Playa del Carmen

I’m in Playa del Carmen… which is… err… touristy… as hell… but the beach is unbelievable… and that kinda makes up for some of it… It was cloudy all day today so the beach was a no go… and if there’s no sun tomorrow I’m gonna skip town… ’cause there’s really nothing here for me if there’s no beach… I’m planning on coming as close to black as I possibly can before I get home… there’s a picture below to show my progress…

I also included some pictures from the little Maya ruins at Tulum… it took me like a half hour of waiting to get a picture with no annoying tourists in it… but the results are beautiful.. as you can see… there’s also a picture of an iguana who scared the crap out of me while sitting on a rock waiting for the tourist herd to clear… he just wanted some garbage that some ass had left on the rocks… people have no respect, I tell ya..

Finally, I’ve included a pic of the view from the hostel roof lounge/kitchen area… it’s better if you stand up but I was too lazy 😉

¡Viva Mexico!

Twelve hours of a combination of boats, buses, and waiting… with one border crossing in between… has brought me into Mexico… a bit of a shock after being in Central America for almost three months… the towns here could almost be in the States somewhere… shopping malls, McDonald’s drive-thrus and whatnot… pretty creepy…

I’m in the town of Tulum… which is about 2 hours south of Cancun on the Caribbean coast. Tomorrow I’ll be visiting the Mayan ruins which are on a cliff at the shore… it’s supposed to be really pretty… then in the afternoon I’m hopping another bus to go an hour north to Playa del Carmen, another coastal resort city… but much less crazy than Cancun… and it has a couple really nice hostels… so I’m going to hang out there for a few days and get some more sun…

Hope all is well!

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.