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Belize Part 2- “I think I hate the jungle!”

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About an hour into our three hour hot, humid, jungle hike in St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Sam was telling me a story about how when he was a kid he dreamed about exploring the jungle. Who doesn’t want to be Indiana Jones when they are young? Movies like Swiss Family Robinson make the jungle seem so adventurous and…

Costa Rica 3 – Guanacaste. Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, La Paz and Sonzapote and on to the border with Nicaragua.

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25th – 26th January 2014 – We continue north through the Guanacaste region to visit Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, one of the oldest and biggest parks in Costa Rica, which covers most of the Peninsula Santa Elena that juts out into the Pacific in the far northwest.  This peninsula protects the largest remaining stand of tropical, dry forest in Central…

The importance of preparedness

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Or the complete lack thereof…  We felt really quite proud of ourselves yesterday.  Not only did we stay up and enjoy every possible second of ‘nawlins the night before, we also managed to wake up when our alarm went off (despite only an hour and a half of sleep).  We managed to not leave anything in the room, to get…

El Salvador to Honduras – A Guide to the El Poy Border Crossing

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Many overlanders decide to drive straight through Honduras and complete two borders (El Salvador and Nicaragua) in one day.  The overlanders that do enter Honduras usually do so through the Copan crossing from Guatemala.  Since we wanted to hit some spots in El Salvador, we decided to cross into Honduras at the El Poy border.  This border is not frequented…

Eating and Beaching Our Way Through El Salvador

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By Richard
We almost skipped El Salvador because we were in a bit of a rush to make it to Honduras to start our next round volunteering with the Muskoka Foundation.  Instead of skipping it we decided to spend seven days there and then book it straight to the north coast of Honduras after that.
Our first taste of El…

Belize Part 1- Me talk Spanish one day

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I don’t know if you have ever read any David Sedaris books. His book Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his time living in France and struggling with French, reminded me of my on going struggle with Spanish (I took French as a second language). In Mexico, I am a dumb four year old trying to put three words together.…

Two Borders, a Beach and a Lake: Nicaragua Pt. 1

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Is there anything better than a new beach to explore? Here I am in Las Penitas.

I knew the day we left El Salvador was going to be a long one. First of all, Victoria and Jason dragged me out of bed just as the sun was rising. Jason’s been getting up with Maya at all hours of the night…

Baggin’ Peaks – Ash Finally Gets Her Volcano: Acatenango

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A Facebook message from our friend Sarah suggested that we should climb Volcano Acatenango as part of our stay in Antigua.  Ash had been itching to do some hiking and had been eager to climb a volcano since our days in Mexico.  Unfortunately due to her Guatemalan Weight Loss Plan (GWLP), we weren’t able to do Volcan de San Pedro,…

San Pedro La Laguna – Welcome to Gringolandia

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By Ashley
A switchback-filled, steep, pothole-ridden road led us (very slowly) to the town of San Pedro La Laguna.  We arrived just in time to start our week of Spanish classes at the Corazon Maya Spanish School. Upon arrival, we knew we had made the right decision to stay at the school.  Our cabana had great views of the mountains…

Panajachel, Lago de Atitlan

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Chichicastenango is a cute town in Guatemala, famous for its Wednesday and Saturday market which is said to be the largest in the country.  After 4 hours of driving around the town with Sarah and Wilson, all we knew was that accommodation was going to be a problem.  It seemed impossible to find a hotel with enough parking to secure…

Costa Rica 2 – The Central Valley and Highlands and north to the Guanacaste region.

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9th January – Leaving the hot and humid lowlands of the Pacific coast, we are suddenly climbing to over 3000m  amongst low cloud and misty rain.  It’s a drop of 20 or more degrees for us when we finally arrive at Paraiso Quetzal Lodge amongst the cloud forests of Parque Nacional Tapanti-Macizo Cerro de la Muerte…… the wettest park in…

Down on the Farm in Acul

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We arrived in the mountain town of Nebaj hoping to find a place to camp for the night.  After wandering around town and making inquiries at hostels and hotels, it looked like our only option was the nearby airport and the football field.  Lucky for us, Wilson ran into a doctor that worked out of one of the hotels.  He…

Lanquin and Semuc Champey

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We said our goodbyes to Breena and Spencer and our Toyota convoy (The Suisse, Us, and Wilson/Sarah) headed over the bridge through Rio Dulce ready for our 7+ hour drive to Semuc Champey.  As we hit the bridge out of town we ran over a 6″ long bolt, which resulted in a huge puncture in our tire.  All we heard…

Rio Dulce and Thoughts on the Journey, not the Destination

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We made our way from Tikal to Rio Dulce, where our friends Breena and Spencer from Straight Six Straight South were parked at the Nanajuana Marina.  We had travelled with their old travelling amigos, The Suiss (Martin and Trix), and Wilson and Sarah.  Looks like we’ve got a little Toyota crew coming together!

“Hey, I’ve got you on my Instagram!”…

Our El Salvadorian Vacation

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Hi! My name’s Maya, and this is my blog. Um, no! This is, and always will be my blog, thank you very much! Clearly there is nothing going on in her head, what would she even tell you about? Ugh! Anyway… I’m here today to tell you about El Salvador, the fourth country we have visited on our trip so far.…

Costa Rica 1 – Southern Costa Rica & Peninsula de Osa

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COSTA RICA 
 
Capital –  San Jose               Currency - Colones but US dollars also accepted.
Language – Spanish and English on the Caribbean coast
 
4th January 2014 – Our first impression of Costa Rica is of how green and tropical it appears with gardens full of vividly coloured flowers and many palm and…

Goodbye Belize, Hola Guatemala: Tikal Ruins

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After our adventures in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve we made our way down the mountain into the town of San Ignacio and the Clarissa Falls Resort and Campground.  We used the raft on the river as a launchpad to cool down and clean off the sweat and dust from the mountain roads before our border crossing the next…

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

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What do Canadians do after spending some good quality time at the beach?  Head into the mountains, of course!  From Hopkins Village we took the gorgeous Hummingbird Highway across Belize with a slight detour through the fascinating area called Spanish Lookout, otherwise known as “Little America.”  All of a sudden we came through the jungle and into what looked like…

Panama

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PANAMA
Capital – Panama City              Currency – The balboa               Language – Spanish, Kuna plus 14 other
21st December – We are flying today with Copa Airlines from Cartagena in Colombia to Panama, whilst our Land Rover makes its way more slowly by ship.  We board and leave…

The Road to Hopkins Village

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We (Richard, Ashley, Wilson, Sarah) were sitting down to dinner at Backpacker’s Paradise when Wilson proposed the unpaved Coastal Highway as a route to get to Hopkins Village the following day.  After a teeny bit of hesitation, and some Google imaging, we decided to go for it.  Boy are we glad we did.  Apparently words like “worst road ever,” “lots…

Language Lessons in Gringolandia, and an Unwelcome Surprise: Guatemala Pt. 3

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This is me tearing it up n the garden at Corazon Maya.

I knew it was coming, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. After two weeks in this super fun town called Antigua, we were headed back to Lake Atitlan. In case you’re new to my blog, I’m a pretty easygoing dog. I love people, I’ll eat…

Bordercrossing Nicaragua – Costa Rica with foreign car and a dog.

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This bordercrossing was the most confusing so far, especially on the Nicaraguan side. None of the buildings had any sign on it and there were lots of steps to follow, which you just sort of had to guess.
Nicaragua
Arriving at the border, we were stopped at a gate by a guy who gave us a form to fill out.…

Caye Caulker

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We honestly didn’t know if we were going to head to Caye Caulker or not.  The island is a fantastic tourist destination and was bound to be expensive.  We went anyways and it was worth every penny.
After saying a quick goodbye to the truck we left Backpacker’s Paradise and headed towards the water taxi dock.  An hour ride on…

I Can’t Belize We Left Mexico

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Yes, we did it.  Funny blog post name about Belize:  Check!  We spent 4 months in Mexico and, although we loved it, were ready to explore some new territory.
As soon as Ash’s parents were on a flight back home we blasted out of the Yucatan ASAP.  It was time to get on with our regularly scheduled adventure.  Our last…

La Vida de la Ciudad: Guatemala Pt. 2

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After Victoria and Jason, Lorna and David are my favorite humans. This is all of us hanging out on Lake Atitlan.

You might remember that our first couple of weeks in Guatemala ended with quite an adventure, and a night camped out on our new friend’s property. We woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to go, but we…

Oaxaca and the Pueblos Mancommunados

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Our plan after Mexico City was to head to the colonial town of Puebla to try the famous mole poblano and then continue on to hike the dormant volcano Ixtaccihuatl.  En route to Puebla we made a last minute decision to skip it because we were citied out and needed some nature ASAP.  Ash’s nasal passages were blocked up with…

Nicaragua..

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We spent about three-four weeks in Nicaragua.
Our first 4 days were spent in the North. We drove through the National Park Miraflor, where we stayed at the property of a Finca. The friendly owner invited us to stay on his land when we asked if we could stay overnight on the road near his place. The area is amazing…

Maintenance

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After having driven little more than 40.000 kilometers in almost a year, we decided it was time for some large maintenance on Panda. We needed an oil change, the brakes needed an adjustment/replacement of pads, we found a leak on one of the axles that needed to be checked, etc.  Even though we would be able to do most of…

Bordercrossing Honduras – Nicaragua with dog and foreign vehicle…

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Our crossing into Nicaragua was a bit unexpected. We planned to find another (free) campsite for a few days before crossing the border, but we were driving and searching and before we knew it, we were about 10 km from the border. It was 12h00 on a Monday when we said “let’s cross the border then”..
HONDURAS
Got our exit…

Honduras

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We spent exactly a week in Honduras. Crossed the border on a Monday, which went all very smoothly. However, when we tried to get money from a bank with either our debit card or our credit card, it did not work. We tried several banks and ATMs but none of them would give us any money.
Fortunately Honduras seemed way…