Click on a Continent
Well, this is the first Christmas in about 15 years or more I have not set out Christmas cards guys. Where ever you are and what ever you are getting up to, I'd like to wish you all a FANTASTIC CHRISTMAS AND A HUGE NEW YEAR!
Any way, g'day from my mate Killers place Albany, New York in the good old U.S. of A. kids! Yep, South America AND Central America are now HISTORY! Sorry for the delayed update, but my plan of doing two Central America updates just did not happen in the end. As such, this update includes nearly 900 new photos, 6 new diary entries and 18 new AVI Videos for you to check out when the boss is not looking! As usual you can also have a look see at the map at the bottom of this page to see just where I have been.
The new diary entries in order are:
The past 8 weeks has again flown by at warp speed! As pointless a fact as it may be, I can now say I have visited, even if only in passing, every mainland country in South, Central and North America! Needless to say my collection of national flags is ever growing and I think I'm now up to about 55 in total. Just in case you did not already know, silly old Drew does the same thing in every country he visits and that's head to the Capital and purchase a full size (usually about 1.50m by 1m) National flag. That said, please don't ask me what I am going to do with them all should I ever settle down, as I have no idea what so ever!
So what have I been up to and where I have I been? Well, on the first of November I head to the Dominican Republic and Santo Domingo for a few days for no other reason that I could for free on my round the world ticket.
From Santo Domingo I decided not to head into Haiti as an election was looming, so I instead got the main land Central America portion of my trip going. I headed initially to Panama City to check out things including the the Panama Canal, Panama Viejo (Ruins of Old Panama City) and all that. It was a bit annoying having George W. Bush in town, as much was closed in case he wanted to see the sights, but I managed to find a FAB bunch of guys and gals to drink a few beers with to kill the time not a problem.
The next stop was the Island of Bocas Del Toro to catch up with some mates I had met on my first few days in Panama City. From what I can remember it was a fantastic time. Twice I tried to leave, but was forced to carry on the partying! DOH! To all the gang, I hope all is going well and the party continues where ever you may be. If your keen, you can click here to see ALL of the photos from the Bocas Del Torro Olympics.
Having had my fill of sun and beer in Panama, together with my partners in crime Al and Anna I headed to Costa Rica and San Jose. After a quick stop here to see Australia make the world cup at 5:30am, I headed North the the town of Fortuna and the Volcano Arenal, the most active one in Central America. While in town I got to see lots of Lava tumbling down the mountain side and also checked out the Fortuna Hot Springs with an awesome group of mates.
From the Lava of Fortuna I headed to Monteverde/Santa Elena to check out the rain forest on the Sky Trek Zip Lines and the Rain Forrest Sky Walk. These are a series of 11 Sky Foxes that range from 100m to 770m long that you zip along above the rain forest canopy. Click here for the video view from the top zip line or click here for a good overall view of the longest zip line. Its cool! Even more so when its done with a top bunch of guys! Go team ZIP!
Having survived the rain forest, pommie team zip member Liam and I headed into Nicaragua to check out the Island of Ometepe and then the towns of Granada and Leon. Nicaragua is some where I'd love to head back to as there is just so much to see.
From Nicaragua, I headed into Tegucigalpa in Honduras briefly to get my national flag and then I continued into El Salvador and what I considered perhaps the most dangerous capital city stop, San Salvador. As it turned out, I really enjoyed my time in San Salvador. I even had my own local guide in the form of Jo who was down on business and took a couple of us backpackers on a city tour including a fantastic panoramic view of the city. Thanks mate!
From San Salvador I headed directly into Guatemala and Guatemala City to check things out and of course get my flag. I cant recommend Guate City to much at all, but I can suggest Antigua as a lovely stop. Its only about 45min chicken bus from Guate but a world away from the smog and perceived danger. Most travelers come here to study Spanish, but as my trip in the Spanish speaking world was nearly at an end, I just headed out and climbed the Pacaya Volcano. Its facnating to know your on an active Volcano and standing about 4m from Lava!!!!
From Antigua, I headed to Lake Atitlan and the the town of San Pedro La Laguna to catch up with my old partners in crime from Panama, Al and Anna. Its amazing the affect some places can have on us all. So much so for Anna and Al, they had decided to stop for several months rather than head to Australia! (Why you would want to go there I don't know!)
Any way, I spent a week or so hanging out with a fantastic bunch of new mates before heading off with my mate Bogdan to check out the Maya ruins of Tikal in the north Of Guatemala. Yet again, WOW is about all I can say!
From Tikal, I decided to go to Mexico via Belize for no other reason than to visit the smallest capital in the world in the form of Belmopan and of course to pick up my national flag. I had a nice big toast of Scotch on arrival into Belize to celebrate having visited all main land countries in North and South America. Kinda a meaning less thing, but what the hey, any excuse for a sip from my Scotch flask!
Unfortunately I was now running very short on time, so I headed from Belize directly to Mexico City by bus to spend my last few days in Central America. I must say that I did not think Mexico City was any where as big as Sao Paulo in Brazil, but hey, both places have move than the population of Australia or something, so I guess size is all relative?
While in town I checked out Teotihuacan on the outskirts of Mexico City. These are Aztec ruins that date back to the time of Christ and from memory, the Pyramid of the Sun is the biggest out side of the middle east!
Any way, from Mexico City I headed north again to Tyler in Texas to visit an old English mate and then on to Albany, New York where I am doing this update. Its been a fantastic 7 months on the road. I've seen so many fantastic things and I know I harp on about it like a broken record, but the people I have met on the way have been absolutely fantastic! I now look forward to the next part of the trip and that's spending Jan-Mar in Canada and the States visiting lots of old (young at heart) mates. Come April I expect to be back in Europe, so stay tuned for lots more stuff!
PS, Please always remember that this page and the map below don't show/list ALL of the locations I have been to. Searching by location name or by map (fully interactive county to country etc!) is the best way to see it all! Enjoy!!!
NOTE: Not all of the places I have visited are shown on this map, but you can get a good idea of where i have been. Enjoy!
Click on the Country or Place names to see the related photos..