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Carl's Page

Welcome to Carl's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Make sure you keep checking the photo's page because I will be adding as many as I can. Please feel free to leave a comment for me or tell me anything important that may have happened in your lives. Football results/news will be greatly appreciated! If I have time in between discovering new places and bantering locals, I will reply to your messages.

All the best!

Diary Entries

Monday, 03 September 2007

Location: Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Well we did a reef trip in the end that was in some ways disappointing but in others good. There wasn`too much to see most of the time and it was choppy so was difficult to snorkel. However, I got to jump in with about 9 nurse sharks around me and I saw 3 eagle rays and loads of groupers and other massive fish. It was a shame that everybody else took ages to get in the water (scared of the sharks) and missed all the action! At one point I had sharks, rays and fish swimming with me, it was amazing. The rest was quite disappointing unfortunately and the lunch was poor. Still we had good weather.

Wednesday was pretty bad weather but it gave us the chance to have a lie in and sort out washing and do other stuff. There really isn`t much to report for this day!

Thursday we got up early and got the boat back to Belize City. We then jumped on a bus to Flores in Guatemala. Was about a 5 hour journey but we were on a small minibus with some cool canadian people so it went quite quickly. Border crossing was great but it is clear that Guatemala is a poor country. Flores though was quite touristy and had good restaurants, and our hostel was cheap but had fantastic lake views.

Friday we went to Tikal. After getting stitched up and not being picked up at 8 by the company we booked with, we were eventually on our way at 9:20! Tikal was good, it is a very big place with some impressive ruins. It wasn`t too busy but it was insanely hot and humid. I was quite impressed with the place but it was a shame that some temples had scaffolding over them. There was some nice wildlife and we got some great pictures. To think these places were built 1500 years ago is incredible. We had a difficult evening because we were struggling for money and there was no atm in flores.

Saturday was to be our big travel day, 7 hours in all. We left Flores at 5am!! We asked the taxi driver to please stop at an atm or we may not get over the border, he abruptly told us no which was a bad decision. We just had enough money to get ovet the guatemalan border back into Belize. He then wouldn`t stop long enough in Belize City to let us get money, we were desperate. We got near the belize/mexico border and stopped in a town where he let me get cash....only the damn atm wasn`t working. Wouldvè been easier to just have let us get it when we asked mate! So we started driving around this town to find a bank. We gound to and I was running around like a fool, eventually getting money out whilst the driving was gagging to leave, no patience. We got to the border and had to pay an exit tax for the second time leaving Belize. Twice in 3 days and the second time we had only spent 4 hours in the bloody country!! Crossed into Mexico, finally, after more than 9 hours and got our heads down in Chetumal on the border.

Yesterday we got the bus to Cancun, in a bit of style this time. On the way we saw some of the devastation that Hurricane Dean had caused, and now Hurricane Felix could hit that area again. Arrving in Cancun was a bit like being in Orlando, the place is massively americanised. We left straight away on a boat to Isla Mujeres, apparently more traveller friendly. The boat ride was fantastic and the area here is beautiful.

Today we got to feast our eyes on heaven. It is a paradise here. We have a great hotel with AC, cable, private bath and breakfast included, all for less than 9 quid each a night! We went to the beach and couldn`t believe our eyes. Perfect white sand and crystal, turqoise water. I mean it, absolute perfection! It was a lovely day and we got lots of things sorted out that had been bugging us, such as credit card problems. We spent 5 hours on the beach just marvelling at the beauty of everything and suddenly we realise how lucky we are. The Cancun day trippers come here because it is clearly better than over there. I`ll have to put some pics on soon.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Location: Caye Caulker, Belize

I've added 3 new photo pages and edited the previous 'more costa rica' page and added 2 more photo's. Enjoy.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Location: Belize

The hurricane was much ado about nothing. We had our first boat to Placencia cancelled so we had to go into Guatemala and cross from Puerto Barrios to Putan Gorda, the most southerly town in Belize. Was great to hear english being spoken and the boat ride only took about 45 mins. We made friends with an english couple and eventually checked into the same hostel. Nice place and we went out for a good garifuna-style meal. Anyway nothing happened with the hurricane that night but lots happened with my belly. I was depositing waste out of both ends and felt severely dehydrated.

The next day was awful. The electricity generator in mexico that serves belize had been damaged so no electricity or water pressure. I felt awful and couldn't have a shower or flush the toilet. We decided to leave straight away and got a bus to placencia which wasn't too bad. Placencia was beautiful and the hostel was a bargain. We pretty much had our own house for a few days. The place was situated in a large bay and it was VERY laidback and VERY friendly. We really couldn't get over the fact that no-one was ripping us off and everyone was saying hello. Iwas sick again that day but by the night I managed to eat again. We shared a meal at a very expensive restaurant.

Wednesday was pretty good and we sunbathed most of the day. I felt a lot better but just wanted to rest. By the evening, the warning signs were showing that Bry had caught what I had. That night she had the same bad time I had on Sunday night.

Thursday Bryony felt awful and the weather wasn't that great so it was a mong around day. The town was nice and it was quite a walk to the supermarket so you could waste and hour doing that. It's strange how many days you spend not really doing anything when you travel for so long.

Friday we had to leave and it was a shame because we liked the place but we had high hopes for the rest of Belize. We got an early water taxi and unfortunately had to wait 2 hours for the connecting bus. The bus ride wasn't too much fun. Imagine being stuck on an old american school bus for 5 hours! When we arrived in Belize City it was clear that we had to arrived in a bit of a sh*thole and the prices were so high. We stayed in a budget dorm for almost 8pound each night. That was the first dorm since NZ. I think Belize City is pretty dangerous, it has a sinister feel to it so we didn't do too much at night, just had a meal very locally.

Saturday was good. We got up early and went to Belize Zoo, A fantastic place where the animals are clearly cared for very well. It was incredible to see 2 jaguars just lounging around, a mountain tapir which is very weird and a ginormous harpy eagle. Even though we have seen lots of wild wildlife it was great to see some animals that are very rare. There was also a very cute puppy Jaguar called Junior. Bry fell in love with him. We got the afternoon boat to Caye Caulker which was a promised paradise, one of the many scattered sand islands (cayes). The ride there was amazing, the water is so clear and powder blue. You can see the reef a mile from shore. It's very good here. The water is all different colours and very refreshing. The only weird thing is that there is no beach, it's difficult to explain how we sunbathe!

Yesterday the weather was scorching and we sunbathed. I watched the united match in the morning which kind of put me in good spirits. It was so hot that we had to call it a day after a couple of hours. Annoyingly my snorkel has broken. We have got a good deal here with our hostel .We have a private cabin with a kitchenette, cable and a private bathroom all for about 6.50 each. Otherwise it is very expensive here.

Today we again sunbathed and it just seemed to get hotter. Bryony is slightly burnt so she couldn't handle too much so we have come back. It is beautiful here and if there was a beach I could stay for weeks. We will probably try and get a good deal on a reef trip for tomorrow. We could see sharks, manatees, eagle rays and much more. They do practice chumming in some places and we are not sure if we are too keen on that, but it does mean you definitely see the sealife.

We have decided because we have got a fair bit of time left and we are already near Cancun, that we will change our first flight which we can definitely do and spend some time with some friends I have in Miami and then fly home the same date. I have been speaking to them on facebook and they have a room that we could use for a week or two so that would be very cheap!! We need to think about the cost overall though as America is expensive and our insurance doesn't cover us.

Will let you know.....

Will let you know.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Location: Omoa, Honduras

Managua wasn´t really up to much. It is the capital of Nicaragua but we had to stay near the ticabus terminal because our bus to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was due to leave at 5am. The weather was hot but it was difficult to enjoy it as we were stuck in a rather grim area. The hostel was a state. The owner was very old and couldn´t speak english, and to be honest didn´t really understand spanish. We were honest with her when she worked out how much our nights accomdation was because she was ripping herself off for 70 cordobas. We are such nice people. It was weird becuase she locked the gate all day so we were worried that when we had to leave at 4am, we would be locked in! Anyway we wandered around and found a place to watch the football, a pointless task. We then went to a supermarket to get supplies for the next days journey. That night we went to an Irish bar(!?) in Nicaragua! It was dead but at least played some British music. Awful food.

We slept the night in possibly the worst hostel we have stayed in. We woke up at about 3:00am beacuse it sounded like some ogre was outside our room. Turned out to be some bloke snoring a few doors away. Bryony was very freaked out. We got on the bus at 4:30, was freezing and at first they weren´t going to let me get my bag of to get a jumper out but I strongly insisted. The journey was ok. The border crossing was great. We learnt our lesson and had a round amount of money and a calculator therefore we were given the correct amount back in the exchange. Very honest people. We arrived in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, where lots of people got off. 20 minutes late we continued to San Pedro Sula and arrived after 5pm. We were pounced on by beggars and taxi drivers as we got off. We managed to get a taxi to the terminal to get to Puerto Cortes on the carribbean coast. This is where we hoped to get a boat to Belize the next day. Bus ride was rubbish. We just scraped enough money to pay for it and we had out bags all over us. After an hour and a half of stopping everywhere we arrived. Found an ok hotel. The town wasn´t very nice and seemed to be pretty dangerous. Found out that there were in fact no boats until Monday (thanks guidebook!) so we stayed a night there and then decided to leave for omoa, supposedly a beautiful place, the next day. We had a mare trying to find a cashpoint that accepted visa, no-one gave us a decent answer. We got a taxi driver to find us one. It turned out it was about 2 blocks away but in a dodgy area. We were charged a quid for a 1 minute drive, ridiculous! Went to Pizza hut that night which was the high point.

Friday we had breakfast and got in a taxi to the dock to try and buy our ticket to Belize for Monday. No such luck, no advance bookings even though a guy and our guidebook said so. We were offered another boat via a different route which we turned down, probably a mistake. We continued in the taxi to Omoa. The place is ok but the beach is dirty. You have to eat in restaurants and there is no veggie food in about 18 out of 20. There is 1 veggie dish in the whole town (pasta) and a pizza place (that was shut). Our hotel is good but expensive.

Basically, Friday and Saturday it was cloudy and rained. The thunder is terrifying, unlike anything I have ever heard and the rain is torrential. On the upside, today has been fantastically sunny and hot and we sunbathed by the insect infested, murky pool! We are worried about how we are going to leave this town tomorrow as there is 1 taxi and I don´t think we will find it! Also, we are being looked at like criminals as there are literally no other tourists here. They do not understand our spanish, even though they repeat it back and it is exactly the same, EXACTLY!!

Bring on Belize and the english language. I hope you all have your fingers crossed that Hurricane Dean does not swing down towards us. Bryony is very scared and has slowly become the town´s expert on tropical weather conditions and other natural disasters(ie, Peru earthquake). I am constantly reasurring her that things will be ok. I hope so!!!

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Recent Messages

From Hannah
Fair enough the beaches do look good enough to live there, but please don't! We miss you both lots and lots :) x x x
Response: It has been cloudy the last few days so we have changed our mind and wont stay here forever.
From Dad
Saddest sight i have seen for many a year, and by the way they are not handle-bars, its a droopy mexicano.
Response: The local women loved it!
From Hannah
Heya, glad to see you've made some more animal friends in Belize zoo. You both look and sound like you're having a great time :)
Oh yeah and about those beaches- I didn't think it was possible for me to be more jealous but WOW.
See you soon! x x x x
Response: We´ll put some more photos on soona and you will get to see the sheer beauty of Isla Mujeres. We don´t ever want to leave!
From dad
Sounds like paradise has arrived at last.
Maybe you should buy some of the local artifacts and do a bit of beach selling to the Cancun day trippers to pay the rent.
Keep your heads down if Felix arrives and have a great time.
Response: All is well and Felix is nowhere near but it is going to batter some areas where we have been which is pretty sad. We are going to check out Cancun for a day, probably Friday.
From dad
I look every morning before the rest of the planet comes to life and if there is no news it makes for a boring old breakfast for me. Miami sounds like a good idea but be very careful where you stray especially in the evening(i've had a taste myself) because the place changes completely at night.America does not have to be expensive if you look around or ask locals for the places they use but remember some supermarket shopping can be dear as simple things are quite often very dear.
Have a great time awaiting your next blog later in the week.P.S. Did you remember Wendy's birthday 27th, Faye 30th and Charlie on the 5th
Response: Yes I text Wendy because I can't ring and I know about the other 2. Cheers for the advise about Miami, I know it is a bit of a hairy place in some parts at night.
From dad
About time we had some more news, try and make it sound a little bit happier this time if poss.
Response: Was waiting for a new message off someone! Wasn't sure if everyone had given up on looking on here. I've had a total of just over 2000 and Bryony as nearly doubled that!
From Hannah
Hey Carl, how are you? It sounds like things are becoming slightly difficult! You definitely sound like you are dealing with it all very well though, and I feel very reassured that Bry is in good hands! :)
Good luck with the rest of your journey, enjoy it if possible!
See you soon, love Hannah x x x
Response: Good. Just got over a bout of food poioning but i'm getting back to strength. Bry is very safe you do not need to worry. We are in Belize and so far it is fantastic!
From NormClayton
Hello you two.We are sure glad you were'nt in the wrong place at the wrong time in Peru. By the same token we hope you are not threatened
by the Cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico. We have our second son Colin and his family from Holland with us at the moment. They have been here 3 weeks and are leaving on Saturday. Whilst their apartment is empty Rob and Laura are staying in it for the long weekend.
Bye for now.
Response: Good to hear from you Norm. Bet it was nice to Colin and family for a while. We are currently in Belize which is due to be hit but we are in the deep south so should be ok. All the best.
From Hannah
3 Bs and a C!!! :) x x x
Response: Well done, that is excellent!! Much better than my A levels. Hope you will enjoy UWE and make sure that you stay in the centre in the first year, not the hollies...
From Ryan
Hi Kent, i saw your folks some weeks ago who mentioned this site and told me you'd developed a flare for writing... 2 hours ago i found the scrap of paper with the web address and here i still am! Makes for an awesome read son. Decent array of photo's too, i'll have to check out the 16 string when your back! I could picture the 'cop' following the phone stealing incident, were you more pissed off than the mo ped helmet fiasco in faliraki ? Anyway, Sounds like your both having an incredible time! All the best, Page
Response: Mate, great to hear from you! You're not on facebook so I would've have no way of getting in touch when I get back. Didn't actually take the phone theft too badly, there has been much worse but not as bad as the helmet. Anyway, big night out in Southsea when i'm back, hope you can make it.
From Hannah
Hey Carl, hows it going?
Made friends with any other strange creatures on your travels? (Capybara :) )
I hope you're still having loads of fun, not long to go now!
Love Hannah x x x
Response: Good! Very hot in Costa Rica but we are in quite a primitive town. Not many creatures around at the moment but trust that if they are there I will seek them out. About 8 weeks left now, money is low :(
From dad
Just back from Welsh open golf with jabs he played well,made the cut but went backwards last day due to poor putting.49 soon better look me out a good walking stick as the old age will be setting in soon. Looks like you had a right old time in the mountains, keep fit at its highest level. Now you can settle back into the beach bum existence again and dont put the weight back on or you will have to start trekking again. Good luck.
Response: Shame about Jabs but i´m sure it was fun for you both. It´s very tropical here but the last 2 days have been really hot when the sun comes out. Today has been miserable but we were in Cobano trying to get money out for 3 HOURS!!! They make it so hard! Probably leave Santa Teresa tomorrow, not sure what we will do but we are going to try and dodge the bad weather.
From Faye and clan
Cant believe your coming home in 8 weeks the time seems to have gone really quickly. Kids havent changed that much, however freddie is saying more and more every day. Hollie had a great birthday we got your message on the phone and I read her the text message. Were off to Spain on Tuesday for two weeks. Can't wait as the bloody weather is awful! The wetest summer ever I believe. Flash floods across the country. Glad you are Bryony are still enjoying your travels, and it's good to hear that you are exercising. Have you managed to keep the weight off? Will try and put some photos on, but we dont have a computer at home and were on school holidays. Hoping to get some good pics on holiday. Take care and stay safe x
Response: Must be nice now that it's the summer hols, enjoy. I have managed to lose 9 pounds so doing well. It is hot in Costa Rica but always a chance of storms. All the best to you all.
From Jon (Gold Coast)
G'day Carl and Bryony,

Well done on all the diary entries Have been a brilliant read. Classic comentary on the number 2's!! The whole adventure has read more exciting and interesting than I expect a Harry Potter. Havent actually read any of the books but going to see my first Potter movie this evening. Envy all the adventures you have been, and are having. Guaranteed you will even remember the nightmare times with a laugh.
Have just had the coldest couple of weeks on record here, so they say? Nights have dropped to 4 degrees some nights and days have struggled to reach 20. Has felt bloody cold to be honest, (no heating in the house). Warmer again now though so sanity has prevailed.
In case you havent been able to get any English news, Alex Ferguson has retired as Man U manager to pull beers at the Rovers return, David Beckam has quit LA Galaxy to return to UK and manage UTD and Wayne Rooney now wants to be known as Wanda. Chelsea have been crowned 2008 premiers, the FA realising they can save money by going straight to the inevitable.
Keep up the brilliant job with the diaries and keep enjoying your exciting trip. Photos impressive also.
Dont know why I started with G'day as never say that in real life, fairdinkum.
Cheers Bryony and Carl

Response: Great to hear from you John! We were actually just talking about our experiences of our trip only a few hours ago and especially how much we loved the Gold Coast. Must be hard there with the weather dropping below 20C!?! Anyway, to more important things, good luck to Chelsea with getting into the Champions League this season, they are looking good for 5th! All the best and see you in December.
From dad
Sounds like an interesting day got to say glad i wasn't there think the temper level might have erupted in all out war.
Looking forward to Machu Picchu pictures.
Good luck.
Response: Yeah, I didnt lose it too badly. Shouted Vamos a few times and banged a bit. Really just copýing the peruvians. Think the 4 day walk is going to be lethal!
From rory
standard procedure really, as long as i get a wedge i will be sorted
From dad
Seems like it might just be me and you communicating on here keep the blog up it gives me great pleasure in the early morning before boring old work. You need to re-write your blog you lost the other day when you get a chance so all your readers can keep up to date. Pictures are terrific keep them coming. trying to get the best possible caption for your best picture so i can send it to news channels.(for a laugh) Don't worry were all thinking of you our poor little lost in the wilderness boy. Adios amigo.
Response: Ok when I get the time I will try and rewrite it. Had the worst day yet today, all will be revealed...
From rory
kent, at the airport now goin back to toronto. flight was overbooked, so i got stuck on another one to ottawa later on and then a connecting flight. apparently im line for 600 euros compensastion though. get in
Response: Nice effort, bet there was a few kops along the way!
From Hannah
HAHA I can't believe you sent yourself a message! Bless... xxx
Response: A bit desperate, eh!
From Carl
Hello, can I have some messages please.....?
Response: Hi Carl, yes I do hope I get some new messages soon, it´s a real drag logging on here and having no love! x x x
From Hannah
Just to let you know, I LOVE those photos of you and the Capybara! So funny!
I'm suprised it didn't force you to take it with you - sneak into your backpack or something?!
Hope all is well, definitely looks it :)
Hannah x x x
Response: I was thinking about killing and stuffing it Hannah but I decided that may be too cruel. We are doing our 4 day Inca trek in a few days, going to be very hard work. Thanks for the message!
From dad
Pompey have bought Nugent and Utaka, starting to look like top 6 team now. Man. utd trying for Tevez but many problems with contract.
Response: Yeah i´ve been looking everyday on skysports online. Seems the Tevez thing is a nightmare, should´ve just bought him last season.
From dad
Looks like Bry has changed a bit in the photo reading the book, maybe a touch too much altitude.
Response: Ha ha, think she´ll find that really funny!
From mum
hi carl looks like you did nt receive my last message i wrote it about five days ago never mind nothing very intresting just to say keep all the great pictures coming i love the one of you and the giant guinea pig you look like you could both be twins ha ha when are we going to see some more videos? anyway look after yourselves and be safe speak to you soon hopefully luv mum xxxxxxx
Response: I will put some more on when we have some exciting videos to take. Some great photos coming on soon though from the salt flats.
From Kay and Ben
Hi there

Finally got around to having a look at your sites . . . it's really odd seeing almost identical pics from our travels! Good reading and great pics :o)

Hope to see you both in Bolivia soon, K & B xx
Response: All the best, hope Kay feels bettter soon, may well see you in Bolivia somewhere!