Friday, 3 April 2015

The Epic Adventure

It took me a while to decide on the destination for my next epic adventure but I definitely think I chose well. My options included Peru and the inca trail, following the monarch butterfly migration through Mexico, travelling through Bolivia, Argentina, chile into Patagonia to see the Perito Moreno Glacier or travelling through Central America.

I eventually decided on Central America, mainly because there was such a variety of activities - wildlife, kayaking, abseilling, zip lining, rainforest, beach, villages, cities, Mayan ruins... There's no end of stuff to do here. 

My trip started with a SCARY night in Atlanta, Georgia where my hotel seemed to be the favourite hangout of all the local gangsters. I ended up barricading my door and sleeping in my clothes. It was a fun night after massive delays, cancelled flights, lost luggage and no food.

The next morning I boarded a flight to Guatemala for the start of my adventure. I landed in Guatemala City at 12pm and from there had to take a bus to Antigua (Guatemalan city, not the Caribbean island - a mistake one of my trip mate's travel agent made when booking his flights!) about 45 minutes away. However, it's Easter week and that 45 minute drive took over four hours!! I made friends with some American doctors though so at least I was entertained!

I was so relieved to finally arrived and even more so when I saw how beautiful Antigua is. It's quite small and made up of a grid like system of streets around a central square where Guatemala's oldest church and biggest water fountain can be found.

Unfortunately I only got one night in Guatemala and after my massive trip to get there I wasn't up to much more than a wander around the city.

Early next morning my group was on a private bus to our next stop, Honduras (a nine hour drive). To entertain us on the drive, our guide decided to give us a Spanish lesson, for about four and a half of the nine hours. It was actually really fun and it's really helped with getting around.

We arrived in Copan at around tea time and decided to go straight on to the hot springs which are about an hour away. Oh my goodness, they were just what I needed after that big drive! We began with a foot massage - there is a circular pool with pebbles on the bottom, one half is hot and one half is cold, you have to walk around it 7 times and then you can go into the springs. There were several pools of different temperatures ranging from bath time comfort to boiling a frog without him noticing. There was also a mud pool, obviously I was first in! After soaking (and drinking the local beer from a cooler) for two hours, we made our way down to the little campsite for a dinner which had been prepared by our guide. There was a tarantula in the toilet, but we don't need to talk about that!

Today was my first day to actually get out and about and do some activities so I've really made the most of it! In the morning we went around the Copan Ruinas (Mayan Ruins) which was really interesting. I couldn't get over the size and scale of the ruins, and the views from them. 

As we were walking around there were dozens of macaws circling around overhead and landing in the trees. They were massive, I'd never realised how big they were but seeing them fly with their wings at full stretch really gives an idea of their true size.

After lunch I went out for a horse ride with one of the other girls. Our horses were very competitive and kept barging each other out of the way and cantering to over take each other. It was great fun but my backside is feeling pretty bruised now! We had a ride through the river as well to try and get our horses to drink, but mine was more interested in a big bunch of bananas he found and carried with him for the rest of the ride.

So far I've loved today, and it's just about to get better because we're off to a tea and chocolate house! Oh YES!!!

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