We hope you have had a great month. Ours has been filled with travel, adventure, fun and challenges.
About a week after we published Issue 4 of House Sitting – The ultimate lifestyle magazine our house sit assignment in Nicaragua ended.
Ahead of us we had four free weeks, with plenty of Central American travel pencilled in the diary. However, our first visit to the TicaBus office in Granada gave us a clue that there may be trouble ahead.
We were told that because we had visited Panama we would need our Yellow Fever vaccinations to enter either Honduras or El Salvador. Much frantic online research followed.
There was a lot of conflicting information online, much of it out of date, and it appeared that any current rules must have only come into effect recently.
We decided to take a chance, and after bidding Tabby the boxer, and our home owners farewell, we caught the local “chicken bus” (so-called because many local passengers travel with all sorts of produce, often including livestock!) to the Nicaraguan capital of Managua.
At the TicaBus office there we ran into the same problem, and could not buy a ticket to Honduras. The only option was to fly over the two countries blocking our path, and head to Guatemala.
Some quick re-scheduling and a newly formed plan meant we would head out from Guatemala City to Lake Atitlan, where we would have much more time than we had originally anticipated.
We were glad we did. What a stunning place. We spent six days hopping from town to town around the beautiful volcano crater lake.
At the end of October we headed to Antigua Guatemala where we planned to experience the amazing Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and visit the Sumpango Kite Festival on 1st November.
How this hasn’t made it onto the backpacker must-see popular festival lists, I will never understand. I (Ian) have been to a few of the big ones – La Tomatina in Spain, Full Moon Parties in Thailand, Carnivale in Rio.
The Sumpango Kite Festival is just as spectacular. The kites are huge, and with the right wind conditions they actually fly them too. I have never seen so many kites flying in one place.
The kites represent a connection from the world of the living to the spirit world where those who have passed on now reside.
The graveyards are full of people mourning those they have lost, and simultaneously celebrating the lives of past family members. It is a very touching mix of sadness and joy, as many in Central America believe that death is not the end, merely a transition to the next phase.
A large number of smaller kites are flown from the graveyard.
We bought a little kite from a couple of local boys, and flew it from the top of one of the tombs, Vanessa and I quietly remembering those who are no longer in our lives…
… until we got it stuck in a tree! We weren’t the only ones to lose out kite that day.
From Guatemala we headed back up into Mexico, where we have rented a lovely apartment by the coast at Puerto Vallarta.
It is here that we have been relaxing and putting the finishing touches to this month’s Issue of House Sitting – The ultimate lifestyle magazine.