Joined November 2022
  • Day 112

    Semuc Champey

    March 13 in Guatemala ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

    I didn't realise I would be rocking up to a slice of paradise and I didn't realise just how much I needed it. If you're looking for a jungle oasis, Semuc Champey is the place!
    Accommodation: Greengo's Hostel. I absolutely loved this place. It's gorgeous, so well run and I didn't want to leave. It's slap bang in the middle of the jungle so I felt completely detached from the world. They only have power in the morning and evening giving us a welcome digital detox.
    It took a full 12 hours to get here from Flores. The hostel shuttle picked us up from the nearby town. We had a very long one hour drive in the back of a converted lorry to finally arrive at the hostel. It was along bumpy dirt roads but it turned out to be a great bonding experience for all of us and we had a close knit group for the next two days.
    -Day one: Having recovered from the journey, we had breakfast and then chilled by the pool for the morning. It was nothing short of glorious. For the afternoon the hostel took us tubing down the river. It was the perfect mix of chill and thrill as we went from lazy river vibes to rapids. The only stress was trying to keep the river water from getting into our beer cans. Once we had finished our route, we had a one hour hike back to the hostel.
    The evening was spent swimming in the pool and playing beer pong tournament.
    -Day two: We went to check out the main showstopper of the area which are the Semuc Champey natural pools. They're a gorgeous turquoise blue and easily the best swimming spot I've ever been to.
    For the rest of the day we chilled but the pool and played pool!
    -Day three: time to check out and leave. It was a 6am departure, back on the old Greengo's lorry. It didn't quite make it up the hill this time. It came off the narrow tracks and got stuck in the mud. It was a morning with a huge amount of drama as we had every local come to help get the show back on the road. Literally!
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  • Day 110


    March 11 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    I've left Mexico and arrived in Guatemala. I had a 5:30am pick up to bring me to the border. It's possibly the best border crossing I'll ever have. We crossed via boat, someone carried my bag and there was no waiting around. I met two German friends, Jonas and Leo. It was a long day of travelling on dust roads. It was a local bus where locals got on and off with their chickens and machetes. I arrived in Flores at 4pm, tired and filthy.
    Accommodation: Green Monkey Hostel. It was very cheap and very basic. I met an old Mayo man called Tommy who had me quizzed on everyone I knew in Louisburg.

    I had one full day in Flores. I could have done with more time here but I'm staying true to my whistle stop tour plan. The main thing to do here is to go to Tikal. I felt tired so I decided to skip this. I didn't want to spent another Day on transport. My one day here was lovely and chilled. It's extremely hot here so I spent the day swimming in the lake and sunbathing on the dock. I caught up with my German pals and had drinks with a few English guys for sunset. I had incredible street food for dinner, all for €2. We ate while we watched some locals play in a basketball tournament. It was really fun and they were blaring the old school classics.

    I felt a little sad the day I was travelling to Guatemala. I was sad to say goodbye to Mexico but more importantly, I was missing Lucy's weddings.
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  • Day 109


    March 10 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    A flying visit through Palenque. I did this on a one day organised tour. I was with Maddie and Maya for the day.

    Accommodation: Casa Janaab Palenque. Fine for one night. It was so clean the rooms smelled far too strongly of cleaning products. The aircon sounded like a plane taking off.

    I left San Cristobal at 4am. We got to our first stop at around 9am. It was a bumpy, sleepless drive. Mexico really loves a speed bump. Stop number one was to Agua Azul Waterfall. They were extremely pretty. At the top of the cascades are pools where we could swim. It was a very welcome morning dip. Thankfully I was there at the right time of year to see the pools in their lovely blue colour.
    Stop two was to Misol-Ha waterfall. It's one single cascade which is 35m tall. It has a path that allows you to walk behind the waterfall. Again, it was another very welcome swimming spot.
    Stop three. The main attraction of Palenque are the Maya city ruins. They date back to 226 BC and perished in the 8th century. Since then the ruins have been overgrown by jungle. Today only 10 percent have been uncovered. On our visit we were told we only saw about 2 percent of this.
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  • Day 106

    San Cristobal de la Casas

    March 7 in Mexico ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    I arrived to San Cristobal off yet another overnight bus. This was initially supposed to be a two night stop but I ended up extending for an extra night. It's another colonial town, but not quite as pretty as Oaxaca. The town is at altitude so it's a lot cooler and it has a large population of indigenous people. Everyone has a huge coke problem (Coca-Cola). The largest Coca-Cola factory in Mexico is located in the area. Consequently, this takes the majority of the clean water in the area. The tap water is completely contaminated to the point you're warned to keep your mouth shut in the shower. A bottle of coke in a store is cheaper than water and on average people here drink 2-3 litres of coke a day.

    Accommodation: Puerta Vieja Hostel. By far the best hostel I've stayed at during my trip. It's unbeatable value. It's only £11.80 a night which includes breakfast (choice of three options), dinner and snacks throughout the day. Vibe was great, met great people and they even gave free mojitos on a Tuesday.

    -Day one: Arrived off the bus, got my free breakfast and then went straight to a walking tour of the town. Went to a cute little french bakery and had the opportunity to try Pox, a local liquor. Met some nice people on the tour, particularly Maddie and Maya who I would spend the next few days with. In the afternoon we went to a nearby town to see the church San Juan Chamula. This is the only church in Mexico where animal sacrifice is still allowed. It was a very bizarre and not very pleasant experience. I saw at least four chickens being skilled in the 15 minutes I was there.
    -Day two: I went to some of the local markets and walked around the town. It was international women's Day so there was a women's march that went around the town and ended in the main square. For lunch we went to a wine bar that gave you free tapas with every glass you ordered. In the evening the hostel had a retired chef cook for us. We had a vegan curry and it was honestly one of the best meals I've had in a long time. And all for free!
    -Day three: I went on a tour to the local canyon. I saw it from a few different view points and had a boat ride along the river. It was amazing. At one point the cliff edge is 1km in height. Saw some nice birds and very big crocodiles.
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  • Day 101

    Puerto Escondido

    March 2 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    My time in Puerto Escondido was like a little holiday by the sea which more or less consisted of eating and doing nothing. It's a small seaside town that's popular with surfers. Over the last few years it's become a lot more touristy and they say it's going to be the next Tulum.

    Accommodation: Huitzilin Hostal. All in all a fairly average hostel. The pool was great, free breakfast was less than average.

    It was nice to arrive at a new place and have a lot of people to catch up with. On my first evening I met Willa and then met Bhaav with the rest of his group of home friends. I spent a lot of time with them over the few days here which was a lot of fun. It was really nice to have mutual friends from home in common with their group.
    My days were mostly checking out different beaches, eating fish tacos and drinking mezcalitas. I went baby turtles releasing which was very cute.
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  • Day 99


    February 28 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    My stop to Oaxaca city was short and sweet but definitely productive. Formally knows as Oaxaca de Juárez, the city was given UNESCO status in 1987. It's dotted with brightly coloured colonial era buildings, reminding me a lot of Paraty, my favourite town in Brazil. It's a very big tourist hub for the area so at times I almost forgot I was in Mexico.

    Accommodation: Casa Angel Hostel. It was a little on the pricey side but completely worth it. It has a great rooftop terrace, holds loads of events and I met great people. Only downside was my three bed dorm had a pretty pervy 60 year old man. I was very glad for the bunk curtains. On the plus, my other dorm mate was my new Glaswegian buddy Bhaav.

    -Day one: I arrived from my 6hour bus around 5pm. I went and got some street food which actually turned out to be one of the famous Netflix stalls. I got a beer on the roof terrace to force myself to make some friends. It was successful!
    -Day two. I spent the morning wandering the streets with Bhaav. Got great coffee and went to a cool street art gallery. In the afternoon I did a combined walking tour and street food tour. It ended with a sunset on the hill. I met Irish Lucy and Alice and we had dinner at La Popular.
    -Day three: This was a big Day out with some buddies from the hostel. We went to see some petrified waterfalls called Hierve el Agua. We opted not to do this with a tour and get there ourselves by public transport. It wasn't without its stresses. They were beautiful and the natural pools for swimming were incredible. I got back to the hostel with just enough time to shower and eat before running to catch my night bus to Puerto Escondido.

    La Popular for food. Get the shrimp tacos.
    CAFETO and BARISTAS - great coffee
    La Mezcalerita
    Go to Hierve el Agua
    There's also temples but I'm saving myself for Chichen Itza
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  • Day 92

    Mexico City

    February 21 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    I've arrived in Mexico and starting my route through north/central America. It wasn't on my original plan, but here I am. I didn't know what to expect coming to Mexico City. I've been absolutely blown away by how beautiful it is. I thought I would only spend 3 days here but it ended up being 6.

    -Casa Pepe. Outrageously nice hostel and very fun. It's downtown. Spent the first two nights here and met great friends.
    -Roomies hostel Condesa. Absolute dive. Only perk was that I was in a private room, even though it resembled a cave. In a very desirable area though. Very affluent and has been taken over by Europeans. I was spoiled with nice coffee and brunch spots. Completely ignored the fact I was on a backpackers budget.
    -Hostel Mundo Joven Cathedral. I wanted to come back to the centre to explore it properly. Spent my last two nights here. Very strange people in my dorm room. Hostel itself was nice, clean and has an incredible rooftop bar overlooking the main square. Not very social though.

    -Day one: Arrived to Casa Pepe off my overnight flight. Very tired from Rio. Hangout on the rooftop bar and met really great people. This included Willa who I would spend the next few days with. Went out for dinner to a spot called The Opera House. A little on the fancy side and the food was incredible.
    -Day two. Went on a walking tour with our hostel. It wasn't as factual as I like and involved a lot of stops at food stalls. It covered the area of Roma. Willa, Jesse and I broke off to do our own little tour around Condesa. In the evening the hostel had Drag Karaoke which was absolutely insane.
    -Day three. Willa and I, along with our hangovers, moved to Condesa. It's such a beautiful neighbourhood. We had dinner at Mi Compa Chava which was honestly the best meal of my trip.
    -Day four. It was a 4:30 start for a sunrise hot air balloon ride. It's something I've wanted to do for so long. It was beautiful and it was really cool to be able to see the pyramids from above. We finished the day by going to an Electronic club with some locals we met through friends.
    -Day five. On the move again back to the centre as I felt I hadn't gotten a proper feel for the city. I spent the day wandering around and going to food and craft markets.
    -Day six. I did a walking tour. It was pretty average as far as walking tours go. I met some nice English people who I had lunch with and went to Luche Libre with.

    Stay at Casa Pepe
    Have dinner at Mi Compa Chava.
    Do the hot air balloons
    Also do Xochimilco. Unfortunately I never got out there.
    Luche Libre
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  • Day 85

    Rio, Take Two

    February 14 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    I've made my way back to Rio to experience the Carnival.

    Accommodation: Sangha Urbana hostel. It's a very different hostel vibe to what I'm used to. It's big into yoga, doesn't allow alcohol and it's playing constant meditation music. It sort of feels like being at a friend's house with overly strict parents.

    I got to meet Grant and Eimear again which was lovely. We went to a churrascaria, an all you can eat Brazilian meant restaurant. It also did all you can eat sushi. It was incredible but I definitely overindulged.
    Kate and Gina arrived the day after me and their friend Emma joined for a holiday from London. On the tourist front, I did a favela tour. This is something I didn't get a chance to do when I started my trip here so I was really keen to do it. I learned that not only are drugs legal within the favelas, they pretty much are the law.

    Overall my experience of the carnival was good but I probably wouldn't go back and do it again. It's amazing how the entire city shuts down and there are street parties left right and centre. Theft is crazy though and it wasn't very nice to go out almost expecting to be robbed.
    Went to the sambadrome which was the highlight. The parade starts at 9pm and doesn't finish until 6am.
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  • Day 83

    Santa Cruz

    February 12 in Bolivia ⋅ 🌬 30 °C

    I have absolutely nothing factual to say about Santa Cruz as I did absolutely nothing here.

    Accommodation: Hostal Backpackers Travelero. It was the top rated in the area on hostelworld. I spent two nights here. The beds were very comfortable, it has a pool and they do a good free breakfast. Ticked all the boxes but didn't have many bathrooms.

    I met Marlise again here. It was lovely to be arriving to a familiar face. I was pretty exhausted the day I got here and I woke up to an extremely swollen eye. I have no idea why it's so bad but it's not painful. I took a very strong antihistamine. It was like being on a sedative for the day so I was pretty dead to the world. I more or less just ate and slept. For lunch I had amazing Saltenas and for dinner I stumbled upon the best sushi. It was a set sushi menu so I left absolutely stuffed and it only cost £6.
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  • Day 81

    La Paz, take two

    February 10 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    I've come back to La Paz for one last stint.
    Accommodation: Skyline hotel. It was my first time on the trip having a private room to myself. It was pretty loud though and very cold at night.

    Getting back from Isla del Sol, I said my sad goodbyes to Megan. It was so lovely to have her with me for so long.
    On Saturday I did the much anticipated Death Road. I booked this through Altitude tours. I went for the cheapest package which cost 350 Bolivianos. It included breakfast (coffee and a breakroll), some snacks and lunch (rice and chicken). The cycle itself was really good. It's true that it is scary but not as bad as it's hyped up to be. The scenery is great and the cliff drops at the side of the road are scarily steep. We weren't able to completely finish the death road as a land slide a few weeks earlier has blocked the road. This meant we had to drive the whole way back up which was even scarier than being on a bike. I would have preferred if the tour didn't include lunch as it meant we spent hours driving to the "hotel" where it was located. We finished cycling at 11:30 and didn't arrive back to La Paz until 18:00.
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