One Year On The Road

Today it is a year to the day since Vicki and me left the UK. So far, it has been a journey of three parts ……

Part One – Mexico

We flew from Manchester to Cancun, thinking that it was going to be the start of a Very Big Adventure for us both. We were prepared, or thought we were, for everything that Latin America could throw at us.

The day before we’d finished packing up our houses in Birmingham, dropped the rental car off and caught the coach from Digbeth Coach Station to Manchester Airport, stopping in a hotel close by. Then we caught Thomas Cook‘s morning flight from Manchester.

Chichen Itza in the sun
Chichen Itza in the sun

Continue reading One Year On The Road

Pasajcap

I haven’t written that much about the places that I have stopped in, but I really need to make an exception for Pasajcap, which was my home for a week on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

Set up on the hillside that rises on the path between San Marcos and Tzununa, Pasajcap is a collection of small houses and apartments that overlook the lake. Each of the properties has an enormous picture window with views of the volcanoes across the lake.

Hammock in front of a window with a view of the volcano behind
Volcano view at Pasajcap

As well as being a relatively short tuk-tuk ride from the centre of San Marcos, Pasajcap also has its own private jetty on the lake. I arrived directly from San Pedro by taking a public boat and asking to be dropped off there. Continue reading Pasajcap

Sumpango kite festival

Two kites on display at Sumpango Kite Festival
Sumpango Kite Festival

I walked into town at a quarter past five on the morning of the Day of the Dead and came across a small group of Mayan kids playing basketball to a loud, heavy Dubstep being played through the community centre`s PA system . A group of women dressed in their traditional, kaleidoscopic dress waited by the bus stop a few metres away, smiling tolerantly. Strange as this was, it was by no means the most curious or exotic experience of the day.

I was stopping in San Marcos, which is one of the more esoteric of the villages around Lake Atitlan. There’s often a waft of weed in the air and a lot of the self-catering adverts mention yoga pads. For one of the first times on my trip, getting vegetarian food had been easy. Continue reading Sumpango kite festival

Studying Spanish in San Pedro, Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan In The Rain
Lake Atitlan In The Rain

I’d been travelling alone for a just little less than a week. For the past two days I had been stopping in Panajchel, known as Pana locally, where it had rained pretty solidly throughout my stay. I’d come to the conclusion that I’d made a mistake stopping here at all, as I’d found it to be little more than a main street with restaurants, bars and shops that catered to us tourists. I discovered too late that it is very easy to skip past Pana and get a boat across the lake straight away.

So, first thing that morning, I had dragged my suitcase round to the jetty, clattering along the cobbles as I went. At the quayside I pulled my suitcase on to the roof of the boat and squinted at the rain pummelling against it. It looked precarious, and wet already. “Safe?” I asked the captain, “Yes” he agreed. My Spanish perfectly matched my mood, hesitant and a bit miserable. Continue reading Studying Spanish in San Pedro, Lake Atitlan

Plotting our Road To Nowhere

Map-Latin America blueWhen we set out on this trip we didn’t want to have too many concrete plans. In fact, when we landed in Mexico we only had the first two nights accommodation booked and weren’t even certain where our next town was going to be.

What we did know is that we need to be in Mexico City by the start of September, for our flight to Guatemala City, and that we then want to spend a month on Lake Atitlan, studying in a language school. So, these first five weeks have been a process of us finding our feet and stitching together our route with those targets in mind

By now we have got into a rhythm of looking ahead for the next week or two, and making sure we are on top of travel and accommodation booking and that we are, generally, en route to Mexico City.

Since we’ve started the blog, we’ve had quite a few people ask us what our plans are and now seemed to be a good time to plot out our itinerary on here.

So, we’ve set up a new page, called Route, which shows where we think we are aiming for. As our plans evolve we will update the map.