Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Utila, Honduras

Finally! A new post...

I left off in Panama City where Ville and I ended up staying for a while because it was a great city and we made some great friends that kept us. There was a great boardwalk along the bay and we were able to run every morning and night ( a treat with our crazy schedule.) The Panama Canal was amazing! The day we went we were able to watch a huge cruise ship go through the locks. We ate so much great food there and the running helped to keep me from rolling down the streets ( thank you Crepes and Waffles, the new greatest food place ever.) We did head down to Chitre and Las Tables for a couple days to hang out on some Pacific beaches and found them not quite as picturesque as the Caribbean, but beautiful. There are also quite a few Americans down there buying up property like hotcakes, apparently it is the new Costa Rica. Back to Panama City, last run to Crepes adn Waffles, and we booked flights to Honduras.

While checking into our flights, we realized there was a slight mistake and they had put us in first class. Yep, that´s right, with the high rollers. Before they could even change their minds, Ville and I were walking down the red carpet first onto our plane. It was awesome. We took about a million pictures to capture the moment as a bunch of onlookers wondered, ¨how the hell two bums could afford First Class?¨ Well, these 2 bums of course. Never having flown First Class, we ate a big dinner before getting on our plane and realized that on our two flights, we got fed twice! Yep. And Ville, as you all know, was not about to let an oppertunity to let free food in First Class slip by and ate both. And the deserts.

We stayed a night in San Pedro Sula and bused it up to La Ceiba where we were forced to stay a night due to bad weather and the ferry not running. The next morning we made it an hour ferry in giant swells, to Utila Island. Once on the ferry they handed out bags and, being the great sea faring pirates we are, declined. Of course, everyone else got sick and we were tramatized, but made it unscathed. A week was spent doing some amazing diving, swimming, snorkeling, sunning, and relaxing. I was able to complete my Advanced PADI Certification for Diving and Ville did a bunch of fun dives with me. Our favorites were the Night Dive and the Halliburton Shipwreck. It was really cool to swim through a sunken ship a hundred feet at the bottom of the ocean. There was even a giant green moray eel in the ship. We saw tons of sea life and Ville even found a bike to ride at the bottom of the ocean on the night dive.

This morning we caught the early ferry to miss the bus, but booked the bus and are now staying in La Ceiba and leaving early morning on the next bus to Antigua, Guatamela. We hear great things and are pretty excited. Will get some pics when I figure out how to download them and will keep the updates coming.

Bye for now!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

San Blas, Panama

Happy New Years all!!

So sorry for not writing earlier, Ville and I have been in the San Blas Islands, on a very remote island, with literally no internet or phone for miles. We sailed in on the Alliance a week ago. We sailed into some of the most beautiful islands i have ever seen. If you imagine paradise in Caribbean islands, this is the place. We dropped anchor near an island, dove off the boat, and snorkled in some of the best reefs I have seen yet in my life. A day there and then Ville and I decided to part from the boat because they are planning to stay here for months doing charters and we wanted time to relax and travel more. (The work on the boat was some serious work!)

We stayed about a week on a very remote island (and i mean an island about maybe 3 acres big) with a very small and sketchy landing strip and a great beach. I will update photos when I can. We stayed there through my birthday and New Years and it was great, a lot of relaxing laying on the beach, snorkeling, and eating rice, beans, and fresh fish. Oh yea, I ate a bunch of octopus, too. It was chewy. And we met a great family staying there who live in Panama city with their three kids. We all played some great card games and they were very helpful in helping us to communicate. Ville´s spanish is really coming along thanks to the sink-or-swim approach.

It was a bit rough finding a boat to get us off the island, but we managed somehow and made it to Carte where we cought a jeep that drove a bunch of us 3 hours through some beautiful rain forest. The ride was wild. I would have to say it gives some rides at Disneyland a run for their money :) Thank God the seat belts worked and the driver had some excellent Latin music to seranade the trip. Made it to Panama City in one piece yesterday and found a great deal at a hotel with a pool and air con. Ville and I are thrilled with the very cheap food prices and are planning to stay a few days longer. The great family we met in the islands, took us to a great lunch yesterday and even got me a waffel and ice cream with a candel to celebrate my birthday! So nice of them. They gave us a great tour of the city yesterday and are picking us up this afternoon to take us to the Panama Canal locks and out to dinner. I really hope they come to Oreogn or Finland so we can return the favor! The great people we have met traveling remind us of why we travel and how truely amazing people can be.

So Ville and I are again, making new travel plans. We have found that plans are always subject to change and as doors close, new doors open for us. Unfortunately, we can not travel as long paying accommidations and travel now, but we are going to try and get to Honduras, maybe Belize to do diving and on to Mexico before coming back. Not quite sure. We promise to keep you all posted and hope you are all having great holidays with your loved ones and an exciting start to the New Year!

Kristen and Ville