A Travellerspoint blog

10 hour boat ride in a hammock

I am now in Costa Rica. It is beautiful here although I have spent the last day in the capital city. Today I went to check out the organization I will be volunteering with starting on Monday and I´m very excited. This organization works with Leatherback turtles which are the largest kind of turtle. What I will be doing is collecting, relocating and monitoring turtle eggs and then releasing hatchlings into the wild. I´m excited.

Cool things...

I climbed an active volcano in Granada which required wearing a gas mask due to the sulphuric gasses pouring out. I then went 102 meters into a cave full of bats. The bats were really cool and the babies can´t fly away so it was possible to look at them really closley, though I doubt they appreciate it very much. Then we went to look into the crater full of lava...the wiccans used to sacrifice virgins to this volcano because they believed that if they kept it happy it would not explode and kill them. The Spanish Catholics later thought it was the gate to Hell and so build a giant cross there out of wood.

I also went to Isla de Ometepe which is in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, the biggest freshwater lake in the....world? Central America? not sure. The lake itself is o ver 8000 k ms squared. We spent the first couple of nights in a town there and hung about. We climbed a volcano and talked to random travellers and a guy who lives on Ometepe but is from Sooke. He is a really crazy guy who liked to regale us with rants about the mayan calendar, murderers, and formalized education among other things. There is also a wreck on the beach of this town which is an old ferry. This is particularly hilarious if you have seen what the new ferry looks like...almost not seaworthy but it got us where we needed to go. I´m sure it too will be on the side of the lake quite soon.

After that town we went on a hunt to find ´Monkey Island´ which was rumoured to be an island full of monkeys which also had a hostel on it. Instead, Monkey Island turned out to be inhabited by evil person-b iting monkeys rescued from abusive situations. Needless to say there was no hostel there . We wound up staying nearby and kayaking over to and around the island. At one point I suppose we got too close because one of the monkies ran out onto a tree branch and looked like he was going to jump on our boat and kill us. Luckily my superior kayaking skills saved me.

After that experience we left Ometepe and crossed to Costa Rica in a very exciting manner. We took a 10 hour boat trip at night down Lake Nicaragua. Luckily I had a hammock and some valium. After arriving in San Carlos and waiting FOREVER to go through customs to leave Nicaragua we went on an awesome boat ride down the Rio Frio to Los Chiles Costa Rica. From the boat we could see Crocodiles, Turtles, monkies and countless birds. Unfortunately after that boat ride we had to wait another two hours to enter Costa Rica. Then we took a 5 hour boat ride to San Jose. Epic. I felt like Odysseyus.

Anyway here I am, alive and well in Costa Rica. Tomorrow I will leave for the Carribean coast where I hope to accomplish some surfing and diving before I head down to Gandoca for the turtle project.

I would like to send some emails oiut right now but the access to email is blocked at this hostel so I cannot. Loves and misses and I will see people im Vic in about 2 weeks.

Pura Vida.

Posted by Eres 16:49 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

Octopus and Turtles and Fishies...

Some things that I find interesting about my travels are...

I saw a sea turtle swimming in the ocean. It was eating coral very slowly and was incredibly cute. I was diving not to far from it looking out from my plastic and metal bubbly shell. It got me very excited for my volunteering in a couple of weeks.

I also went for a night dive and saw an octopus. It looked like a giant blob. Then we all went and sat underwater in the sand and turned off our flashlights to watch the bioluminescent plankton. Yay!

I went to El Fortin in Leon which involved me and Jonno getting lost only to be redirected by a cab driver who (thankfully) drove us there through the city dump. People live in this dump. It was the first time here that I have felt actually culture shocked. We drove in the back of this taxi while adults and children rifled through garbage and flew a kite made of refuse while wearing kerchiefs over their faces.

Other travellers do not seem to be having a good time. They seem to be afraid all the time and unwilling to ever step outside their comfort zones. I find this irritating and somewhat lonlinfying. I´m not saying they need to go through the dump but at least not worrying exactly what bus we´re going to catch all the time would allow a bit more fun I think.

Last night I watched a thunderstorm over the biggest church in Central America. There was both sheet and fork lightnening. I got very wet and enjoyed it immensely.

Today I swam in a lake hotter than a hot tub. I think it is warmed by all the surrounding volcanoes, there were something like 6 of them. The sand under it was also black, i believe intermingled with volcanic ash.

My favourite part of travelling is when I get to interact with local people. I wish this was a bit easier but am also glad that it is not because that would likely take a lot of the joy out of it all. Examples include...roosterfights, some guy trying to help Lucy find meats at midnight, and playing trivia at a local pub and losing horribly.

Oh by the way I am in Granada, Nicaragua. I just arrived here today so really don´t have much to say about it except that it looks very pretty and that i ate a tasty supper.

Posted by Eres 20:33 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Dive Shark

So I am now a full fledged SCUBA diver. I have been diving a lot on the reef just off of Utila, the small island where I am staying. It has been a lot of work but it is incredible. There are so many different kinds of fish and coral and it is just really fun to be underwater for so long. Today I am starting my advanced scuba training which means I get to fine-tune my skills and go night and deep diving. I am excited!

Utila is a very nice small island in the Caribbean. I have been having a really good time here both in and out of the water. I have met many interesting people, including someone who is going to teach me to spin fire.

I am going to try to take some pictures underwater on Wednesday so I can have some amazing records of my dives here.

Yesterday I got to feed scarlet macaws some peanuts.

Posted by Eres 10:17 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Mucho Gusto

It{s been a while!

Last weekend Jonno and I headed out to el zotz, a remote Mayan ruin. Getting there involved some pretty bad roads in the back of a 4by4. I sort of thought we were going to die for a bit but we didn{t which was good. The temples there were much less uncovered than in tikal but still had amazing views. At sunset we did a gruelling hike up to a mirador (lookout) which had an amazing view of the jungle and then went down to the bat wall to watch the bats swarm off for their nightly feast.

I left San andres on wednesday and spent a couple of nights in Rio Dulce and a crazy secluded cabin in Las Canchas before heading down to Honduras yesterday. The cabin in Las Canchas wasm occupied by just three of us plus a guide who took us to an amazing waterfall one of the days. In fact there were waterfalls all around there and it was beautiful. muy tranquillo.

I am now writing from copan, a small town near the border of Honduras and Guatemala. I quite like it here. A parrot bit me today. Some parrots have the ability to exert 1000 pounds of pressure...luckily this one either did not or did not wish to use it all on me. Hooray!

Tomorrow i am off the bay islands where i will hopefully learn to scuba dive.

Posted by Eres 19:24 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Ducks and Spanish Love Songs

So this week has been good. I have gotten a bit closer to the woman I am staying with and she is teaching me to make a Guatemalan shirt. I think it will be quite pretty. She is also teaching me to make tortillas from scratch as in from corn. Wow.

Last night was really wonderful. I skipped libraby volunteering along with all the other volunteers to go hang out at the park. We wound up hanging out with an awesome duck whom I have named Mohawk and listening to a local man play really pretty music on his guitar. We ate hot dogs and had a couple of beers. There were really big fireflies everywhere and also a toad. Very nice night.

This week we finished the bridge we started last week and also built a room for a school. School here is not mandatory and really is not like school at home. The teachers seem to take breaks whenever they like and likewise the children go to their classrooms whenever they like. But anyway we built another room. And I must say it looks nice.

Worry dolls for the week
1) That the strange bitetype thing in my bellybutton is actually some eggs of some bug waiting to hatch
2) That Mohawk will reject all offers I make for him to accompany me home
3) The turantula that lives in the park

Posted by Eres 14:39 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

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