Last day in Belize…

Tomorrow I’m headed back into Spanish country when I cross into Mexico. I have to get up early to catch a boat back to Belize City, then switch to a bus to Chetumal across the Mexican border. From there I have another bus ride into Tulum where there’s Mayan ruins right on the shores of the Caribbean.

All this time along the water is quite enjoyable.. hope NY is nice and warm for everyone…

Lata!

Caracol! and Pictures!

After three trips to Belize I finally managed to get to the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Caracol. The place is HUGE… but only part of it has been unearthed. The site is literally in the middle of nowhere… 2 hours of rough dirt roads through the jungle to get there… and that is about half as much as it used to take only a couple years ago…

The site is amazing… and we stopped at the Rio On Pools on the way back for a dip and some granite rock basking… pictures at the bottom…

There’s also a ton of pictures from the past week or so… They’ll be labeled in the top of the windows they pop up in so you know where they all were…

Tomorrow I’m off for the Caribbean island of Caye Caulker (Caye is pronounced key)

Enjoy!

EL SOL!

Finally the sun came out today… on my last day here in Placencia… I got a good 6 hours of sun time in… without horribly burning myself even… I also did laundry finally… after my longest time yet… 29 days… a seemingly impossible number when you think that I only have 10 pair of underwear…. you do the math…

Tomorrow morning I get up early and get on a boat to a bus to the mountains for a couple days where I hope to explore the hard to reach ruins of Caracol deep in the jungle. I’ve been trying to go every time I’ve been in Belize but there weren’t tours going out because the roads were too bad.. but now it’s the dry season so hopefully I’ll finally get to go…

Hmm… that’s about it.. I’ve been enjoying meals at Omar’s and the restaurant at my hotel… “de Tatch”… good stuff…

Internet is REALLY expensive where I’m going for the next 2 days so I won’t be posting but once I get to Caye Caulker I’ll be able to post relatively cheaply from the island…

Tek kyer!

Placencia…

Placencia… it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Just kinda rolls off your tongue without too much effort… It’s the perfect name for the place, really… This is my 3rd time here and it’s still as shockingly beautiful and friendly and cool as the first time… I’m back at my usual hotel here.. the Seaspray… which has only become nicer since Hurricane Iris tore the whole town apart about a month after I left here 4 years ago… This is a definite splurge at $25 a night… Youch! But it’s really nice… right on the beach.. with a beachfront bar/restaurant… and nice beach chairs and stuff… and I couldn’t really imagine staying anywhere else here… it’s just my place here I guess…

So yes, $5 internet in effect… and I’m trying to keep under the $1.25/15 minute mark so I’m gonna run but all is well… maybe some pictures in a couple days…

Last night in Guate

Just a quick entry to mark my last day/night in Guatemala… Tomorrow I hop on a boat to Belize… where I’ll spend my first 4 days sitting on the beach at Placencia… sunburn or no (I will wear sunscreen tho, Lane… I promise).. just hopefully not as bad as the last time I was there and I had to stay a couple extra days ’cause I couldn’t move, let alone put a backpack on my crispy shoulders…

I’m in Livingston, Guatemala right now.. on the Caribbean coast, but unfortunately without a beach… I met a few people on the boat down the river from Rio Dulce and we had dinner/drinks and then went down to this place where there was traditional Garifuna (Black Carib) drummers.. which was very cool… They’ll be on the boat tomorrow as well as the bus trip to Placencia… so that’s cool… umm.. yeah.. so that’s what’s up… I need to go.. internet is ridiculous here… and it will be for the next 2 weeks so only sparse updates for the next couple weeks…

Lata!

Headin’ out!

Tomorrow I’m leaving Antigua for the Eastern Guatemalan town of Rio Dulce. I’ll be spending a night there before continuing on by small boat down the river to Livingston on Guatemala’s tiny Caribbean coast. I’ll be there until Friday when I’ll be on the first (and only) boat to Punta Gorda, Belize.

Once I get into Belize internet is gonna be a little more sparse and a lot more expensive so I’m not going to update as frequently and probably won’t post any photos for a while. I’ll be in Belize for 2 weeks before I hit Mexico and then I’ll post all my pictures and stuff from there.

I’ve only got a month and a half left of my trip? Where has the time gone? I mean… a month and a half is still an incredibly long trip for most people so I should count myself extremely lucky to have the opportunity that I’ve had… and I am really thankful to everyone who’s made it possible…

Oh.. and to Michelle (and anyone else): send me an email at bestdception@gmail.com so I have your address. And it’s nice to have email from people 🙂

Anyway… this internet place is closing down shop, so if I don’t update for a few days, don’t freak out…

Oh… and one more animation.

Love you all!

Happy Easter!

Hey everyone… hope your Easters went well… I’ve spent the day splurging on all sorts of good food instead of the dry processed cheese and strawberry jelly sandwiches I’ve been forcing myself to subsist on all week to keep costs down…

Pad thai with tofu… ’nuff said.

I tried making an animation of some of the pictures I took of one of the Good Friday processions… you can find that here. Enjoy!

Good Friday

Wow… it just keeps getting crazier and crazier here every day…

I thought the town was overrun when I first got here… but the real flood of people only started arriving yesterday, when pretty much every Guatemalan is given days off of work through Easter. It’s hard to even walk in the middle of the streets in some places.

Yesterday I went to see one procession which actually ended up being a reenactment of some of the scenes leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. There’s pictures of some of it, including someone (one of the apostles I assume) being dragged off by Roman guards, a woman (forget who she’s supposed to be) who wiped Jesus’ face with a cloth as he carried the cross with the miraculous image of Christ on the cloth, and a couple other guys (apostles again?) who are walking with Jesus, followed by Jesus bearing his (golden) cross on one of the big, wooden processional “floats” carried by a whole bunch of people.

Then today was mass hysteria with all the Good Friday activities. First I attended one of two reenactments of the crucifixion. They both were happening at the same time, so I chose the one at the main cathedral on the central plaza. This crucifixion was of a 500 year old wooden carving of a dying Jesus (wounds and blood and all) made with movable arms and legs for use in the reenactments. Then in the afternoon I found a procession mourning the death of Jesus. There were floats bearing the image of a grieving Mary, and a couple of other people… don’t know who they were, but theres a picture of one dude here nonetheless.. and he looks mighty unhappy.

Tonight was the biggest procession of all, I believe. I just came to the internet place straight from there. I couldn’t get very good pictures ’cause it was dark and the crowds INSANE… but the main float (which was HUGE) had all these angel-like figures holding candelabras… putting off a ridiculous amount of light… and at the top was a glass coffin of sorts holding the same wooden sculpture of the (now dead) Christ that I had seen crucified this morning. All in all it was a very sad event… the marching band playing the saddest music you could ever hope to imagine… and thousands of people standing in silence, frantically making the sign of the cross and kissing their rosary beads… it was very touching… seeing all these people with so much faith…

There are 2 more processions tomorrow and then one on Easter Sunday itself, and I’m sure I’ll check all those out as well. I believe today was the biggest day however.

I’ve also included a few pictures of the elaborate alfombras (carpets) of sawdust, pine needles, flower petals, and fruit that people lay out on the cobblestone streets to mark the paths of the processions. They’re quite pretty.

That’s all for now… time to go eat something.. I\’m famished.

BAH!

Why do the good shows always happen when I’m away from home??

The Bouncing Souls are playing at the Downtown in Farmingdale on April 21st… those of you who are on Long Island better get your asses there and have fun for me… It’s not often the Souls play a small Long Island show…

The Souls are playing a show on May 19th at Irving Plaza too… A “Joey Ramone Birthday Bash”. I’m planning to get home on that date… and people should come with me to the show… and pick up a ticket for me too before they sell out =)

Anyway…

Didn’t do too much today… walked over to one of the churches where there was a 17 hour vigil going on… 6am until 11pm… there’s at least one every day this week… there wasn’t much going on when I was there… just a whole lot of people sitting in the church praying but I must have gotten there during a lull.. ’cause there are other activities that go on intermittently throughout the day…

I’ve become stuck at this restaurant every day I’ve been in Antigua so far… they have this triple-layer sandwich of curry hummus, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and onion… and my god it’s the greatest thing ever… Curried hummus… who’d a thunk it? It’s probably the most amazing combination ever… and I plan to make it part of my diet when I get home…

Semana Santa has Begun

I arrived back in Antigua, Guatemala today after a half hour boat ride followed by a 2 1/2 bus ride.  I’ve only been here a few hours but I saw my first procession already. They started early this morning and there were 2 today… there will be more and more everyday until Good Friday when the whole town pretty much explodes into parades.

So I found this parade as it skirted the central plaza and even though it was relatively small it was still quite an experience. There are these huge wooden floats with religious statues on them from whatever church this procession was for… except instead of being on wheels and pulled by a truck or something, there’s a whole bunch of people underneath… CARRYING these things… it’s quite cool to watch… then there’s a marching band playing music and a whole bunch of people in dark purple robes marching and little boys carrying these huge incense burners that fill the whole street with dense smoke. Along the edges of the procession are lines of men dressed as Roman soldiers keeping people out of the parade area (not that anyone’s trying to get through or anything…)

I’ll be here until next Tuesday morning when I’m heading out to start making my way to Belize. Some nice fresh pictures hot off the presses below. Oh… there’s a picture of this little creature that existed in my sheets in San Pedro la Laguna too… thats kinda amusing…