Honduras: Jungle, Pirates, and Great Diving

Honduras, outside of 3 (maybe 4) spots regularly visited by backpackers, doesn’t have the best reputation. Ever since Baja, we’ve heard stories of corruption and extortion, with one crazy Ex-Pat even telling us how he’d been completely displaced from his retirement property by the cartel. HOW COULD WE POSSIBLY PASS ON ALL THIS FUN?! Copan Ruins would be our first stop, followed by a long drive up to the Caribbean coast to take advantage of one of the CHEAPEST places in the world for diving, Utila, and to visit a pirate legend in Sambo Creek.  As always, there would be quite certainly some other adventures along the way.

Getting out of El Salvador was almost as easy as crossing into Mexico (where we literally drove across what seemed like an imaginary line). We got stamped out, traded some dollars for lempiras (24 to 1) and were on our merry way. Then we got to the Honduran side…immigration was fine, we paid $35, and got stamped into the country…but then we had to import the bikes. We thought we were in the clear when we pulled up to Aduana and were the only ones there. NOPE, the guy took over 2 hours to process us in! GOD BLESS! Redressed and ready to leave the last check point to freedom we were stopped!! Apparently during the 2 hour process the dipshit wrote down Justin’s VIN # incorrectly. Back to Aduana it was. This time with a rather long line. At least Justin has continued to be one of the tallest members of society!



El Salvador: Our new favorite country?!

El Salvador, the runt of the pack, is a little country sandwiched between Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. It’s perfectly situated on a beautiful stretch of the Pacific, has plenty of volcanoes to hike, and is littered with little towns and markets. Despite all of this everyone seems to brush it off, skipping it, heading directly towards Nicaragua or the Bay Islands, Honduras, in the luxury of their air-conditioned shuttles. But why?

Most of the rhetoric surrounding El Salvador appears to stem directly from the news & media coverage, which portrays El Salvador as a gang ridden, lawless land which is consistently competing with its northern neighbor, Honduras, for who is considered the murder capital of the world. While Justin would have loved to join MS13, earn a couple teardrop tats, and extort some peeps, the opportunity unfortunately didn’t present itself. All we found in El Salvador were kindhearted people, fantastic surf, and cheap fish.



Guatemala Part 3: Spanish School and Lago Atitlan

If you’ve been following along you know a large chunk of our time in Guatemala was spent driving the epic, but absolutely fucking terrible roads, and hiking as many volcanoes as we could. Per usual, time slipped away from us and before we knew it we had spent almost 5 weeks in Guatemala. Two of those weeks we stayed in one location immersing ourselves in the Guatemalan culture by enrolling in Spanish School in Xela. El Mundo en Espanol here we come!

Xela (or Quetzaltenango)

Xela is the nickname given to Quetzaltenango. It is a tongue twister of a name confusing gringos and locals alike. Despite being the second largest city in Guatemala, the old town historic area remains quite quaint and colorful. If we hadn’t decided to take Spanish class here we probably wouldn’t have made the journey to this beautiful colonial town. We figured it would be a perfect place to touch up on our Spanish as some of our other options (Antigua or Lake Atitlan) had WAY too many distractions…terrible for Mitch’s ADD.



Guatemala Part 2: Volcano Addition

So we’ve decided to change things up a bit and instead of writing a meandering posts regarding the stupid shit that happens to us along the way we’re going to get a little more specific and focus solely on the Volcanos of Guatemala. Believe it or not, there are 27 (mas o menos) volcanoes in ol Guate – enough to keep you busy for a while. Two out of three climbs we chose strictly out of convenience, the other (Acatenango) came HIGHLY recommended! All-in-all we climbed over 1000 floors and took over 100,000 steps (at least that’s what the iPhone said).