Sunday, September 30, 2007

the joys of traveling in developing countries

I love developing countries: the sights, sounds, smells (except for all the diesel exhaust), and the wonderful people. And the adventures of getting from point A to point B. I was in a town called Panajachel trying to get to another town called Quetzaltenango (Xela - pronounced Shay-la to everyone here). It looked like an easy enough place to get to on the map and I should have been able to take one, or maybe two buses, to get here. Trusting the locals, who told us there weren´t anymore direct buses to Xela for that day, we boarded the first bus and they guaranteed that we would only have to change buses once. So we got off and got on a direct bus to Xela, or so we though. Every time we (we is an Austrian guy I am currently traveling with and me) got on a bus, I asked if it was ¨directo a Xela?¨ And the response: ¨Si, si. Directo a Xela. No problema.¨ Yeah right! Four buses and 4 hours later, we finally arrived. Whew.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hiking on vocanoes

As a quick update to this small trip I took, there was a renewable energy plant in the middle of nowhere, Guatemala, pulling energy from the volcano and supplying electricity to the towns around there for super cheap. If they can figure out the technology in Guatemala, then surely we can figure out how to harvest enough renewable energy in the US. I mean, come on!

Volcan Pacaya

Hot lava - watch out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

And so it begins...

After all the discussion and (hurried) preparation, I am finally in Central America, spending the first part of my trip in Guatemala. I arrived at the airport in Guatemala City, decided it wasn't worth my time and hoped on a bus to Antigua, where I currently sit. I'm trying to keep my eyes open so that I don't go to sleep at 8:00 local time, but probably won't fight it much longer as I'm hiking on a volcano tomorrow morning starting at 6:00! I asked the tour company to make sure it's smoking, spitting lava (from afar), and that the weather is impeccable. We'll see if they cooperate.

Will write more later and will hopefully have some pictures to post after tomorrow.