Monday, July 23, 2012

South of North America, North of South America

So just got back (kinda) from my trip to central america. There are way too many memories and stories to share to put down in this blog. So hopefully I can convey the gist of it..

So everyone loves pictures and that's what the people want...

  • To see the best of the best check out my flickr.
  • To see the more complete album (115 photos), check out my Picasa.

Also i made a mixtape of music i heard in CA. Its all over the place and a lot of the songs are english anyways but have some significance for the trip. Check out the mixtape on or by clicking the cover art below.

So for those that weren't aware, I went to Central America (CA)this summer with my friend Shaun and new friend Jack. Shaun I've known since grade school and met Jack on this trip since he hosted us in Nicaragua and pretty much showed us around CA a bit too. Jack worked mostly during the day while Shaun & I explored. So the basic itinerary was Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. We didn't plan too much and left a lot of room for spontaneity. I think that was best because it allowed us to explore a bit. Overall it was an adventure.  It was super hot and humid in all countries and I have plenty of bug bites as well. I got sunburned (mostly in Roatan, Honduras) and met some new friends as well. I wished i spoke Spanish, because i felt i could have connected more. Put that on my todo list please. The food was okay, only three real meals worth talking about: Pupusas in El Salvador, Machuca in Honduras (see video) and Cat Cora's kitchen in Houston hahahaha. Overall most of the countries reminded me of the Philippines in one way or another: developing tropical country, similar hectic feel, similar rural feed, western influence, brown people. What else what else...not to sure since there a bunch of things to say...after the jump is kinda bullet point list of what happened each day, if you're real interested, ask me about one of them.

i'll also post two videos of the two best stories i have from the trip..just been super lazy to try to find a video camera haha..but those will be up...

June 27th Wednesday
  • Flew from LAX->IAH (Houston) then IAH->MGA Managua, Nicaragua
  • Sat next to cute girl visiting fam, mary, has kids wamp wamp
  • Arrived, bought Local Rum from overpriced duty free. Flor De Cana
  • Super Hot & humid, not used to it, dying
  • Streets have no addresses
  • Ate at battling Mariachi bar & then kicked at VIP section at karaoke bar
  • Slept in a pile of sweat at Jacks
  • El Pali grocery store
  • local bus & then mini bus to Granada
  • Granada - small old colonial town
  • Went to lake nicaragua, took boat tour, saw islands & volcano..see Picasa pics
  • Ate at Kelly's bar in granada, like ex-patriot spot
  • Mini bus back, rain, window seats
  • Back in managua. Waited at local mall & explored around university.
  • Met Jack & friends at bus stop, pride parade,  went to local capital spots
  • Saw old gov't/capital buildings/monuments
  • Went to a bar/restaurant on the edge of the lake, drank, danced, karaoke
  • See video
  • Travel to San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Border Story
  • AC on super cold on bus
  • Upgraded room at Hostel - Ximena's Guest House
  • Slept in like 1/2 the day
  • Cold fully developed
  • Got recommendation to eat at a restaurant, but couldn't find it so ate at Pollo Campero. eh
  • Back to hostel, then decided to head to volcano
  • Local bus then mini bus, bought an inadequate replacement sweat towel
  • transferred buses a cool busy market in the town of something something (note to self look this up)
  • second bus super crowded and had to stand he whole way. felt way to intimate
  • had to hike the rest of the way up, ate fruit way
  • line of shops outside top of the volcano outside the official park. had to pay, had to hike up more
  • see pics for actual view from volcano
  • took cab back to hostel to meet up with jack and his friend Hector
  • hector took us to a pupuseria and had the best pupusas despite me being impaired by my cold
  • some of jack's friends/coworkers joined us and then we went to a dope lounge after
  • vinyl lounge for drinks, owner had a great collection of old vinyl records, ambiance was very warm living room 70s/hipster feel to it.
  • after went to another bar for more drinks, then to a bar/club with dancing..they opened up a private room for us which was i think where they stored shit...
  • Cold was way too much and wasn't drinking so took a cab back to hostel and slept.
  • obviously we had another 5 am bus ride, this time we took a different bus, King Quality
  • we asked the ticket bus lady if we can cross the border with no issues, she said yes, we asked how does she know..she replied that because no one has said anything to her...that's comforting.
  • King quality was like riding first class on an airplane...fully reclining seats, pillows, blankets, nice bathroom, and even food and refreshments! worth the extra 11 bucks
  • 8 hr bus ride, a lot less eventful but more comfortable
  • arrived in san pedro sula sps, picked up by Eva's cousin. Eva is a co-worker of Jack who heads one of the garment unions in sps. Went to Eva's office for a bit.
  • Went to Eva's house to fresh up then met up with a bunch of Eva's co workers to eat. They were all excited to see Shaun and jack since they've worked closely before and haven't see Shaun in a while.
  • Ate at a restaurant owned by one of the Honduras soccer players. it was a restaurant up in the trees. about 20-30 people. it sucked that i didn't speak Spanish and couldn't converse with any of them. called it a night and slept at Eva's for the night
  • Woke up and got dropped off at the main plaza in SPS while Jack & Eva worked
  • explored plaza where the Honduras resistance still occupies, explored a small artisan craft shop and the history museum
  • met up with jack & Eva for lunch at Power chicken, saw some us military people, went to office in Choloma.
  • went to union office in Choloma. Choloma is where a lot of the garment factories are. Met up with Eva's co-workers and the workers form the factories
  • Homemade meals at Eva's then slept
  • Another early morning bus to La Ceiba on the Honduras Coast. Thought it would be a two hour bus ride but turned out to be 4 hrs. thank goodness for window seats.
  • Arrived in La Ceiba, met two super lost & confused American girls outside the bus stop. They had no idea if it was better to take a taxi or a bus to this one town...looked super out of their element
  • Had time to kill to ate at some chicken place across the friend chicken I've had in a long time, like perfectly cooked & juicy served with a plantain. Had to get some $ since ATMs in Roatan (next destination) island run out of cash easily. Crossed street a billion times.
  • Ferry ride into Roatan, took motion sickness pill, went to side of boat to see waves and to be outside. See pics. Some waves went onto boat, so we made kinda a game to avoid them & not get wet, Jack lost. cute girl
  • Got in, took taxi to hostel, checked into hostel by a shirtless Spanish guy with a bun named trip, showed us to the dorms. not happening. super dusty & hot and the beds were falling apart. packed our shit away and headed into town (west end, roatan)
  • Super nice beach cove at night, walked for a bit, got a beer at this lounge with lights on the beach, see pics
  • Saw a inflatable pyramid thingy on the water, ended up being part of this bar restaurant that had a studio to rent & we get to play on this water slide & trampoline (i.e. the pyramid), but had to check out the place in the morning.
  • Laid on the beach at night because so hot, ate some late night baleada.
  • Went back to hostel and went straight to bed so we can wake up early in the morning.
  • Woke up in the morning & checked out the studio: pretty sweet. AC,private bath & kitchen, real red & futon/couch, on the water over a dive shop/pier, Balcony overlooks bay. Went back to hostel with some made up story to wiggle our selves our of their, and moved to the studio.
  • Once settled in Jack worked while Shaun & I played on the giant water slide, pretty fun. Had lunch
  • Afternoon, water taxi to west bay where its a super nice peace with the resorts. white sands, clear water, blue skies. played on their super huge water tower. see pics
  • went back to west end, ate at an Italian spot, wasn't that great, chilled on the balcony & listened to music that was playing, checked out the rest of west end at night.
  • see video
  • Got back from punta gorda, took some type of party mini/bus & jack and bus guy had some duet song nice
  • took a nice nap and explored west end nightlife again while Shaun was knocked out. Went to Blue marlin bar because it was the most poppin'. Got the guts to sing karaoke with Jack, sang are you that somebody by Aaliyah. crowd loved it. two girls came up to us saying they loved it, Rachel & Laura, sang a second song at the end of the night cee lo fuck you. at the end another girl said i had a great voice...she was drunk. called it a night.
  • Super lazy morning, ate baleadas and went to the west bay beach again to chill.
  • see pic, tried to catch the first with our hands with lettuce as bait. locals hid lettuce in rocks
  • laid out got tan, water taxi back to west-end
  • went back to blue marlin bar, & chilled. ran into Rachel again. danced for a bit, but then bounced. went to other club but didn't want to pay cover, some fire dancers were outside and watched them perform.
  • Early morning ferry ride back to main island. saw same cute girl. last baleada at ferry station. no waves this time and just slept inside.
  • straight forward ride from terminal to bus station in la ceiba. Bus was crowded and had faux window seat. 4 hrs back to San Pedro Sula.
  • Went to Eva's to freshen up again and ate out with the union people one last time at a restaurant in a nice mall. After prepped to get ready to read back.
  • super early morning flight from SPS to Houston. Eva dropped us off and saw us off. pointed out to us the main manager who she battles with the unions. got upgraded seats thanks to Shaun's frequent flyer miles.
  • Got to Houston and had to go through customs/immigration/security and it took about an hour. A little nervous because i smuggled in a Cuban cigar and didn't declare it. saw Shaun off.
  • Ate at cat cora's kitchen for lunch. had homemade potato chips with a warm blue cheese dip, and then a warm chocolate cake with fresh berries & creme.
  • Flew back to Lax, end of trip

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