Monday, May 28, 2007

Brudders, The Finale

In no time at all, the brudders and countries of Central America are behind us. Our time together was sweet; a jam-packed tour of 3 countries and countless amazing natural and manmade wonders. With their all-too-soon departure came pangs of homesickness, and a new event to look forward to: home, or what we once knew as home.

Our journey took us to new regions of Guatemala, our self-proclaimed adventure-favorite for the budget traveler. Rio Dulce brimmed with riverside culture, from lilypads to hippies to boys in ancient canoes. The contrast between the full-speed booty dancin' yacht day-trippers and the Mayan family of six transported solely by cayuka is obvious, but somehow the two coexist in strange harmony.

We were all amazed by the miracle of El Finca Paraiso, a steaming hot-spring waterfall flowing into cool clean river waters. Nature's spa surpassed any manmade equivalent I have ever witnessed.

Onward we trekked to Tikal, a gem of Mayan ruins amid raw jungle wilderness. Our misty sunrise atop an ancient temple was surrounded by the amphitheater of jungle creatures awakening. Scenes of Apocalypto flashed through my head, but I was too tired after climbing hundreds of haphazard stairs to feel a real sense of horror. The tour left us hungry and exhausted, but completely satisfied after having witnessed the vast, beautiful accomplishments of an ancient civilization.

Nate and Spence's takeoff point was the last country in our Central American puzzle. Belize's large Black, Caribbean, and English-speaking population make it unique from the rest of the countries in the region. Not to mention the vast price increase. We sheltered in a hotel/casino, shying away from the shady streets of Belize City.

From there we said goodbye, or "Hey, see you later." Once again we are alone, missing everyone, and very happy to be back in Mexico enroute to the U.S. of A.

- Rach

p.s. Lecha, Muy Frijoles por favor.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Brudders, Part 1

My apologies if this blog is under par; somehow the boombastic sounds of reggaeton echoing across our hostel walls isn't the most conducive to creative genius. Our hosts "forgot" to mention the nightly discoteca 20 feet from our room and their mission to share the gift that is reggaeton to all, at all hours of the night.

Those annoyances aside, we've been having an awesome time so far with my sibs. We've taken the time to study physics. Namely, we've tested the velocity of pier-jumping,



And spatial relations between human bodies and bat caves.

It turns out that bats and humans can coexist, although preferably not. However, if you do need to squeeze your body into their evil lair, I would recommend crawling while covering your head with both hands and squeezing your eyes shut. This may scramble their sonar.

We've made our way quite a bit north, and have crossed back into Guatemala after a few days' journey to Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras. These islands are a unique blend of Creole, Honduran, and black Caribbean. Most people on the island are speaking this crazy language that is supposed to be English, but sounds rarely decipherable and like everyones tongue have been dipped in molasses. Really interesting. There's a nice slow pace to life, and food portions that make it even more difficult to hustle.

Oh my goodness. Really, the beats, they just don't stop. I'll try to get some sleep.
- Rach

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No more SNUBA for me, thank you very much!

After a lifetime of unfullfilling underwater exploits, Rach and I decided that it was time to get serious and obtain the one final credential that single-handedly seperates the driven from the aimless wanderers. That's right, we are now PADI-certified openwater divers. Three gruelling days of strenous breathing mashed together with mind-numbing study of underwater physics, and we emerged from the deep blue as different people. On top of our overall heightened metaphysical awareness, we are also now equipped with the necessary skills to begin a life as treasure divers like Paul Walker and Jessica Alba. What was that movie about again... oh now I remember, irrelevance.

For those of you out there wondering if you have what it takes to be PADI open water divers I can only say... maybe. Do you have drive, the belief, the physical prowess... and most importanatly the couple hundred dollars it takes to prove to the world that you have your crap together? Time will tell. Time will tell.

We are now Carribeanning our way back North at a furios rate. Bocas Del Toro in Panama was our first taste of the distinct food, music, and laidbacked lifestyle that exists uninterupted just a few hundred miles away from the Pacific. Panama and Costa Rica both seem like entirely different countries on the East side of the continental divide.

- JJ

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Great Divide

North. A direction we haven't touched in months. The symbolic direction of return, completion, Home. Touch base and go. We have dipped our toes (mentally) in the Panama Canal, the great manmade wonder and incredible halfway point of our Central American adventure. There is however, one catch.

Günther, our noble steed, limped his way inches from the finish line. Stuck on blocks, his wheel bearing broken, he sat one mere hour away from our southernmost point. Fate, nonetheless, would have us reach the Canal in a Westfalia regardless.

It turns out we were destined to meet our Canadian doppelgängers. Same car, same dream, even the same unwanted transitional lenses (Shades McSpecs lives again). Amazing. From Montreal to the Panama Canal, they traversed much of the same ground as us and in similar style.

Riding in the backseat of Jason and Marie Claire's white westy, we simultaneously reached our mutual turnaround point. The day was rainy and grey, the mood reflective. There was a sense of turning around, of having completed something. Even without our real ride, the geographical accomplishment of trekking from the heights of Alaska to the tip of the Panama Canal was profound.

We now look forward to bringing the journey full circle. With much of the Caribbean coast left to explore and my most favorite brothers in the world about to join us, the road home will hopefully be just as rewarding.