While visiting anywhere there is always somebody trying to get money. In Suesca it was in the form of a local standing at the roadside asking for money for where we were parked, when we enquired about camping he asked for 30,000COP , about 10USD. This might seem reasonable but to prolong travelling, free is always better. We drove up the far side of the valley to a small disused quarry where the local farmer said we were welcome to stay. Once there we deployed the tarp to gather rain water and save more money, look at that majestic water gathering machine. Jealous ain’t you!?. Saved 70cent in the days water bill right there.
the edges of the tarp are strung in to ensure no potential water is lost
This place has also given us spectacular evening lightning shows. Consistently on the other side of the valley which is reassuring as we camp on top of a vehicle with great lightning rods poking out in all directions. Its incredibly humbling each time there is a strike that looks like it will destroy any tree building or structure in the way. It puts us in our place.
Back down in the valley eating costs little. 3 dollars can buy two people a decent meal consisting of a couple bowls of soup, a plate full of rice, chicken, plantain, salad and fries, and a couple of fresh fruit drinks. add evening meals cooked ourselves for 3-4 dollar and daily living is cheap
Add to it one of my favourite outdoor stores (decathlon) is down the road in Bogata selling low cost outdoor wear and equipment for any sport and the cost of living compared to Central America seems to have halved. My reccomendation to anybody travelling who likes the outdoors is skip central and get to South America!!
Well, I feel awful, a combination of a week of Doxycycline, A yellow fever shot, and running a few miles in tropic heat. Its not all bad, although Karli is also feeling bad from the Doxy. I can’t wait to be out of here and living somewhere I dont wake to the feeling of wanting to pass out, but with heat beating down and humidity rising I am forced up.
We visited some Mayan ruins called ‘Copan’. The ruins were nice, but it was about 15 American dollars to enter, 7 to go into the tunnels, another 10 or so to enter the museum, where most the artifacts have been removed too, and a few more dollars to enter the culture museum. It felt a bit of a rip so we just entered the main site and left it at that. Central America has been pretty good at emptying the wallet at every opportunity. Walking around the carvings it soon became clear the big statues were all replicas except one they had not figured out how to replicate yet due to the intricacies of the carving. O well. It was a sunny day and there was also a good lawn to sit on. The ruins themselves are pretty impressive once you realise the scale of them after climbing the first pyramid.
. Now, Honduras, Its hard for me to accept that to walk a footpath I have to pay 4 times the price the locals are asked to pay ($8), or pay anything at all for the mile or so path is to the waterfall we wanted to visit yesterday. At the cost of every attraction or bit of nature being high, I feel poor. Three nights ago we drove into the night checking prices of hotels along the way, 1200, 1100, 600 lempiras. Once again despite warnings not to drive at night we pushed though. Ending up at a rundown hotel for 500 lempiras, whIch we accepted, it was nice to have showers and a/c to sleep. The beaches are lined with properties and hotels willing to charge to be near the water, and most the national forest areas on the map seem to be mosquito infested with a second unidentified fly that has a bite similar. We drove few lanes the other night and arrived at a beach area next to forest. After intruding on private land, the property owner, Winston, welcomed us to camp beside his house at no cost. It was nice to be welcomed somewhere. This gave a wonderful sunset and a few more mosi bites to remember it by. Last nights camp was on a river in its flood area, Stoney but flat. With it being near the end of the flood season we decided the sky probably wouldn’t rain and flood the camp so we pitched up. There were remarkably only on or two mosquitoes this night.
Today was my first run in a few weeks. It was hot and not all that pleasant, the first half all uphill. I would like to say it revived me but it didn’t. The swim in the river after however was pretty decent. Something that felt alive brushed my leg and made me question what might lurk beneath.
The city a mile from camp is prettier comfortable, good coffee from nice shop about $1-1.50. Other exciting news- I have a new pair of sunglasses, its the first time in month I have worn them without having to look at scratches. Bad news- the horrible box of wine we bought back at the very start of the trip is down to its last litre. Soon it will be no more. It tastes bad now.
Im kinda bored of writing now so will finish/edit this later 😉
So, 6weeks ago I decided to join Karli on a drive to Argentina climbing along the way. For this I decided it might be worth getting anti-malaria tablets and a yellow fever vaccination since its likely I would be going to a few melting pot areas for all the nasty infections and diseases.
Now, big pharma in the states is known for charging a lot for prescription drugs and I do put a limit of the cost of my good health, so, proceed through the states without buying any. The plan was mexico for both. A week before entering Mexico I decided to try to get a price for the goods. I managed to find out that several Walgreens and walmarts with pharmacies could give a yellow fever vac at around 120-150dollars. And it is possible to get Doxcyiline, but the costs are kinda high and a consultation at extra cost is required, an eXtra 40dollars. My poor life isn’t valued that high, I’m a cost cutter. So against the usual kind of advice from wealthy practitioners saying don’t trust lower cost care, I achieved lower costs.
Now, in Mexico any pharmacy will sell you prescription drugs without a prescription. Which is great. In a small town I went into a pharmacy and paid about 20dollars for a 70 day supply of doxyciline. Which was the easy part.
Yellow Fever Vaccination proved a different beast. The pharmacies sent me to the hospitals, the hospitals sent me to the general public hospitals and on and on it went in every town and city along the way. After about 10 hospitals we found ourselves waiting to talk to a doctor. When he arrived speaking good concise English he slowly explained that the vaccination wasn’t normally available in Mexico, only an after care as it wasn’t genrally a problem in Mexico. He told us to wait till we are in El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua as it would be widely available there. He also wrote a note to pass to the next hospital to make it easier. “vacun fiebre amarilla”.
In Le Ciela, Honduras, we started looking for a hospital, the daily mosquito bites were a driving force. Into the firs hospital, they pointed us to the second. The second was rundown and looked closed, so we went to the third. In the third hospital. The ‘medico’ we were directed up a staircase. Up the staircase we were directed to a door. Inside the door was a receptionist and a waiting room. We asked for ‘vacu fiebre amarilla’, she invited us to take a seat. This seemed positive so we complied.
The receptionist informed Karli, who is now speaking pretty reasonable Spanish, that the doctor was on lunch break but would be back soon. An hour wen by and the doctor arrived. Again, like the last, the doctor speaks slowly and concisely in English. He informs us he can give the injection there and then, but for the vaccination passport/cert we would have to take a note to a different building Monday morning. After receiving the shot I proceeded down the stairs to pay. The shot cost approx 100dollars. Still cheaper that the states. All in so far its cost 100 for the yellow vac and about 20dollars for 70days of doxcyiline. Total $120.
I feel this is a saving of about 120 to 150 dollars. roughly based on
130 for yellow, 70dollars for 70days of doxy, and a consultation at 40dollars. total $270. Win. Now I feel fully prepared to strip naked and run through jungle laughing at the mosquitoes biting me in awkward places without the worry of half the tropic bacteria, fevers and nasties.
I will also add that while each of the many hospitals we entered were a little worn, they were very clean, being actively cleaned and mopped and the staff all very professional. All in the same as any trip to a western hospital.