Journal

Political crisis in Honduras

 

It seems our plans to go to the Bay Islands, off Honduras, might not come to pass (although things might have calmed down by October). Manuel Zelaya, the President of Honduras, was sent packing after the Supreme Court declared illegal his plans to hold a referendum on the constitution, which his opponents say his would use prolong his seat in power past his four-year term, which ends in January. Second terms are prohibited and peaceful gatherings have been held in protest at Zelaya’s actions. The military marched into to his house on June 28th and put him on a plane to Costa Rica, where he is now in exile. Leftists government in Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia claim the events are obviously a coup by the elitist right. Venezuela’s Chavez has said he will stand by his ally and friend as necessary. Immediately on Sunday, the Honduran Congress followed process and named a new president. Interestingly, despite calls by the US for Zelaya to be re-instated, the Obama administration seemed reluctant to cut of aid to the country.  Honduras had been more or less politically peaceful since its return to civilian rule in 1981, after a string of military governments beginning in 1963. Fingers crossed for the Honduran people and our travel plans.

Here comes the sun, do do do do

 
Preparing my sunworshipping outfit, 6am

6am sun-worshipping prep (by Andrea Davoust)

We’ve just got back from a few days camping under a sky full of stars in Ibarra, northern Ecuador, celebrating the summer solstice and Inti Raymi, the ancient Inca festival of the sun. Typically, tourists head to Otavalo, an hour north of Quito, to join the locals there for the usual merry-making with dancing, singing, eating and drinking. Instead, we witnessed something altogether more traditional, extremely alive, rather intense and sometimes a little disturbing. Read more on Traveller’s Tales.

Hips, or rather feet, don’t lie

 

We have it, baby! Well, we might, if we carry on with our salsa lessons pst next week. You could see the exhaustion on Miguel’s face at the end of the hour, from concentrating on the new moves. Being the man and the one who hasd to lead he has more to think about. Finally! And he had toothache all through our very first lesson (he has to have root canal surgery next week!).

V!VA

 
Not as cold as Michelle and Jose would have you think!

Not as cold as Michelle and Jose would have you think!

This is now my fourth week working at Viva Travel Guides. I’ve settled in, worked out where my skills fit best and what new skills I can pick up. It’s going well and, after a few ‘bonding’ nights out, I am really enjoying the time spent at work with my co-workers.

 

Rach and Tim

Rachel and Tim

Huasipichai

 
Zapata and Sykes

Zapata and Sykes

Yesterday was a mixed day:  ‘caught short’ at the mercado central; had to get taxi home in the pouring rain; craved comfort food because of grey weather but everything I ate or drank just passed straight through me. BUT, our friends Jose and Michelle had a huasipichai and not being one to miss a good house-warming, I valiently chomped on a few Imoduim and hit-up the fiesta. And it was a good decision: good people, good/weird/fun conversations, some good dancing, lots of good rum.

Ecuador 2, Argentina 0!

 
Painted faces but no bikinis

Painted faces, but no bikinis

We got there at 1pm, even though the game didn’t start until 4pm. More time to soak up the atmosphere, I thought. The un-assigned seating system in the generales section (actually 4/5 of the stadium) means you have to fight for and guard with your life any little square of hard concrete you find to perch on.

Relaxtion treatment

 

 

Papallacta hot springs

Papallacta hot springs

This weekend, for our Sunday outing, we went off to relax at the Papallacta hot springs. Only 2 hours from Quito it is meant to be an easy day trip. After cheering on a couple of friends running a 15k race through the streets Quito, we set off to find the bus.