For our latest trip diary / blogs and lots of pics as the trip unfolds go to: www.travelpod.com/members/ronamoon
TRIP DIARY PART 3 - PANAMA / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / HONDURAS / GUATEMALA / BELIZE / MEXICO
Link to Trip Diary Part 1 - Chile / Argentina / Paraguay / Argentina
Link to Trip Diary Part 2 - Brazil / Bolivia/ Peru / Ecuador / Colombia
Link to Trip Diary Part 4 - NORTH AMERICA - USA, Canada, Alaska
CAMPING sites for South & Central America
Link to CAMPING sites for North America
Pretty Panama - and a bit fo a Canal!!
Panama City, Panama Canal, Portobelo, Caribbean Coast
Panama City comes as a pleasant surprise after seven months in South America. It's clean, the boulevards are wide, there are green parks dotted everywhere, the buildings are modern while the centre of the city is dominated by high rise buildings sparkling white in the sun ... and nearly everything (nearly, I say again) works like you'd expect it to! ...
Cruisin' thru Costa Rica
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Sixaola, Cahuita, Cahuita National Park, San Jose, Volcan Miravalles, Santa Rosa National Park, Liberia
What in the hell do you know about Costa Rica? If you are like me, nothing too much!
Well it is the most stable of the Central American countries and has had a long good run of democratic elections - which says a lot in this part of the world. It's probably the wealthiest country in the region, with the highest level of health care, education and life expectancy ... and it has no military (it was abolished after the rebellion in 1948). It gets most of its wealth from bananas, coffee and tourism, while it is a world leader in conservation. Over 27% of the country is protected in national parks, most of its rivers run clear (which is an exception here in the Americas) and eco tourism is becoming bigger.
Nicking thru Nicaragua
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Granada, Lake Nicaragua,
Think of Nicaragua and you'll probably be thinking of drug running, gun totting cartels, CIA over throws, US invasions, Contras, Sandinistas and Colonel North. Yep, they all happened here but that is behind them now and while it is still the poorest country in Latin America (barring Haiti) everyone in the country is looking forward to a more peaceful and brighter future. Certainly that is what we saw and experienced!
Hoping thru Honduras
Friday, August 26, 2011
Tegucigalpa, Comyayagua, Lago de Yojoa, Copan Maya City, Rosalila Temple
Aaah, you would've heard of Honduras! When Keating called us a 'Banana Republic', he may have been comparing us to the original and the best banana republic - poor, corrupt old Honduras. We are nowhere near as bad as that though. We saw a few poor but little corruption, which you have to dig a little deeper for, I guess.
Galloping thru Guatemala
Sunday, August 28, 2011
El Florido, Rio Dulce, Parque Nacional Tikal, Lago de Yaxha, Topoxte
Unique in the Central Americas over half of the population is native American with a strong rural presence. Still they are just as poor as their neighbours .... but this is a magic country which we really enjoyed ......
We crossed into Guatemala at El Florido after having to detour through the actual town itself because the main road was washed away and the truckies, who can't drive through town because of the narrow streets, were trying to repair it. We took on the challenge of the streets and then passed a reasonable line of trucks (normal at all borders) on the Honduras side. We worked our way through the scrum of each border post, changed some money into local currency - what was this one called? ......... 'quetzal' and worth about 15 to the $1. I gotta tell you this does get confusing - changing currency every few days along with the rate!
Bouncing thru Belize
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Belize City, Belize Marina, Belize City Zoo, Orange Walk, Corozal, Bahia de Chetumal
Getting out of Guatemala was easy and while going into Belize was pretty simple the two women behind the Customs counter didn't want you to enjoy the experience! What do they say about women in uniform???
Being the second smallest country in Central America (just a little bigger than El Salvador being 300km long and 110km wide) it doesn't take too long to go anywhere in Belize. As we got closer to Belize City the country became swampier and low lying and the houses and people poorer, with many just living in a small shack surrounded by flood water or land that would easily flood
Cooling of on Caulker Caye
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Caye Caulker, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, San Pedro, Hol Chan Cut
We decided we'd have our Caribbean Island experience here in Belize as it is considered one of the best diving areas in the world.
It's pretty easy to get to either Ambergris Caye or Caulker Caye from Belize City as water taxis head between the two every hour or so during daylight. We headed to Caulker as it is by far the least developed of the two, on the San Pedro-Belize Express. The taxi is nothing fancy but crowds about 40 people and their goods into a 45-foot long, fairly narrow gutted boat powered by three 200hp Yamaha outboards. It goes pretty well!
Hola Mexico ...... Gulf and Pacific coasts
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sabancuy, Isla Aguada, Acalpulco, Mazatlan
After six countries in just 30 odd days and travelling only about 3000km we were crossing the border into Mexico ... "Hola North America! .... Adios Central America!"
The border crossing was very efficient, especially on the Mexican side but it did cost - there was a $300 refundable deposit for our vehicle (we get it back when we leave Mexico & hand the paperwork back in), $40 for the Temporary Import Permit for 6 months, while 3rd Party Insurance for a month cost $129! Then up the road a km or so we had our tyres sprayed by the Agriculture department for $7!
You could immediately feel the difference of Mexico - the roads were better and the infrastructure better maintained, while fuel was just 80 cents a litre!
Friday, September 23, 2011
La Paz, Sea of Cortez, Los Barriles, Ciudad Constitucion, Loreto, Bahia Concepcion, Playa El Coyote, Santa Rosalia, Guerrero Negro
We arrived at the port of La Paz on the Baja ferry after meeting up with Robert Halkett, an English guy who has spent the last three years peddling around the world; see: www.robsbikeride.com. He was a great guy and we kept meeting up with him as we travelled north and he stayed with us a few times.
Northern Baja .... and even better adventures!
September 30, 2011
Guerrero Negro, El Arco, Puerto San Francisquito, San Rafael Bay, Bahia de Los Angeles, Sierra de San Boria, Daggett's Beach Camp, Ilsa de la Guarda, Catavana Boulder Field, San Quintin, Ensenada, USA border control, San Deigo
From Guerrero Negro where we had caught up with Robert once more we ducked south a little way to pick up a 4WD trail across the Sierra de San Boria while Robert peddled his way north on the blacktop. Our route took us through the dusty mining and military outpost of El Arco into a convoluted mass of hills and wide valleys seemingly covered in many different forms of cactus including a carrot like looking one.
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