Xela to Lago Atitlan Hike, Days 2 & 3

Day 2

SONY DSC

My journal from day 2:

Up at 6am to church bells. Rice, beans +  “tortugas” for breakfast @ local family. Puppies. 10:16 up record hill (best client time). Shoe untied. Lunch nap. Stepped in poop. “Salem” – Israeli metal band. Beers in small town; store in courtyard. Sunset. Church karaoke. Don Pedro’s home w/ fire pit + christmas music lights. Shower. Dinner in hall w/ fat baby big cheese calendar. Don Pedro sang.

Continue reading “Xela to Lago Atitlan Hike, Days 2 & 3”

Antigua to Xela, and Day 1 of the QuetzalTrekkers Hike

SONY DSC

Antigua to Xela took 3 shuttles and about 3 hours. We could have made the trip via chicken bus (like the two pictured above) but they’re known for pickpockets and robbery, and not speaking Spanish would leave us at a significant disadvantage if anything went wrong.

Continue reading “Antigua to Xela, and Day 1 of the QuetzalTrekkers Hike”

France, Pt. 1

We’ve made it!

Highlights:

Image
All the ads in the Geneva airport were for watches. Not even joking.
Image
They also sold some large jars of nutella.
Image
Walking our bikes from the Swiss to the French side of the train station.
Image
Waiting hours for the train.
Image
Commandeering the cars.
Image
Chris being very nonplussed with all the traveling

Image

Image
Riding 30 miles, unshowered and unseatbelted, in the back of an unventilated sprinter van.
Image
The view from our front porch the night we arrived.
Image
The view from our kitchen.
Image
The house
Image
Wine shopping
Image
Cheese shopping
Image
The haul
Image
Just the view from the grocery store parking lot. No big deal.
Image
The living room
Image
Challenging the mountains
Image
2 miles from the house
Image
French towns

 

Image

Image
Me, losing my mind from the climbs.

Today’s ‘easy’ day of 32 miles took us up a mountain, through two mountain passes, and about 80%  as much climbing as the 115 mile ride I often do to Mount Wachusett back in Massachusetts.

The views are incredible, the descents are amazing, and the climbing is grueling.

Day one done.

Goodbye Egypt!

Egypt is over. Tomorrow morning I board a plane via Abu Dhabi to Bangkok. I have a few more things to post from here, but as far as travels go Egypt is now complete.

It will be sad saying bye to Karol but I’m ready to move on from the Middle East. There’s a lot to look forward to in Asia (better food, PADI certifications?, Cait!) and I’m definitely excited for the change!

Wadi Moussa

We’ve made it to Wadi Moussa, the town at Petra.

We got a ride with Dror, an Israeli student and former soldier that was one of 8 Israelis to join our trip for 5 days, from his house on the northern end of Tel Aviv to the central bus station. The bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat was about 5 hours. We got falafel (for me) and shwarma (Amanda) in Eilat, then took a taxi to the weirdest border crossing I’ve ever experienced. From the border we took a 140kmh death taxi across the desert to a hostel just 15 minutes from Petra.

We’re in a dorm room with an American named Lisa from Staten Island, and the wife of the hostel owner is apparently making us bagged lunches to bring into the park tomorrow since the only other food there is from 5* hotels.

I’m a bit surprised but exceedingly happy that we made it this far today and without any issues.

Tomorrow in Petra!

Israel

Lunch in Eilat
Border crossing no-man's-land
Our death taxi
Faisel, our driver and a very funny guy

Jordan

We’re leaving today for Petra. I’m traveling with a girl named Amanda from my Birthright trip. We were going to go with an Israeli friend, but it’s apparently considered dangerous for Israelis to enter Jordan right now, so she’s staying home.

Amanda and I are taking a bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat then hopefully crossing Eilat to Aqaba and staying the night, before going to Petra in the morning. Amanda will probably spend just the day in Petra and head back to Israel that night, but I figure I’ll stay Friday as well, and then fly out to Cairo from Aqaba.

lights aren’t super cheap, but the other option is either a taxi from Aqaba to the border, then a bus from Eilat to Taba, then another bus from Taba to Cairo (the last bus is 8-12 hours) or a ferry Aqaba to Egypt then another bus that doesn’t run on a fixed schedule and also takes about ~8 hours to Cairo. Flying also seems safer, and I avoid the hassle of trying to get an Egyptian visa which I can’t get at the border and can’t get Friday or Saturday because I want to spend more time in Petra and because it will be shabbat.

Here’s to jumping in feet first and seeing what happens!