Panamericana 2013

… somewhere between Alaska and Tierra del Fuego

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From Tikal to Coban

Oh our ferry? Looks a little frightening.

From Tikal we head to Coban but if we will reach the city today is not clear as it’s a long way, we were told. We give Lucia a lift to Santa Elene where she takes a taxi to Coban. An interesting ferry ride welcomes us, as well as a lot of curvy roads. After approx. 6 hours we are not in Coban so we decide to stay at the “Grutas Candelaria” for tonight instead of driving in the dark. On the mainroad I see a huge sign “Camping Grutas Candelaria” with an arrow to the left, “only 900 meters”.

“Yuhu. There we go.” I say to Jan without thinking for one minute. Jan turns left and after 100 meters the road gets unpaved, more and more narrow, steeper and steeper and more and more curvy. It’s one of these nightmare drives. Jan does make it to the caves but we both had to sweat the entire way. The Toyota would not have had an issue with this, but the trailer is not off-road suitable at all and we are always worried that something will brake if we drive such bad roads.

Unfortunately it rains the whole night and morning and the river, where they normally offer rafting is too high. We go and see the caves quickly before we have to drive this horrible road back up.

The Toyota has to pant but all works well. We make it to the highway without accidents and head to Coban where Lucia is already waiting. Our camp is directly in town but we can not feel that. It’s a super nice park, “park Victoria” with nice walking trails, grassy area, bathroom and shower. Also it’s very close into town so that we can get our weekly ration of fruits and vegetables on the local market afoot.

 

The road ends in Sayaxché…

… we have to take the ferry.

But have to wait first…

Coincidentally, we meet Lucia here.

Off we go.

Grutas Candelaria

Grutas Candelaria

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Strange formations everywhere…

These huge thinks must have been growing for a while.

Glitter 😉

Usually this river is used for rafting. Not today. Understandably

Our Jungle Camp at the caves

Adios Grutas!

Adios Grutas!

Arriba! Arriba!

Arriba! Arriba!

Poor trailer to go through all these potholes

At the camp on Coban nobody knows anything about electricity.

Little helper at the local market

Purple beans. They looks so pretty and taste yummy.

The kids like the pics. Quiet the contrary to the adults who did not like to be photographed.

Those guys did not say “no” to the pic 😉

 

Where is mum and what does this guy with his huge camera wants from me?

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DIY-Project: Caravan

IMG_3423-2We are now traveling with our small, “self-build” trailer since three months through Central America – the roof top tent which we started the trip with, is sold. It’s time to introduce our “house on wheels” to you.

The project, which was supposed to take two weeks took two months but it was definitely worth it.  The idea came while camping in El Tule, Mexico at “Overlander Oasis“. After 9 months of traveling, we loved and hated the roof top tent at the same time.  Sure, the tent is perfect when the weather is fine but we did miss a weatherproof place to cook, eat, sleep and relax.

Thanks to Calvin and Leanne of “Overlander Oasis” we invented the project:”Let’s Build a Trailer”. Thanks again for all your time and effort!

Also we want to Thank Martin in Cancun who sewed a super nice mosquito net for our back door.

You can find pics of the project here:

Overlander Oasis – Craftsmen at work

Trailer Project Phase II and Santa Maria del Tule

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That’s what it looked like when we bought it…

Splash protection and we even can bake a cake! 🙂

Splash protection closed is additional space for stuff

Splash protection closed is additional space for stuff

Full size kitchen sink and two tabs. One for drinking water, one for external water connection

Full size kitchen sink and two tabs. One for drinking water, one for external water connection

Splash protection closed is additional space for stuff

The manual foot pump is energy and water saving – all time hands free!

Living area with table in up-position and closed back doors.

Living area with table in up-position and closed back doors.

Breakfast with Panorama view – sure, with mosquito net.

Under the table we have some storage space and the table support is also the doors of the storage space.

The table can fold and hide in the sideboard.

Full size of the bed when the table is folded. Time to arrange this: 15 seconds.

The awning was attached to the Toyota but is now useful on the Trailer.

Panorama View due to a huge back door. Also we got a mosquito net (very importatnt) There is some storage space under the bed and sideboard.

Self made roof fan with battery saving PC-fans

We spent quite a lot on details - just to have it nice and cosy

We spent quite a lot on details – just to have it nice and cosy

With the LED strips in the roof it can be really bright.

But normally we like it more cozy. Like this.

Cute, self made “mask light” and little reading light.

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Ruin of Tikal

100 steps to the top!

We left Belize and went on to Guatemala where we visit the famous ruin “Tikal”.  We are not really into ruins so much but the huge buildings always make us think about the past and how this was build without machines and with so many poor people who had to work very hard and possibly also died here. The highest temple which is located in the center, is 47m high. To see the whole site you need to spend a day or two as it’s really huge.

 

 

Belize: “Spanish Lookout”, a Mennoniten Village.

Visit the marked in Belize before we head to Guatemala.

This road welcomes us in Guatemala 😉

Reached the camp spot …

… and got a nice view.

Eine deutsche Backpackerin fährt 11km die Tikal-Straße mit - mangels Rücksitze auf dem Trittbrett.

We gave her a lift on the footboard as we have only two seats and Lucia already lies in the back.

Jungle path in Tikal

Some huge trees!

Tikal

Stairs to temple II

Spider monkeys climbing in the trees.

Smile

Time to relax and kiss 😉

Plaza with the highest temple.

Panorama of the main temple

Back at the camp we enjoy fresh lemonade…

... und Bananen-Crepes

… and banana crepes 🙂

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Visiting Tiger & Co!

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Bird of Belize. The Tukan

We leave Belize City and drive to the inland. On our way, very close to the city we stop at the Belize Zoo. It keeps only animals which were kept illegal as pets, which were found injured or motherless. The zoo is pretty and has a lot of space, directly in the jungle.

Surprisingly, we spend nearly a full day there. There is a lot to see and the nice paths invite to walk around.

When we came, there were not so many people and we got a private, free of cost tour by one of the keepers.

 

 

Welcome

The spider monkeys swinging from branch to branch.

These guys are funny. The Tapir

Poor Tukan is blind on one eye ;(

Black panther. He was a little bored.

Sure, they have crocodiles. Which we luckily did not see outside the zoo 😉

Whatever… A bird?

The majestic puma

Wild pigs. Same look like in Germany.

Der Tukan ist der Nationalvogel von Belize

Tukan. A beautiful bird. Unfortunately, we never saw one outside the zoo.

Zoo life can be exhausting.

Don’t remember his name. Strange look though.

Green parrot. Who can make an ear-battering sound.

Please keep on smiling!

Like a boa around your neck?

This one was in a good mood, luckily.

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20 meter deep

Hey, Hai!

Hey, Hai!

The dive which we like to do with “French Angel” fall though as nobody else wanted to go. We search for to another dive shop “Scuba Sensations” which goes out today. Only 30 minutes later we sit in the boat with our guides Ian and Mike as well as two other divers from France.

I am only a stowaway as I do not have a diving licence and can’t handle the ear clearing.  After the first dive we sail to San Pedro to get new air tanks  – as the waves are too much for by stomach I decide to leave the boat. Lucia and Jan go for their second dive and also snorkel tour while I explore San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. When they came back we had lunch together before we sailed back to “our” island, Caye Caulker.

The two days on the island were really nice, we enjoyed the sunshine and ocean as much as we could as we will head into the inland tomorrow.

 

Get the equipment ready…

…see u later!

Althoug Jans dive is 5 years ago everything works very well.

Touching these guys can become painful.

Our friend who follows us all the way!

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Happy! That was fun!

 

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Ready for the island

DCIM100GOPROWe take the boat from Belize City to Caye Caulker, a small island before Belize. We want to spent one night here to go diving and snorkeling. After 25minutes on the boat we reach the island early in the morning. Well, it seems early as the streets are empty at 8:30 AM. We look for our hotel “Sandy Lane” and find a dive shop on the way. Jan and Lucia want to go diving but this dive shop does not offer a dive for today. Maybe tomorrow if another person will sign on. The dive trip only starts when they have at least three divers. Instead of diving we can go snorkeling today. Four people already signed on, so we will be 7 in total.

Juan, our guide is really good. He is funny and can explain well. Our first stop is the marine reserve “Hol Chan”. We see so many colourful fishes,rays turtles, lots of jellyfishes and a shark, too. “Why should I go diving?”, I asked. “I have seen so much now. It was beautiful! I am done”.  We get sandwiches on the boat and take a little break before we head to the next spot, the “Shark Ray Alley”. The name is not just a name. There are so many sharks. I do not want to get in here…. I let the others go and wait on the boat.

They came back unharmed and we went on to the “Coral Reef”. Unfortunately here is not much to see –  compared the the last two spots. We get fresh fruits and Coconut Rum and Juan heads back to the island. We can totally recommend this trip with Juan!

Before we went to bed exhausted we had a nice dinner at Syd’s Restaurant.

Caye Caulker main street.

Our room at Sandy Lane hotel.

Caye Caulker. Making new friends.

Juan, our snorkeling guide.

See turtle sooo close!

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Love these little fishes who always come in groups.

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Super cute

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All good!

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“I am good!”

Sharks. Soo close. Jan also touched one.

It was a super trip!

Yummy Yummy dinner!