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Letting Go - Moving On

I reach a T-junction. The signpost pointing left says "The Same Way". The one pointing right "A Different Way". What to do? I go right. I trust this gets me to where I want to go......


You can email me on trev.reeves@gmail.com or leave a message here. :)

Diary Entries

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Hi again. Long time no see. :)

This is just to let you know that I now have my own web site: www.velovoyager.id.au

I created it (with Word Press...a great free product) to post my journal and photos of my trip to Africa starting on december 7 2009.

Please have a look and leave me a message.

Ciao,

Trevor Reeves
Brisbane (or on the road)

Tuesday, 06 June 2006

Location: Brisbane, Australia

As you may have guessed from the lack of updates here, I have abandoned my trip. I'm afraid I found it too hard being alone in an area where good food is often hard to come by and the social environment is harsh. My hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) condition was a factor.

I am now back in Brisbane, after spending 5 weeks with my brother in the UK. My phone number is 0414 584 306 or 07 3374 2675.

Take care all and thanks to those who left messages here.

Regards,
Trevor

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Location: Estanzuelas, El Salvador

After 3 and a bit weeks I left San Salvador for Estanzuelas where I will be teaching English. I learnt some Spanish but it's a struggle. My comprehension is better than my very limited ability to speak....which is normal for people learning to speak another language.

A local association, The Voice of the Village, with donations from a church in Kansas City, USA, provides support to women and youths around Estanzuelas in Eastern El Salvador. About 75% of income here is derived from remittances from relatives in the USA.

This youth support includes teaching English and that's where I come in.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

Since my last upate, I decided to take an easy (ie flat) route from Antigua, Guatemala to San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. So headed down to the coastal plain and then Eastwards. I covered 270 kms in 3 days. The coastal strip is hotter and humid .... similar to Brisbane's summer weather.

I crossed the border into El Salvador and nothing much changed except the currency went from Quetzales to US dollars. Yes, dollars. El Salvador changed its currency 5 years ago, along with 2 other Latin American countries. This country is one of the poorest in Latin America. After spoiling myself in Sonsonate at the Hotel Agape (see http://www.agape.com.sv/english/hotelagape.htm) for a night at US$15.66, plus a beautiful meal in its restaurant for $20, I continued to the capital, San Salvador.

The people where I'm studying Spanish are really friendly. As are the people of El Salvador generally. I've been taking part in their cultural programme in the afternoons too, learning about the Salvadoran culture. The home stay is also good.

But the city doesn't suit me and I'm looking forward to moving on to the small town of Estanzuelas to teach English.

Things here are tough. We're told to stay off the streets after dark, unless travelling by taxi. The buses stop running at 8pm and are targets for armed thieves. Rubbish is strewn all over the place...not just individual items of litter but piles of the stuff. There's much more private car ownership than I expected and the roads are choked with cars, buses and trucks. The buses are very cheap (20 cents to anywhere) and consequently badly maintained , belching out clouds of black smoke. All houses are behind bars and barbed wire.

The 10 year civil war finished in 1991. While the peace accords delivered legalised political parties which can oppose the ruling elite, I'm told the bulk of the people are no better off economically. The rich elite rule with economics instead of guns now. Aided and abetted by the USA who want a Central American 'Free Trade Agreement'. For example, we visited a clothes factory where the people earn US$5.14 for an 8 hour day. Yet it costs $1.50 for a milk shake and 85 cents for a beer from a local store. It was $5 to get into a bar / nightclub. Guess who doesn't go to such night clubs.

This weekend I'm planning to go to Santa Ana, a small city west of the capital where it's cooler and quieter.....

Saturday, 11 March 2006

Location: Antigua, Guatemala

South of Coban I was supposed to turn right for Salama, an 18 km ride from the turnoff. But I missed the turn. Several times I asked "is this the way to Salama" or "how many kms to Salama?". I didn't realise that the roads formed an oval and you could also get to Salama this way. After over 40 kms I finally twigged on where I was and stopped at a hotel atop the mountains from where I could see a town - yes it was Salama in the distance.

Rule 63: read the f....cking map more often.

After a night at Rabinal, I had the toughest 2 days so far, and possibly the toughest days I've ever had on a bike. The road is represented as a red line (Major Road) on the Rough Guide map - which claims to feature "clear modern mapping and bang up to date research". It's a goat-track. Dusty, rock-strewn, corrugated and narrow.

Stats for the first day: Distance covered: 37.28 kms; Average speed: 9.1 kms; In-saddle time: 4 hrs; Elapsed time: 8 hrs. I couldn't go faster than 13 kms per hr downhill and had to ride the brakes all the time.

I'd be riding along thinking I'm all alone and suddenly I'd see one or several people (usually native Indians) sitting in the shade of a tree or bush on the side of the road. I stopped at a hut where cold drinks are sold by the Indian family eking out a living on the land. Miscellaneous animals wandered around: dog, chickens with chicks, and a pig. Definitely free-range eggs and pork around here.

Finally, the dirt road finished (hooray!) and I continued to San Pedro de Sacatepequez , just 17 kms from Guatemala City. A bleak, working city which is nearly part of the capital.

Next day, after a very late start due to having to get money from the bank to get breakfast, I continued on to Antigua where I was nearly 2 weeks ago. This time I went to a hostel and got a bed in a dorm room.

Friday, 03 March 2006

Location: Coban, Guatemala

After my 5th day on the road I'm going to jettison some bloody stuff! Either that or get fitter. Or both.

After 2 tough days of 80 kms and then 120 kms I hit the wall, so to speak, and I had to catch a bus after 30 kms today. The terrain became mountainous and I just wasn't up to it. Well earned rest day tomorrow, staying in a lovely hotel here in Coban. I may tour a coffee plantation as I'm in the middle of coffee country and it's my favourite beverage.

I visited Tikal which left me a little underwhelmed unfortunately. Not sure why. It's often the small things I enjoy rather trhan the big tourist spots such as Tikal. Like the many pueblos I passed through over the last week, seeing the people scratching a living, waving to each other as I pass by. Men carrying huge bundles of wood on their backs, children playing alongside the main road, the tiny huts they often live in, their very dark skin and large dark eyes.

This morning I ate my breakfast in a "comedor" again .... a simple eating place. Women made tortillas over an open fire built in the top of a 40 gallon drum. I've taken a photo and will put it on here soon. The people are always ready with a smile. Yesterday the children in the villages were shouting "Gringo" very often.

The roads in the towns are chaotic, though not dangerous as long as I have my wits about me. The traffic along the main road I travelled on is very light with mainly microbuses, utes and trucks. And they give me a wide birth and very often a friendly toot on the horn, or encouraging shout as they drive by.

Sunday, 26 February 2006

Location: Tikal, Guatemala

Hi all.

I have been trying to load some pictures of Guatemala, but have not had success. Either lost the connection or it's too slow.

Ah well. picturas Manana amigos.

I'm overwhelmed by Guatemalan friendliness and courtesy - a beautiful race of people.

I've been here for almost a week now, enjoying every minute of it. After arriving from the UK via Los Angeles, I immediately went to Antigua, a small Unesco-listed city an hour's bus trip from Guatemala City. Guatemala City is not a place to stay in - dirty, noisy and noted for its high crime rate.

Antigua is a lovely place: ruins, cobbled streets, very friendly people and a great climate (at 1,500 metres). I did only 40 kms on my bike there as I was getting over my jet lag. But what a great ride up to a local Mayan vilage in the Western Highland mountains. I just took it easy for 3-4 days then caught another plane - this time just an hour's flight - to Flores. I finally got rid of my bike box and started my cycling proper.

But the first day was hard as my bike legs were rusty. I did 70 kms along a mostly flat road to Tikal, site of significant Mayan ruins. See map on right? Tikal is near Belize in the north of Guatemala. Guatemala's population is about 50% native Indian (Mayan), so I read. Mayans are a lower "caste" and generally looked down upon by the Latinos of Spanish descent. They are the aborigines of Central America.

Traffic is very light as people rarely can afford to buy cars. Good for cycling but restrictive for the people. They walk, ride bicycles or take buses. Tomorrow I return to Flores the way I came, then South through the Western Highlands which is probably my favourite area. I'll have a look at Lake Atitlan and then onto El Salvador where I have to be in 2 weeks time to begin my Spanish course.

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Location: Birmingham, UK

Counting down to my departure for Central America - Sunday 19 february. I'm a little nervous. Bus and taxi booked for trip to Heathrow Airport.

Tent and bicycle bought. Bicycle ridden-in (25 kms). Tent to be erected tomorrow. Closest family and friends visited.

Well-fed and well-rested at Geoff's Place.



Friday, 10 February 2006

Location: Birmingham, UK

Hello dear soul-mates / cell-mates ... :)

I'm alive and well and, together with Critter the Critic, living in Birmingham at my brother's place. Well, until Feb 19 anyway, when I soar to Guatemala via the Evil Empire (USA). Maybe I shouldn't say things like that - they might detain me there under suspicion of taking over their country single-handedly.

Temperature last night went down to -5 degrees C apparently, with a max today of +4 C. I'm loving it after the heat of Brisbane and Singapore. I'm learning how to use my new camera (Nikon D50) and when I've found the button which takes a picture I'll take some and put them on this site. Promise.

So, keep pasted - oops, posted.


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Recent Messages

From Brendan
Hey Trevor,

Sorry to hear you had to call off your trip. I have to say, though, I was very impressed with how far you had managed to come (and that you'd even attempted it in the first place!). It was great hanging out with you at CIS and I wish you the best of luck wherever you choose to go from here. May I suggest professional bowling?

-Brendan
Response: Bowling my $%#@! :)
From Judy S
Hi Trev, loving your adventures, and the photos are great! Glad to see you have not lost Critter along the way, he looks like hes looking after you well.
Enjoy a vino and coffee whilst you ponder at why we continue to labour in a cubicle every day....
Response: Hi Judy...I feel guilty as I lost Critter a few weeks ago. Not lost exactly....he was stolen from me by a young lady who worked at a hotel where I stayed and who took a fancy to it. He'll now be learning Spanish and living in Guatemala.

Glad you're enjoying the photos. Take care..... Trevor
From Olga
Hi Trev,

Just checked out your website and I really loved your photos. You have a great eye. I'm also envious of your travels, I wish it was me travelling Latin America...well, without all that bike riding really....
Cheers
Olga
Response: Hi Olga. Thanks for your message. How´s the Latin dancing going? I haven´t tried it out down here yet....hope to soon.
Regards....Trevor
From Terry Disteldorf
28 March.
Hi Trev. Your journal makes good reading, but also makes me a bit jealous! Here you are - living and enjoying the real exotic world, and here I am, working in a cubicle 8 hours a day, to pay for my consumption habits!
Take care and enjoy.
Response: Thanks, Miss Terry. But cubicles can be fun.....when you exit them.
From
Jambo Trev,
How you doing?I hope all is well.It seems that it is preety hard where you are but hang in there..
We are all fine .I am also stressing about my trip.
Enjoy your weekend.
Its raining here which is fine and the weather is good.
I ahve fallen short of removing my hair because of all this planning and geez..i am sure you went thru it also, as I guess it does entailed detailed plans.
Well,never mind..take goos care of yourself and great photos.
You could give Geoff a run for his money.I am not sure if he would like it if I told him that..
I am also getting into the photgraphy thingy so watch out...
Take care and Godspeed.
Titi
Response: Thanks Titi. It´s great to hear from you! I look forward to seeing some of your photos. I haven´t taken many lately as the city of San Salvador isn´t very photogenic. What trip are you stressing about?

Take care. Best regards...Trevor
From Julian
Hi Trevor, Your journal makes great reading as do the series of published messages. Photographs are excellent, irrespective of which camera you use. Are you fully fit yet? Miss our chats and cups of coffee - speak soo and stay well and safe.

Regards

Julian
Response: Hi Julian. God to hear from you. I was getting fit, but now I've stopped again as I'm stationary in San Salvador. Stay well...Trevor
From Simon
Hey Dad .. just checking in.

has the cycling gotten any easier?
had to fight off any wild dogs yet?

Simon
Response: Hi Simon. It got easier when I left the mountains and cycled along the coast from Antigua, Guatemala, to San Salvador in El Salvador. >)

The dogs I've seen are too underfed to run after me...literally. I'm now studying Spanish and will cycle to Eastern El Salvador in 2 weeks and a bit to start teaching English. It's only 110kms from here to there.

Take care....Dad
From Gerard
Hiya Trevor,
Great web site! We're taking a keen interest in your travels.
From Brong-Ahafo, Ghana.
Gerard B.
Response: Hi Gerard. Great to hear from you. Hope your work is going OK, though from your email, it's not exactly easy. >)
From Ruth
Hola Amigo, Bien fotographia!!!
Response: Muchos gracias, senora.
From Jessie
Hola papa

muy buenas, como estas? como es sudamerica?
donde ahora está tu? hope you are having some great experiences, what has been your favourite so far?

love jessie
Response: I've just sent you an email, Jess. favourite experience is seing the people as I cysle past their homes through the countryside. Your Spanish is better than mine..... :)
From Geoff
Great photos! Trev........
Response: Thanks Bro.
From Eugenia y La Negra A
You have to visit Chichicastenango, on a market day (we can send you pictures if you want).... and then you can visit the wizard who will read your future in the beans
We missed you.
Big Kiss
Euge and Alex
PD. do you remember us???
Response: Hey..great to hear from you. Of course I remember you....I enjoyed your company very much. Will visit Chichicastenango to hear from the beans. I've eaten so many of them lately, they're sure to be nice to me. Sometimes though, they send me to the banyo.

take care...Trevor
From Geoff
Great shots Trev.looking forward to more.Now what caught your eye first in "early morning scene in Antgua" mmmmm.....
Response: I wonder......
From Kate Beck
Hi Trev!

Glad to hear you're well, what amazing stories you have! Keep up the good work and keep living life to the fullest! We miss you here,

Love Kate
Response: Thanks Kate. Will do. I remember your hug well on my last day....
From Terry Disteldorf
Hi Trev
Glad to see that you and Trin made it safely. The real adventure begins. Try and include a pickie or two of ya wee self from time to time, just to ensure us that you're not sitting up there in Caboolture, searching and pasting other National Geo photos onto your website :).
Have fun. Check your email for some minor email matters when you have a chance.
Terry
Response: OK mate. Will get someone to press my shutter button for me, with me at the pointy end of the lens.
From John
Hi Trevor, I'm enjoying your journey so far. Your photo's are simply amazing. Reflections in Antigua - sensational. Whilst Trinity was from the Matrix, 3 parts of a whole could also be you, the bike, and critter the critic. Stay well and watch out for those jaguars and silly asses. look forward to the next update. Cheers, JP
Response: Hey John. Thanks very much for your encouragement, and take care. TR
From Wild Petals
dear Trev,
how you doing.
I am glad to hear your ok. the web adress is www.planetranger.com/wildinafrica
Things are hocky dory here.It is finally started to rain.
G is still the same .Told me yesterday , that I talk too much.Too bad..for him. It is now cold and boring.
Take care, Titi
Response: Will check out your web page....it's hot here in more ways than one.
From Noel
G'day Trev. You seem to be in good humour (as evidenced by the photo captions/titles) and must, by now, be in Central America. The bike looks quite impressive. Giving it a "personal" name will allow you to assume it is human and you will be able to talk to it in moments of loneliness or stress, and coerce it to your bidding ... as if! I was curious as to how "Trinity" was so-called as I couldn't readily identify the 3 parts of the whole. The camera is producing some great results, considering the available material, and should provide outstanding complementary images to your journal entries.
Hope the heat and humidity is not causing you too much discomfort. Keep pedalling those (who knows) wheres. (Just thought I'd throw in a pun which you obviously seem to enjoy as they are liberally scattered throughout this site like litter on a Singapore street).
Noel.
Response: Hi Noel. The camera in Singapore was my daughter´s point and shoot. Later pics are my new Nikon. Trinity from the Matrix..... :)
From Roger
Hi Trevor
Pleased to hear the trip is under way and you're in the groove of things.
Email to us all sometime.
Hope Guatemala is going well. My new place in Bardon is OK but I will have to move again in the next couple of months. Rio is going good. Carnavale this weekend. Cheers Rog.
Response: Hi Rog. Good to hear from you. Guatemala is going great .... the people here are incredibly friendly.

Enjoy your dancing.....
From Brandon Yeong
Hi Trev,

Glad you enjoyed the sights and sounds of SIngapore. Not too humid for you I hope. Project JET is still here, got a couple of new developers plenty of work and keeping us busy. Do have some pics of some Latin beauties okay??
Take Care,

Regards,
Brandon
Response: So many pics now and so many sights and sounds...overwhelming my senses sometimes. take care Brandon...Trevor :)
From Wild P
Hi,Neo,
Because of you , I have decided to have my own page. It seems you have started on a low key , i know , relax and take care.
Get in touch.
Wild Petals
Response: Hi Wild. things are gantastic now. What is your web address?

Neo
From Geoff
Hi Trev,
the place is too quiet without you shouting "morning!" when I surface from my pit bleary eyed,thinking of two things alone.Coffee,and why is Trev so lively in the mornings.??
Now take care Bro,and remember everyone is normal...till you get to know them. :-))))................
I have to go and attend to my structured life.
Miss you.
Geoff
Response: Miss you too, bro. Morning!
From Titi
Hi, Trev..I finally managed to squeeze this website from Geoff and I can now follow your fine adventures.Phew...It was a hard task as it were.
I wish you well and and though it was a pity we did not meet..though I imagine we would have had a blast together while some people were home bodies..I hope that next time round , you will come this way.
Anyway, take care and good luck..
Response: Hi Titi, good to hear from you. Yes, I think we could have "painted the town red". Take care. Neo
From Jessie
hey dad, hows trinity? very very very good i hope! can you take some pictures of martins children i want to see how they've grown. Little chickens! Hope you are cold and smiling ! take care. Love ya

Response: Hi Jess.
Trinity's well...very happy to have been taken for a ride yesterday to see my relatives: cousins Hazel, Joan and Bill, plus 1st cousin Julia. Hazel sends her love.

Will take some pics for you of M's kids. And yes - sometimes cold, but always smiling.

love you too.....Dad
From Ruth
What have your bike & journal got to do with the Trinity ? - (Other than the farther, the sun and the wholly grossed!)
Response: LOL I'm Neo which is an anagram of One (the One). And trinity, apart from being a beautiful woman in the movie Matrix, means one plus one plus one. Get it? No, neither do I actually....