Glimpses of Central America

Here’s a map (thanks to Google) that shows our two month journey pretty accurately through Central America.  The Blue line follows the buses overland traveling up from Panama to Belize, the orange line is the flight back from Belize to Panama at the end.

Route

There is no way I can condense all the feelings, all the surprises, all the vistas in this adventure. I rode in colectivo buses, called chicken buses, truck beds, motorcycles, tuctucs, taxis, and eight different long distance buses (but never Tica Bus).  Colectivos are almost like taking the school bus in Windom, MN, except friendlier and more interesting luggage. I lived in a tree house (see the banner). Hurricane Earl passed overhead in Belize. There were beaches and volcanoes, churches and Maya ruins, Central Markets and festivals. I ate pelibuey, rabbit, ceviche,  tripe, ants, and drank lots of local coffee. Technically, these photos were taken with an iPhone 5 and a few with an iPad 3.


The mapping applications get better and better. I took a 6 km hike from Juayua to Nahuizalco through back paths between coffee plantations. I tried to follow electric lines but relied on a couple of Map applications.  Besides Google maps, I use Ulmon CityMaps2Go and Maps.Me


Here are some places I stayed. They might not be for everyone, but provided me with many nice perspectives.  The link connects to the page in Trip Advisor:

Tegucigalpa, Honduras: La Ronda Hostel

San Salvador, El Salvador: EC Tours and  Ali’s Guest House

Juayua, El Salvador: Casa Mazeta

Santa Ana, El Salvador: Hostal Casa Verde

Las Flores, Guatemala: La Casa el Lacandon

San Benito, Guatemala: Buenas Cosas (Off the tripadvisor path)

Belmopan, Belize: Hacienda Tropical

(note: Wife and I started this trip together.  In Managua, she had to take a slight detour through Malaysia to assist her family. Much of this trip was already booked, so I continued on, providing her a vicarious experience.  We are meeting up on the next leg of the journey.)

 

Moving On

This has been the latest theme of my travels as  I continue from South to North (and also East to West along the isthmus) in Central America.  Later, I will provide more descriptions and photos of where and how.  In this post I want to touch a little bit on my philosophy.

In the city of San Salvador, El Salvador I found this monument to Pablo Neruda.

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He wrote one of my favorite books in Spanish, Confieso que he vivido (translation: I confess that I have lived, the title in English is Memoirs). His spirit of adventure as he lived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and India have been an inspiration

I am not adventurous though some might wonder considering this headline from May 17th:

In El Salvador, the Murder Capital of the World

  • First, nowhere is totally safe.
  • Second, mostly we have encountered the nicest and friendliest people in our travels
  • Third, advancing age makes up for my lack of common sense.  The need for a public toilet and a place to nap keeps me out of a lot of trouble.
  • Fourth, I learn slowly from mistakes, but I do not dwell on unpleasantness.

Remember, headlines sell advertising.  They generally do not reflect what is really happening at the level of local communities and travelers. Here is a headline from May 20 about my hometown, Tukwila, WA.

Tukwila named America’s most dangerous city

I mark my place. In San Salvador,  I was at Kilometer 0 where all distances are measured in El Salvador.  Later, I moved up to Kilometer 84 near the village of Juayúa.

 

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My hope and wish is that wherever you are and whatever you do, in the end you can also confess, “I have lived.”