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It's all part of the adventure, right?

Written on: Thursday April 23rd, 2009

A journal entry from: Guatemala, mi amor.

I am now in the 'adventure' portion of my trip.  I'm in the transition phase between the first schoolesque course and the second schoolesque course.  I am now in La Ceiba Honduras after a long day of complications and miscommunications – something quite common in countries where fluency in the language is still not fully up to snuff.  But, before I get into the present day, I'm going to recap a few of the things that have been going on in the last little while!  I am now an official graduate of University assuming I passed at least one of my classes here.  To celebrate, we all went out for drinks and dancing.  It was my first night dancing in Antigua (I know, a lot of people did that all the time when they were in Antigua) and I had a blast!  I really should have taken salsa lessons when I had the opportunity, but at the time I really felt far too uncoordinated to pursue it.  The next morning after recovering from my 2 very strong Mojitos (I'm a light weight) we headed out to Semuc Champey.  It was a full bus and we were joined by a fellow from Quebec who was the self-professed expert on all of Canada – not knowing that there were 4 Western Canadians sitting in the back listening to him call them conservative, meat-eating (?) and without culture.  He was speaking with some people from Israel and was a real talker, and thus felt the need to sound off about everything under the sun, but we just decided to talk amongst ourselves about why he was delusional rather than actually calling him on any of it.  It was probably a good call that we stayed quiet, it was a long ride and he was offensive within the first 20 minutes.  We arrived at Lanquin and decided to book our shuttle back, not knowing that that service was offered at our hotel, which wasn't a big deal until the owner of the hotel called the travel agent to let him know he was stealing customers.  We took a pick-up truck to out hotel and were introduced to the rustic beauty that is Posada Las Marias.   
    This trip was a good trip with various hiccups. I lost 100Q (20 bucks) in a location where there were not any ATMs or sources of automatic money.  I don't fully think it was stolen, but I also don't fully think that I'm completely culpable of losing the money.  I didn't say anything to the hotel owners because every time we talk to them, they laughed at us like we were saying something completely ridiculous when we were simply asking questions either about services or whatever.  Plus, they corrected our Spanish when our Spanish was actually right (according to everyone else we've spoken with).  There were also giant bugs.  I have a picture of one – but it sounded like a helicopter whenever it flew.  It was insanity.  We could hear it outside of our door one night and then all of a sudden it was like struggle struggle struggle?and its inside our room.  It was about 3 feet away from my bag and everyone freaked out.  Luckily, Brie is a super bug killer and squished it with my shoe.  The bug was so big that even though it was crushed, my shoe was still 1 inch off the floor.  We disposed of the body the next morning.  The next night, there were really major bug invasions, some of us were just bitten to death and were incredibly itchy.  The third night though, there was a Praying Mantis in our room and that was totally wicked!!  They're so crazy looking!  We let him live since he was only stalking around the room.  The next morning when we woke up, there was a guest of the hotel waiting down stairs and asked if we wanted to see a scorpion.  Turns out, that scorpion was on the mosquito nets of one of the beds in the hotel.  The mosquito net fell down and the scorpion landed a few inches from this woman's head.  They killed it with her shoes and the man was just showing it off.  We were pretty pleased to be leaving that morning.  I think we'd all had enough of the hotel dudes, the bugs and the itching.  
    Aside from all that, Semuc was one of my favourite places to visit.  It was absolutely beautiful.  We climbed to the look-out that was in the mountain above Semuc and looked down on it.  Everything was so gorgeous.  The water was clear, there were little waterfalls and everyone there was happy.  If I go back to Guatemala, I'll be visiting Semuc again.  And probably staying somewhere else.  When we arrived back in Antigua, it was mid afternoon and we still didn't have our shuttle booked for Honduras.  I had received an ad from this one place that said we could get here for $28.  That seemed cheap so we went to them, booked in time for that morning at 4am and I went home to pack.  I tried to pack everything, but absolutely could not.  I threw out/recycled some shirts, a pair of pants, a yoga mat ☹, my yoga book, and a bunch of readings and stuff I received this year.  I gave my shampoo to my house family, and I bought my parents some coffee, which also had to be given up to my house family.  I didn't bother sleeping before 4 because I had a lot of work to do, but I also figured that the more tired I was, the more likely I'd sleep on the bus.  I didn't for the first part, but halfway through we needed to switch to another shuttle.  Things from then on out became really interesting.  The new shuttle wasn't as nice as our other one, but it wasn't a big deal.  The thing that was a big deal was actually the fact that our driver had to hot wire the van to get it started.  Once he had it going, we were off.  We stopped at the Honduran border where I needed to get my exit stamp from Guatemala and then get my entrance stamp for Honduras.  In the process of getting my entrance stamp for Honduras the Guatemalan official came and got me and took me to their little room.  He had my file pulled up on the computer and in big bold red letters it said that I was illegally in Guatemala.  There was a fine of 180Q (30 bucksish).  I knew that I wasn't illegal – I had gotten my stamps that proved that needed to be legally in the country.  The man looked at my passport, did the math, and realized that I was right and smiled and said that the idiots at the other border didn't put me into the computer which was why I didn't have legal status in the computer.  That sucked.  Luckily I could explain it to him and he could explain it to me so it all worked out.  I got my Honduras stamp and off we went again.  We arrived in Copan where a man wearing a shirt from a company we were with told us to follow him to get our ticket.  He led us to his house where his wife was feeding his child, and a woman sitting at a desk told us we needed to purchase a new ticket.  He also told us to leave our things there.  I told him that we already paid for our ticket, and the man told us that we couldn't have.  He asked to see our tickets, but the driver took it and kept it.  We then had to go hunt down our driver and we happily found our original travel agent.  There too, he told us only 2 paid (there were 5 confused people in total).  He let us drop off our stuff and we left to go find a hostel for when we went back to meet with Rob who will be travelling with me to Nicaragua.  After wandering the town, we finally found this one place called the Blue Iguana where when we walked in the door, instantly the man looked annoyed and asked us what we needed.  We told him we needed to book a room and he said 'go next door and talk to my wife?I'm in the middle of something here'.  We walked next door and they didn't have space.  One person would have to sleep on the floor (for a lot of money).  We then wandered to another place and they were full, we wandered to the next and they were full.  We had had enough and went for a sandwich.  After meeting up with several different rude people, not being able to find accommodations and especially after the insane ride that followed, I'm not going back to Copan.  
    The ride that followed was ok.  We all found our own window seats and then had people coming on and off the bus as we putzed along to San Pedro Sula.  We were told we would have direct, but we got milk run.  When we arrived in San Pedro Sula, we had no problems getting our next bus, but it was still a process.  We arrived in La Ceiba at 9 at night, and luckily had a place to stay as that afternoon we contacted someone and were set.  That night we found someone to stay with here in Utila so that was also luck.  We caught the morning boat to the island and now I'm taking a spontaneous and rather expensive scuba diving certification course.  I'm excited, but am realizing that I will likely need to go home a little earlier!  That's ok – It's been a good 4 months so far!!
Take care all!!  

 

From The Big Cheese on Apr 27th, 2009

I like your blog posts. They´re far more descriptive than mine. I´ll be sure to keep following them through Nicaragua and Costa Rica, so you better keep posting them. Miss you!