Drokpa Journal



Travel the World


Ukraine - the New Cold War

Dates Traveled: December 2009 / January 2010 Odessa – December, 2009 We actually found ourselves in the Ukraine on a couple of occasions over two months – and two years. Our first foray into Odessa was in December, and was the culmination of an 18-hour bus ride from Varna, Bulgaria. It was another inauspicious, and unwelcoming, entry [...]

Romania for the Holidays

Dates Traveled: December 2009 - January 2010 Brazov and Daytrips We caught the bus from Chisinau, Moldova, to Brazov, Romania, arriving after dark and without any local currency. I’m too accustomed to traveling in countries where you can do a black-market money exchange with dodgy dudes at borders, haggling for a better exchange rate. I keep forgetting [...]

Back in Time in Transdniestr

Dates Traveled: December 2009 Transdniestr So, first things first - how did Rhona and I end up in a breakaway republic? One only recognized by two other entities – themselves breakaway republics? A 'country' that you've probably never even heard of? It started innocently enough - I was looking at my family tree. The Voegele's originally came from [...]

Bumming around Bulgaria

Dates Traveled: November-December 2009 Hmmmm - where does one start when the last update they wrote was 7 1/2 months prior? I suppose it wouldn't be as daunting if we hadn't done much, but Rhona and I spent more than 6 of those months traveling. No, this isn't going to be easy, which I suppose is [...]

Starting the 'Stans

Dates Traveled: September 2009 This past break illustrated how spoiled Rhona and I are when it comes to the time we have to travel. I only had a 5-week break rather than my standard 6. I finished work on August 26, flew from Hammerfest, Norway, on the 27th, and arrived in Kashgar, China on the 28th. [...]

Along the Silk Road

Dates Traveled: June-July 2009 Beijing While in the Beijing airport Rhona and I both commented that we weren’t looking forward to running the gauntlet of taxi drivers. In the past, dodgy characters would approach you and steer you to a ‘taxi’, and then charge an exorbitant rate. When you stated you were taking the bus, they’d say [...]

Bibimbapping through South Korea

Dates Traveled: April-June 2009 Busan We left Shimonoseki on an overnight ferry to Busan, Korea. Once again we paid for the cheapest room, and it was more in line with what we expected – a room, sans beds, with space enough for 6 people to sleep on the floor. We expected the other four to pop in [...]

Monkeying Around in Japan

Dates Traveled: March-April 2009 When will I learn? It’s been far too long since I last updated, and I find myself now scrambling to write updates and post photos before I start the next adventure in just over a week. I’ve vowed that this time I’m going to write a little bit every few days, and [...]

Hitched!

Just a quick update in order to post a few photos from the Big Day! We had a perfect weekend, which began on Thursday night when our respective families met for the first time over Chinese food. Everyone seemed to get along extremely well, and the conversation flowed easily across the table and followed us [...]

Six Weeks Under

Looks like it's been almost four months since my last update. In my defense, there have been some other things taking precedence lately - namely preparing for that little event on March 21 known as our wedding! However, I figure a short update outlining the previous couple of months is in order, so decided to [...]

Denied!

Dates Traveled: September-October 2008 Hong Kong My six weeks of work finished on September 24th, and I immediately caught a flight from Norway to Hong Kong. Friday morning I turned my passport into an agency to obtain a Chinese visa, but because the visa wouldn't be ready until Monday, I had a weekend to kill in Hong [...]

Japan Revisited

 Dates Traveled: July-August 2008  Tsuruoka After my two weeks of traveling around Norway I hopped flights for Tokyo, arriving there on the morning of July 16th. Rhona was able to finagle a couple weeks off work while I was in Japan, so we decided to take advantage of that and head out of the city. We [...]

Land of the Midnight Sun

Dates Traveled: July 2008 Alesund Now that I've gotten the bombshell out of the way in the previous entry, it's time to go back in time and talk a bit about my quick trip in Norway. Our boat docked in Kristiansund on the west coast of Norway on July 2, and I immediately caught a 4-hour bus to [...]

Descent from Fuji with something besides HAPE

I arrived in Tokyo on July 16th after having spent just under 2 weeks wandering around Norway. Once I get some spare time I'll upload those photos and write the travelogue, as this one is just a quick update, though I will say that I loved Norway - my kind of place. On the morning of [...]

Land of the Rising Sun

Dates Traveled: April-May 2008 Once again it's been awhile since I've posted, but this entry should be comparatively short - famous last words. I did just return from a long break of almost two months, but there were no penis gourds, there was no coughing up of blood, and there were no major events which require [...]

A Few News Stories Regarding Tibet

A little insight into some of the games played by the Chinese in Tibet, followed by an open letter from some Chinese intellectuals.....

A Cry for Help

I'm sure most people are at least partially aware that something big is happening in Tibet right now. I know it gets some coverage on the major online news carriers, though if you want more in-depth information you might check out Phayul. The articles there will give you an appreciation of how things are actually [...]

Rhinos, Gorillas, and Cheetahs...Oh My!

Dates Traveled: January-February 2008 Uganda Once again it's time to put fingers to keyboard to outline what I've been up to during my most recent six weeks of adventure. I left the vessel on January 16th and flew to Entebbe, Uganda, via a night in Dubai. I met Rhona at the airport and we proceeded to Kampala, [...]

Losar - Tibetan New Year

February 7th is Tibetan New Years Losar Tashi Delek

Not Long Now...

One of our support vessels caught this swordfish yesterday. It quickly became Kilawin - a Philippine raw fish dish in vinegar, ginger, and peppers. It was excellent!  

Borneo Bound

Dates Traveled: November-December 2007 Malaysia (State of Sabah) - Kota Kinabalu (KK) We arrived in Kota Kinabalu (KK) around midnight, only to find that the airport transfer we'd arranged with the hostel was nowhere to be found. We eventually just grabbed a cab to the hostel, where we crashed long and hard. It had been a long [...]

2007 Christmas Card


Penis Gourds in Papua

Dates Traveled: October-November 2007 Singapore I left the vessel, and Rio, on October 24th for the loooong trip to Singapore. By the time my head hit the pillow in Singapore I'd been awake for over 60 hours, though only 42 of those were spent on flights or in the Rio, Sao Paulo, Washington DC, and Tokyo airports. [...]

Almost Finished with another Tour of Duty

Four more wake-ups and I’m off work, off the boat, and off and running. This break is going to find me on Irian Jaya in Indonesia, and then probably up in Malaysian Borneo. I’ll fly from Rio to Washington DC via Sao Paulo, and then continue on to Singapore via Tokyo. A long day of [...]

Llots of Llamas in Bolivia

Dates Traveled: September 2007 We caught a bus from Puno to Copacabana, on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. We had grand plans of doing a hike, and also visiting the Isla del Sol. However, as we had been on the go for over 3 weeks, and our time together was rapidly coming to an end, [...]

Off to a Shaky Start in Peru

Dates Traveled: August 2007 (I'd also traveled here in June 1998, but that trip is without details) Our flight had us hopping from Denver, to Dallas, to Miami, and finally to Lima, Peru. We arrived at 4:20 AM on August 15th, where we immediately caught a taxi to the bus station for our 7:00 AM departure for [...]

Short Road Trip in the States

I caught the overnight flight from Rio de Janeiro to Houston, arriving there before 6 AM on August 2nd. I nervously handed over my passport to someone from our office. Nervously, because when it came to acquiring a Brazilian work visa nothing seemed to go as planned, and I needed everything to run perfectly. They [...]

Counting down...

Well, after three months of 'home' being a vessel floating offshore Brazil, I'm leaving today. Right now I'm just waiting on my relief to arrive. We'll have a brief handover, and then I'll leave around 3:00. Our vessel didn't head all the way into port, we're simply at anchor, which means we have to take [...]

Out & About in Rio

Well, believe it or not the vessel is still tied up in Rio - has been for about a month-and-a-half now. However, we're expecting to finally have all of our equipment released by customs and out to the vessel tomorrow. It will take us a couple of days to load everything, install a new recording [...]

Christ the Redeemer

This is novel - actually posting an update shortly after I go do something! Yesterday 19 of us jumped in 5 taxis and headed up Corcovado - a 710 meter (2330 foot) mountain overlooking Rio. Why? To get an up-close view of the iconic symbol of Brazil - the giant Christ the Redeemer Statue. The [...]

Hawk Explorer Offshore Brazil

Brace yourself, as I'm actually working again! Crazy, I know.... In the first 4 months of this year I worked 5 weeks, which of course is 5 weeks more than I worked between January 2001 and March 2005. However, I'm about to make up for it, as in the next 3 months I'll be working....3 months....every [...]

Blurb Book of Tibetan Photos

Well, it looks like it’s been a couple of months since my last update, so I figured it was about time to put fingers to keyboard and come up with something…anything. I ended up getting off the Russian vessel on March 6 and was able to make it all the way to Montana that same day. [...]

Losar Tashi Delek

February 18th is Tibetan New Years Losar Tashi Delek

Liver Madness

Looks like we're not in Tibet anymore, Toto! This one is coming to you live from a Russian vessel in the Gulf of Mexico...as you do. Yep, after being out of the game since January 25, 2001, I'm back in the oil patch. Gulp! I left Montana the morning of January 31, and 11 hours [...]

Between Jobs

I've been back in the States now since December 18th. I spent until the 27th of December in Denver, Colorado, where I witnessed the first of their 4 major snowstorms. I then raced to Helena, Montana ahead of Denver's second major snowstorm on the 28th, and have been here ever since. I'm currently just hanging [...]

India & Nepal as Group of 2

Dates Traveled: October - December 2006 I finished my last Tibet trip of the season on October 22nd in Kathmandu, Nepal. I had an enthusiastic group, and we had great views for most of the trip, so it was a nice way to end. And it truly was the end, as I've decided to hang up [...]

Chinglish

Well, once again it's been a couple of months since my last entry. In that time I've run a 1-month Tibet trip, as well as a 3-week trip which just finished in Hong Kong a few days ago. However, as those trips have been described in detail in previous entries, and because we didn't really [...]

Held Up by Maoists

Well, it looks like it's been almost 2 months since my last entry. That has nothing on the 7 months it used to take me to send out an update/e-mail, but I'd envisioned doing these online updates more frequently. What happened? Basically laziness....no other excuses. Anyway, on with the update... Last I left you was early [...]

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting...

Trip number three of the year is now in the bag, as I finished here in Beijing on May 29th. I had met the small group of 5 passengers on May 15th in Shanghai, where we spent our time admiring the nighttime view from the historic Bund, checking out the museum, and simply wandering about [...]

Trip to Southern China & Hong Kong

Me again, this time writing from Shanghai, where tomorrow I’ll start my third trip of the season. My previous trip, a 3-week affair, began on April 15th in Beijing. We did our standard routine while in Beijing, with the first full day spent exploring the Great Wall at Mutianyu. This time the trees in bloom [...]

Kathmandu Curfew

I finished my first trip of the year on April 9th, and to say the least our time spent in Nepal was interesting. I’m currently in Beijing and just started my second trip of the season. This one will be 3-weeks and will remain in Mainland China – it will essentially be the same as [...]

Losar - Tibetan New Year

After spending a couple of months at my dad’s place in Montana I made my way back to China, with a brief layover in Denver to catch up with my sisters. I arrived in Chengdu, China, on February 26th, where I met up with my Australian friend and fellow leader – Rhona. Early on the [...]

2005 Christmas Card


Trip with my Dad

Dates Traveled: November-December 2005 I finished my last trip of the season on October 16th and spent a week simply relaxing in Kathmandu. I then flew to Beijing to sort out visa issues and prepare for the upcoming trip with my dad and his wife, Laura. They arrived in Beijing the afternoon of November 1st and [...]

Last Trip of 2005

Stick a fork in me …I’m done – at least for this year. Yep, my leading season came to an end on October 16th when I said goodbye to my last group. There were a few challenges along the way, but all-in-all another good group. Certainly can’t complain about the groups I’ve had this year. [...]

40 Years of T.A.R.

Another one down, as I just finished in Kathmandu on September 11th. I ended up flying immediately to Hong Kong to try to sort out a new visa, do a bit of work, and have my camera repaired. I’m leaving here tomorrow and making my way to Beijing in order to start my last trip [...]

12..11..10..9..8

Well, that was certainly an interesting trip - to say the least! I was supposed to have a full group, 12 passengers, but one passenger cancelled before I ever met him as he wasn't able to secure his necessary visas. Down to 11. Then, one minute before my group meeting was to begin I met [...]

Finished my First FSN Trip

Looks like it’s been awhile since my last update, though not nearly as long as the 4 to 7 months it used to take me to send out an E-mail update. This website is definitely the way to go. On July 3rd I finished the Tibet trip I was on, and then spent a couple more [...]

Amdo to Lhasa

Another update – this one coming to you from Lhasa, though mostly outlining my trip through the Tibetan grasslands of Gansu and Sichuan Provinces. We left Xian via an 8-hour overnight train to Lanzhou. We ate breakfast there and then hopped in a mini-van for the 6-hour drive to Xiahe. Xiahe, or Labrang in Tibetan, is [...]

Great Wall & Terracotta Warriors

Had a little time on my hands here in Xian, so thought I'd beam out a quick update. I'm a few days into another trip, and by all indications it should be another good group. I once again have a small group (5 passengers), so we should be able to do more things than I [...]

First Trip I Lead into Tibet

Well, another trip completed. This one was a 21-day affair starting in Kunming, hitting Lijiang and Chengdu in mainland China, then into Tibet, and finishing in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was a great trip, as I only had 3 passengers, which allowed us to see a more intimate side of Tibet. We were able to pop [...]

First Solo Trip

Well, I've got one under my belt, as I finished up my first trip yesterday. Right now I'm in Kunming, gearing up to start my next trip tonight. This one will be a 21-day affair, spend most of the time in Tibet, and finish up in Kathmandu, Nepal. Looking forward to it, as I only [...]

Hong Kong Visa Run

Well, the visa run to Hong Kong was less than successful. Doesn’t pay to be an American. I’d talked to an agency on a Saturday and told them what I wanted. With the old Chinese visas I had in my passport already, they felt certain they’d be able to get me what I wanted, but [...]

End of China Training...Start of Tibet Training

Picking up from the previous Shanghai update, we did embark on the 26-hour train trip to Guilin. I was actually 'leader for the day' for some of that - including the train trip. However, playing drinking games with the locals and two big bottles of baijiu, while most of your group is down in the [...]

Xian

Me again - this time coming to you from Shanghai, though I'll first back-track a bit and fill you in on my last days in Xian. I did a lot of walking to check out the various sites - pagodas, museum, drum and bell tower, to name a few. I also found myself wandering around the [...]

Beijing & Great Wall

This journal entry comes to you from Xian, as the group just arrived here this morning after a 12-hour overnight train trip from Beijing. The group consists of 10 passengers from all over the world - England, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. There are two of us accompanying the trip as new leaders, [...]

Intrepid Training

Greetings from Suzhou, China. After a 2-hour flight from Denver to San Francisco, and an almost 13-hour flight to Shanghai, I was back in China on March 5. The next day I met many of the other new leaders for Intrepid, and we caught a bus up here to Suzhou. The past 5 days we've [...]

A New Job...A New Adventure

I'm currently in Denver, CO, but I'm flying out of here tomorrow. My trip takes me to San Francisco, and then on to Shanghai, China. I'll probably spend a night there before taking a bus to Suzhou. On March 7 I'll begin my 'group leader' training with Intrepid Travel, and will hopefully be [...]

2004 Christmas Card


Tibet

Dates Traveled: October 2003 - August 2004 Various trips March-November 2005 Various trips February-October 2006 On October 15, after years of being near the top of my 'must-see' list, I was finally on my way to Tibet. The overland trip cost more than a flight, so I found myself airborne for 1 1/2 hours over some beautiful mountains [...]

2003 Christmas Poem

The saga continues, a year has flown by. The reindeer are harnessed and Christmas is nigh. The sneering bus drivers who left with their tease? They're back once again but now speaking Chinese.

China

Dates Traveled: July-October 2003 Various trips between March-November 2005 Various trips between March-October 2006 I guess the best way to start is with some generalities - which I normally hate, and cultural differences: Hhhhhkkkkkk-ptew! Not sure how to spell that, but I certainly know the sound of somebody bringing up some phlegm, seemingly from the soles of their feet, [...]

Vietnam

Dates Traveled: June-July 2003 Ho Chi Minh City I caught a bus over bone-jarring Cambodian roads to the border, where we encountered inefficiency and stupidity in all its forms. All mini-vans were timed to arrive at the border at the same time, but they only had one official checking passports...others were there, but simply sitting around [...]

Cambodia

Dates Traveled: May-June 2003 (I'd also traveled here in June 1999, but that trip is without details) Sihanoukville From Koh Samet it was a relatively easy share truck, ferry, share truck, bus, bus, mini van, and motorcycle ride across the border and into the town of Koh Kong in Cambodia, followed the next day by a boat trip [...]

Another Trip Start

Dates Traveled: Various times between September-December 2002; April-May 2003; Few days in December 2005 (I'd also traveled here in June 1999, but that trip is without details) April 2003 - Start of another trip I flew from San Francisco to Bangkok, with a brief layover in the soon-to-be-serious-for-SARS region of Taiwan. As such, upon my arrival in Bangkok [...]

2002 Christmas Poem

'Twas the day before Christmas and all 'cross the globe not a traveler stirred - not the young, nor the old. Backpacks were thrown in a corner with glee, not to be worn for a day - or a week! My cold shower taken, the squat toilet used, I wandered the streets to check out the views.

Laos

Dates Traveled: November-December 2002 Journey to Muang Sing Leaving Chiang Mai I caught a van for the 5-hour trip to the border town of Chiang Khong, crossed the Mekong River on a long-tail boat, and arrived in Huay Xai, Laos. The following day I started heading northeast by truck, the standard mode of transportation in Laos. Basically [...]

Heading North

Dates Traveled: Various times between September-December 2002; April-May 2003; Few days in December 2005 (I'd also traveled here in June 1999, but that trip is without details) November, after returning from Myanmar Again I flew Biman Bangladesh Airlines, so had an onscreen prayer to Allah, complete with views of mosques, before taking off. I also heard many sentences [...]

Myanmar (Burma)

Dates Traveled: October-November 2002 Yangon I caught the short 1-hour flight to Yangon, Myanmar. After passing through customs one is required to exchange US$200 for 200 FEC's - Foreign Exchange Certificates. Basically it's the military government's way of getting hard currency, though most travelers opt to exchange less money and pay an extra US$5 as a [...]

Thailand

Dates Traveled: Various times between September-December 2002; April-May 2003; Few days in December 2005 (I'd also traveled here in June 1999, but that trip is without details) Thailand - Koh Lanta It was the off-season, so I had the guesthouse all to myself - cheap beachside bungalow, beautiful beach, fantastic Thai food, and gorgeous sunsets to admire while [...]

Malaysia

Dates Traveled: September 2002 (I'd also traveled here in May 1999, but that trip is without details) Once at Nunaken, a city on the Indonesian coast of the island of Borneo (the Indonesian part is known as Kalimantan), I bought an immediate ticket for Tawau, Malaysia. That ferry took 1 hour, dumping me in the state of [...]

Indonesia

Dates Traveled: July-September 2002 Bukittinggi on the island of Sumatra Leaving Singapore turned out to be a long day - I caught the 7:30 AM ferry for the 45-minute trip to Batam, an Indonesian island. I immediately boarded a ferry for the 6 1/2-hour trip to mainland Sumatra and the town of Dumai. After waiting around for [...]

Singapore

Dates Traveled: July 2002 (I'd also worked/traveled here in April-June 1999, but that trip is without details) I took a flight from Delhi to Bangkok and then directly on to Singapore - basically from filth to sterile in two short flights. The cleanliness of Singapore was blinding! Singapore was simply a short 4-day resupply stop where I [...]

End of India

Dates Traveled: September 2001 - July 2002 (I spent a total of about 6 1/2 months actually in India during that time) April, after my travels in Sri Lanka Back to India A short 40-minute flight back to Trivandrum in India had me asking, "Where did all these people come from? Who turned up the heat? Is all this [...]

Sri Lanka

Dates Traveled: March-April 2002 From Trivandrum I took a 40-minute flight across to Sri Lanka. My initial plan was to head towards the south, but I met an American couple and a Swiss couple that were trying to get others to pitch in for a taxi to Kandy - the second largest city, so I went [...]

Back to India

Dates Traveled: September 2001 - July 2002 (I spent a total of about 6 1/2 months actually in India during that time) Late December, after trekking in Nepal Darjeeling From Pokhara it was 22 hours by various buses and a shared jeep out of Nepal and to the Indian hill station of Darjeeling...of tea fame. Darjeeling has a great [...]

Annapurna Basecamp Trek

Dates Traveled: Two trips between October-December 2001 Various trips between March-October 2005 Various trips between March-October 2006 Another trip between October-December 2006 (I'd also traveled here in October of both 1997/1998, but those trips are without details) December, after seeing camel fair in India Border Crossing Unlike most simple border crossings, it was a 6 km rickshaw ride to the border and [...]

Camel Fair

Dates Traveled: September 2001 - July 2002 (I spent a total of about 6 1/2 months actually in India during that time) November, after travels in Bhutan and Nepal India - Pushkar & Camel Fair From Pokhara, it was time to dive back into India - at least for a few weeks, as I was heading to the camel [...]

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Dates Traveled: Two trips between October-December 2001 Various trips between March-October 2005 Various trips between March-October 2006 Another trip between October-December 2006 (I'd also traveled here in October of both 1997/1998, but those trips are without details) Kathmandu The flight from Paro to Kathmandu was incredible, and I was lucky enough to fly on a crystal-clear day. We passed by the [...]

Bhutan

Dates Traveled: October 2001 Phuentsholing On the way through India to the Bhutan border I saw a sign along the road which said, "Expect the unexpected". That could be India's national motto! The drive towards Bhutan was very nice, as it passed through tea plantations and green hillsides. I knew I was going to like Bhutan when [...]

Taj Mahal & Varanasi

Dates Traveled: September 2001 - July 2002 (I spent a total of about 6 1/2 months actually in India during that time) Delhi So, what does one do after a good night on the town? Goes for a curry, so I headed off to India! The flight seemed to make a concerted effort to loop below Afghanistan and [...]

Another Oktoberfest

Back to Oktoberfest After Dad and I completed our quick trip through Europe, and he flew home, I went back to Munich for Oktoberfest. When I told the woman at tourist information that I needed a hotel room for about a week, she simply looked at me as if I were stupid and said, "Have you [...]

England

Dates Traveled: September 2001 (I'd also worked/traveled here in May-September 1992, but that trip is without details) After catching the Eurostar train through the chunnel, the last stop with Dad on the whirlwind tour of Europe was London, and we really did that one quickly. Saw all the main sights - Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. [...]

France

Dates Traveled: September 2001 (I'd also traveled here in September 1992, but that trip is without details) After consuming as much chocolate as is humanly possible in Switzerland, we made a one-night stop in the Black Forest region of Germany before heading on to Paris. Hit the main sites - Notre Dame and it's stained glass Rose [...]

Switzerland

Dates Traveled: September 2001 (I'd also traveled here in September 1992, but that trip is without details) Glacier Express From Italy we caught a few different trains and eventually ended up in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Final leg of journey from Tirano, Italy, to St. Moritz was beautiful as it wound through the mountains. St. Moritz is in a [...]

Italy

Dates Traveled: September 2001 (I'd also traveled here in March 1998, but that trip is without details) Venice Venice must be one of the few cities in the world where buildings, which are in such a state as to be falling into the canals, can be termed charming, but there you have it. Venice does have a certain [...]

Austria

Dates Traveled: August 2001 (I'd also traveled here in October 1995, but that trip is without details) Salzburg was next, and we spent our time wandering the narrow streets, listening to the street performers play classics (Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart), touring the imposing fortress on the hill above the city, enjoying the walk along the [...]

Germany

Dates Traveled: August/September 2001 (I'd also traveled here in September 1995, but that trip is without details) I left 'home' August 27 bound for Europe. Heard the song Freebird on the flight over, "....I must be traveling on now. Cuz there's too many places I've got to see." How true. Arrived in Munich and killed an evening [...]

Australia

Dates Traveled: March-July 2001 The Road from Perth We left Perth on March 5. The other half of 'we' is Harriet - an English woman who also quit her job and wanted to see Oz. We decided to pool our resources - she had a car, and I had the ability to drive a left-hand-drive car on [...]

Cuba

Dates Traveled: May-June 2000 Havana Good Time Actually, I suppose that should read 'Had a Good Time', but that would require changing the name of the Cuban capital, and that could get ugly.

Panama

Dates Traveled: May 2000 Boquete From Golfito it was a 2 hour bus ride to the Panamanian border, a 1 hour shuttle bus ride to David, and a 1 hour bus ride to the mountain village of Boquete. Very quaint setting, as it reminded me of a small Swiss village, complete with small, cloudy river, and lots [...]

Costa Rica

Dates Traveled: April-May 2000 Santa Elena I had decided to try and get to Costa Rica for Semana Santa (Easter) rather than hanging out in Nicaragua, so I left at 3:45 in the morning. Had to catch a bus to the other side of the island, a 1 hour boat ride to a small town, and another [...]

Nicaragua

Dates Traveled: April 2000 Matagalpa From Tegucigalpa I took an 8 1/2 hour - 5 bus journey across the border at Las Manos and into Nicaragua, spending the first night in Esteli. Met up with an English guy on the bus, so we grabbed a room and then wandered around town a bit that night and the [...]

Honduras

Dates Traveled: March-April 2000 Ruins of Copan The following day I bid El Salvador adieu. Didn't spend much time there, so probably didn't do it justice at all, but I was more interested in moving on to Honduras. First place I popped into in Honduras was the town of Copan Ruinas, near the ruins known as...Copan (how [...]

El Salvador

Dates Traveled: March 2000 From Antigua I caught the bus to Guatemala City and then across the border into El Salvador. Decided to stay initially in Santa Ana, as it sounded like a better place than San Salvador. Santa Ana seemed like another world from Guatemala.... dirtier, hotter, not really set up for visitors, with more [...]

Guatemala

Dates Traveled: February-March 2000 We caught a bus to the Guatemalan border and were immediately accosted by people wanting to shuttle-bus us to someplace in Guatemala. Normal buses are definitely cheaper, but they don't run as frequently from the border, so we rounded up 7 other travelers and watched as the driver tried to cram 9 [...]

Belize

Dates Traveled: February 2000 To enter Belize, I took a bus down to Chetumal on the Mexican coast, and was immediately whisked onto a bus heading for Belize City. While waiting in line to officially exit Mexico I was talking to an English woman, Natalie. It turns out she had just left the people she had been [...]

Mexico

Dates Traveled: January-February 2000 (I'd also climbed volcanoes here in January-February 1997, but that trip is without details) Nothing much of note so far - first day started with a 22 hour bus ride...yeehaw! Caught the bus from Denver to El Paso, TX., then crossed the border to Juarez and hopped a new bus headed for Chihuahua. [...]