« January 2003 | Main | March 2003 »

February 27, 2003

isla de ometepe

so i went to granada, ran into paddy the crazy scot who i had met almost 3 months ago in tulum, mexico, weve been palling around, pascual and joanna are quite occupied with each other, doing the couple sickly in love thing, its cute. went to a baseball game, that was great, spent half the time explaining the rules to brits and aussies, half the time talking to nicaraguans and drinking, granada beat leon the other big city 11 to 5, we all cheered and spilled a little beer. last night went to some open mike night, ran into dave the essex boy from utila, he was working in the bar, hes back to england in a week. one exciting thing in granada was when i got kicked out of some fancy youth hostel, it was 6 a night as opposed to the 2.33 i was paying, i was trying to sneak free internet time. the lady was a little too furious for such a minor offense i thought, she banned me from the premises. its a mistaken conclusion i think that anyone can get rich running a youth hostel, a veces you meet these angry folks who are bitter that the dollars arent being raked in, i say what do you expect. ok ill be back in email contact soon, hope everyone is having good times, even where its snowy and cold.

Posted by bendan at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2003

this was gonna be short

im in esteli, came for a day to check out a nicaraguan mountain town and to get away from the heat. went to a cool pond formed by a waterfall, all by myself went swimming, it was an hour walk to and from the waterfall, so i got to stroll through the nicaraguan farmland, very beautiful and peaceful, it was good for me.
going to granada to reunite with pascual and joanne tomorrow, should also run into some other folks ive already met, trying to decide whether ill go to the corn islands, kinda leaning towards no right now, the trip to get there is meant to be quite exciting but the islands sound spending and its a pain to get to and from them.

message to steve: i sent your message to andrew, hope hes getting his mail. if you need me to call anyone or anything just let me know the same way you did.

for those of us who didnt see bowling for columbine, here are some fun facts from the film about our fair nation, the u.s.a.

Posted by bendan at 05:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2003

good luck

so last evening i left the hostel to walk down to the parque central, and who did i find sitting next to a fountain making kissy faces at each other, but pascual and joanne. they had finished their course in utila and are making fast time towards costa rica. fairly overjoyed at the coincidence, we went out for italian food, beers and the tyson fight.

this morn we met in the parque again, and hung out all day, going to a pool party to celebrate the birthday of some english girl, the best part of this was finding that pascual and i are sorta evenly matched at chess. it`s really good to hang out with him and joanne, it`s weird to think that we met each other on the street in zacatecas more then 4 months ago. the plan now is that tomorrow they are going to granada and i am going for a quick jaunt through the highcountry, then i too will book for granada and possibly continue down with them to the isla de omotepe, some islands on the lake of nicaragua, the largest lake in central america. if not granada will be our last hanging out together, they have the adventurous plan to make it to chile by the first of may, which is,
as pascual said, really fucking fast man. indeed.

tonight we had dinner with two parisians, they all spoke mostly english for me but the french i found myself understanding more and more, i look forward to the day when i`ll be able to concentrate on getting it down good in a french speaking country.

Posted by bendan at 08:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

annoying and funny.

Posted by bendan at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2003

get your bus on

just finished two almost solid days of chicken bus riding, finally got into leon, nicaragua. last night i made it to the border of el salvador and honduras right as night fell, in some sketchy as hell trucker town. there was some tourbus that arrived right before i hiked up to the border, so i had to wait in line as the last bus to a reasonable town took off down the road. finally i made it through the line, and walked into honduras with it being completely dark. the truckers were eying my backpack so i hoofed it over to the first hotel i could find, one of those room with a bed and a fan and concrete walls places, 4 bucks was a fair price since i was feeling a bit exposed. this morn i awoke in my concrete room and booked it out of there, busses across southern honduras, to the nicaraguan border, then two different busses and a taxi ride to get into the center of leon. over the 2 days, at least 8 busses, so sufficed to say, i`m ready for some stationary time.
leon seems cool, rather quite hot weather wise, but i hear tell of a italian restaurant that has falafels, got my fingers crossed. the funny part of getting here is that the first hotel i went to was full, so i went wandering, and found a nice one for 3.50 shared room, and who happened to be there but fucking doug, the gringo who drove me nuts when i was on utila. as the norwegians stated, he`s your typical american, which means he`s loud and as irritating as anyone i`ve ever met. i`me actually planning to switch hotels tomorrow morning, that`s how much he sucks. don`t get me started.
ok i`ll stop writing since this isn`t interesting since all i`ve been doing is riding busses. talked to bob schwenkler on messenger today, the reno kids should all write and encourage him to come for the graduation of dawn and shannen and whoever else is graduating.

Posted by bendan at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2003

no good waves, no patience for waiting for them

woke up this morn at 6 to go surf, and the waves were crap, so i returned my rented surfboard, packed my stuff and was gone by 9 am. i think i would have dug la libertad more if i would have had someone to hang out with, ive been travelling alone now for 5 or 6 days, its not really as fun as when youre with other folks. i imagine ill get to try surfing again in nicaragua or costa rica if i make it there.
right now im in san miguel, on the other side of el salvador, ive been riding busses all day, ive had to change like 3 times, it wears you out. on the last bus this crazy drunk old guy wouldnt stop bothering me, i was polite at first but had to resort to nearly yelling at him to get away, all the rest of the passengers looked on with sympathy for me, stupid drunk bastard, he was nearly impossible to understand cause he was slurring, finally he got off. oh well, shit happens.
so im gonna go check the bus schedule, either heading around the golfo de fonseco, a gulf that touches honduras, el salvador and nicaragua, towards the nicaraguan highlands, or gonna backtrack a little and go check out tegucigalpa and a cloud forest thats near there. all i know is that im not staying here tonight, they say it gets mean after dark. its been interesting going through this country, im almost always the only traveller around, the people look at me like theyve never seen a white boy with a huge backpack before. its good and its bad, bad cause they sometimes give the impression that theyd love to pull out a knife and take tha toversized backpack away. im cautious though, dont carry my passport around ever and sorta keep my head down. im probably exaggerating a bit, but it does feel sketchy.

Posted by bendan at 01:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2003

*kan du kloe meg rett under bh'n?*

i think that title might mean something really rude/dirty in norwegian, but since only 3 people who read this understand norwegian, and one of them sent it to me, then im not so worried.
my last evening in san salvador was fun, heidi the half canadian came down from guate cause she was flying out the next day, which was yesterday. it was good to see her, she was my excellent haircutter in san pedro, we hung out and got pupusas and talked about how she wasnt so excited to go home, but really excited to be moving to new zealand in a month to be with craig her significant other. she gifted me with the book how to lose friends and alienate people by toby young, id started it in san pedro and was glad to get to finish it, the guy was a bit sicophantic with his star worshipping but he was funny and made some good points about the myth of the meritocracy in the united states. read the link its a good review of the book.
now im at la libertad, its alright, dangerous looking youths abound, and although its interesting to learn, the surf bug hasnt bitten me so much. combine that with the invasion of san salvadoreanos set for saturday, they come in droves every weekend, right now im looking at staying tomorrow and maybe friday but heading out saturday. everyone ive met says nicaragua is going to be excellent, and i have some buddies who are there right now who i wouldnt mind catching up with.
sounds like little brother steve is doing some major bus rides around south america, its a shame i dont get to go visit him there. oh well, im trying to figure out how to hijack his plans of france and convince him to come along on my next trip, well see how that works. hell, by the time he graduates the u.s. might have already bombed france. hehe. mark gandolfo wouldnt mind that one bit id imagine.
shit cant figure out how to work in a surrender joke. help, anyone?

Posted by bendan at 04:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 19, 2003

funny readin

concerning a certain appendage of michael jackson.

Posted by bendan at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2003

pupusas, the best street food ever

last night went back to the still empty hostel, then cruised over to some hipster restaurant cafe to watch a film. the film turned out to be an italian one, 120 days of sodom, a takeoff of the book of the same name by the marquis de sade. its about how at the end of world war 2 the italian president and prime minister and the head politicos gathered themselves up a harem of teenage boys and girls and spent tons of time pooping on, sodomizing, and telling perverted stories to the poor young adults. i watched nearly all of it, then got bored and sorta disgusted but mostly just annoyed and left. it was one of those artsy films with tons of long shots with no audio at all, but i didnt find the cinematography inspiring and the subject matter gets my vote as weird and lame. apparently it was the directors last film, to which i say good.

today started off with me waking up and shaking all the bugs out of my bed, there were like 15 but mysteriously, none had bitten me. is that a good sign or a bad one? i dont know.
was gonna shoot out of here post haste, but decided to check out the national anthropological museum. i used the time tested technique of breaking out my old expired international student card and got in for half price, hooray for me. the museum had tons of pottery and other archeological pieces from precolumbian el salvador, the coolest was when you saw the stuff that was made before the arrival of the pipil tribes who migrated down from mexico, and then the stuff made afterwords. the faces in particular changed drastically, the ones before the pipils looking more mayan, which makes sense cause the mayan had ventured down to here a little, and the ones after being more elongated and less flat. the rest of the museum was well presented, it was kinda sad, i think i was the only visitor there.
next i stopped at a street vendor for some more pupusas, so cheap, so good, they get my vote for best street vendor food ever. the cooked cabbage topping, the hot sauce, man its the best combination, plus here you eat it with your hands and get all messy. and it costs less then 50 cents for 3 of them, which fills me up good.
after that i wandered around and looked at some national monuments to the revolution, wasnt quite sure which one they were talking about, there has to have been about 25 revolutions here in the last 100 years alone. perhaps im exaggerating a little but i saw some fotos of building facades before and after the guerillas came through, they seemed to really like shooting up building fronts.
i headed back towards the center to look for a cheap pair of shorts, and ran across the veggie restaurant that i couldnt find yesterday. really damn good food there as well, had a carrot burger patty, some good whole grain rice, and some fake meat, i was in heaven as i watched some crappy daytime variety show. the only people i saw eating there were doctors, which made me feel pretty confident that i wouldnt get sick.
was gonna take off after this, its only an hour to la libertad and surfing and people calling me bro, but my friend heidi just wrote me an email saying she was coming here, so i might stick around to hang out with her then make for the coast tomorrow. still gotta find me some shorts too. im gonna bargain my ass off, usually im not but sometimes i get in the mood to haggle.

if you have a minute you should check out this site, they always have cool fotoshop contests, i thought this one particularly enjoyable.

just realized that in 10 days i will have had my webpage for one year, heres a link to my first entry, not anything profound but the page i linked to still works and its till as funny as ever.

Posted by bendan at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 17, 2003

san salvador, its a crazy place

so last night i was still in that honduran town, ended up hanging out with the traffic cop for about a half hour, helping him write questions in english for a fictional boss character. he was really enthusiastic about english, it was weird but i tried to speak english to him, im so programmed to speak spanish to all locals that it was kinda weird but fun. i found that i could explain stuff pretty good since i knew the spanish lingustic stuff back and forth. still i dont know if id ever want to teach english, maybe but it would have to be to an upper level class. other then that went to sleep early in my shitty hotel room, caught up on some sleep.
woke up this morning and caught the bus down to san salvador. i just finished walking around the central part, all the streets were blocked by hundreds and hundreds of booths selling all manner of stuff. the people call out to you and even grab your arm trying to get your to buy there junk, and there are mobile venders with an arm full of shorts or towels or bras for example walking around yelling un dolar! the streets with vendors are covered and in a way it reminds me of the souks in morocco.
one of the most interesting things about this place is that you see an armed officer walking around sporting an automatic weapon about every 3 minutes, i had heard that there were a lot of guns here but its ridiculous. this is the largest city ive been in since oaxaca i think, at first i was kinda repelled by it but now im intrigued, they have the traditional el salvadorean dish, the pupusa, which is corn meal with a bean, cheese, or weird meat filling, i get the bean ones, theyre really good with the cabbage and carrot topping and some tomatoey hot sauce. theres an el salvadorean restaurant in reno so im familiar with this food, but its better here, really damn cheap, 3 pupusas cost me 48 cents. thats the other weird thing, el salvador switched the official currency to dollars about a year ago, so im stuck using the damn annoying american penny again. i was trying to remember how to fold the 20 dollar bill so it showed the twin towers burning, couldnt remember but it didnt matter cause i went to the bank to get 200 bucks out, that should last me forever here, and all my money came out in 5 dollar bills. im carrying that around now in my concealable money pouch but i know i need to get off the street before its dark, i read that american gang members that are kicked out of the u.s. end up back here and start up again, tonight im gonna stick close to the hostel im at, its in a little better neighborhood. pascual got robbed on the beach in la libertad where im going to surf, so i know to carry around only like 5 bucks.
tomorrow im going to the anthropological museum, then plan to pay a visit to the center that coordinates the ngos and volunteer workers. i maybe sticking around to do some work here, it all depends on if the work i could do would be interesting, the best would be getting to translate something but thats probably not going to be an option. im also looking at my money situation, its not the best, but then again not so bad.
ok off to catch a bus back to the hostel before the thugs show up.

some humor about how us travelling americans should act.

Posted by bendan at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2003

the road to el salvador

got off the island yesterday, ended up taking the 15 dollar flight cause i went on 2 last fundives in the morning. we went to the north side of the island, and saw... a five foot nursery shark, swimming up this sand channel and away from us. i didn`t feel anything but excited, so cool, so fast in the water it swam. our next dive, my last one for maybe a while, was good as well, me and david, one of the english folks id been palling around with, took to doing corkscrews in teh water. on that dive we only say a sting ray, a small one, but it was fun just to find myself feeling so comfortable under the water. though i spent tons of money, the whole diving experience was definitely up there on things ive done this trip.

just decided to stay here in this pretty little town, santa rosa de copan, then make for el salvador tomorrow morning early. diving had me waking up at 6 am every day, i need to shake that off pretty soon. gonna stop in san salvador first i think, then, based on advice from pascual, head to la libertad to really learn to surf. excited about that, he said it was quite a good place to learn. after that off to nicaragua, having second thoughts about my plan to go all the way to panama, my cash may not hold out, alternate plans including sucking it up and buying a plane ticket, or crusing back up to northern honduras or guate to catch a boat from there.

just finished sometimes a great notion, by ken kesey, the author of one flew over the cuckoos nest, it was a worthy book to break my promise of not reading in english over. such a good book, since i lost my spanish dictionary i decided id read a little in english, gonna start rabbit boss which is about the washoe indians this evening. may go watch thenew james bond film, or just sit in the plaze in this town and watch the friendly townfolk walk around.

a new get your war on came out a few days ago, i was in the hanging out with the norwegians last night, they left this morn for guate, and i say statistics that said that more americans are in favor of waiting to attack iraq then there are who are gung ho to bomb some children. its kinda astounding that theres a viable(?) peace movement in the u.s. again, warms the heart. if i was there id be getting my protest on, itll prolly still be going on when i get back though.

Posted by bendan at 03:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 13, 2003

bicycle repair at 25 meters

went on two dives this morning, a deep dive to 32 meters where i got a little nitrogen narcosis, which makes you goofy and uncautious of you let it, all it did to me was make me smile real big and swim very close to the ocean floor, my arms out in front of me as if i were flying, which in a way i was. then we did a multilayer dive in which we used nitrogen accumulation timetables as we dove at different levels. tonight is my last dive in the advanced course, it`s a night dive, should be really cool.
forgot to mention, yesterday at the wreck there was a bicycle that some other diving team had brought down, you used to be able to ride it around the deck of the sunken cargo boat, but the chain (naturally) was starting to rust. edwin my instructor and i tried for a minute or two to get the back tire rolling again, i was so excited to jump it off the bow of the boat and float down 5 meters to the deck, but the damn thing wasn`t budging. still i was proud, even billy spaceman hasn`t done bike repair in those circumstances (yet...).
leaving saturday i decided, gonna try and go on some fun dives tomorrow, been talking to pascual, he just came up from el salvador where i`m going, mentioned a perfect place to learn to surf, might have to finally give it a serious go. it`s great to see him again, he`s with joann from belgium, they start the beginner course today.
learning to dive here is the cheapest place in the world, i did the beginner open water course for $135 u.s. including lodging, the advanced costs the same, you couldn`t even get just the beginning open water in the u.s. for less the 350 i reckon. so if any of you are coming though here in the future (buskirk) you would be smart to try it, i can`t wait to dive in freshwater now, they say the visibility is even better. if i was in a different circumstance i`d stay here for another month and get my divemaster rating, it`s a little more expensive ($700) but worth it, maybe some other time.

ok off to prep for the night dive.

Posted by bendan at 02:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 12, 2003

get your dive on

finally broke down and am using the internet, at more then 10 bucks an hour, what a joke. anyways, been out here on utila for 6 days i think, yesterday i finished my open water dive course, and today i started the advanced course, which is the reason i`m sticking around. the diving is amazing, i love the hell out of it, my first open water dive was on monday, my birthday, a good way to spend a birthday. today i did the coolest dive so far, we went down to 30 meters, 100 feet, to check out a sunken ship. you drop off the boat and sink about 65 feet through blue water, nothing to see and it`s like your in limbo, then you see the boat coming up below you. so rad. i didn`t suffer nitrogen narcosis, which makes you feel goofy and drunk, though my instructor, a cool dutch guy named edwin, did. he`s a good teacher, and beat me this morning at chess.
pascual just showed up today with his belgique, too bad he didn`t get here earlier. rhan from israel is here as well, met him in omoa, he`s one of the best israelis i`ve met on this trip, super funny and smart. and of course i`ve been hanging out with my norwegian harem, as this canadian called them, clare and the two kristines, they`re funny and don`t talk in norwegian much at all when i`m around, just to make fun of me. we all came over on a cargo boat from la ceiba, a nightmare day that one, the ferry wasn`t running we waited 7 hours in the boatyard to get on the cargo boat where the crew made lewd comments at the norwegians and they cursed back in norwegian, it kinda scared the crew. clare would have been a good viking.
should be back on the mainland friday or saturday, might stay till saturday to hang out with pascual.
thanks everyone for the birthday emails, reckon i`ll read them when it`s cheaper.
ok off to dive class.

Posted by bendan at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 06, 2003

tela, honduras, on the way to the bay islands to scubadive

3 days at omoa was good enough, had fun but last night there was a contingent right outside the window of the dorm room, mainly canadians, who were bashing the u.s. a bunch and making fucking annoying homophobic comments. i decided to ignore them and read my book, but it sealed my decision to head out this morning. i'm cruising to the bay island of utila, along with some norwegians. they're fun but break into norwegian all the time, which i can't understand.
on the second bus this morning, leaving san pedro sula for here, the bus blew a tire. i count that as my 5th bus breakdown, one has happened in every country i've visited. i sat outside the bus and talked to the busdriver about the maquiladoras (sweatshop style factorys) and what he thought of them. he liked that they brought jobs but felt the jobs were crappy cause they left no time for going to school or self improvement, that they were kinda like a trap. he had a point.
finally got here and ditched our stuff in the cheapest hotel, the rooms smell like mildew growing on mildew, and headed for the beach. there were waves here and sand not just rocks like in omoa, i frolicked as i'm want to do in such circumstances, watched the sun go down, it was great. playing in the waves reminded me of zipolite, i think the ocean adds to itself every new time you see it, i can't imagine how it'll be to see the ocean when i'm 60, so many floods of different memories will come crashing back i imagine, actually i can't even imagine.
so yeah, going to catch a boat to utila tomorrow, we have to arise at 6 am to get the bus to the port in la ceiba, a few hours east of here. should get there at 10:30, hope to start the diving course the same day. this means i'll be there over my birthday, and since internet is supposed to run 15 bucks an hour out there i expect tons of happy birthday emails when i get back. hehe, just kidding.

andrew morton pointed out that ali davis, who did the real porn clerk diaries, has a new piece in salon, which is written in her excellent funny style and you should all read. this time she's working doing job interviews over the phone, here's a quote:

"Interviews like these made me decide that, like the Swiss, United States citizens should be required to do a year of national service before starting their careers. But instead of the Army, it should be a year in the customer service industry. I'd think we'd have a lot fewer jerks in the world if everyone had to pull a tour of duty at a counter or behind a help desk."

i agree 100 percent.

Posted by bendan at 04:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 04, 2003

omoa, honduras

so i awoke yesterday at the finca ixobel, halfway between flores, where i stayed in tikal, and rio dulce, this other popular travel attraction. the finca had the worst book exchange i have ever seen, and it was expensive, so i got out of there. came down to rio dulce, then decided to push on out of guatemala, to omoa, honduras, on the carribean coast. i knew the french canadians would be arriving around the same time, and i was hungering for some beach life.

the border crossing from northeastern guate to honduras was quite interesting, went through entrerios then caught a jam packed minibus to the border, where i switched to a pickup, then went to corinto, then switched to a proper bus. we were out there in the middle of nowhere, and the road was half paved on the guate side and not at all on the honduras side, when we came to the border it was just a little booth out on a road surrounded by crop fields, a line was drawn across the road. i stepped into honduras, hopped in the back of a pickup, and was off.

talked to a honduran guy the whole busride, he helped me out by telling me the real price, thats a great trick i employ, asking what things should really cost then being able to barter better with locals who are used to ripping gringos off.

got into omoa, went to rolis place, which ranks as probably the best youth hostel ive ever been to. its 80 meters to the beach, 4 bucks a night for a dorm bed 2 bucks to pitch my tent, free bicycles to use, free kayaks, free purified water, a good kitchen, cheap beer (10 lempiras, about 70 cents a bottle) and a good international crowd.

we sat up last evening talking about the world, i always find myself in the role of having to defend u.s. foreign policy, which sucks cause i usually completely disagree with it. when that happens i tend to turn on the canadians, deflecting the attention from me to our polar bear riding, igloo-living neighbors of the north.

figure on staying here a few nights, already got my first sunburn today, all my pacific mexican coast tan is gone, gonna have to earn it back. should be good times. already i feel like i am going to enjoy honduras more then guate, i sorta dashed through guate, but i know ill be going back through their again. the people here seem more friendly.

just finished the book mclibel by john vidal, very interesting, i remember seeing the flyers and passing them out but i never saw the documentary, now i know the whole story, which i recommend you check out. after reading that book i hate mcdonalds more then ever, the website mcspotlight.org is really comprehensive, if you have a bit of time give it a look.

in the news, general franks the u.s. general picked to murder iraqis is screwing around with his powers as general, and a theory as to the real reason bush is so hot to attack iraq sounds fairly sound to me.

not much else, enjoying the sun, been playing lots of chess, gonna cook a group dinner tonight. i think my daily costs will be around 10 bucks a day, gotta find out when pascual is going to the island of utila for diving, will try to meet him.

Posted by bendan at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 01, 2003

tikal ruins, guatemala

ended up staying at some place called remate which is halfway between tikal and the town of flores where i am now. shared a room with my new aussie friend ilana, the kid who worked the office at the hostel locked the gate at 9 oclock, we had to crawl under the gate to go out looking for a beer, then come right back when everything was closed. it was good, saved some money.

tikal is really damn deep in the jungle. we caught a minibus to the entrance and got charged a stiff 50 quetzals to get in, thats about 7 bucks. she wanted to take a tour and i didnt, so we split up. i wandered around on the paths for a while, till i found the main plaza. i sat looking at temple I for about 40 minutes, imagining the ancient mayans throwing slaves and captured prisoners down the stairs as sacrifices. apparently a few tourists have inadvertently done the same, which is the reason i wasnt allowed to climb up. there were quite a few other tourists wandering around, which was something i cant complain about cause i took to shadowing the tour groups and evedropping on the inside info i was too cheap to pay for.

there were monkeys about, i spent plenty of time staring up at them, in wonder, like i always do when i see monkeys. one of them threw something at me, it wasnt a turd, looked like some kind of seed.
i climbed all of the pyramids, but my favorite was temple IV. check out this photo, and see if it reminds you of something.
give up?

if it reminds you of the return of the jedi, youre correct, they shot some of the profile endor shots from the top of the very same temple. ilana isnt a starwars junkie like me, i had to talk to several other tourists before i found someone to share my joy at this jewel of information with.
my favorite time was wandering down the less travelled trails, looking up at the monkeys and peering into the thick jungle, listening to the buzz of the insects and the cries of the birds. i saw a crested eagle, and some toucans. i also was tricked by several guatemalan boys who had the uncanny ability to screech like jungle birds, i found them chuckling at me as i gaped up at the canopy, looking for the bright feathers.

almost forgot to mention, i arrived on top of the great pyramid at the same time as this a guatemalan family. they were yapping to each other, and then they decided that their teenager daughters who were dressed quite provocatively for 15 year olds (it must have been hell to climb the pyramid in heeled boots, i guess we all suffer for fashion, eh?) should do the bottle dance for everyone. this involved putting a bottle of coke in the center of the flat topped pyramid, and they singing mueve el culo, mueve el culo, par abajo, par abajo, par abajo, par arriba, par arriba... (move that ass, move that ass, move it up, move it up, move it down...you get the picture) the young tartlets took turns bouncing themselves around, gyrating as they stood over the bottle.
they motioned for me to come join their circle but,
realizing that sooner or later theyd ask for an example of my gringo dancing styles, i politely declined, and headed down the stairs, the sounds of their father clapping his hands and them all laughing trailing off behind me. maybe 1200 years ago some of their ancestors performed a similar ceremonial version of the bottle dance, i kinda hope they did.

i have a new travel plan for my next trip. the temple IV at tikal is the second tallest precolumbian structure in the western hemisphere, the first is at some remote ruins known as el mirador, about 30 kilometers walking from the last stop on the road that goes farthest north in guatemala. the ruins are about 7 miles from the mexican border, and a bitch to get to. as i understand a round trip is 6 days 5 nights in and out, more if you plan to hang out there. the big problem is that water is scarce, imagine trucking water for yourself for a hot jungle climate for 6 days. heavy as hell. someday in the future if i can find an archeological expedition heading out there id volunteer, carry out some tools, do some digging, i think it would be rad. its good to have plans.
speaking of plans, heading to poptun tomorrow, gonna check out some caves, then on to rio dulce where i catch a boat to some garifuna village called livingston on the carribean, im about ready for some beach living again, figure ill pass my birthday either at the beach at omoa, honduras, or at the bay island of utila, where i plan to get my padi diving card. ive kinda rushed through guate, but its good cause i left some stuff to see when i come back through. ok enough blabbing, today is february first, forgot to say rabbit rabbit this morn. no worries.

Posted by bendan at 04:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack