Next we boarded onto the motorboat that was on the beach. As soon as we got out to the ocean the waves got really big and our boat would go filling over the jumps at speeds of 50-60 MPH. After 45 minutes of this chaos we arrived at the caye. We got out our gear and went out on our first snorkeling excursion. When we finished we went in for lunch that was served by our tour guides. The meal was chicken, potatoes and coleslaw with a tortilla. Before lunch we saw some 4-5 foot lemon sharks, with feeder fish attached to them, swimming in the shallows right near the beach. We warmed up in the shallows (in a different location!) while we were waiting for our tour guide to take us. Soon we were back out on the ocean snorkeling. When we were finished it was time to go back. We enjoyed our wild ride back to the peninsula. When we got back I read for two and a half hours and finished my book. Afterwards we went fishing but it didn’t work so well because it was so dark. We went back ate our peanut butter and jelly dinner, played some Texas Hold ‘em and went to bed.


Day 20; 7-27-05:

Today we got up early and went to the tour center for our snorkeling trip. Unfortunately the weather was bad so we couldn’t go on the tour. We came back and went swimming at the beach. After I dried off I went to the hammocks to read my book called The King of Torts by John Grisham. I read until two and then we went to the tackle shop to buy bait for fishing later this evening. After the tackle shop we rested in the hammocks and played catch. At about five we went fishing until about six and then we went to dinner.


Day 19; 7-26-05:

I woke up and brought my book down to the common area where my family was. We ate breakfast and I read my book a ton. Soon my dad and I went down to the hammocks on the beach under the palapa. We read for a while but soon went out to play in the ocean and go boating on the surf. After swimming we dry off and read in the hammocks. The rest of the day consisted of reading and more reading and hanging out at the beach. When it was time for dinner we went to Omar’s for dinner.


Day 18; 7-25-05:

When we woke up we went to breakfast and then hiked over to the bus station to go to Placencia. The bus ride took another two hours. We arrived in Placencia and visited to hotel some friends had recommended in Gail’s Point, The West Wind Hotel. We stayed here and played in the water the rest of the day until it became dark and I found a book in there library. The book was called Deception Point by Dan Brown. I liked the book so I read throughout the night.


Day 17; 7-24-05:

The next day we got out of bed at 7:20 to go fishing. We got our stuff together and waited for Donna to come at eight. Soon he came and we waded out to his sailing vessel. When we got out into the lagoon we each dropped our lines and started trolling. After a while my dad got a catch but it slipped away just as we were pulling it in. A little while later I caught a barracuda. Soon after, I pulled in a jack. Then Donna’s line caught a big barracuda. After Donna’s catch I pulled in another jack, and then when we were fishing for snapper my mom reeled in a jack. All told we had five fish and I had caught three. After fishing we went to Gentle’s for our lunch and then went to our room to pack to leave to Dangriga. Once packed we started hiking to Donna’s to catch to bus. We found out that sometimes the bus doesn’t go all the way into town so Donna introduced us to a guy who would take farther out of town in the back of his truck. He dropped us off at a house near the end of the peninsula. When the bus arrived it picked us up and we endured a two hour ride to Dangriga. When we got to Dangriga it was already dark. We picked up our stuff and found a nice, cheap hotel near the ocean. Once we got settled, we headed to the Bonefish for dinner. When we got back to our hotel we watched The Waterboy with Adam Sandler and then went to sleep.


Day 16; 7-23-05:

We woke up and walked up to the point where Manatee Lodge is. Because there is one of the biggest populations of manatees in Central America a lot of tourists come by to see the manatees. While we were waiting for our breakfast at Manatee Lodge we walked out to the dock and sat down and took a couple pictures. A group of three people from South Carolina had just finished a manatee tour and came up to our dock. We talked to them a bit about traveling in Guatemala, but soon a lady came out and told us our breakfast was ready. We went inside and ate. We started to take a walk and met up with this guy named Donna. He said he would take us fishing tomorrow at eight.

Since Bibbs from Eugene had told us to come here he had left us some names of people to visit. After walking a little further down the spit we found the first person, Irvin Vernon. He told us that he hadn’t been feeling well and his knee was hurting him. The people in the village say he’s ninety but he looks twenty years younger. It was hard to stay there because stinging red ants were everywhere. The next lady was named Louise. We found her and she gave us a bottle of Cashew wine for us and another bottle for Bibbs. Next door was the next guy, Moses. He gave us a lot of fruit from his garden. Paul, mom and I went down the lane to the sports fields. We played baseball with the locals. They seem to argue and cuss more then played baseball, mainly they cussed more. It was really hilarious. Afterwards we played some basketball with them and then went to get water at Gentle’s. Afterwards we went swimming with our friend Joshua in the lagoon on the right side of the spit. We went to this hole in the sand called the Boiling Hole. The hole feels really warm when you get inside of it. It’s about 1.5 feet in diameter and nobody can touch the bottom. When you try to dive down the spring in side pushes you up so you cannot go down. After this we went to our place and changed. Paul found a coconut and tried to break it open. Moses and Donna came at dark and showed us how to break the shell open. We would hit the coconut on its soft part on a sharpened stick that was cemented into the ground. Once the coconut was driven into the stake we would twist it so the shell peeled off. Then you would use a matchetee to break open the real coconut inside and drink the coconut waters inside the coconut. Soon it was time to go to bed so we picked up a quick meal at Gentle’s and headed for bed.


Day 15; 7-22-05:

Today we woke up and Paul, mom and I went to get breakfast at Coco’s. Dad came and found us and told us we had to hurry if we were going to catch the bus going to Belize City. We packed up our stuff and tried to get a taxi. Just before we got the taxi I tried to get some pictures of a good skate spot at the plaza. I got a couple pictures but not very good ones. Anyway, we got the taxi to take us to the bus stop. We arrived at the bus stop and boarded a bus leaving to Orange Walk, Belize. When we got to the boarder we got our exiting stamps for Mexico and then our entering stamps for Belize. We soon arrived in Belize City after a three hour bus ride. We then caught the bus to Belize City. The bus took another two hours but we had arrived in Gales Point, Belize, population: 500. When we arrived it was already dark. We got a quick dinner at Gentle’s Cool Spot, one of the two restaurants in town. We met up with Emitt and Jill and stayed with then for the night because there was no other lodging.

Week 2 (read down)

Day 14; 7-21-05:

Today I stayed in bed until mom and dad came back with the news that we couldn’t stay in our hotel because someone had already reserved it before us. We liked our room because it was by the pool but we finally gave it up. We got another room farther away from the room except that this one had four beds and was much bigger. In the afternoon I felt better so Paul and I went swimming. We swam for a long time and my dad came out at the end. Soon after, we went to the Holiday Inn for dinner in their restaurant. After dinner we took a break at the internet café and updated everything. After that we went home and read then went to bed.


Day 13; 7-20-05:

Today I stayed in bed until 12:30 and then we switched to a different and better hotel with a pool. There I also just stayed in bed a bunch until Paul went out to the pool so I decided to go out to the pool chairs and lay down. My dad had went to the store and now he came back with some food. He brought back some crackers that were like Ritz and soup. I had asked for Toby’s tofu pâté but he couldn’t find any.


Day 12; 7-19-05:

Happy Birthday to me! Today was my birthday! I basically stayed in bed the whole day. Paul and Mom went out to go on a walk. They came back with a pair of flip-flops for me for my birthday. They are really nice. They we walk over to the clock tower which is a war memorial and then over to the government building. Next we went to the Espresso Café but I got sick and had to go back to our hotel. Everyone came back and went to bed.


Day 11; 7-18-05:

Yep, still in the hospital. I barely got any sleep. Finally they found out what was wrong with me. I had salmonella. The whole day they were pumping bottles of saline into me through the needle. At about noon they found a new disease I had, amebas. At ten I forced them to let me out so I got to go home. When I got to the hotel I laid down in my bed and watched Los Simpson’s in Spanish.


Day 10; 7-17-05:

We arrived in Chetumal at one in the morning and went to bed. When I woke up I felt kind of sick. I took a shower and afterwards barfed. I barfed a couple more times until we got a new room with AC and guess what�Eep, barfed again. I passed the whole day barfing and sleeping. At 10 o’clock at night we went to the hospital. They stuck an IV needle into me and started pumping bottles of saline into me through the needle.


Day 9; 7-16-05:

Today we went to Xel-Ha. We entered Xel-Ha and got our map of the place. We went on the jungle walk first and visited Moe’s Flight, where you grab onto the rope and swing into the water. After that we got some inner tubes and floated down to where we get our snorkeling gear. We picked up the gear and started to snorkel. We snorkeled all day and then went to the buffet for dinner. We got back into town and relieved that we had to get out of Tulum before the hurricane hit. We got tickets on a bus to Merida at 2:30. But at the Weary Traveler someone said that there was a curfew at noon. So we got our money back and took a taxi in Chetumal.


Day 8; 7-15-05:

I woke up that morning and Paul came in to tell me that a hurricane was going to hit Tulum. The hurricane was called hurricane Emily. We went into town to get breakfast and then headed out to the beach for the day. Before dinner we came back into town to the Weary Traveler for there barbeque.


Week 1 (read down)

Day 7; 7-14-05:
We are headed to Tulum today but we don’t leave until the afternoon. We got a collictivo to take us to Tulum. We had already looked in our guide and had found a hostel, The Weary Traveler. Unfortunately, they were all out of rooms, but there partner, Rancho Tranquillo, had some rooms. Rancho was actually a cabana dealer so we got our cabana. Then we took a taxi to the beach to look for a cabana by the beach because we’re 3 kilometers from the beach and it costs 35 pesos to get to the beach by taxi. We never found the cabana but had fun at the beach. We stayed the rest of the day there and ate dinner at restaurant on the beach.

Day 6; 7-13-05:

We woke up late and got a taxi to take us to the Mayan Palace (the place giving us the free

Xel-Ha) for our free breakfast buffet. I really enjoyed it because off to the side they had burner where a lady would make you a grilled taco like thing. I loved them. You could choose the toppings so I put pollo verde, frijoles y queso (chicken with green spicy sauce, beans and cheese). When we got back into town it was 3 o’clock. We looked for flip-flops and a cheap hotel. We found neither. After coming back empty handed we went to the beach until dinner.


Day 5; 7-12-05:

The next day we got up early and got to the airport in time to catch our plane. When we arrived in Cancun we were pulled over by a salesman who ended up giving us free tickets to Xel-Ha, a giant snorkeling theme park. Immediately we took the bus to Playa Del Carman, barely spending a minute in Cancun. When we arrived in Playa we started to look for a hotel. After a while we finally found one for 500 pesos (ex. rate=$10.50 pesos: $1 USD.). We stayed there for that night.


Day 4; 7-11-05:

Today we woke up at 6:30 to make time to go to breakfast and catch our flight. Bill wanted to take us out to eat so we went to the Kettle. I got a very good cup of hot chocolate and some muffins. We left the Kettle at 8:25 to LAX for a 9:30 flight. As soon as we got to LAX we got inline for the baggage check. When it was our turn up the lady said that they couldn't check us in after 30 minutes before the flight. Mom swore profusely. So we missed our flight. We decided to hang out at the airport for a bit. Soon we decided to call Bill and he came and picked us up. We went to the pool and swam all day. That night we went to dinner at Polly’s.


Day 3; 7-10-05:

We had to go to the hospital because my dad got edema. While we were waiting for him we went to Krispy Kreme and picked up a dozen donuts. For dinner we went to the Black Olive, an excellent Italian restaurant that has the best bread and dip.


Day 2; 7-9-05:

From 12 to three I attempted to sleep on the bus, but at three we had to get up and re-board in Sacramento. We had to wait in Sacramento for an hour before we finally headed off for LA, I could barely sleep so I killed time by listening to music, reading, ect. We arrived in LA at ten in the morning where we met Bill Clark who we stayed with in our stay in LA. Bill drove us to his house, but first I would like to point out that he has a very nice Cadillac with GPS, OnStar and a built-in phone with voice activation. That afternoon we went to Redondo Beach and played in the water. That night Bill took us to Downtown Disney, a giant mall-like area full of shops and restaurants right near Disneyland. That night we ate at Rainforest Cafe. The inside of the restaurant is modeled like a rainforest. There are gorillas and elephants that make a bunch of noise when the lightning that strikes every 22 minutes strikes. I ordered Fish and Chips which were really good and ended up finishing off my brothers crab plate.


Day 1; 7-8-05:

We got picked up by Kyle and Joe at 2 o'clock at our house to head over to the bus station. First I had to make a stop at Oregon Community Credit Union to pick up some money. Soon we arrived at the station. After we got our baggage tagged we had to wait an hour and 15 minutes before the bus came. We said our farewells and loaded on to the bus. Unfortunately we sat at the end of the bus which smells like pee, soon we moved to the front of the bus. When night came we soon found out that it was almost impossible to sleep because the seats were so uncomfortable. Meanwhile the bus made stops in Grants Pass, Medford, Weed, Redding and finally Sacramento. We stopped for taquitos in Medford that took so long to make that we almost missed the bus. But they were really good and filling.