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Cam & Suz’s Travel Diary

Monday, 28 Feb 2005

Location: Nicaragua

MapAfter a few days in San Pedro we decided it was time to get moving.... and we´ve certainly covered some ground, a whole country infact. From San Pedro we went to the best markets in Central America - Chichicastenango. Masses of colour and goods. Cam bought a 80 year old machette. God knows how we´ll get that through customs!! Thought he got a great bargain until an amigo bargained harder and got one similar for 25% less!
We made our way to Honduras through the capital, Guatemala City. We had hoped to avoid it as we´d been told how dirty and dangerous it was, but couldn´t. So we felt like we were going into battle - hatches battoned down, bags locked. The bus ride was definitely the most hair raising experience yet. Between the driver going for honours from the School of Kamikaze Driving and a drunk Guatemalan trying to rub elbows with Sue, we were actually glad to get into Guatemala City.
The bus ride across to Honduras was without much hassle except that a Honduran boy puked out the window and straight back in onto Cam... lovely! We went to Copan Ruins - one of Central Americas major Maya sites. Unfortunately they were much less than ´magnificent´as described by the book, but the town was charming.
Honduras also introduced us to the Caribbean. We went to the Bay Islands and did some diving. A small underdeveloped island 32km off the coast of Honduras. Its a mixture of black caribs, white cayman islanders and mainland Hondurans which gives it an unusual feel. Apparently the sandflies heard Sue was coming and so organised a fiesta to feast on her!! After some beautiful dives it was time to move on again.
4 separate dusty, overcrowded and bumpy chicken buses have brought us to Nicaragua. The highlight of a hard 11 hour day of very hot travelling was a massive fresh oj squeezed in front of us for 30c each on the border. Finally we pulled into a nice town called Leon and greatly appreciated the cold trickle of a shower. Crossing the borders has proved to be a frustrating experience. The Ófficials´ charge double what the guidebook says. Their indignant attitude leaves absolutely no room for discussion. Surprisingly the two poorest countries in Latin America the Hondurans and Nicaraguans are very well presented - clean and smartly dressed.
We´ve just finished the best meal of the trip - a big piece of steak and chicken with rice and fijoles (bean) and banana chips - YUM. Walked into a ladies home with a bbq out the back.. we could almost have been back at home!
We´re spending the next few days around volcanos and lakes before our final Central American country, Costa Rica.