Feb 24, 2009

HAPPINESS ALERT: We´re back! Safe at home and securely tucked-away under our very own active volcano! UPDATED!

Get on your mark, get set, ready...it was a go!

Jenn and John hosted our first on-the-road meal/picnic...delicious chicken sandwiches served al fresco on the lawn of the historic Castillo San Felipe, Rio Dulce

Bungalows Neptune (pictured), Forest/Bosque and Saturno...Finca Isobel...amongst the best fun/food and frolicing at the Peten.

A REAL Stallion named Casanova...he gives meaner looks, snorts, jeers and generates more terror than Petey Akinola preaching a Mynnwritten roundup against the LGBT heathens/hooligans and aledged ¨unholy.¨ (reminder to +Uganda and +Nigeria: there are no free rides and you can´t make a champion race horse out of a Old Gray Mare or a Ass).

Juan Carlos and the Cacao Fruit Tree (inside of the fruit are the seeds for chocolate)

Wild Turkeys and Chachalacas can fly high at the Rain Forest...but we knew that already, verdad?

The Swimming Hole, swimmerless but not motionless...they must be kidding if they thought anybody sane/sober was going to jump right in.

Ellen enters the Dining Room at Finca Isobel. Ellen and her identical twin sister Irene repeatedly and enthusiastically entered the dining room during our two day visit to the finca. The food was great!

Downtown Pre-Classical Period...Architecture (includes Art), Astrology, Priesthood (don´t ask/don´t tell and tallest feathers count!)

Central Park, Tikal, Irene and Leonardo, not Pre-Classical in personal age but we´re hanging out on the edges of *it*.

Exposing my ¨dark side¨ late in the afternoon, Tikal, pre-classical.

View of the past, pre-classical.

Amongst the earliest ancient temples of the first people (the first group were of Mongolian heritage) used by priests to determine rainfall (Tikal is a Rain Forest not a jungle).

A Royal rebuilding project, pre-classical. New temples were built upon older existing, standing sacred building sites.

In the beginning, one of the foundations of Mesoamerica...before the era of the ¨Warrior King¨ games.

Monkeys abounding...Mama and Baby seen here (constantly avoiding hungry Jaguars).

A visitor at our Bungalow at El Remante, Peten.

Everyone loves Juan Carlos. Even the 8 Peacocks at Hotel La Mansion del Pajaro Serpiente.

If you got it, flaunt it at El Remante!

Yikes, there goes the neighborhood...a family of Iguanas moved right in!

The contents of Vanna White (except for Juan Carlos who took the picture) lunching at the island of Flores, Peten!

Vanna White goes on a short cruise accross the river.

UPDATE/TRAVEL NOTE: Quite often one reads about the horrible banditos (or worse) in Guatemala, Mexico and Central America. It has been my experience, including the above one week road trip (traveling mostly during daylight hours), that ALL the people, including the police (we were stopped for ´speeding´ yet went on with a warning and without a ticket being issued), were helpful, polite and WILLING to be of service (my car brokedown once in the mountains outside of Coban and we found a fabulous magical mechanic who fixed it for around $6.00 U.S. and repaired a huge, sixinchish gash in the water hose)...I DO PAY attention to the price of things, I ask in advance and I ¨bargain¨ when possible...it´s cultural and it´s easy to be less cautious with money because most everyone is extra friendly and polite in the cities or in the campo and prices seem very low when compared to stateside...also, a note about food. The Fruits and vegetables are outstanding and abundant/inexpensive...restaurants at/around tourist hotels were considerably more expensive than more modest/clean restaurants along the way...one meal in the rural mountains nearing Coban offered large platters of Grilled Chicken Breast and/or Beef Filet (also offered a animal you´ve never heard of but one of our group ate it and loved it)...the price was less than $5.00 U.S. (including natural rice, mixed fresh veggies and toasted rolls or tortillas) each. Purified water and every well-known soft drink brand are available at tiny little stores even in rural or remote areas...bags of snacks are plentiful and pineapples, coconuts (juice and meat), melons, bananas/other are sold along the roadside, on makeshift tables (or in heaps) almost anywhere they grow.

Thanks to Juan C. Fuentes/Photos
Thanks to Leonardo Ricardo/Photos
Thanks to John and Leonardo/Driving
Thanks to Jenn, Irene, Ellen/Great company
Thanks to Vanna White
Thanks to Finca Isobel
Thanks to Tikal Inn (and Roxanna, the very best guide in the entire WORLD)
Thanks to Hotel La Mansion del Pajaro Serpiente, El Remante, Peten
Thanks to Posada Coban, Coban, Alta Verapaz
Thanks to Irene and Ellen for adding a little white puppy dog (live and immediately named ¨Coban¨) during our travels in Alta Verapaz and thanks to John who gave him all the necessary inoculations immediately.

19 comments:

Cany said...

Welcome back! Missed you! GREAT photos and sure looks like you had yerself a fine ol time!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful place!

Fred Schwartz said...

Leonardo,
I am jealous! I have been to Cuba and now I must come and see Central America. Your pictures are wonderful! The history, the travel buddies and the friends you meet when you get there (Iguanas included).
Welcome back, we missed you!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Dear Fred and Friends,

I have a lovely guest room, small/cozy, with a Queensized Bed/Bath on the main floor right off my inner garden (of eternal delights)...you´re always welcome here to enjoy life...HOWEVER, fundamentalist/extremist bigots must ¨book¨ elsewhere as our little family of dogs, birds and rabbits insist on unmolested serenity and peace-of-mind...actually, I´d suggest a reality check of a trip to Nigeria instead for those of a more zealout/religious fanatic nature ...don´t count on being especially welcome in Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay or Chile no matter what PB Venables is trying to push, unsuccessfully, at The Anglican Province of Conealone.

Brian R said...

Glad you are home safe and had a great time. Seems to be a lovely place to visit.

Padre Mickey said...

Welcome home, Leonardo y Juan Carlos.
Wonderful photos of a great time!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

... and beautiful people!

James said...

Your photos brought back so many memories! I'm glad that you are safe and sound and that, if you DID see a snake, you didn't mention it! I'm glad you had a wonderful trip, my brother.

Mark In SoCal said...

it truly looks like a paradise found! love to you and juan carlos...
Mark In SoCal

Lynn said...

Welcome home, and thank you for sharing all the lovely photos and details about your trip.

No fried plantains with the grilled platters? (I would have tried the mystery meat, too).

Padre Mickey said...

I'll bet I've heard of that animal. Was it canejo pintado?

Grandmère Mimi said...

Leo, a fabulous trip and fabulous pictures. The peacock picture is gorgeous. I am insanely jealous, and Grandpère is, too. I showed him the pictures.

We visited several ruins in Mexico and Honduras, but I can't remember the names now, except for Chichen Itza in Mexico.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Dearest Lynn, Padre, Grandmère Mimi and all...I´ve just been grilling (so to speak) my housekeeper about what that mystery meat could be...I knew it was a small animal but not exactly a rabbit...she thinks it was a Cuyo (rat like edible) or a Ardilla (small squirrelish with coiled tail) or a Tacusin (small animal that even lives at the volcano higher levels in the trees around here)...step right up!

Recently Juan Carlos purchased some rabbits...a couple (one white one taupe M/F) and a soltero...the soltero, originally named Manchita (and later revised to Manchito) has floppy ears, white with black smudgelike spots and stands on his two hind legs when you greet him...he´s adorable...no, they won´t be eaten and I really like them (I purchased a industrial vacumn cleaner to keep the cages clean)...pictures later.

Grandmère Mimi said...

A rat! Oh, no! Edible or not, oh no!

Grandmère Mimi said...

I'm remembering. We also went to Tulum in Mexico and Copán in Honduras.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Grandmère Mimi, now, now, don´t think about it that way...I quite often go into a deep condition of blackout to pretend when I follow a truck filled with cows or pigs that is heading off to you know where...there is a ¨final destination¨ slaughter house that sometimes I must go past not far from the next city (I generally avoid it)...I also pretend that meat I eat wasn´t actually ever alive...I´m afterall, a recovering alcoholic (30 years and still have my multi-purpose deep denial mechanism available to use as needed).

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Le Paon is a delight!

(have forgotten what it is in Spanish .-(

Cany said...

I want to see pics of the puppy! WAH!

And I want it now!!!!:)

Leonardo Ricardo said...

OK...Cany, I just posted a photo of Coban Gonzalez, Puppy from heaven, at my new post above (along with Frida Gonzalez).