January 18, 2000
I am sorry that we have been so out of touch over the last week, and have been largely unable to respond to e-mails.
Much of that time we have been on the VERY remote Cayos Cochinos (Hog Islands) in the Bay Islands off the Caribbean coast of Honduras. We decided after visiting the fantastic Mayan archeological site and museum at Copan Ruinas that we were in need of a “break” from traveling. Our plan had been to go to Oaxaca, Mexico for a fascinating 2 weeks of Mexican culture, crafts and art. We decided that a “rest” from the stimulation of traveling would help us get the most out of our experiences (and would allow us to catch up on journal writing and home schooling, which went wonderfully in Costa Rica but slipped in Guatemala with the rapid travel and activity pace, intense cultural stimulation, and holiday festivities). In addition, we were graciously invited by the Guatemalan Young Presidents’ Organization chapter to join a fantastic event which would have caused us to backtrack from Oaxaca, through Mexico City back to Guatemala City to camp and join a YPO Family hike up the volcano at Lake Atitlan with Guatemala’s national climber!! The combination of the activity and the group was too good to pass up.
We chose Plantation Beach Resort as the most remote and relaxing place to go – it is a 20 mile boat ride from La Ceiba on the Honduran coast, is owned and run by Gringos, and has only 10 rooms (we are the only guests – apparently this is not peak diving season), great snorkeling (this is really a dive resort – surrounded by what is reportedly some of the finest reefs in the world – the kids LOVE IT and we are now thinking about the Great Barrier Reef in Australia), a picture perfect setting, great food (too much-even with long swims every day!), even a VCR to watch movies in the evening – it is best described as paradise (although with voracious sand flies!).
Communications, however, were very marginal – The phone/fax service is a wire connection from the hotel to a tower on the high point on the island, then a private UHF connection to a tower on the mainland in La Ceiba, then a connection into the Honduran phone system. The phone regularly cuts you off (if you get a dial tone, and if it connects) within 1 minute — people think that the problem is related to battery power at the antenna, but no one really seems to have a clue. The e-mail runs through a modem into the phone system and then a connection into their ISP, Tropico, which is an experience in itself. E-mail cuts off with the same frequency as the phones, but with A LOT of patience you can sometimes send very brief e-mails. (although there was no service whatsoever for the 2 days that the Boston Globe reporter was trying to reach us to ‘Fact Check” for her article!)
Over the next few days we are posting several new entries to the website. Please give us any feedback, suggestions, etc., for improving the site. Thanks.
Hope all is well, and please stay in touch
Dick and Crew