Some Nicaragua and Guatemala

Here is a what I managed to take in almost 3 weeks.  The weather was not cooperative so I rarely was able to get my camera out.  Nicaragua was wonderful to visit again, especially our visit to Somoto Canyon and Matagalpa.  A few more Nica photos are coming as well as a lot more photos from Guatemala once I tackle the DSLR.

 

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Beachwalk at Los Cardones, Nicaragua

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Setting off for our scramble/swim down Somoto Canyon

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Chase thinking about it….

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…and doing it

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The only Ometepe photo on my point and shoot…more to come

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View of Lake Atitlan from our hostel door.

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Theater in Xela

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Not your normal plaza ornament

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Sun? what is that?

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The view down into the Semuc Champay swimming holes

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A form of paradise

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Salt Cathedral outside Bogota

This place was plain weird.  I read a blurb about it and it didn´t take much convincing to get Chase and Camilo on board.  I simply have never seen anything remotely like it.  Though still a functioning salt mine in part, it is now billed as “Colombia´s first marvel!”.

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The guys by the hand

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They had a cross for each of the 14 (?) stages of Jesus during his last day or so

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One of my favorites

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The MASSIVE main hall

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El Cocuy National Park

Chase and I were thwarted in our plan to do a 7 day circuit in El Cocuy due to the Uwa (local tribe) refusing to alow tourists to enter the entire eastern side of the range.  Oh well.  It was still one of the most rewarding hiking experiences I´ve ever done.  We spent 5 nights up in the mountains between 3600 and 4600 meters and did some grueling hikes up near glaciars and in the Paramo (the high moor). This is a looong post with all of the pictures I shot with my point and shoot.  It was too wet for the big camera to come with me in good conscience so the photos aren´t the best quality.

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Walking towards Laguna Pintada with a lot of weight

Walking towards Laguna Pintada with a lot of weight

First of many suprisignly bright flowers on the trail

First of many suprisingly bright flowers on the trail

Misty Mountains

Misty Mountains

Crag

Crag

The valley from out little day hike up the side

The valley from our little day hike up the side

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Electric Boogaloo

Color in the oddest places

Color in the oddest places

Color in the oddest places pt. 2

Color in the oddest places pt. 2

Peeking through

Peeking through

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Fraillejones

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Start of day 2, here´s what I was looking at. Chase had already started out at 3 AM to try and summit the peak that is clouded over in this shot.

Start of day 2, here´s what I was looking at. Chase had already started out at 3 AM to try and summit the peak that is clouded over in this shot.

Super soft plants way up there

Super soft plants way up there

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Valley View

Around 4200 meters up

Around 4200 meters up

Chase and me after he had to turn back from the summit due to wind and snow.  So close!

Chase and me after he had to turn back from the summit due to wind and snow. So close!

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Very few people up in the mountains throughout our entire trip

I walked along this cliff for almost an hour.  Long way down.

I walked along this cliff for almost an hour. Long way down.

 

A slight view of the Devil´s Pulpit, a feature named for the fact that snow never settles on it.

A slight view of the Devil´s Pulpit, a feature named for the fact that snow never settles on it.

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This climb up was as steep as it looks.

This climb up was as steep as it looks.

Obligatory self shot when I was just gassed

Obligatory self shot when I was just gassed

 

Wow

Wow

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One of my favorites from the day. Absolutely no one around.

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Rocky Wasteland

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Far-Out Flor

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We were waiting for the lechero (milk truck) to come by and it was kind of raining on us during the 2 hours hike to the road so it was a welcome surprise to turn the corner and see a view like this at 6:45 AM.

Chase on the lechero

Chase on the lechero

On our way up to camp, we left some things at Hacienda La Esperanza in  anticipation of passing the next night there.  Incredible people and nice views from the start.

On our way up to camp, we left some things at Hacienda La Esperanza in anticipation of passing the next night there. Incredible people and nice views from the start.

 

The view on the way up through the Paramo when the rain finally gave me a moment.

The view on the way up through the Paramo when the rain finally gave me a moment.

Triumphant at our campsite, right outside the caves.

Triumphant at our campsite, right outside the caves.

The next morning we got to see the summit that Chase nearly got to.

The next morning we got to see the summit that Chase nearly got to.

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Approaching the nada

Approaching the nada

 

Glorious (and chilly)

Glorious (and chilly)

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Yep, not going to camp right here...

Yep, not going to camp right here…

The cave on the left is where we spent the night.  It fit around 3 tents and we met a nice Italian couple there who brought the good weather vibes with them.

The cave on the left is where we spent the night. It fit around 3 tents and we met a nice Italian couple there who brought the good weather vibes with them.

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This little guy is endemic to the region and we spied  them all over the place during our sunny walk down.

This little guy is endemic to the region and we spied them all over the place during our sunny walk down.

 

More funky plants

More funky plants

The beginning of day 4, hiking into the northern section of the park.

The beginning of day 4, hiking into the northern section of the park.

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The army was serious about this part of the country.

The army was serious about this part of the country.

Spot the chase!

Spot the chase!

Remind me to not gamp the next place I go

Remind me to not gamp the next place I go

 

Over Thar and Into the Fog

Over Thar and Into the Fog

Funny Face

Funny Face

 

Watercolors

Watercolors

My glimpse of the second glaciar

My glimpse of the second glaciar

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Our just reward: walking an hour to some closed hot springs.  But Chase spotted this local place and it was amazing!

Our just reward: walking an hour to some closed hot springs. But Chase spotted this local place and it was amazing!

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Cartagena and Tayrona National Park

We had only a short 4 or 5 days up in the north of Colombia…too short.  But we did get to see the old city of Cartagena on a beautiful day.  From there we headed to Santa Marta and then on to spend 2 nights in the fabled Parque Tayrona.  Paradise.

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I hadn´t broken out the 50 lens in a while so I decided to give it a try for the afternoon. It really forced me to try out some new angles after being used to the zoom lens.

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Typical colorful square

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The dapper Chase

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Old fortifications designed to keep the pirates at bay. Never used.

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Gigantic lizard on the trail into Tayrona

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Trekking into the campsite

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Where we spent an afternoon

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Perfect

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View from the point

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We bid farewell to Sam and Emma shortly after this shot. It was wonderful traveling with such a lovely couple!

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Colombia So Far…

Been out of the loop for a while.  Conditions (threat of constant rain) have meant that I haven’t taken any pictures with the good camera so here are some phone pictures.  We went through Salenta and the Cocora Valley, then to Medellin and Guatape and are now headed up to the coast.

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Chase up on the Paramo, the high mountain around 3700 meters.

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The gnarly worm we came across on the muddy path down. We fell six times between us.

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Downtown Medellin

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The colorful streets of Guatape

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Amazing 360 panorama from the top of La Piedra

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The first man to summit the rock

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Biggest ball pit ever?

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Parque Arvi right outside Medellin

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Galapagos 3

Here are the land photos covering the last 2-3 days.  So much of what we saw and did is not represented here due to the fact it took underwater.  Oh well!

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Galapagos 2

From the mid-section of our voyage.

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Tunnels

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Our boat and some friends

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Pretty darn near perfect

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Jason´s head crap shell

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Sailing away from shark-infested waters (the best kind!)

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Doin´ a little dance

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Fearless Lava Lizards

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Frigate Birds, big birds

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Puffed up and successful male frigate bird

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An Iguana´s favorite food

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Galapagos 1

Our trip around the islands is hard to put into words.

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The mad dash

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These guys were minutes old and had zero chance of making it with the circling frigate birds so we were allowed to hold them.

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Hilarious Venezuelan couple and our guide, Roberto

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Swiss Martin

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Big ol´ Land Iguana

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The seagull´s cooler cousin

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Sam Impressing

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Sea Lion pup

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GODZILLA

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Puerto Lopez and First Day in the Galapagos

We spent a couple days visitng a friend of mine on the beach before going to the islands and while the weather was less than stellar, we still had a great time.  After spending so much time up in the mountains, it was a welcome change to see so much wildlife and vegetation.  Most of these pics are from our first day (today) at and near Puerto Ayora before we head out on the boat.  Charles Darwin Center and Las Grietas were the main places.

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Where was this bus going or coming from?

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As a friend pointed out, these are right from Horton Hears a Who

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The crabs wanted no part of us

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On the intersecting point of two beaches and currents

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In the tortoise refuge

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I saw him once at least!

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Around 1 year I believe

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WHAT YOU LOOKIN AT?

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Sooooo, what´s for breakfast?

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Hope

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Yeah what?

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The man responsible for our clean faces and shorter hair

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Master of his Domain

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Tiny Bit of Lima & Huacachina

The Lima pictures are first because I took them with my phone but we were in Huacachina before that.  We spent only one day in Lima which is unfortunate but I´m sure I´ll be back at some point.

 

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One of the many churches, San Francisco I believe

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Catacombs!

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We weren´t supposed to take photos, but I could not resist

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Presidential Palace

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They love their Plazas de Armas´

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BUGGY!!!

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Our first sandboarding hill

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Beautiful Desert

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Sunset in the desert, not bad at all

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cleaning sand out of my head for days after this dive

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