Day 62: Livingstone, I Presume?

03.03.09: I got into Guatemala City about 10am (not much sleep on the bus then) and hopped straight onto a bus for Puerto Barrios on the Caribbean coast. This was the plan for getting to Belize, but it was a little stuffed up by the fact that I was running four hours late. Now Belize isn't Belizey-Peasy as it's name suggests. More affiliated with the Caribbean (down fried chicken!) than Latin America, this once-British enclave of Central America is a little off the beaten path and a little tricky to get to. It involves a five-hour coach journey and a couple of boats. There's a boat that leaves Puerto Barrios for Punta Gorda in Belize at 2pm and then comes back at 4pm. I got to Puerto Barrios at 5pm. But luckily, I met Ishmael (as in Call me...). This wonderfully crazy guy from Livingstone in…

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Day 61: The Land Before Time

02.03.09: Back on the groovy bus up through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. No cute girl for me to annoy this time, but I did meet a guy from Texas called John, who was - like myself - backpacking around Central America on his own. The remarkable thing was that he was 86 years old. I guess you're never too old to hit the road. Nicaragua was amazing - driving past Lake Nicaragua, which is just HUGE, and seeing the massive, perfectly-formed volcanoes rising out of the middle of it - it looked like the backdrop from The Land Before Time. Honduras was a little less remarkable, but seriously, they don't generally stick the cool stuff next to the road, do they? We arrived in San Salvador late that night. The guy on the bus told me there was a bus going north to…

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Day 59: Nineteen Seventy-Nine

28.02.09: The Longest Day Part II. I only slept for a few hours before we hit the El Salvador border and then it was off the bus, with queuing and formality. Having said that, the bus was great - brand new, tons of leg-room, free food, drinks, flat screen TVs - and a good selection of films. I bought a bottle of whiskey from the Duty Free on the border and began the day as I meant to go on. I whirled in a drunken haze as the countries passed me by - El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica...Sophia and I wasted the day away playing cards, watching films and yakking away, nineteen to the dozen. Not such a bad way to spend your first day as an old codger. We arrived in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica at 10pm. Sophia's annoying friends wanted…

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Day 58: Go Yell It To The Ocean

27.02.09: The Longest Day Part I. So, we got to Tapachula near the Guatemalan border early in the morning to find another bus to Guatemala City waiting to take me away, ha ha. So goodbye Mexico, I'll see you again next week. The journey into Guate City was fairly uneventful, as was the quick change for San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. I got in about 7pm. After an amazingly scary oh-dear-it's-dark-I-got-no-map-where-the-hell-is-an-ATM-when-you-need-one walk around the city, I found a bus that was leaving at 3am going all the way through Honduras, Nicaragua and ending up in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. It would get me in at 10pm the same day. All good. I threw my bag in the bus station office and headed out to the pub. It was in the Irish bar (there's always an Irish bar) that I met Jorge…

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