Renting a House in Roatan (West End)

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It’s the high season in Roatán, which means most of the available residential rentals are taken. Though there were some options online, we knew from our experience traveling that we’re better off waiting until we arrive to find a place.
So once we got here, the first 4 or 5 days were spent finding a new place. Here are a few tips on how we did it. Read more

The Joys of Rainy Days

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Green clapboard house on short stilts in Roatan, Honduras with red roof and white railing around front porch. Our home.

 

We’re here in Roatán, Honduras, a beautiful island with incredible scuba diving and a large expat community. It’s been raining heavily for the last 3 or 4 days now, for at least half of each day. This is out of the ordinary, given that it’s not the rainy season, and if we were here on a short vacation, I imagine we’d be pretty disappointed.

Fortunately, even in the rain, we’d be able to scuba dive, since it’s not like we’d very well be staying dry 30 feet below the surface of the ocean.

But that’s not on the agenda. Instead, we’re taking the time to get some work done, do some reading on our kindles, and decompress mentally.

Since we have all the time in the world to relax and frolic on the beach, it’s almost a relief when it rains, because we can just sit inside guilt-free. The bars are all still open, of course, so we could just knock back piña coladas all day, but there’s really just not any pressure to spend our time in any particular way, so we spend it maximizing the free time we’ll have the next time it’s sunny.

Since I never talk about reading, this sounds like a pretty good opportunity to recommend a few books. I recently read and loved The Martian, which is about an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars. It’s all very low sci-fi, so the earth is the same as we know it, except for the fact that we’ve begun manned space missions to Mars. The book is hilarious, tragic, and fascinating, and the protagonist’s personality shines as he tries to survive the unforgiving environment of the red planet.

A summer or two ago I read Marching Powder, which is a true story of life in a Bolivian prison for a convicted British drug trafficker. In this La Paz prison, everything is for sale, and prisoners have to rent their own cells. I read this in two days on my sailing trip to [the San Blas Islands in Panama] on a borrowed kindle. Considering how slowly I read, that’s pretty impressive.

I’ve also been re-reading a couple of things, primarily East of Eden and A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s been just about long enough since I read them the first time for me to enjoy them again.

I don’t have any rainy day photos to upload, and the internet’s pretty slow here, so here’s a picture of our little house here on Roatán, Honduras.

The Most Talented Bus Caller I Have Ever Met – Bus from Puno to Arequipa

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So in some South American countries, including Peru, bus stations have men calling out the destinations so you know what bus to get on. This works marginally better than say, a sign, but I’ve become fascinated with these guys, because some of them are really good. When we booked our bus to Arequipa, I started talking to the guy behind the desk about destination calling, and I convinced him to let me take a video of him calling out Arequipa.

Check out how many times this guy can say Arequipa in just a few seconds. Warning, there is unintentionally some nudity in this video due to the scandalous calendar hanging on the bus station office wall.

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A Month in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, Peru

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Hike Outside OllantaytamboOllantaytambo is a little village in the Sacred Valley of Peru, an hour and a half from Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. We came here right after Machu Picchu to relax and recuperate, as something about high-altitude hiking combined with party-induced sleep deprivation makes me susceptible to colds. After just a few days here, we were so comfortable that we decided to make Ollantaytambo our home for a few weeks, which quickly became a month. Read more

Galapagos on less than $50 a day, Day 2

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Beach on San Cristobal, Galapagos, as seen from gorgeous blue water. Day 2 of my trip to Galapagos on a budget.Today was day 2 of our trip to the Galapagos. Since we don’t like to book our hotels in advance, we had to spend part of the day looking for a hotel to stay in starting tomorrow, Easter Sunday.
I have to admit, I was almost starting to regret our strategy, because so much of the town was closed yesterday that I was worried we wouldn’t be able to find a nice place with a room available, but I’m happy to say that we’ve now found several nice places with rooms for around $20 per person. Read more

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