Wednesday, June 29, 2005

R&R in Roatan

Our parents Ken and Lynne met us in Roatan. We worked out a good arrangement- Kyle and I would make sure they survived each dive, and they would pay for them. Hey, Everyone wins.

The island is rustic in some places and an island-resort-paradise in others. The coral was great but there was a surprising lack of fish. We managed to squeeze in four or five days during our time on the island between meals, naps, swatting sand flies, and 4wding in our pimped out Isuzu.

Ken, Lynne, and Kyle are on there way back to Dayton, Ohio as I write this. I am staying on the North coast of Honduras in the town of Omoa. Tomorrow I plan on crossing over to Guatemala to visit Norma Love´s sister in the Rio Dulce area. Don´t feel bad if you do not know where this is at, neither do I.

To put my current budget accomodation in perspective, I am paying less for a night in a drab dorm room near the beach than we paid for a round of Cokes on Roatan yesterday during lunch.


Mocoron was much more than chasing snakes. It was...

...teaching children to play ultimate frisbee and baseball.
...showing people their photo on my camera. Many have never seen a photo of themselves. There are also no mirrors in the village, so seeing yourself is rather novel.
...floating down river for 20 minutes with a posse of smiling kids.
...learning the inspiring story of Norma Love and her big heart. She is a living saint. (You should definitely google: "Norma Love" Mocoron).

Mocoron was definitely one of the places in my travels that I will truly never forget.

Back to the snake story...

So there we were poling our way through the unmapped Honduran Jungle, when crazy Carl starts to yell, "Muerte, Muerte (Kill it, kill it). It was about two in the morning and Kyle and I both were admittedly exhausted, our butts incredibly fatigued and a tad bit itchy (this may seem stange, but please consider we had spent hours wading through creeks and even more hours sitting on seats fashioned with a machete).

Wap. Wap. Up floats one of the world´s most deadly snakes

Kyle and I are now wide awake.

Carl tells us all that we are to be very careful. He then grabs the snake, which is still alive, with his critter-grabbers and proceeds to bring it towards the boat as if he were going to sit it on my lap. I don´t recall a whole lot after this, I may have passed out. Kyle later told me that I sat stone stiff.

Kyle sat behind me in the canoe and managed to sqeak out a simple three words that may have saved my life, "Kels. Scoot back." I came to my senses and soon I was sitting on Kyle´s lap, Kyle was sitting on one of our guides lap, and together we dared not too breathe or blink.

Carl tied the snake to a stick, took it back to the village, and later killed it.

The next day Kyle was brave enough to pose for a picture with it and I was brave enought to take his photo.

Just a day in the life of courageous jungle explorers.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Back from the jungle

Alas no crocs, but how about a 4-foot long fur-de-lance, one of the world´s most deadly snakes. Before you go thinking we are all macho, let me inform you that Kyle and I did everything within our power to put as much dug-out canoe between us and its business end. I´ll post a more indepth version, and possibly a picture, of the encounter later. Until then, we are off to the tropical island of Roatan for some much needed R&R far away from the jungle.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Anybody seen any crocs?? Kyle and I are off to Honduras. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Croc Hunters??

I wanted to visit the la Mosquitia area of Honduras to get in an authentic jungle experience. It looks like we will be doing just that- primary objective...locate the American crocodile.

No, I'm not kidding.

When I began researching the trip I shared some e-mails with Norma Love from the village of Mocoron. Norma, an academic from Texas, orignally visited the area some years ago, but now has kind of become Mocoron's patron saint. She invited us to visit her and also told me that a friend from Texas would be visiting during our stay. It turns out her friend from Texas is Carl Franklin, a biologist from University of Texas at Arlington and lover of all things slimy and poisonous.

So I dropped Carl an e-mail and he called me. He was excited to here that Kyle and I are going to be there and wants us to accompany him into the jungle for a few days looking at critters. His primary objective is finding the elusive American Crocodile. How cool is that!

We will be hiking through the jungle, sleeping in the jungle, riding in dugout canoes through the jungle, eating freshwater prawns in the jungle, and best of all, searching for crocs in the jungle.

Here is a link to Norma's organization's website: La Mosquitia

I also found an Article on Carl from the University of Texas at Artlington's Newspaper:

Monday, June 06, 2005

THE PIC- My brother Kyle Water skiing at Lake Cumberland. Despite the punishment undertaken during step aerobics, I still went to Lake Cumberland with my brother and his girlfriend. It had been about 2 years since I had been skiing and it felt great...except for all the pain. Kyle will be heading to Honduras with me next Wednesday.  Posted by Hello

There is a long list of manly ways to get in shape such as rock climbing, mountain biking, boxing, wrestling, rugby, log tossing, alligator wrestling, etc. Not found on this list is Step Aerobics.
So my mom suckered me into going to step aerobics with her...the things I'll do for a story. It's almost been a week now since the torture and my body has yet to fully recover. The Article "Real Men Take Step Aerobic" will appear in Endurance Magazine in August and may appear as a column in "Travelin' Light." THE PHOTO (Left to right): My mom twice my age and in twice as good shape, Me in need of of an IV, Xena: The Princess torturer. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Twist of Thorn

One of the best travel resources on the internet is Lonely Planets Thorn Tree. Post a question and have it answered by travellers from around the globe. Not always will the responses be positive.

My favorite T-shirt sports Tattoo from Fantasy Island on it and was assembled in Honduras. So I thought I would try and track down the factory of its origin. After all, a guy has to have goals when he's traveling otherwise he's just a bum. Anyhow, so I turned to the Thorn Tree for some help to try and establish some contacts. I received constructive ideas, possible contact leads, and...well... some personal attacks. One poster even accused me of taking advantage of the poor.

Follow the link above to check it out.

I regret using "sweatshop" in my original post. You'll soon see why.