Central America 2023

Under Construction

It seems like a lifetime since I have been in the jungle. And maybe it has been. The last time was 12 years ago. I was teaching then, a profession I practiced for 27 years in 3 countries. It is now almost 4 years since I was in a classroom, and I hope and pray I never enter another one. I paid my dues, I am done, and goodbye to all that. My time since retirement has been spent bikepacking in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas and Mississippi. But there was always something missing, and that something was the jungle. It is only recently that I could fully take advantage of my free time---and all of my time is free time---and head back to Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for a few months. As I am 69, I have better get there soon as biology is unforgiving. It is now or never.

Solo backpacking in lowland jungles is difficult in the extreme, much more so than backpacking the well-marked, well-traveled and well-maintained trails in the USA. I call backpacking in North America “Grandmother’s Backyard Backpacking”. Such a thing offers scarce adventure, and it seems a bit tedious and safe. For my money, if a man doesn’t want danger, then what the Hell does he want? Why does a man exist therefore?

I have since 1986 backpacked the jungles, Andes, forests, foothills and grasslands of Central and South America. My focus this time is northern Guatemala, a section of that country called Petén, and the Mosquito Coasts of Honduras and Nicaragua. Much of northern Guatemala is primary rain forest, which means that walking through it is not difficult at all. The dangers are heat, humidity, insects, wild animals and a scarcity of water. The jungle demands of every solo backpacker a number of things: tent, stove, machete, snake protectors, compass, map and jungle boots just to name a few. To be unprepared in Petén is to be very foolish---and possibly very dead. 

Should my knees give out I will still be able to spend one month in the jungles of Guatemala at Yaxha, Tikal and Laguna del Tigre. This will allow me two months of travel in Honduras and Nicaragua, countries I have visited many times. A dream I have had for years is to travel overland from La Ceiba in Honduras to Waspam on the Rio Coco in Nicaragua. From there I would spend time in the largest expanse of rain forest in the Western Hemisphere outside of the Amazon Basin, La Reserva de la Biósfera Bosawás. This involves extremely hard-core traveling and the ability to survive for days at a time with whatever is in my backpack. For this reason once I leave Guatemala for Honduras and Nicaragua I will travel in what climbers call “alpine style”, taking only what is absolutely essential for survival and leaving the rest with friends in Antigua, Guatemala, and pick it up when I return from Nicaragua.

While in Nicaragua a journey up the Rio San Juan to the Caribbean is in order, then crossing into Costa Rica---where I lived for two years---for a day or so, then returning to Nicaragua. It seems I will be surviving off rice, beans, eggs, chicken, coffee, rum and beer for two months. Such is the food of the gods. Ok then.

All the dates and places below are extremely tentative, and will depend upon how well my knees hold up. I am doing all I can before I go to strengthen them. The rest is in God’s capable hands. 

Deus volt.


 

Where 

When

Nights

Antigua

February 20- February 22

Hotel

Flores

February 23 - 25

Hotel

Yaxha

February 26 - March 2

Tent

Yaxha – Nakum – Tikal 

March 3 - 8

Tent

Tikal

March 9 - 11

Hotel

Flores

March 12 - 14

Hotel

Dos Lagunas

March 15 - 17

Tent

Campamento El Cedro 

March 18 - 19

Tent

Rio Azul

March 19 - 25

Tent

Campamento El Cedro

March 26 - 27

Tent

Dos Lagunas

March 28 - 29

Tent

Dos Lagunas-El Mirador

March 30 - April 4

Tent

El Mirador

April 5 - 6

Tent

El Mirador - Carmelita - Flores/

El Mirador - Uaxactun

April 7 - April 13

Hotel

Flores  

April 14 - 15

Hotel

Laguna Del Tigre

April 16 - April 21

Tent

Flores

April 22 - 23

Hotel

Antigua

April 24 - 26

Hotel

Honduras / Nicaragua

April 27 - May 28 Tent and Hotel
Antigua May 29 - 31 Hotel