I left Sunday, October 19, with my friend Meredith. We bused together to Guate, where she stayed for a week of training before heading off to the wilds of Ixil for 6 months (and you all thought 4 months with net access was bad ;) I went on from there to Chiquimula, a city in the eastern part of Guatemala, where I spent the night in a nice hotel for cheap. Chiquimula was hot and humid, and people wore a LOT less clothing than they do here in the highlands -- and it's interesting to see what seems "shockingly skimpy" after not seeing a lot of skin for a couple of months! I was visited in the night by a cat who jumped through the window and scared the daylights out of me, but was not, apparently, flea-ridden, so that was okay.
The morning of Monday, Oct 20, I bused to the border with Honduras, crossed on foot, and got a minivan to Copan Ruinas, the town near Copan (the actual ruins), an old Mayan city. I visited the ruins -- a wonderful experience other than a slimy guy (I'll go into that in another post). I spent the night in a very questionable hotel (that's the last time I stray from the guidebook! (not really, but, wow)) with ants (not that big a deal) and cockroaches (yuck yuck yuck!)
Then, Tuesday, I took a (luxury - wow) bus from Copan to La Ceiba, thereby avoiding changing bus terminals (though I did change buses) in San Pedro Sula (a big win. changing terminals is always a huge pain.) and got screwed over by the cab driver (par for the course for me) and got to the ferry to Roatan!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights I stayed in the Dolphin Hotel, across the street from the beach, and just lazed around, swam in the ocean every day, and relaxed. It was lovely. Friday, I moved to a Coconut Tree Cabin (better because I could pay with a credit card, and because it had a kitchen) and started my scuba course (which I had really considered skipping, but then I figured, what the hell, I'll try it, and see how it is. it's not like I HAVE to scuba dive afterwards if I'm not into it. *cough*)
The scuba course was good. The instructor was a grumpy British fellow named Chris (not the Chris who taught you guys, mom and dad, although he and Ruth were very excited to make the connection and they say hi), and my fellow students were a couple of students from Spain (wow, is the Spanish accent weird after speaking Guatemalan Spanish!) -- it was really fun, and I hung out a lot with my fellow classmates outside of class, too. They left Monday, Oct 27th, the day after our class ended, and I took a day off to relax.
Needless to say, I liked scuba diving WAY more than I expected to (more about that in another post), so...
Tuesday, I did a short (5 minute) dive before it was called off due to weather.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I did two dives each. Really really really great. Yeah. Yum. Who's up for a scuba diving vacation next winter?
Sunday, I left Roatan (sigh) and did the reverse trip: Ferry to La Ceiba, LC to San Pedro Sula, SPS to Copan... stayed the night in a DIFFERENT hotel in Copan (only one cockroach, and not in my room), got up early early early Monday morning for a minivan to the border, walked across, got the bus to Chiquimula, another bus to Guate, and, by the skin of my teeth (and another overpriced taxi) caught the 12:30 bus to Xela, so I was home in time for dinner. *phew*
So, that's my last couple of weeks in a nutshell. More detail to follow, and also news about election stuff.
For folks who may want to call, I'm back in the Casa de las Amigas, whose phone number is 011-502-763-0108.