Sunday, December 30, 2007

Along the backbone

We zipped along Coasta Rica, pausing breifly to toush base in Nicoya where we got REAL dirty spelunking in caves of Barra Honda National Park. Met up with a French-Canadian chica, Crystal, and the three of us caught a ride back to town for dinner. Then we made INSANE headway by bus, and also a ferry over the penninsula, overnighting in Quepos and then a really slow bus driver took 5 hours to transport us to San Isidro. Missed our bus, got the next one out of town to the border. Stranding room only, but we soon found some seats. Then crossed the borderon foot (oh, yeah, an exit stamp...) got a bus to David, and another to Panama City. No food, little water, very little sleep, a whole lot of money later, we were at Zuly´s hostel. Destination anticipated April 2007. Here we are, with a fat deposit on a boat to Cartegena, Colombia. It takes 5 days, departs on the 3rd. We stop over a few nights in San Blas Islands where we spear fish, and chill on seculded beaches with 13 other travelers. Then we try to get a boat along the Amazon to Peru. Wish us luck!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Finally broke out of Utila

We weathered some raging storms off the coast of Utila, Honduras which kept us running to the ferry dock every morning at 5 media AM only to hobble back to the room we rented, and I had forsaken as our crummy luck. We did, however, get some fantastic snorkling in early one morning because of this. Manuel has only snorkled in the Yuba, and myself when I was 10 in Maui. What I remember of it, is vague. We dashes out to the beach and attired ourselves with flippers and masks. Then realized we werent so sure of the rest. Clumsily lopping along the beach, then stumbling, falling, blatantly looking like an ass we realized that snorkling was going to be a learning experience. We soon fell into a ga¿ravitational pull with the current swirling around a coral island from both sides. In a slightly deep impression we spotted both manatee and B fish. Scared the hell out of me until I saw my panick frighten both away. I mostly prefer spying on the bright little fishies in the reefs, and am going to have to work myself up to those montrous entities I have been so far unawares to under the deep blue. The ferry finally pulled us out of the stench bog of Utila around 8 AM on Wednesday.
It took all day to ride a bus from dreaded La Ceiba, through San Pedro Sula and finally down to Tergucigalpa. A couple of frenchmen had been trailing us from Utila, then taking the lead, and as we caught up to them again in a Taxi in Tegucigalpa, we all banded together in broken English/Spanish/French to find a $5 hotel room and the TansNica busline which would take us straight through the Honduran and Nicaraguan border to San Jose, Costa Rica in about 20 hours. (Thanks for all your help Micheal and Alex!) Here I am, at the Pangea Hostel in San Jose. After the experience of La Esperanza, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Tegucigalpa, where we went hungry for lack of ambition to face the ugly horriblness of an unplanned and developing nation, we welcome this beautiful Americanized city. Today we spent arranging our Navidad accomodations, and trying to find useful items we have done without for too long. It was fantastic in a dememted sort of way. To fight the rush of holiday shoppers, and a big red Santa in the midst of warm Central America. Manuel successfully found some flip flops (they dont make shoes for big feet down here) and I got me some vitamin B1 supplements to fight those malaria ridden fae. Oh! And the best of all was my trade in of Sandman Vol. 10 for a Costa Rica guide book. Whenever we ride a bus I cant wait to get off, except for the knot in my stomach asking my rationality, where the hell are we going to sleep tonight, and how do we find it? There is a certain sense of satisfaction which comes of knowing how much raw culture we have experienced thus far. We found it first hand, no help but vague realiance on our idiot idiomas and luck. So many places we have traveled with the snide looks of locals who dread the face of gringo on their territory. And we understand it so well. Do we not patronize and scoul at the tourists in Nevada City? They are quite a neccesary laugh and entertaining conversational topic on lazy summer days. But the security the Lets Go, Costa Rica on a Budget offers is something I am willing to trade my endured traveling angst self for.
While crossing borders from Nicaragua (we may trek back that direction yet) into Costa Rica, Manuel and I were attacked by a pleasant surprise. A New Zealander lept onto me. It was Charlotte, and Susie wasnt far behind. We all came to a most simultaneous decision that the Caribbean stormland was not our place for a holiday. So we are meeting up on the Pacific side in Playa Tamarindo. As if the name werent similar to my own enough to spark interest, it is located on the cusp of a national park with breeding sea turtles. We are also staying in a hostel owned by a Mariana, and she says they are having a fiesta for the holidays. We are getting ready to jump on the road again manana, and I am curious where the winds will take us come New Years. Good Solstice to you all, and lets enjoy the Full Moon. Love and bliss!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Omoa

We made it through some rough territories. Caught a ride outta San Juan to La Esperanza where they havent finshed the highway. We stayed the night in our first encounter of a not -so- pleasant hotel where we were bug bitten despite our sleeping bags. Then made our way up to Lake Yojoa to find D&Ds renouned Bed and Breakfast Brewery with supposedly fresh blueberries that I culd almost taste on my tongue, but were not in season upon our arrival. After sampling every beer and playing alot of poker with our stash of Quetzals from Gautemala, we dicided it wasnt our scene and made headway for the Caribean coast. We are very happy here at Roli s Hostel. There is a beautiful, spacious garden, outdoor kitchen (we love to cook tortillas, empanadas, refried beans, eggs, fresh vegies, oatmeal....), free bicycles (I am in love with a particular bike that I swear I already dreamed about and want to buy it), free kayaks (tomorrow), ping pong, chess, a ceiling fan, radio!, and a shower head with actual water pressure. The climate here is a nice sweat -like the sauna I adore, and the terrain is flat so bike riding is an easy breeze. Not many cars, and the taxi we took for fun and to spare further exhaustion yesterday tardes was a bicycle as well. The beach here has been traumatized by oil rigging and central americas obbession with plastic bags. The locals LOVE plastic and packaged foods. They stand like hot shots with cheap striped grocery bags and throw trash out the window with little thought. Oh! Inspires me to do some education artwork, murals maybe, to educate people of the biodegradable-not of plastics, ect.... BUT, the government here is not yet in support of a proactive approach to this problem, and our hostel has a petition to try an encourage future awareness of the people in power. We hope to encourage our New Zealand Amigas to meet up with us here and then travel to Costa Rica for Xmas together, as we know they would love it as well. We miss you Suzie and Charlotte! Hope you are all safe and happy at home. Love and miss you. My heart is with you Grandpa, and I play my bones for you on the ocean at sunset. Love love love. Tamoura and Manuel

Friday, December 7, 2007

Off the roads of Honduras

Hola mi familia y amigos! Just a short reasurance of our health and good spirits. We have been recluse in the Honduras forest of Celeque National Pargue. There we frollicked amoungst giant granite boulders and were well fed by Alejandrena tipica comedor. She was a patient and friendly old woman who had lived on that mountain for at least 20 years. She was born in a nearby Mayan village and cooked on a traditional adobe stove with wood burning fire. We were even gifted some pino for use as candles, as the pine trees here are extremely resinus and full of a red coloring. We had the whole park to ourselves since Monday, as the rangers were not at all about hiking the couple miles uphill from Villa Verde to keep watch on us. We had a room in the visitor center with bunks for 50 Limpiars a night and 50 Limpiar parque entrar fee. No electricity, and not an english speaking person for meters circa. In fact, as we hiked into Gracias this manana we caught a ride with a bus of locals and ended up in San Juan, where we hiked somemore in the heat of El Sol tarde, searching for Agua Termales and found a ride with a familia who spoke english. Upon first contact they actually thought us European and then inquired as to why we refused to speak english when we said we were from Clalifornia. I hadn´t even noticed they were speaking English, and it took a momento for me to find some homeworthy words! Ha! Though our spanish is progressing, we find ourselves speaking our own breed of √≠doiot idiomas. Now we find ourselves in La Esperanza with little idea of what we are doing here besides letting worried loved ones know we are happy travelers. We will make our way towards Lago Yojoa (for fresh picked blueberries and home made pancakes) and then to the Misquito coast (in Nicaragua?). No luck finding somewhere in Central America to ship our much anticipated backpacking hammocks with misquito nets, and so we must still stick to regions which supply lodging.

Much love to all! And muchas gracias for all your well wishes and prayers. Please try not to worry if I havent updated my blog, there is so much to see, and most of it is nowhere near the internet. Hasta la vista....