March 18, 2012

Error
This video doesn’t exist
Error
This video doesn’t exist
Error
This video doesn’t exist
Error
This video doesn’t exist
Error
This video doesn’t exist
Advertisements

Utila….what can I say.

March 17, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Under the Sea

March 15, 2012

We were way over due to get out of Belize and continue our travels south. The four of us, Joey, Mel, Mike and I decided Utila was the best place to do some cheap and excellent scuba diving. Geographically Belize and The Bay Islands are realitively close together by sea, but there is no quick way to get there. The journey began in Ambergris Caye, Belize and went as follows: ferry to Belize city, 6.5h chicken bus to Punta Gorda, Belize, boat to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, 5h van to La Ceiba, Honduras and finally, ferry to Utila! Wow! Its sounds way worse then it actually was.

Was it worth it? Heck ya! Utila is unlike any island I have been to as of yet. The coral reef surrounds most of island and there are countless dive sites. Some of the most amazing snorkeling right from the shore too. There is only one developed street, with a couple branch off streets leading up the mountainy terrain. The rest of the island is lush and uninhabited. The entire place is geared towards scuba and there are at least ten dive shops along the strip.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were all really eager to get in the water so we signed up with Parrots Advanced scuba course. I am proud to announce that all four of us are now certified pros! lol We did an amazing night dive and saw an octopus. There were many tiny shrimps that had glowing red eyes under our lights. By far one of the coolest things we have done. We also did our first ship wreck dive. This one was the Halliburton wreck and was sunk on purpose for divers.

Things got a little hairy when everyone but me, got seriously ill our first night here. The ironic part is that it happened at the party our dive shop was throwing! Wow thanks for the warm welcome guys! A rescheduled dive and lots of poop and puke later, and we were back on track.

Today we rented scooters and cruised all the roads on the island. The scenery is incredible and we had everything to ourselves. After a quick hike up Pumpkin Hill we had 300 degrees of ocean view surrounding us. We found a huge pile of plastic collecting on the north side of the island. It all blows in from the ocean. The islanders keep things very clean but what do you do when garbage comes from the ocean everyday?

Next up, we are schedule to do 6 dives on the north side of the island. Fingers are crossed that whale sharks will surprise us soon. Signing out from paradise….

N

Copan Ruinas

November 23, 2011

Out of all the ruins Mike and I have visited, Copan is the most impressive! The temples may not be the highest nor the courtyards the largest but the detail is exquisite! It is really mind boggling to look at the large statues and carvings that have stood for over 1500 years and still be able to see the original detail. Some interesting statues depicted what looked like figures crosslegged with elephants above their heads. Hindu influence? There are also alot of really scary looking figures with curled finger nails and large sharp teeth.

We were impressed with the staircase in the courtyard that was made up of 2000 hyroglyphic stones that depicted 4 centuries of mayan dynasties. There were also some really interested trees that had grown over statues and temples that had massive root systems. 

Best of all the complex was home to the baby macaws that are released into the wild ever year from the Macaw Mountain bird reserve. This is a safe place for them to live while humans get their shit together and enforce stronger regulations on pouching. We were excited to see 15-20 of them flying through the tree tops and cleaning each other. The Mayans also had a strong connection to this bird as there are many stone carvings of them throughout the grounds. 

Honduras: Day 1

November 18, 2011

Michael and I crossed into Honduras yesterday. The border crossing was smooth and only took about an hour to close our car import in Guatemala and open a new one in Honduras. The customs agent was very curtious but took his sweet time processing our papers. Once we were finished he recommended us to check out a local brewery and bird sanctuary in the area. When was the last time a customs agent asked you if you like to drink beer? lol

The bird sanctuary sounded amazing and maybe just what I needed to brighten my spirits. The area was established up on the mountain in the jungle and is amply called Macaw Mountain. There are many birds here, mostly Macaws that have been rescued or donated over the years. I was glad to learn that all the birds there have been taken out of crappy conditions and are now living outdoors with other birds. Unfortunately many of them must still be kept in captivity because they were born there and would die in the wild. Selfishly many people buy these birds and stick them in tiny cages, only to have them pull out their own feathers because they are depressed. Ultimately they end up here for rehibilitaion and a new chance at life.

The sanctuary is doing a fantastic job of rescuing these birds and giving them a better life, while using them to educate the public about keeping birds in captivity. They also have many breeding pairs who are producing baby macaws! Every year they raise up the young until they are strong and release them into the wild. Their hope is to one day have Macaws flying wild in the honduran forest again. Hopefully with combined efforts to stop illegal hunting, these birds will have a chance at survival.

We had an opportunity to hold a few of the tame birds and learn about them. Our favorite was the grandmother macaw, she was 80 years old! She looked just like an old woman, wrinkly and wise. One of the parrots had obviously came from a sports fans home because he kept yelling GOAL GOAL GOAL.  Michael and I were truly overjoyed and have a new respect for the species. Their colors are so vivid that the camera cannot even do justice to their beauty. I would give anything in my lifetime to see a flock of macaws flying over the jungle canopy. This experience should never be caged or captured. It is something that can only be found in nature, where it should be. I was happy to have my money go towards this project and hopefully one day, my children will be able to experience Honduran macaws in the wild!

The sanctuary also was home to some of the biggest, scariest spiders I have ever seen. These arachnids were everywhere and by the end of the walk I was so paranoid I was going to get one on me that I felt crawling everywhere! The walkways were filled with huge ant convoys that were actually pretty venomous. We let a few bite us and the spot burnt for about 15 minutes. We also saw a tree frog that was having a nap on a chair cushion and had turned himself whitish to blend in.

Later on we found our way to the microbrewery called Sol de Copan, which turns out to be ran by a German expat who is making his own brew! Tom is quite the character and has traveled all over the world. He had two university degrees but prefers to live here and serve his own German recipes of beer. He has amazing organic dark beer, which is a real treat for latin america. We have been drinking whale piss for two months now. We polished off a few pints over some great conversation about his world adventures. Tom had spent 18 months traveling India and traveled across Africa on his motorcycle. Ultimately he fell in love to his wife here, while learning spanish and the rest is history. I have a feeling we may be returning there tonight for a few more cervesas. Michael “decided” we needed to stay here longer because there is lots to see in Copan, but I think it is so he can drink more of this beer.

Error
This video doesn’t exist

Error
This video doesn’t exist