So here we are in Central America, with only 2 weeks of our journey left! Not much to tell you about...well maybe just a few things!!
We started the Central America leg in San Salvador (El Salvador) and arrived to an empty hostel which was more like someone's house we were just crashing at, even the owner wasn't there! After finding out that the only thing really to see in this city are the huge guns everyone is toting we decided to book our bus out as soon as possible, so we left the very next day having spent most of our time in the San Salvador suburbs lost on a local bus.
We arrived in Guatemala city and quickly fled this dangerous capital to the pretty town of Antigua which seemed to have more ruined churches than people. We got our fix of the religious sites and headed up a volcano to see the lava! Unfortunatly our tour left us behind so we got a quickly rearranged private tour where we were stalked by men on horses as we were rushed up the mountain to get there before nightfall. Having shooed the horsemen away we reached the top of Volcan Pacaya to some stunning views and cooked marshmallows over the steaming vents. After Antigua we headed north to swim in the lush limestone pools of Semuc Champey before heading onwards to Flores and the Tikal ruins. We spent a great few days in Flores which is a lovely little town built on an island in a lake which provided some good swimming spots. From here we took our trip to the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal deep in the jungle which was fantastic. Really large and spectacular temples which we were still allowed to climb up which made it that much better.
Here we ended our time in Guatemala and moved into Belize which instantly felt different. Suddenly everyone spoke English and the caribbean vibe was evident. I asked the taxi driver what sort of food we could expect to which he replyed "have you ever had rice and beans"...so no change there then! Our first stop was to the caves of San Ignacio, where we swam/climbed our way into some dark caverns which at the end a treasure trove of Mayan pots and bones (plus a full human skeleton) were scattered around for us to try and avoid stepping on. Our guide was a bit of a grump and blamed tourists (us) for not respecting the Mayan culture and staying out of the cave, as he hypocritically led us deeper into them. Next and final stop in Belize was to the caribbean island of Caye Caulker where we stayed in a really cool hostel right by the sea. The atmosphere was so chilled and we relaxed in the hammocks and in the bars eating lobster (lobster season had just started and everyone was going nuts for them!). We went out on a snorkling trip to the reef which was great fun. I don't know what they put into the sea over here but every fish was huge! We swam with turtles, stingrays, SHARKS and at the very end of the day a rare Manatee (sea cow) appeared which we very lucky to witness.
Next stop Mexico. We jumped on a water taxi to make the 2hour boat ride across from Belize into Mexico (felt a bit Miami vice, but unfortunately no drug smuggling or dodgy suits to be seen) and headed to our first stop of Tulum. Alas, the rainy season we had so far largely managed to avoid caught up with us here. In Tulum we visited the Mayan ruins that overlooked the bright white beach, these Mayans had the right idea! We then visited one of the modern 7 wonders of the world of Chicken Itza which was very interesting but also a total tourist hot spot. Here we wandered around the ruins and listened to how they invented the modern day calendar and used it to amaze their followers by predicting the rainy season etc... (basically they conned the plebs). From here we had a swim in a cenote (big sink hole) which was fun and headed back to Tulum for hopefully a sunny day on the beach. However it was still raining so we decided to head north to the party town of Playa del Carmen, where it is still raining! Still its supposed to get sunny from now on, fingers crossed!