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Archive for January, 2008

Isla de Ometepe

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

An island, formed by two volcanoes, in the middle of a lake that looks like an ocean? Sounds like something straight out of a story book doesn’t it? Feel the magic of idyllic Isla de Ometepe in today’s photo gallery.

Another day, another bus…

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Yeah, we’re about as sick of them as you. Buses have been our main mode of transport, and like zombies, we jump on another one for a full day’s ride from San Salvador, El Salvador to Nicaragua, but the sight at the end of it is worth it. Grab a seat on today’s journey.

Leaving Guatemala for El Salvador

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Greetings from El Salvador, where everyone packs heat and you expect to see Carleton Heston around the corner! We hop on another long distance bus to begin our bolt from Guatemala to Nicaragua. Hop on the bus in today’s photo gallery.

What a sight: Lago Atitlan

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Moving on, we head out of Xela, again on a chicken bus, to Central America’s deepest lake. Picture perfect Lago Atitlan and its conical volcanoes, dominates the scene, and this photo gallery of our day in Panajachel.

The Count: Dropping the average in Guatemala

Monday, January 21st, 2008

The prices baffled us in Guatemala – we found food costs high, but our lodging costs went down to a mere $6 a day at points. Quetzaltenango is seemingly designed for extended stays, with numerous guest houses to provide a home for the booming language school scene in town. We took advantage of one of these guest houses, and stayed at one place for five nights for $30 each – and we had our own rooms.

The Count: week three

Down time in Quetzaltenango

Sunday, January 20th, 2008


Our final day in Quetzaltenango was a lazy Sunday and, along with the rest of the city, we decided to take it easy. After a quick hike up a nearby peak and a daring display of motorcycle riding, we settled down in an empty bar to watch the Patriots. Take a chill pill with us in today’s photo gallery…

Saturday is for futbol

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

If Sundays are for football in the U.S., then in Guatemala, Saturday is for futbol. With Quetzaltenango’s team on the road this week, we too hit the road, heading to San Marcos, a city about 1.5 hours back towards Mexico, to catch their team play. Kick the ball around in today’s photo gallery.

A way too long bus ride, bad directions, a forgotten camera, in need of a tetanus shot and a broken down truck, or: How I spent my 26th birthday.

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Eighteen days in, we’ve been able to execute this trip near flawlessly – today, on my birthday, all our bad luck caught up to us, providing a series of misadventures. But, on the road, even the worst day is nothing to frown about.

I woke up to a package, sent down by my girlfriend via Express Mail. Donning the shirt (and I was in need of a fresh one) in the courtyard outside of our room, I felt good about the day. Reminders of home are welcome additions to days when we’re not sure about where we’re even going to sleep for the night.

Bags of beans: visiting a coffee farm

Friday, January 18th, 2008

After a bumpy start we arrived at a coffee farm in the highlands of northern Guatemala. The friendly workers at Nueva Alianza gave us the low down on the seven step process that turns a sweet red berry into that familiar brown bean. Ever wonder what goes into your morning cup of Joe? Find out in today’s gallery.

It had been a frustrating morning, to say the least. After a late start and a bus ride that took twice as long as we were told it would, we were now sitting on the side of the road somewhere in Reu, under a rapidly receding spit of shade. We were told that we would be able to find a ride to Nueva Alianza, a coffee plantation up the road, which we wouldn’t have believed were we not sitting with three locals also waiting for this phantom ride to the finca (plantation). (more…)

Golden teeth

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

We’re on our way up a curvy mountain road to the sizzling mineral baths of Fuentes Georginas, riding in the flatbed of a camioneta – a pickup truck that doubles as taxi and delivery truck in rural towns like Zunil, Guatemala. Halfway through town, the driver—whom we’ve paid the equivalent of $3 for an 8-kilometer (about 5-mile) drive—slows and shouts to a 20-something man who is ambling along with a group of men. The man, two Coke cans in hand, deftly pulls himself into the flatbed with us as the driver hits the gas.

Almost instantly and without any reservation, he greets us in nearly flawless English, “Where are you guys from?” he asks.

Immediately, my eyes are drawn to his mouth full of bling. Try as I might, I can’t help but notice his two gold-plated canines. While it is definitely not rare to see the indigenous people of Guatemala with full-on golden grills, witnessing this young man’s mouth of Olympic gold up close makes it harder than normal for this foreigner not to give in and stare. His mouth – both the English and the shine flowing freely from it – is certainly not his only distinctive characteristic. His slightly baggy pants and dark blue denim coat atop a white tee are not-oft-seen reflections of the west in a sea of straw hats, flannel shirts and bolts of colorful floral cloth.

This is Sebastian, and he has golden teeth. (more…)

About LongJaunt Equal parts lighthearted jaunt and in-depth journey, this intimately documented trip around the world has one goal: to bring you along for the ride.

Thushan Amarasiriwardena

, former Senior Multimedia Producer at The Boston Globe, has always loved telling a great story. Combining his eye for visual story telling and his technical background in computer science at North Carolina State University, Thushan has reported on business, sports and travel for The Globe. You can find his site here.

Michael Kurtz

, graduated with a degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His thesis research focused on the intersection of race and music in Northeastern Brazil. He worked previously as A&R and Production Coordinator for Putumayo World Music, an international music record label based in New York City. You can find his site here.

Brian Rogers

graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and has traveled extensively in Latin America.

Alicia Conway

is LongJaunt's home base chief and a Technical Producer for The Boston Globe. She joined and contributed with the team out in England, Kenya, Tanzania, The Netherlands and Thailand.