Archive for August, 2017


We tried, walking every street, going in churches, courtyards, stores, restaurants, coffee shops and more. But we found that Leon Nicaragua is just so big, beautiful, vibrant and sprawling that we’ll need more than a few days to discover it all. 20170831_123136.jpg

Leon’s markets are full of colors, smells and merchants that are eager to have you have step inside for a look. The churches are all wonderful in their own unique way, and each zocalo has it’s own flair of people watching and kids playing. We certainly enjoyed Leon and hope to return someday.

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It’s been a super busy week for us, more than we can keep up with. While I’d normally try to post most of our adventures, we’ve had more than a few days without internet. So for now, I’ll just surmise  how our week has been.

 

We left Copan Ruins and headed to D&D Brewery and farm.  From there we crossed the border into Nicaragua and spent two days at Somoto Canyon. We are now at Rancho Los Alpes outside of Leon. We’ll be here for several days. Thanks for following and I’ll be sure to get all of our adventures updated soon. Meanwhile enjoy the pictures.

 

 


By Scott Woodhams @Life all Out

 
We had another absolutely incredible day today in Honduras!
Daniel and Dorothy (@adventurecopan) picked us up early in their Toyota Troopy. This is a coveted vehicle in the States, and even rare here in Central America.
Our trip began on pot holes roads, leading to a dirt road through patures and jungle for miles, back as far as the Troopy would take us. The ground was made up of greasy mud. The kind that will pack your shoes full, and act as like a banana peel, causing you to slip and slide, even on solid ground.
We were joined by the local owner of the property we were exploring. We were told if we were up for the arduous hike, the reward would be pristine, untouched, private caves to explore.


The hike proved to be a challenge, as the mud got slimier, the path more jungle, and the inclines increasingly steeper. We traversed through forests, corn fields, coffee fields, jungle, mud, and finally water falls, before coming to the mouth of the cave.
Just as we were marveling at the site, the land owner, yelled Snake! He grabbed a stick and killed a 5 or 6 foot rattle snake, that seemed to have just eaten, as it’s sides were swollen to the diameter of a baseball bat! Daniel finished it with a crocodile Dundee knife, and all was well!
We started entering the cave, weilding flashlights, knives, and cameras. Almost immediately, we had to start climbing over boulders to move forward. The next area was well worth the work. The view of the river rushing on the floor, the cavern style walls, and stalactites! All of a sudden we were being bombarded from all sides and overhead! We had disturbed the massive army of bats sleeping on the ceiling and in crevices. The wind from their wings, and the chaos of them swarming us took a little getting used to.
They were the size of crows, massive, menacing prehistoric type beasts! One exceptionally large one dive bombed Daniels light causing quite a ruckus as the light failed, wings flapping, and high pitched scream was all I seen and heard. I’m not sure what came from who, but it was pretty eery in there.
Even though we had flashlights, it was still pitch black in most areas. The cave ceiling spanned to 30 feet in sections, boasting massive stalagtites.
We found cracks and crevaces, which served as foot and hand holds as we free climbed deeper into the cave, above the rushing water below.
The rushing river that raced through the floor of the cave was cold and ultimately plummeted out of the mouth of the cave and over the rocks, forming a waterfall, cascading to the rocks below.
As we went deeper, we were able to scale the walls to get closer to the ceiling and get stalagtites for souvenirs ( with the owners permission of course!). What a tremendous experience! One that could not be duplicated in the States, or on a tourist trip.
We went as far back as we could go, to where we had to start wading to our knees. At this point we decided to turn back. We would come again, more prepared next time. Who know what lies at the center or the back of this cave. It is privately owned and difficult to access, so very few feet have trodden where we got to go!
The walk back seemed quick as we relived the unbelievable experience, still surreal in our heads.
The Troopy did a fantastic job at making its way through the mud and hauling us all back to Copan.
Wow! Another lifetime experience! Im starting to believe that adventure doesn’t begin unless you question your sanity for doing what you are about to do. Many adventures have began with just that scenario playing through my head, “what was I thinking?” Enjoy the video.

Private cave tour Honduras

 


by Tammy Barbour
Alas, we will be packing up to leave Copan Ruinas on Friday. We have done so many incredible things while here. We’ve explored all over the lovely town, climbed the vast Mayan Ruins Copan, hiked a private waterfall deep in the mountains, and learned all about the bird rehabilitation at Macaw Mountain. We’ve held Macaws, and today we had a local take us on a very rugged, mountainous, muddy hike to another amazing waterfall and to explore this ginormous cave system that is not a tourist place in the least. What I am most grateful for though is meeting and spending quality time with Daniel and Dorothy Kent and their 2 adorable children. They are stuck with us now. On Friday we start trekking across Honduras to the Nicaragua border so of course stay tuned for more adventures.

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We’re enjoying our time here in the small quaint town of Copan. Tuk tuks speed by everywhere and are always readily available, taking you anywhere around town for less than a dollar. The Zocalo (central park) is aways full of  food vendors, and people watching seems to be the greatest past time event. Near our camp site at El Bosque we’ve grown accustomed to watching a soccer game anytime. Currently we’re paying less than $5.00 a night to camp, and that includes wifi, and the use of the hotel bathrooms. It’s just a slow way of life here, no rush, no fuss. We’ve spent our days touring the town, the famous Copan Ruins and plan to do some volunteer work. We’ve also visited Macaw Mountain,  explored a cave and waterfall, more on that later. Did we say we’re enjoying Honduras? We are!

 

We’ve also had the pleasure of meeting up with a great family whom we’ve talked with over five years on Facebook, Dorothy and Daniel Kent and their boy and girl, Daniel Jr and Pepper. They actually came to the border to meet us as we were crossing over from Guatemala, they’re fantastic host. Giving us the grand tour of Copan and it’s surroundings, introducing us to locals and making us feel right at home, we appreciate the hospitality.

 

We’ve learned a lot, for one, it’s very inexpensive to live here. For instance, renting a nice home can be as low as $300. a month, lunch or breakfast for two can be had under $6.00, and shopping for fresh food at the local market, you can get a weeks worth of food for under $25.00, making us think we’ll certainly want to visit Honduras again.

 

So far our summary of Honduras is, it’s beautiful, inexpensive  and certainly worth further exploration. Stay tuned as we do just that, and thanks for following.

 


Macaw Mountain, aimed at saving Central and South American Macaws and other parrot species, we found this sanctuary absolutely amazing. We’ve never seen so many beautiful birds in one place and all being meticulously cared for. There are many of them here, along with toucans, parrots, kingfishers and orioles, all flying around in spacious, humanely constructed cages. Many were pets that were no longer wanted, injured birds, and some are free that come and visit. They are being rehabbed, breed and conserved, as well as used for educational purposes. Some birds are released back into the wild upon recovery. In the ‘Encounter Center’ uncaged birds fly onto your shoulders or hands and you can pose with them. There’s also a gift and coffee shop. A great place to visit while you’re in Copan for sure. Macaw Mountain

Honestly, we were taken by surprise, the beauty of the surroundings, the flora and fauna. The cost was only $10.00 and you are allowed to come back for three days. We’d certainly go back again. Our guide Carlos was superb and enthusiastic. If you’re traveling over to see the ruins, make Macaw Mountain a must see.


by Tammy Barbour

Have you given much thought to the art of handling cash when visiting multiple countries? I call it an art because you want to have enough local currency to get you through to the current country you are exploring with some left over to convert to the next country’s currency as well. Each country has its own currency, and Mexico and Central America are cash centric societies so cash is king.

We plan on getting local currency in every country from an ATM using our Schwab debit card because we are reimbursed for all ATM fees, and there are no foreign transaction fees. The problem is calculating currency exchanges in your head to make sure we get enough. Today for instance, we took L2,300 (Honduran Lempiras) from an ATM, and it sounds like so much to me. In reality it is about $100US.

Often times there are no banks or ATMs at border crossings, but cash is necessary at the crossings in order to pay for visas and temporary vehicle importation. Luckily there are “Money Guys” who come around and exchange the currency for you. It is not the best rate, but we get just enough to get through the border and then locate an ATM for the new country.

 

It can get difficult to balance too much with too little cash as some times even gas stations are cash only. At the border crossing between Guatemala and Honduras today, I had to exchange quetzales to lempiras and make sure I was getting all I was supposed to be getting.

Now however, I have a purse with Mexican Pesos, Belize Dollars, US Dollars, Guatemalan Quetzales, and Honduran Lempiras. At this rate I won’t have room for anything else by the time we get to Argentina. All part of the wonderful journey we are on.

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After a short drive through Guatemala, we reached the border with Honduras. Kinda thinking we knew the drill, we were directed to pull over, present all of our papers and then allowed to proceed to the actual checking out of Guatemala formalities. Getting our passports stamped, and then the vehicle legally out of Guatemala was about an hour long process, then doing likewise into Honduras was the same. We also had to buy a little Honduran Lempiras to pay the fee for temporarily importing our vehicles. The money exchangers barked at us as we walked passed them” Lempa’s” they hollered, holding out huge fists full of cash. Me, I just pulled out my empty pockets and motioned to them that they needed to talk to the boss, Tammy, “La Jefa.” They all laughed and seemed to think this was very funny.

 

While we were waiting around taking care of our border crossing business, our friends who live in Copan Ruinas arrived. It was great to see Dorothy, Daniel Kent and the kids. We have been Facebook friends for over five years and have talked to them often about visiting and checking out their coffee farm. Today was finally the day.

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We were certainly happy to see them especially at that time because as the day drew longer, we needed a little help with our Spanish translation to figure out how many copies we needed and of each document, the cost of the vehicle import and so forth. After getting things all sorted out, we are now officially in Honduras. In addition to seeing the famous Copan Ruins, many other fun adventures await. Thanks for joining us.


 

 

What a great way to end our day and last evening here in Guatemala. After saying our goodbyes to our great friends Lori and Timothy Sunday in Guatemala City we hit the road headed towards the border with Honduras. We’ll be crossing over tomorrow and are looking forward to seeing Daniel and Dorothy Kent in Copan Ruins.

Meanwhile we got off the road early to find a campsite and settle in for the night. Originally our plan was to stay at a campground on the road that takes us straight into Honduras. However, Scott told us he thought he may have found something better not far away from our original pick and it was far enough off the road not to hear any traffic.

Well, here we are and in awe of such a wonderful place. Can you believe it’s only $8.00 a night with electric, wifi, bathroom and showers. Pool is extra and the farm animals are priceless. But don’t take my words for it. Check our these pictures.

#ioverlander
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#lifeallout


Fixing a leaky roof, building a child a safe and comfortable bed, and playing with the children, were all in a day’s work.

Today we visited the town of Pacaya de Ricon. This rural village is located on the opposite side of where popular volcano hiking day trips take place. All day long many hike up to the top, peer down into Pacaya’s crater and then descend. Here in Pacaya de Ricon, you won’t find tourists, gift shops, or mobs of crowds making their way doing the same. It’s inaccessible. As a matter of fact when this volcano blows its top, in this poor village is where you will find lava fields. There are no trails to the top. Because of its close proximity to the lava fields, many of the locals use lava rock to build fences and walls to separate themselves from their neighbors. It’s quite beautiful to walk around the village and notice the lava walls with decorative plants, flowers and trees.

Our adventure started with an hour and half drive from San Cristobal. Luckily, traffic was very light because of a holiday. Once we arrived, we went right to work assembling a bed for a child whom we had been told was sleeping with his grandmother in a one room house. Jonathan, a child who is being sponsored by our travel partners Angela Woodhams and Scott Woodhams was happy to see us. Putting the bed together was easy and fun as little Jonathan helped with his grandmother looking on. It didn’t take long with all of us helping. Timothy Sunday and Lori Adams Sunday of Clubhouse Guatemala Camp Calvary helped carry supplies and tools also. As we finished, Jonathan immediately let everyone know how happy he was by climbing to the top bunk and diving in. In addition to assembling the bed and installing the mattress, his sponsors Angela and Scott Woodhams brought new sheets, pillows and pillow cases.

Asking Grandmother if there was anything else we could do, she said there was water leaking into the house. Off we went to fix the leak, reorganize and help clean the house as well.

With all that done we went over to Clubhouse Guatemala Camp Calvary Church and School complex in the village. Over 150 children were being served lunch. After they ate, we played with them for a while, soccer, hide and go seek, and other games. Before we knew it, it was time to head back. What a wonderful day we had!

If you have ever had a desire to volunteer, sponsor a child or donate, please consider Clubhouse Guatemala and contact Mike Parker. We also have a need for eye doctors and dentist.

 

Thanks for following, liking and sharing.
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