flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
I slogged through 2960 photos, mercilessly paring them down to 475 pictures of Guanduras suitable for public consumption.

I used Google's Picasa to post this set of pictures in large part because it has integrated mapping so you can navigate my geotagged photos geographically. Picasa has a lot fewer features than Gallery, though fewer features often means an easier user interface. The feature lack I noticed first was lack of sub-albums, so I can't have a Tikal album in a Guanduras parent album, nor can I have said albums oldest-first. (Since I only have Guanduras albums up at the moment, this is not a huge deal.)

I realized I haven't posted any of my day-to-day photos since January, so I hope to get those up soon too. Let me know if you like Picasa's format better than Gallery or Flickr.

Minor Adjustments

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 09:45 am
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
Now that we're back in Guatemala, we've successfully readjusted from Honduran vocabulary:
Salva Vidas is water, not beer.
Sodas are aguas, not refrescos.
Mantequilla means butter, not some strange variation on sour cream.
A fist full of currency is actually worth something.
Baleadas (tortillas with beans, eggs, and onions) are not to be found, but if you look hard enough you may find atol de elote (hot liquid corn with sugar and spices).

The town of Antigua is kind of like Mayan ruin sites, except:
The ruined temples have Catholic, not Mayan, symbology.
The ruined temples have small maintained areas where the culture still worships.
Outside the ruined temples, people sell candles, not replica stone work.

We've been staying at a hotel called Ummagumma. It's only been open for a few years, but it totally feels like a place backpackers would have hung out after gathering with several species of small animals and grooving with a pict.

Aquatic Adventures

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 08:22 pm
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
Waters we've played in or on:
Jumping into crystal clear limestone-bottomed pools in a river at Semuc Champey, near Cobán, Guatemala.
Paddling a canoe around a mangrove forest in Río Dulce, Guatemala.
Standing under a hot waterfall in a cool river at Finca Paraiso, near Río Dulce.
Riding in a lancha down the Río Dulce to Lívingston, Guatemala.
Swimming in a pool at the top of, when it's not the dry season, seven waterfalls outside Lívingston.
Paddling sea kayaks around clear ocean waters at Omoa, Honduras.
Splashing in the river after a day in the botanic gardens in Tela, Honduras.
Scuba diving and snorkeling at various points along the Caribbean coral reef on the south side of Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras.
Soaking nude for an afternoon in a tub-temperature concrete pool and river at Glenda's Hot Springs Paradise outside Sambo Creek, Honduras. The water probably would have been warmer if it hadn't been raining all day.
Watching and listening to a hard-core rain storm during a power outage while we ate dinner at ViaVia café in Copán Ruinas, Honduras.
Soaking in the "acropolis" Maya-themed tropical-forest-shaded stone pools of Luna Jaguar hot springs spa in Agua Caliente, near Copán Ruinas. (Note, this is not the Agua Caliente across the border from Esquipulas, Guatemala).

Remember: When you travel, always pack a bathing suit.

We return in less than a month. Still on the agenda: returning to Guatemala for Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Quetzaltenango, and the Pacific Coast. ¡Buen provecho!

Open Water, Insert Body

Thursday, May 14th, 2009 05:41 pm
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
I am now a PADI-certified open water scuba diver.


I still suck at swimming, though.


What I really want to do is float on calm clear Bay Islands Caribbean water and look at fish and coral with a snorkel.


(Background: I have a really strong aversion to getting water in my face. I'm careful where I spray in the shower. When I jump in a swimming pool, I often have a quick panic reaction and instinctively breathe in, which sucks water in my nose, so I surface sputtering. I'm bad at any kind of face-down swim stroke because the water-in-my-face feeling is unpleasant and I always get water in my mouth. Scuba training involves things like removing a facemask 8 meters underwater, swimming to the surface in one breath because you're out of air, and other things I'm surprised I signed up for.)

Casualties So Far

Saturday, May 9th, 2009 11:32 am
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
My wallet - stolen by a guy masquerading as a Nicaraguan tourist at Finca Ixobel
My watch - committed suicide while eating a mango in a mangrove forest in Rio Dulce
My pen - expired in Lívingston after too much time journaling upside down
Molly´s umbrella - caught a slight breeze walking across a bridge in Flores
Molly´s umbrella, take two - didn´t like the pleasant sea breeze in Travesía
Molly´s camera - eloped with a grain of sand from the Travesía beach
Top layer of Molly´s skin - also did not survive the Travesía beach
Clearly Travesía is a travesty.

Time to pay my limps and head to the next Honduran beach town.

Checklist

Thursday, April 16th, 2009 12:53 am
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
Camera? Check. GPS unit? Check. Towel? Check. Supplies for playing Boggle by hand? Check. Two shirts, two pants, five underpants, six pairs socks? Check. High-volume RSS feeds removed from main LJ friends group? Check. Hiking boots and river/beach shoes? Check. Ginger candies and trail mix? Check. Passport? Check. Debit card? Check. Hepatitis vaccinations? Check. International health insurance? Check. Three hats? Check. Itinerary? Uh...

With two Lonely Planets and command of the Spanish Language, I think we'll just make it up as we go along. I'll post short updates when I get the chance, but you'll have to wait for photos until I have reliable Internet access in late June. I make no promises, but if you'd like a post card, send me your mailing address.

If you need to get ahold of me while I'm out of town, drop a line to my gmail account: trevorstone. If it's not important that I read it in the next two months, toss it @ trevorstone.org. Have a great spring!
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