Nepal and India

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

So, I just decided that I will spend Christmas in Nepal and New year in India. I always wanted to go to India because it seems like such a magical and chaotic place, and Nepal because it is mysterious.

I'm kind of excited now.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Comayagua is a little bit of a quirky place; colonial beauty meets modern life, a little shady but great fun just around the corner.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

After a long day of travelling, I arrived in Roatan Island, which is situated in the Caribbeans. The ferry to the island reminded me of the ferry to Zanzibar "The vomit commit". I was about to vomit, so I closed my eyes and tried to focus on not vomiting. It kind of worked, but I felt so sick even afterwards.

The island is known for diving, which I didn't do. I find fish a little creepy...I'm not exactly scared of them...but I feel creeped out to be surrounded by them and other creatures in the water that I cannot see properly. However, I did the glass bottom boat tour, which is a semi submersible boat in which you get to see coral reef without getting wet. It was pretty nice.

Other than that, I didn't do much on the island other than relaxing, partying in karaoke bars and eating lion fish. It's a very laid-back place where the best thing you can do is to have a cold beer in a bar by the beach.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Today is a 6 hours drive to cross the border to Honduras. It's nice to see the wild country side of Guatemala, volcanoes and mountains. I made it to Copan around noon. Societies developed here as early as 2000 B.C. due to the fertility of the land. It is also known to be a famous archaeological site of the Maya civilisation.

Here are some pictures of the quaint city. The houses are all very colorful and the roads are paved with cobblestones. It is similar to Antigua but much more simple and quiet, which I love.

When I first arrived there, my mission was to find postcards to send home, but I ended up in the Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve in which we can observe endangered birds and walk along forest trails. It has mission to reintegrate the different birds into nature; it is a pretty cool project and has a great array of wildlife. I saw lot of species that I've never seen before, such as macaws..and banana spiders, haha. You can also take pictures with the birds, which I did :)

The next day, I went to see the archaeological site of the Maya. Hiring a guide is highly suggested since it's an archeological site; all you see are trees and rocks if you don't have one, ha. Quite honestly, I didn't know anything about the Mayas before this visit, but the guide taught me so much. The quality of the artwork is amazing and a lot of details are still intact.

Lastly, I went to explore the Copan Valley atop a horse. My guide spoke no English at all, and I obviously don't know any Spanish. I just nodded and smiled to everything he said; I'm not sure if he realised that I actually didn't understand much. I loved the remoteness of being in the valley, kids saluting you, the tranquillity of the country side...


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Today, I took the shuttle bus to Antigua. It’s a very touristy town but it’s quite nice; it reminds me of Hoi An in Vietnam. It seems safer than Guatemala city; you know this because you don’t get stared at on the streets.

Antigua was once the most important city of Central America, but destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. Most Spanish colonial buildings have been restored. I spent most of my day exploring the city. I like that the buildings are not very tall which allows you to see the mountain peaks and volcanoes.

Here's Antigua in pictures...

Guatemala city

Saturday, 2 August 2014

I guess the reason why I'm not that excited about this trip is because Central America isn't my top destination. I wanted something more challenging, but I settled for Central America because I only had three weeks, and Central America is not too far and the time zone is close enough to keep jet lag at a minimum. I knew that was going to be an easy trip, even though my Spanish is non-existent. I know the most essential words at least...Baños? Gracias, oh and Café con leche :)

I arrived in Guatemala city at noon and took a taxi to zone 1, which is where I stayed. The city is divided into 22 zones and zone 1 is known as the most dangerous zone due to its disturbing crime rate. I was actually a little scared after reading the horror experiences of other travellers...but there is a lot of history there and a fantastic flavor of its own.

I did not take many pictures because I didn't want to attract unnecessary attention. I found a street where there were people performing, singing, beat boxing, dancing, braiding kids hair, doing make-up, etc. It's quite different from the other countries I've visited before. I loved the rustic look and the mountains surrounding the city.

I've been approached by a group of young girls who wanted to interview me for a school project, which I thought was weird, but we were in a public park so I accepted to be interviewed. The interview was a little odd; they asked questions about me and what I did so far...I tried to not give them too much detail.

Right after they left, another guy approached me saying that he's doing the same project and wanted to interview me. Ok, that is weird I thought...but again, we were in a very public place so I didn't mind. "The girls I talked it true that they are doing an interview for a school project?" I asked. He probably thought what I thought and reassured me that he's wasn't trying to mug me. I felt bad I made him feel this way; it is probably hard for him to talk to foreigners because every foreigner is told that Zone 1 is dangerous. So I sat down with him and we talked for a while.

It reminded me to keep an open mind when you travel, and don't let people tell you to avoid a place just because it's not safe. There are no places that are too safe. Just be careful as you would be anywhere else and you should be fine. Go out there and let stories happen to you!

Camel's hump

Sunday, 20 July 2014

I love hiking, but I have runner's knee, which as the name suggests, it's common among runners, and hikers too. I bought a knee brace after reading many positive reviews on it, and decided to test it out on the third highest mountain of Vermont; Camel's Hump. That thing really worked!

Why Camel's hump is amazing:
-It is Vermont's highest undeveloped peak
-It has an exposed rocky peak that rewards you with a 360° views
-You can see the highest peaks in three states; Washington, Marcy, Mansfield.
-Vermont isn't too far and the mountains are much nicer than Quebec's
-Americans are friendlier

...and yeah apparently it's funny that I hike with walking sticks :)

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