Sunday, February 26, 2017

We have a Website!

Hi Everyone!

Exciting news! The time has finally come! We have our very own amazing website! Our new stuff all lives there and slowly but surely all of our old posts will be re-located there as well!

Check it out:

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Earth Lodge, Guatemala

Yup! That's a volcano erupting!
Just outside of Antigua, (close enough to arrive in the back of a pickup truck) is the Earth Lodge. And, although the statement is bold I venture to say that it was my favourite of all the amazing places that we've stayed in our 2 months in Central America. It just has so many things going for it that it would be hard to compete with. First, the setting is spectacular. There is a variety of cabanas, tents, dorms and 2 treehouses. The opportunity to sleep in a treehouse would be a highlight in its own right, but in reality, its just a tiny piece of what the Earth Lodge has to offer. All of the accommodation options are awesome, and have their own unique features. There are small private cabanas with private terraces sharing a bathroom draped in hanging orchids, a 2 level house with a tree growing through the middle of it, and tents on platforms with double beds in them. All this on 40 acres of oak forest where the owners have planted 390 avocado trees.

From all of these cabanans, and especially from the common area, you have an absolutely breathtaking view. A deep valley surrounded not one, not 2, but 3 volcanoes. One of which, Fuego, is exceptionally active. Assuming its clear, you get to watch Fuego erupt about every 15 minutes ALL DAY LONG. It's insane.

Ok, so a spectacular property with fabulous views. What else, you ask? Well, only one of the most
important consideration: food! The food is simply amazing.. My favourite thing on the menu was the Grilled Cheese with avocado and pesto. Oh My. Gosh- it was unbelievable. Everything we ate at Earth Lodge was delicious. Breakfasts, smoothies, sandwiches.... Every night was a communal dinner inspired by Meg, the chef. It always varied, bu thankfully there was always an avocado inspired aspect, and it was always exceptional.

Yoga in the mornings with sweeping views of the valley and volcanos? Why not? Follow that up with
hiking to Hobbitanago, a new resort where they are building hobbit huts, for an afternoon beer and board game- you can't go wrong!

Even with all these amazing things, our favourite part, as always, was the people we met.  Especially my new favourite person, Katie from Ireland.

Overall, Earth Lodge is an unforgettable place just to 'be'.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Devil Burning, Antigua Guatemala

Yup- the devil is in there- loaded up with firecrackers and doused with gasoline!
'Hey!' the receptionist at the recommendable Yellow House in Antigua, Guatemala greeted us as we returned from lunch on Dec 7 last year. 'Are you guys going to the Devil Burning tonight?'  Whiplash. 'Umm.. the whaaaaat?' I ask. 'The Devil Burning,' she confirms. 'Yes, Yes, we are most certainly, definitely, 100% going to the Devil Burning tonight.' I nod. 'What is it?'

And this is one of the many reasons we loved Antigua. This wasn't the first surprise festival that we'd have the great fortune of attending during our time in Antigua... and seriously.. who doesn't want to see the devil burn? What else are you going to do on a Monday night?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hiking Pacaya

Volcanos, clear skies, roasting marshmellows on hot lava and shopping at the worlds only store on an active volcano?! I'll let the pictures do the talking for this most beautiful of ways to spend a morning...

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Antigua, Guatemala

Ohhh Antigua! How I loved our time there. The only bad thing about it was that it was the last stop of our trip and therefore I didn't have time to record all my loving thoughts before it was back to the grind of real life... This story will have to be told in pictures:

ps. Definitely stay at the Yellow House

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Hotel Kangaroo & Finca Paraiso

We arrived in Rio Dulce (also called Fronteras) by shuttle from Semuc Champey. It was a long, uncomfortable day on unending, unpaved roads and we were very happy when it was over.

Our hostel, the Hotel Kangaroo, is on a small tributary off the main river a short boat ride from town. A quick call from the office at the main dock (just under the big bridge) and a boat was on its way to fetch us. A boat ride to a hostel. I was going to love it here, I could tell already.

Gary, Hotel Kangaroo's proprietor was super friendly and a great story teller.  At evening gatherings he regaled us with fascinating tales about this time in Guatemala over the last decade or so and how much the country has change over the years. From gun toting to yachts, we could have listened to his adventures for days. Wherever your next destination after Hotel Kangaroo was going to 
be, Gary would figure out how to get you there. Evenings spent sitting around, eating lemon pie and drinking Gallos while Gary sorted out everyone's travel plans for them for the following day will forever bring a smile to my face. Graciella, the other half of Hotel Kangaroo's proprietorship, is an amazing chef and we really enjoyed chatting to her at the bar.  Mexican food..Ozzie burgers... homemade chili oil...oh my.  

Our favourite day trip from Hotel Kangaroo was to Finca Paraiso aka: the hot waterfalls. I have no idea how this place isn't busier than it was. (Go first thing in the morning) First, it was a spectacular setting. The water casacades into a small, cold pool surrounded on all sides by lush jungle, rocks and tree roots that climb the rocks. The roots double as a climbing ladder that you scale to the top of the waterfalls- where the most amazing thing happens- the water is hot! Again, the recent flooding worked to our advantage, cooling down the normally scalding water at the top of the falls to the most perfect temperature for lounging. We were lucky enough to visit the waterfalls with the most perfect accomplices for this aqua adventure: Ash and Bi, an Aussie/Brit couple who were partaking in one of
our favourite pastimes: long term travel. We got along really well and enjoyed spending the day with them. After soaking in the hot pools at the top of the falls, some of us wanted to delve deeper into the possibilities surrounding us.  Some of us followed a local guide back through the jungle to a special mud puddle to scoop up some exclusively organic exfoliating mud and slather ourselves in it. Some of us got a little far ahead of the guide and slathered ourselves in the wrong mud. To which the guide (when he caught up) made a panicked, disgusted face and told us to wash it off- quickly. Which some of us did. Some of us got left behind, almost fully submersed in the natural, relaxing hot water pools as the perfect, clear water rushed as it rushed over our faces, necks and shoulders, awaiting a courier to deliver this exceptional mud from the correct mud puddle and slather it on from the comfort of our personal hot pool....  All of us considered the excursion to be a success- regardless of what mud we slathered on ourselves. I could have stayed up there forever. Sitting in a hot private mini pool right at the brink of the falls, like an infinity pool surrounded by the thick jungle... sigh...but there was more to explore down at the base of the falls.

Some of us were even brave enough to jump from the top of the waterfalls down into the cold water below. The water at the bottom was super refreshing while the waterfall was super hot. It was a rare phenomenon. It was a pretty spectacular massage to tread under the water and allow the hot water to beat down on your shoulders. You can even swim behind the waterfalls and sit up on a rock in a little grotto were a whole bunch of bats were going crazy all around you. Seriously, this place has everything!

Prices for  Finca Pariso: collective from town Q15, Entrance Q10, tip Q10 (tip was for a "guide" (term used loosely), who showed us how to get to the top of the falls, where the "proper" mud was and watched our bags while we swam) 

Shout out: To the group of travellers that happened to be at Hotel Kangaroo while we were there some of whom we were lucky enough to meet up with again, in classical backpacker fashion: You were awesome. Hopefully we'll share dock beers, tall tales and travel tips again one day!