Oscillated Turkeys, A Cookie-Eating Tejon and a Barrelful of Monkeys: Tikal, Guatemala

We tried to be backpackers, really we did. But we drew the line at not using deodorant.

 We are not backpackers. We had never even tried it before this trip.  But we both loved an adventure, loved to travel, experience new places, try new food, explore other cultures. We had the dream to go to Europe one day, but our Mexican salaries made that a bit out of our price range – backpacking or other. We had read about so many people backpacking around Europe on a budget, and wondered if that was for us. So with that in mind for the future as well as our budget for the present, we got the idea that we should try a backpacking vacation.  We were in the Riviera Maya at the time, right at Belize’s doorstep; how could we NOT? Continue reading


Cuba’s Southern Gem: Trinidad


Cuba, 2000: The day tour was called ‘Trinidad and Cienfuegos’, a tour to the southern coast of Cuba. Our first stop was at Cienfuegos, once called ‘the Pearl of the South’, and it was immediately apparent why. It had very well preserved old mansions by the sea, as well as a lovely main square with a colonial theater. We drove through a couple of blocks to gawk at the old mansions (more like palaces), made a quick stop to tour the interior of the Thomas Terry Theater with its original everything from chairs to décor; then we were off.

The main focus of the tour was Trinidad, about an hour away from Cienfuegos. I knew nothing about Trinidad, knowing the name only for its more famous tocaya (person/thing sharing same name), the famous Caribbean island. While I had initially gone along for the ride for amusement, I would return twice for the pleasure of wandering its lovely streets. Trinidad was nothing if not lovely, with cobblestone streets and colorful colonial buildings well-preserved; it came as no surprise that it proudly carried the title of UNSECO World Heritage town. Continue reading

Antigua: Guatemala’s Colonial Gem and Putting our Backpacks to Rest

August, 2002. It was chilly, although the elevation was only 5,029 ft – just over 1,000 ft less than the day before, but 5,029 ft higher than what we were accustomed to, just the same. Over a much needed cup of Guatemalan java, I perused my newly acquired used, dog-eared Guatemalan travel guide book (an ancient Rough Guide), to get ready for our day of exploring Antigua.  Guatemala, that is; not to be confused with the island of the same name.

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