Well, it has been 3.5 months now since we left Los Angeles, California and driven south to Panama. We have had many interesting experiences on the way and have compiled a summary of the good, the bad and the ugly of every country (Honduras is not listed because we spent merely a few hours driving through)
BEST: Food and off-road camping. By far the cheapest country. Many beautiful different small cities all having been slightly modernized and international yet remaining authentically Mexican and unique in their own way. We truly loved the Mexican culture and the people we met.
WORST: Topes aka speed bumps. F them all. Once you’ve driven through Mexico for even just a few days you will feel that same hate for the giant, non-marked, car tossing topes.
*Taylor and Frederik’s favourite country thus far
BEST: Traditional wear still wore widely today on the streets with beautiful textile patterns. The country with the most everyday cultural traditions still alive and visible to the average tourist.
WORST: Roads in general which caused us to not go to a lot of places. By far the worst living conditions we have seen for people, especially in the hills. Also, the price is surprisingly almost comparable to what you’ll see in a European country where we visited.
3. El Salvador
BEST: The most friendly and welcoming people we have met on this trip thus far both at the American School and while travelling through the country on our own meeting locals.
WORST: reputation of all the countries but we did not find this to be true.
BEST: adventure packed country, the most volcano hikes and best preserved colonial city located in Granada
WORST: Not actually sure if there was a negative? If we had to pick one it might be Google maps not knowing the difference between drivable roads and whatever they have drawn on the map they call a “road” and directed us down. We have a 4×4 car and love off roading but a couple times it was to much for us or the road did not actually exist……oh wait maybe it was the 15 hours at the border we had to wait in order to get into the country……
5. Costa Rica
BEST: The nature, especially the amount of wildlife we saw which was far superior than any country in Central America. Most eco-friendly and overall tourist friendly (if you have the money)
WORST: THE PRICE! Way to expensive. However, we managed to find some free camping spots almost right on the beach where we felt really safe.
BEST: Scenic drives, best infrastructure, most Americanized if that is even a good thing? Could fit in either category I suppose. Favourite capitol of a country we have visited.
WORST: The traffic in Panama city and the amount people use their horn. Like why? Stop.
Central America in General
BEST: The Latin culture and dancing is a fun and different experience than anything at home in Canada (for Taylor). Price, in general, makes a trip like this more affordable. Anything goes on the roads, which is both good and bad really. All the volcanos!! Finally, the nature, lots of which has been untouched and if not kept up looks like would take back everything human created in a second, the jungle is really magnificent in this way.
WORST: The amounts of rice and beans we have eaten. The Latino music might actually be good but when you play it at an eardrum-bursting level it is not. So stop people, please. Use and overuse of the horn and emergency lights. Street salespeople attacking you relentlessly.
Taylor’s Favourites Thus Far:
- Campsite: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
- Hike: Volcan Telica, were we saw actual lava without another person around!
- Food: Anything Mexican
- Favourite City: Guanajuato, Mexico
- Moment: Our first truly wild campsite in Mexico on the side of a cliff, no one around, and the beginning of the adventure was just starting to sink in.
- Addition to our car: Best decision I ever made was to buy an extra thin memory foam mattress, which Frederik decided he did not want, so I folded it over and got double the comfort. Although it happened 3 months into the trip for some unknown reason, the best decision we both made was to buy an actual table to eat on instead of our laps.
- Funniest things Frederik has done or said: The list is endless, he is hilarious to laugh at……and with I guess. But if I had to pick one which I constantly laugh at is that for someone who claims they didn’t want extra memory foam on our bed I wake up to being squished against the wall as he is unconsciously trying to get on my half. Then when I wake up my usual hour earlier the second I exit the car he fully flips over and takes my whole side and pillow haha
- The thing I hated the most: That people won’t or seemingly don’t know how to speak slower so you can attempt to make out the words they are saying in Spanish. Oh and at the beginning stopping at every home depot and car dealer shop we saw, really made it hard to get anywhere.
Frederik’s Favourites Thus Far:
- Campsite: in Mexico where we parked the car directly on the grass paved crater of a volcano TAYLOR WHATS THE NAME???
- Hike: Volcan Telica. Nothing short of epic. Life achievement.
- Food: streetfood in general. Menu del dia
- Favourite City: Guanajuato, Mexico
- Moment: Watching the sun rise over the Pacific from Volcan Baru.
- Addition to our car: In Panama City we installed an extra battery tray, which will give us 30% more storage room for whatever.
- Funniest thing Taylor has done or said: continuously calling “Guatemala” City for “Guatemala Silly” and “Costa Rica” for “Croatia”
- The thing I hated the most: the street sales persons. I want to hit them. But the law says I cannot.