Month: July 2014

antigua | guatemala

travel July 30, 2014

The feeling of returning to a place that I fell in love with years before was a little surreal. Antigua was the whole reason behind travelling through Guatemala, and as we drove down the cobblestone streets, through the colonial town the memories of why I loved it so much rushed back. The food, art, coffee, and culture, and after a few days of being there, I fell in love with it all over again.

I saw and experienced the town in all different ways, from getting my coffee at the same cafe every morning, to going to an after party once the bar closed at night. I dined in ‘the’ best restaurant in Guatemala, rode in tuktuks down the cobbled streets, sat in terrace bars that overlooked the town and talked for hours. I wandered the streets under the full moon, danced salsa, and drank dos cubitas at a bar that became my local. I explored a coffee plantation, re-visited the old convent, went to art galleries, and trekked up a hill and starred out over the town. I said goodbye to some much loved friends, made some new ones, and left Antigua feeling content in the fact that I had done everything that I wanted to, in the town that captured me years before and that I will always have a sweet spot for.

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panajachel | guatemala

travel July 28, 2014

Although I travelled to a lot of countries while working on cruise ships, I only ever saw them between the hours of 7am and 5pm. This time when travelling I decided to make the most of my unlimited free hours and see the towns I visited in many different lights. I was always lucky to be travelling with like minded people as well.

In Panajachel this meant sitting along the lake and starring out at the volcanoes – a scene that was truly beautiful during the day, but at night was much more eventful. On one night in particular we sat and watched as the storm come in, with the volcanoes in the darkness, lit only by the moon and the occasional flashes of lightening nearing towards us.

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san jorge la laguna | guatemala

travel July 26, 2014

It seems that every town, no matter how big or small, has a basketball hoop and San Jorge la Laguna was no different. Since leaving Mexico and travelling through Belize and Guatemala, I began to notice them all in every place we passed, so when we arrived and I saw a couple of kids shooting hoops, I took the opportunity to join them. My new buddies didn’t seem to mind how terrible I was!

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chichicastenango | guatemala

travel July 24, 2014

While in Chichicastenango I took the time to wander by myself – to walk through a market that was bigger than some of the towns that surrounded it. It was a meeting place of many communities, their main source of income or trade, and their way of life. It was an incredibly colourful place, through the clothing the people wore, the buildings they lived in, the food, textiles and art they sold.

In the midst of everything was a white church that brought a calming centre to it all. Where the women sat selling flowers, with the burning incense surrounding them. It created such a peaceful atmosphere, in a busy market place. Somehow in the labyrinth of all the stalls I ran into mi amigo, so we sat for a while simply observing, talking and philosophising as the people around us went about their day.

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rio dulce | guatemala

travel July 22, 2014

My time was spent by the river – swimming, lying on the pontoon, reading on the deck, and eating & drinking with friends, with the most serene outlook. Life here revolved around the river.

One afternoon, we took a 45 minute trip on a little boat to finca paraiso – a thermal area, where the hot waterfall mixed into the cool. The water was calm, but the noise from the boat motor was too loud to be able to speak. So we all just sat, and followed the flow of the landscape as it was passing – a moment that felt transcendent in time.

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tikal | guatemala

travel July 20, 2014

After visiting Teotihuacan in Mexico DF I had an overwhelming need to climb to the highest point of the temples and pyramids in all of the archeological ruins that I visited, so Tikal was truly fascinating for me.

Tikal was an impressive site, surrounded by dense jungle, and covered a vast area of land. Reaching the top of the many large temples uncovered an incredible view out over Guatemala, and created a fascination I now have with the Mayan civilisation that had lived a crazy amount of years before.

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flores | guatemala

travel July 18, 2014

My fascination with light continued through to Flores, where it seemed that the sun struck the town in a crazily beautiful way, creating a somewhat romanticised atmosphere. The colours of all the houses were emphasised, the river shined, and the people seemed so happy in their daily life.

It was a great little place to wander and experience the friendly and playful nature of the people. One afternoon as I sat by the river, a couple of local kids sparked up a conversation with me. We sat and chatted for a while as I attempted to answer and reply to them using my very limited espaƱol. I think we spent most the time laughing at my lack of understanding.

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san ignacio | belize

travel July 16, 2014

We were travelling on route to San Ignacio, driving through torrential rain, going off road to avoid fallen trees when the sky suddenly cleared and the sun came out and cast light across the landscape. I went to reach for my camera but then relaxed back into my seat, realising that sometimes a photo will just not do a scene justice. After this moment I became content in simply looking and absorbing what was in front of me – you don’t have to document everything!

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caye caulker | belize

travel July 13, 2014

The next part of my trip took me across the border into Belize. I had only ever entered a country through airports (or a ship in my cruising days!), so literally walking across the border felt a little surreal – backpack on, passport in hand, walking amongst the locals that were returning from getting their supplies, across the bridge and straight back onto the road for three hours.

In all my planning, I had been so excited about Mexico and Guatemala that I hadn’t realised what was waiting for me in Belize – the island of Caye Caulker was unexpected perfection!

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cancun + tulum | mexico

travel July 7, 2014

Cancun signified the end of one part of my adventure and the beginning of another. It was where I said goodbye to my friends, who had become a little family over the past three weeks, and started my travels. I still had a couple of days left in Mexico so made the most of the sun, the beach, and of course my new found favourite food in the world…..and had a few margaritas while I was at it!

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