Mecs13's Blog

 

I arrived in San Jose just after 11 am.   There is a warm overcast and a bit of humidity but the city is popping.  It reminds me of a part of Madrid I saw with Annelise and Patrick with a street width walk, locals swarming and the walls lined with clothing and shoe stores.   

 
After a landed I took about 30 minutes to gain a sense of how not to get screwed.  Almost too vividly remincent of The New Delhi airport, local been all wanted to be my friend and get me a taxi.   22$ (like 1000 colonas) for a 20 minute ride…   The bus was 1 dollar.  I found the bus.  Different from India, when I asked the taxi drivers where to find the bus they pointed me in the right direction instead of being pushy.   The happiness is already shining…

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Last minute thoughts

Totally thought my flight was at 11 am, turns out I ARRIVE in Costa @ 11 am. #typicalme.  Only off by 5 hours.  Better than the time I missed my flight by Rome by 2 days… Or the time I missed my train from Amsterdam – Roma because I was facing the wrong track. Oooor that ti- nevermind.  Blogs public.
Either way, my mother insisted on me confirming the time, and now I’m on my ish.
I don’t really know where I’ll go first or what I’ll see, but I’ve composed a list based on recommendations from bros that live in Central America (Shout to the Sevens and the Geni), websites, bros who’ve backpacked there (OHSY & Stump) and of course, my best friend, Christiana Rose Mecca.
 
Targeted Activities 
Sand-boarding down the side of a Volcano
Zip Linning- Canopy Tour, Rainforest
Bungie Jumping
Survive Honduras
Hang Gliding
Surf
Scuba dive
Hunt a whale shark
Deep sea fishing
Coffee Plantation tour
mamasitas
Beach relaxing in hammock with drink(s)
Hiking mountain / volcano.. some sort of scenic awesomeness to make my new fb cover photo
Mountain biking… mountain-motorbiking?
Mayan Ruins
Dive the Blue Hole, Belize
 
Cities to visit

Santa Elena, Costa Rica

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Mounte Verde, Costa Rica
Samara, Costa Rica
Montezuma (aka monteFuma), Costa Rica
Nicoya Coast, Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Corn Islands, Nicaragua (With Ale and his Latino friends [hopefully some mamasitas] for the weekend)
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua
Caye Caulker, Belize
Roatan Islands, Honduras
Antigue, Guatemala
Chichicastenango, Guatemala
Tikal, Guatemala (mayan ruins)
 
Links that helped provide these rough plans:
Everything:
Central America on a shoe string- LonelyPLANET
To see and Do:
Budget:
 

Depart NJ for Central America

Hello people,

This blog will track my exploration of Costa Rica and the route taken to Guatemala City which I have a flight departing for NYC from on May 24th. My intentions are to be on that flight, happily and not too worse for the wear.

This blog will serve several purposes.

1) Track my trek to bring peace of mind to my parents, grandparents and anyone else magnifying the potential dangers of the adventure.

2) Share my experience for others to enjoy and utilize to plan their own trips.

3) Document the journey so that I myself can more sharply remember.

4) I enjoy writing.

5) Feed my ego and pretend like people are actually interested in what I’m up to.

6) Get recognized by someone big-time and in turn begin to be paid to travel, explore and experience new cultures to document and share with the world.

I used Skyscanner.com to find Central America as one of the cheapest destinations.  I booked through travelocity though.  I would have booked through Spirit, but I waited too long and spirit was no longer the airline.

I use Hostelworld.com to look for cheap lodging, lonelyplanet for advice and google for the rest.

Here is a check list I’ve compiled for myself and others when preparing to backpack.  This list is specific to

Central America, but is a good rule of thumb for anywhere.

Advice for traveling:
Trust Strangers.
Always pretend like you know what you’re doing (never be visibly vulnerable)
Spend your money, it serves but one purpose
Take too many photos
Pack lightly with the clothing, then cut it in half
Once you separate from new friends, expect to never see them again. you really only get the one chance.
Go to the places no one has ever heard of
look up where/when festivals are and go to those.
forget about sleep, its a complete waste of time.
write, you’ll be surprised how much is easily forgotten
**** bring something small, in abundance to give to people.   You are going to receive a lot of generosity and unsolicited help from STRANGERS.   Have something personal, that represents you in some way that you can give to say thanks.****  (custom sticker, keychains, magnet- something you can say, “this is me” or “where I’m from”.
Verify the following:
Visas
Shots
Passport
Banking
To Pack
Personal Items:
student ID
Driver’s License
passport
money belt
personal items to give away
credit card
Hygiene/Health:
eye drops
tweezers
bar of soap
razor
chap stick
water purifier (pills or drops… filters don’t protect vs. virus)
neosporn
sudafedrine
pepto
hand sanitizer
alcohol wipes
peroxide
tooth brush
tooth paste
deodorant
asprin
tums
Emergene-C
vitamins
bug spray
sunscreen
diarrhea pills
Clothes:
3 tanktop under Ts
1 cargo shorts (lots of pockets)
1 mesh shorts
5 T shirts
1 collared shirt
1 jeans
1 belt
10 boxers
7 socks
1 sneakers
1 sandles
1 cheap sandles
1 Boots
1 hoodie
1 high socks
Electronics:
converters
Rechargeable battery pack
camera
camera charger
iphone/ itouch
i-charger
bluetooth keyboard
International phone (buy upon arrival) + sim card
headphones
thumb drive
travel speakers
Tools:
universal sink plug
metal Money Clip (magnet ones ruin credit cards)
Bungie cords
Sharpie Marker
bandana
alarm clock *battery powered
short rope
garbage bag
a couple ziploc bags
Duct tape
flashlight
extra batteries
towel
padlock
bike lock
Rough Guide to area
carabiners
poncho
rubber bands / hair ties
felt belt
knife
lighter
Misc:
Gum
water bottle (quality is important)
BOOK
flask
emergency cash
decoy cash/ credit card  OR FAKE Cash decoy
note book
drawstring bag
cheap rubber band watch (extreme brand)
sun glasses
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Should total about 40-50 lbs
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I just got back from a weekend at Syracuse University, 3 and a half hours of progressively colder weather along northing higher way.  I went with my cousin Chris to visit his little brother (my other cousin) Justin.   Justin is hilarious.   Chris is funny too.  Both smart, both great for conversation, humorous whit and jabbing insults, a good time all together.

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It was Mayfest, Kasady performed Friday night, but Chris and I didn’t arrive until midnight because he had to finish an audit as he works with a bid 4 accounting firm  He’s got a great job, I’ve got the upmost respect for his success.  Friday night we hit the night scene, the mario-kart, the hay.  The next day I couldn’t convince the cuzes to come with me to the gym but Dump-bo motivated me, came with yet eventually held me back.  At least we got out there.

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Later we went to fieldfest, a tradition Justin created.   Chris and I enjoyed the nostalgic reckless college partying until the about 6 pm.   We were about to break down Justin’s sound system that bumped the beats that blared across the fields- unplugging the system but ultimately unplugging the party.   One of the arrogant football players, the sophisticated looking ones, had something to say and some drunken-nonsense to start.   Chris and I were too old for this kind of behavior.   A door was thrown.   It eventually broke up, no one was hurt, no surprise.

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We went to Empire Brewing for dinner.   My burger was scrumptious.  They were out of Hefeweizen :(, the atmosphere was of a typical brewery.   The nacho-fondu was fraudulent, the bill was higher than expected, the service was fine.  I reminded Chris to tip in cash to at least give the server the option of declaring that income.   Options are always better.

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Chris and I opted for Insomnia cookies…. Insisted on it like small children in a toy store.  The cookies must have had nyquil in them.  The Smores-mega cookie was out of this world!  A part of my soul melted with that cookie.

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Costa Rica, I’ll see you in 19 Hours.  San Jose, Monte Verde, Arenal Volcano, Samara, La Fortuna… I should probably start looking into where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing.

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