So after 2 brilliant weeks in Phuket with dad and Megan, and 5 quick days back in Australia staying with Dan, we headed off again!
We left Dan's pretty late to catch the midnight flight over to Sydney, and then on to LA. It was pretty hard to get excited at the prospect of such long flights, even with LA and Mexico as the destinations! Even so, the flights were relatively painless and we arrived in LA knackered, but not suicidal! We caught a shuttle bus pretty easily to our Venice Beach hostel (which was quite nasty!) and even though it was only 9 am and we had sworn that we wouldn't go to bed....we both passed out straight away until around 2pm! Once we became alive and showered, we headed out to explore. Venice Beach is awesome! Never seen quite so many odd balls and misfits in the one place! So we ended up having a fun days wandering around, eating chili fries and drinking beers. The next morning we got up to head back to the airport, which was not quite as easy as the previous day! After an hour of standing around waiting for our shuttle, we discovered that the road was actually closed and a marathon was starting (thanks for telling us useless Venice Beach hostel workers!!). Long story short, we were convinced we were going to miss our flight until jas spotted our shuttle (40 mins late) on the next corner and ran to grab him. Amazingly, the guy seemed surprised and hurt when, arriving at the airport, we refused to tip him and grabbed our bags ourselves and ran!
LAX was stupidly easy to check into and we barely even had our passports checked, nevermind our luggage. So soon enough, we were in Housten and heading for our flight to Cancun. We had already decided to give Cancun a miss - millions of Americans + millions of resorts = hell - so we caught a bus straight down to Playa del Carmen and found a bed for the night. Playa is a pretty cool place, it's still touristy and still has way to many Americans, but the beaches are beautiful, the beers are cheap, and the place is mega chilled.
After a few day of doing not much of anything, we headed down to Tulum, a wee town 1 hour south of Playa which is famous for it's beaches and it's ruins. We lucked out here and found a cute new hotel, who's owners decided to upgrade us from a room to a suite for no extra cost, yay! So a couple of days we had a pretty room, a tv, a hot shower and a little courtyard with a hammock.
After Tulum we caught a bus down to Chetumal (border of Mexico) and hung around for few hours until we could catch a boat to Belize and the island of Caye Caulker (aka our new favourite place in the world)! We arrived at Caye Caulker as it got dark, so after finding a room, we went out for food and, of course, rum. We met heaps of people straight away and ended up having a pretty crazy night, running around the various bars and clubs (of which, there aren't many!) until around 3 am. The next day, we went off exploring and attempted to walk around the whole island. The island is pretty small, but bigger than we thought, so with the heat of the early afternoon sun, we gave up and stopped for food and beers!
The best spot on the island was a little open air bar called lazy lizard. It was next to a little beach with a boardwalk out in to the ocean. Very chilled, and if you like fish, you can snorkel in "the split" (where the island was divided into 2 by a previous hurricane) or drink you beers at a table out in the water. Not for me, I sunbathed on the beach instead. Jas went for a half day snorkeling trip on the 3rd day, sounded fairly terrifying to me - he saw (& was touched by) reef sharks and stingrays. Eeeeek! But he seemed to like it.
We would have loved to stay at Caye Caulker for another couple of weeks and have Christmas there, but we just couldn't afford it, so we headed for a cheaper country - Guatemala.
It took us about half a day to cross the border and get to Flores, which is a pretty little town on a tiny island in the middle of a lake. It's very relaxed and very cute. The day after arriving we got up a stupid o'clock (4am) to catch a bus out to Tikal, an ancient Mayan site. It was a pretty amazing trip and our guide "ceasar" was some sort of Mayan genius and told us masses about the history of the mayan's, and Tikal itself.
So today is now our last day in Flores, we've checked out of our hotel and are bumming around town until our night bus at 9 pm. Next stop - Antigua!