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After getting my first passport in 2006 and traveling to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania my life changed. I began the process of getting rid of all my possessions and traveling the world. Traveling to over 110 countries and all 7 continents, hostels have been my home. This "new life" has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions. Traveling is the best education. I hope my blog will encourage others to travel. My World Tattoo was a way for me to express my PASSION FOR TRAVEL.

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MEXICO, Palenque de Ruins (Mayan ruins in Palenque)

Tuesday  June 29, 2010

Got up at 6:30 am to get ready for the 1.5 mile hike to the Palenque ruins. To keep in shape and save the 75 cents for the collectivo ride I headed up the path at about 7 am. Misled by reception, my short walk turned into almost 2 hrs uphill. Got my workout though but the humidity and effort climbing uphill left my clothes quite drenched. It ended up being 4.65 miles. The ruins were magnificent and in great shape. I do not have time until I get home to properly put in details of the ruins but hope the pictures give some idea of the magnitude of this place to the Mayans. The fact that you can climb all over the ruins gives it a more personal feel than say Chichen itza.

MEXICO, San Cristobal to Palenque, Mexico

Monday June 28, 2010

Left rainy San Cristobal in hopes of better weather in  Palenque.   I took the 1st class bus today because it left earlier and was only $3 more. The extra comfort (reclining seat), movies and air con made the 6 hr bus ride much easier. There was also a toilet on board. What will they think of next. Guess I have been riding too many "chicken buses". Beautiful weather for the ride through the mountainous southern Mexico terrain. The winding roads, beautiful scenery and knowing one wrong turn could end the bus down one of the deep ravines provide an additional rush.

Getting up early to view the ruins. Supposedly they are quite spectacular. Hopefully post pictures of the ruins tomorrow before my 8.5 bus and boat ride to Flore, Guatemala to see the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal.

MEXICO, Canon del Sumidero (some canyon)

Sunday  June 27, 2010

Signed up last night to do the boat ride through the Canon del Sumidero  which is supposedly pretty spectacular. This morning it was pouring down raining from Tropical Depression Alex which fortunately is on the east coast of Mexico, I am on the west side. There are no do-overs , so off we went in the packed van with what rain gear we had. It was a miserable 1.5 hrs getting soaked in the open boat with the rain coming down so hard several of us had our sunglasses on to prevent our eyes from getting stung by the rain. Got a few pictures and will post soon. There was an amazing waterfall that just came out of the side of one of the high cliffs. Still my worst days traveling are still great and I appreciate the opportunity.

MEXICO, San Cristobal

Saturday  June 26, 2010

Beautiful city. Just watched the USA lose to Ghana in soccer and be eliminated from World Cup. Soccer never means as much until you travel out of the States and then it is everything. Wonderful group of Irish, English and Americans on the road where I am.

GUATEMALA, Lake Atitlan hike, Santa Cruz to San Marcos

June 21, 2010

Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, if not the most beautiful. Lake Como in Italy has always been my favorite lake until now. While Lake Como has beautiful mountains, beautiful mansions, and beautiful villages, Lake Atitlan has volcanoes surrounding it. Apples and Oranges, I will consider it a tie. To see Lake Como see my Europe blog.

Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlan is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.  Aldous Huxley

I just finished a 3 hr hike on a path that runs high on the mountains and follows the lake. An English girl and boy from the hostel went along with me. We picked up an unwanted guide along the way. The English girl spoke Spanish and told him we were not interested in a guide but that did not deter him. Luckily for us he came in real handy. The trail had been damaged by Storm Agatha and had washed out portions of the trail. There was one spot when the path was only large enough for one foot to fit on it and it was about a 30 foot fall if your foot slipped. Thinking back on it this was not a very smart move on our part to follow the trail when there was a serious chance of getting hurt. We made it to San Marcos about 3 hrs after our initial departure, quickly got lost looking for the boat to take us back, and finally made it back to the hostel after a 20 minute boat ride. I took over 260 pictures and will post them in about 4 days. The hostel will not allow us to download pictures on their computers.