Thursday, December 08, 2005

My Central American Journey

In mid 1992 my friend invited me on a tour of Central America, after his exploits in India. My mother had recently died and I was in sore need of some kind of rescue after a very painfull and complicated death (cancer). My mate Dan came to the rescue ! We landed in Mineappolis in the Eastern USA, just to change planes. It was very cold. When I went out for a smoke I could hardly see cus' my breath was fogging up so badly ! The first photo is actually my worst. I was jet-lagged OK ? But it DOES get better ! See what I mean. Seaweed and old shoes ! Well...there is a seagull. Here's what I wrote on the back of the photo... "Not a very good photo ! This is where Dan Johnson and me started our trip - San Diego; just north of the Mexico/US border. This is a hostel we stayed in for a couple of nights - "The Banana Bungalow". That's why it's yellow! At US customs Dan was interrogated for an hour...(this was in Minneaplois) - they thought he was an international drug smuggler!" "The hostel, San Diego. Had a sign on the other side of that wooden fence saying 'don't feed any strangers as this attracts undesirables' !" That sign seems mighty strange now...what if they're starving ? We travelled down Baja California, took a ferry across to mainland Mexico, and then a train from there along the Copper Canyon to a place called Creel. We walked from here to a nearby (enchanted?) lake. "...met a couple of friendly germans in Creel and Dan got eyballed by a local indian who then mysteriously dissappeared! This is a very peacefull nearby lake". "This is Creel. Very like a frontier cowboy town. Stayed in a hostel where we had amazing breakfasts with about 5 different nationalities" "Teotihuacan, north of Mexico City. You can see 'The Temple of the Moon', third highest pyramid in the world (the other two being in Egypt). There have been other as advanced (if not more so) societies before our own 'western' society. In our arrogance we believe we are better than so called 'primitive' societies because they existed in the past and we are moving into the future. Time is cyclical though - soon the Maya harmony will return (to the source)." "The platform in the middle was used for ritual dancing ceromonies" "I seem to have lot's of photos of Dan's back!" "Mexico City. Enormous, vibrant place. With a smog problem - but not while we were there! We could see the two snow topped volcanoes on the edge of town from the top of the hotel" More of Mexico City. "A jungle tree somewhere in southern mexico". Yes....that's me! "Palenque, south Mexico. Ancient Maya site. Stayed in a 'Palapa' near here right on the edge of the jungle. The first night I was woken up by very loud screeching noises which turned out to be 'Howler' monkies" "Eventually got to Guatemala. These pictures were taken on a boat trip that we took up the river from Livingston to lake Izabal in S.E. Guatemala. I even had a swim in a hot spring flowing into the river" "Livingston - seen here - is right at the mouth of the river. The town was originally founded by the Garifuna - some black, African slaves who were shipwrecked on an island in the Carribean and then made their way to here" "Going up the river with thick jungle on either side." "Into a gourge which then opened up as we went into lake Izabal." Don't they need stilts on those houses? "From Lake Izabal took a bumpy bus ride (no tarmac) to 'Finca Ishabel" - a hostel / ranch half way to Tikal in central Guatemala. You can just see the tame monkey in this photo." "These are the owners parrots." That cheeky monkey again. I plan to alter this image as it almost looks like the parrots are playing chess (that's a chessboard on that table). "Our lodgings!" "This is Tikal, at about 5.00 am in the morning on top of a Maya temple high above the jungle" "Tikal is a large Maya site right in the middle of the jungle." "Can just see the other temples here just before the sun comes up." "A recently uncovered sculpture at Tikal - notice the guide book, bottom right of photo." Carefull! "This German woman was edging along this ledge very slowly!" "A place we stayed on the way back on the west coast of Mexico - 'Zipolite' - 'Beach of the Dead' - it had very strong undercurrents just off the beach." I regret that I don't have any photo's of 'Lake Atitlan' near Guatemala City, as this was an extraordinary place. A lake surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. This concludes my 'journey'. djbarney