All world trips should be amazing especially the experiences you have during them however I also love the planning and the remembering aspect of such trips. This blog entry is to help me recall the trip and is Part 4 covering the Sights.
There are 4 different aspects to my world adventure I’m going to try and document;
1) The sights – what activities I enjoyed by country (4 parts)
2) The culture – what I learned about the different cultures, religions and history
3) The people – the people I travelled with who I remember fondly
4) Travelling – how I travelled and what I learnt.
I visited 19 countries during this world trip:
Part 1: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Iceland, England.
Part 2: Germany, Spain, Argentina, Chile
Part 3: Antarctica, USA, Mexico, Cuba
Part 4: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Five marvellous days in the tiny country of Belize which I still look back at fondly. New Year’s Eve was spent on Caye Caulker, an island locate in the warm Caribbean waters. The NYE celebrations were very enjoyable as I celebrated with the young crowd with fire works and alcohol. The snorkelling yacht day trip was amazing, swimming with turtles, string-rays and colourful fish.
I visited Guatemala for 8 days in January. Guatemala was my first experience of a homestay in Central America which saw children climbing all over me all night. These kids, and a huge group of others, also got to enjoy destroying a piñata that Andrea bought. Another particular highlight was the day we travelled on chicken buses were every spot was taken and the conductor jump from seat to seat!
I will always remember the sunset Panajachel, the various colours of reds clashing with the volcanoes against the lake. The stay at the Ecological Lodge in Río Dulce with the wild rainy weather, the invading spider and kayaking against the river was awesome (and hard work). Visiting a volunteer school while there also reminded me how great a lot of people are, and how it isn’t always about ‘self’.
I also got to celebrate my birthday in Guatemala (Antigua) with my previous tour ladder Sid making an appearance as I took a shot of a drink that was on fire! Thanks again to Andrea for organising.
The seven days in Honduras was memorable for the extreme weather that stranded our group on Roatan Bay Island for an extra 36 hours as I watched boats crash on the coast. But before that in Copan I visited my last Mayan Ruins, this ancient empire spanning from Mexico to Honduras.
Swimming just off the coast at the Bay Islands was enjoyable has I tried to find away though the coral reef maze. Hysterical of to Gabo for his excellent handling of the difficult problem being caught on the island. Quite a few of our group didn’t enjoy the ferry trip off the island as we got really rocked!
A quick four day visit to Nicaragua still had a few highlights mostly notably the carriage ride around Granada with Rianne and the stunning sunset at Ometepe.
18) Costa Rica
One of the most beautiful places on the planet. This gem of a country doesn’t have any military instead spending money on their people with the resulting higher quality of living.
The environment is looked after by the government and the people. Costs are higher than the rest of Central America but still cheap by Australian buying power.
Costa Rica offers lots of nature based activities, the night walk I took in Monteverde saw me a metre from deadly snakes, a place I also zip-lined around and over a forest and though mist flying like superman!
Costa Rica was also the place I saw my first toucan in the wild, and only 5 minutes into the country! I also nearly killed myself white water rafting getting trapped under he raft for a few seconds and falling out at another point :). Costa Rica – do it!
The ten day stay in Panama started with a border crossing that we had to walk over a bridge for. Panama isn’t a wide country so I ended up swimming in the Pacific and Caribbean oceans with a few days. In Boquete I was outsmarted by a monkey at the hot springs 😦 I also left my group and travelled solo without getting lost to Panama City.
The Panama Canal is an outstanding engineering feat and the city is interesting in it’s own right with a very strong European and USA influences. A lot of locals from neighbouring countries don’t even seen Panama as Central American due to their USA control / influence.
It was with great sadness I left Panama knowing that this amazing adventure was over.