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Showing posts from May, 2013

La Pintada Village - Honduras

Horseback riding through a coffee plantation and up high in the hills we came across the village of La Pintada. The people here live in modest homes with small vegetable gardens and very little wealth. They are happy. The homes are constructed of mud brick with corrugated metal roofs, all that is needed to keep the rain and sun out. Pictured below is a typical kitchen, which is the main area of the house. The mother below is cooking corn tortillas over a wood fire. Corn is life in Central America. Many of the houses have small vegetable gardens for their families and many work on the larger nearby farms.

The children of the village greeted us with a song and many corn husk dolls and flowers for a ‘good price’. This gives the children great pride as they are able to help out the family by bringing in a little bit of money. We spent the afternoon fending off the doll purchases and watching the boys play soccer. The two grandsons in our group joined in.

I seemed to have attract…

Copan 250AD

A short bus ride through the cobblestone streets of Copan we reached the ruins considered the “Athens of the Maya World”. Here we were led by a Maya expert who provided some alternative insights to the Maya compared to traditional archeological interpretations. One of the topics he presented was that many of the ancient structures were used as observatories. What is the point of an observatory when you can see the stars from the ground? In many religions around the world the people would use mountains to get closer to their deities. He suggested that in the May world, they built their mountains to become closer to the deities in the form of pyramids. He also stated that the Maya used astronomy to determine the change of the seasons. In the tropics there is not a lot of seasonal diversity. The winter and summer solstices provided that change point which determined when to plant.

Three Countries in one day

We traveled by bus through El Salvador and Guatemala to get to Copan, Honduras. The border at Guatemala was lined with semi trucks waiting for their paperwork to be cleared so that they could cross the border from El Salvador. The line of trucks on the sides of the road must have been at lest 5 miles long. Tighter restrictions to prevent the drug cartels from using overland transportation to move illegal drugs into Guatemala and limited personnel to search the trucks, drivers can wait several days to cross. The highway was quite narrow there were no measures to accommodate the wall of parked trucks creating only one lane traffic. Jaime did a fabulous job weaving in-between the parked semis. At one point just when he started to gain some movement, on a blind curve mind you, three times he had to back up to allow the trucks the right of way. We reached to border station, filed off the bus only to dodge two local cows, half-crazed running around the cars, buses and people in the …

El Savador

We arrived at the airport in El Salvador around 6:30 pm and it was already dark - didn’t get to see much on the way to San Salvador that night. We got up early the next morning, it was hazy, warm and the air was heavy with humidity. We had a buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant; eggs, hash browns, the papaya and pineapple were amazing! We met the members of our group, ten grandparents, two grandchildren, our trip Leader Carlos, and the bus driver Jaime.

Most of the people in our group have traveled quite extensively and are “Inner Circle” members with OAT. We are definitely the newbies as this is our second trip. They are friendly, full of energy and have terrific stories travels. I can’t wait to hear more in the coming days.

San Salvador is called the valley of hammocks because of the ‘swinging’ from the many earthquake tremors that occur through out the area. El Salvador has 3 active volcanos out of the 23 that make up the landscape of the tiny country. Still considered …

Joya de Ceren - 600AD

The ash from a volcano eruption covered this typical Maya Village in its original state, much like Pompeii in Italy. These are the ruins of ordinary people, unlike many of the other well know monuments in Central America which are the ruins of the wealthy. Pictured below is a typical adobe house. The raised platforms on the left inside the home are where the inhabitants slept. Inside on the Right was most likely used for storage. Outside on the left is where the kitchen where they would grind the corn and cook meals over a wood fire.

Anticipation for the Upcoming Trip

Uggg! the anticipation for the upcoming trip is brutal. The first official countdown was 180 days now we are looking at 3 days and a ‘wake up’. Been checking out some business opportunities in Ambergris Caye, an Internet Cafe looks promising…probably not going to happen, but it is fun to dream. Ah, living life on a barrier reef makes me think of J. Maarten Troost’s book “The Sex Life of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific”.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish—all in a country where the only music to be heard for miles around is “La Macarena.” He and his stalwart girlfriend Sylvia spend the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity o…

Roxborough Park - Colorado

We picked up the Colorado State Parks yearly pass for 2013 and with a break in the snow this spring we took the short trip just outside of Littleton.

Planning for the Central America Trip

The departure day is fast approaching! 21 days following the Route of Maya in Central America with Overseas Adventure Travel in which we will be visiting El Salvador, Hondorous, Guatemala and Belize. This is our second trip with OAT. The first adventure was an absolute fabulous journey to Egypt in 2011 just after the uprising to remove President Mubarak from office. I have to say that we felt very safe and it was the best time to go - not too many tourists, we pretty much had the country to ourselves!

Figuring out what technology and photo stuff to bring is the most important since we are photographers after all. I have been struggling for some time now on the ‘right’ photo bag - years really. I don’t want to be tied down with a bunch of gear and a huge backpack like when in Egypt. The huge backpack was cumbersome and heavy on the hot days trekking through the temples. This time, I have decided to still take that huge Lowpro pack for the plane trips since I will be bringing th…