This is just an archive of previous front pages.If you've not looked at this
site for a while (and who can blame you) then this will give you some idea as
to what might have changed.
Newest update: 28th March (day 312)
After Costa Rica, we crossed into Western Panama where we visited another cloud forest and had an entertaining time with the car and a local mechanic. Then it was onto Panama City, for the canal, carnival and a failed attempt to sell the car. After that we had a well-earned rest in the beautiful San Blas Islands (a good one for all those who complain there aren't enough photos of us).
After not selling the car, we have to take it back to Texas. We started the return journey at speed: six countries in seven days (it might sound tedious, but bent cops, missing bridges and other hazards make this a different kind of road trip). Then, a little more tourism on Mexico's gulf coast before crossing the border to Texas. This message comes from an Austin motel, where we're waiting for someone (anyone) to buy the car.
Picture of the week. A little ford along the Honduran highway. The main road to the capital of the country, and it's rather substantially incomplete.
Newest update: 5th March (day 291)
Four weeks and two new countries since the last update! I hope our loyal fans haven't been suffering too many withdrawl symptoms: it all comes down to the availability of telecommunications.
Obviously it's even longer than that: but the next update will explain what's happened since 5th March. The summary is that we could not sell the car in Panama, so we are now involved in a mad dash north toward Texas where we will hopefully have more luck. This is nowhere near as boring as it might sound, and we will be updating shortly with a number of tales of bent cops and even benter roads.
We spent a few days in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa before moving on to a cloud forest at La Tigra. Whilst in Tegucigalpa, we spent a day doing jobs: not that interesting, but if anyone wants to know what we do when we're not photographing things, then this may offer some insight.
Then we slipped over the border to Nicaragua, where we started off with the motor-mouth people of Léon before moving on to Managua and Granada. Nicaragua is just about the friendliest place we've been yet, a charming and relaxing ambience and people who love to talk.
The last country in this update is Costa Rica. We started with a visit to the giant turtles at Playa Grande, and then moved on to the beautiful cloud forest nature reserve of Monteverde. From there, we wandered through eastern Costa Rica, including bird watching at 8,000 feet, Costa Rica's capital - San Jose - and an idyllic tropical beach at Manuel Antonio.
Picture of the week. Holey road, Nicaragua. This should give you some idea of just how bad an idea driving through Central America at night would be. The rainy season finished months ago, but so far they've only filled in the really big holes.
Newest update: 6th February (day 263)
We finished up in Mexico by visiting Villahermosa, our entrant for the "Mexico's crummiest city competition".
Then we turned south. It took three days to get the whole way across Mexico and Guatemala and two more days to zip through El Salvador and on into Honduras. This involved crappy roads and bureaucratic nightmare border crossings. The second border crossing (including the second bribed policeman of the trip) is instructive.
Our first posting from Honduras covers the small but nice colonial town of Santa Rosa de Copan and the last of the Mayan sites at Copan. After that, we headed for the north coast and some tropical relaxation at Tela.
Picture of the week. Two this week. Mangrove roots in the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Punta Izopo, Northern Honduras, and a beautiful sculpture from Copan
Newest update: 25th January (day 251)
So what have you done since last time? We've taken in a whole new country in the shape of Cuba. As well as lots of gratuitous anti-US sentiment in that article, we've also got our comparison. Cuba vs. Mexico? Communism vs. capitalism? Who's the winner? Click here to read our findings in four areas of critical importance.
Also we have a last word on the delights of the Yucatan, and yet more ruins at and around Palenque.
Picture of the week. Door lintel, Yaxchilan. Stunning carvings abound on the underside of door lintels throughout this beautiful Mayan site, deep in the jungle on the Mexican-Guatemalan border.
Newest update: 14th January (day 240)
Busy bees in the last nine days. We finished our time in Guatemala with a visit to the spectacular Maya ruins in the heart of the jungle at Tikal. Then we swept through Belize in three quick days, but not without enjoying some fun fauna and some bracing weather. Then we returned to Mexico for a short beach break at Tulum, and finally a whole raft of Mayan ruins in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Next stop four days in Cuba! All this circling is making the maps page look increasingly like the work of a rather drunk spider.
There's also a little bit of geekie stuff about Mayan science. This only scratches the surface, if anyone knows more then let us know.
Picture of the week. The face of Chac, the Mayan rain god. I've seen this face literally hundreds of times, often on the same temple. Still, when a civilisation of 8 million or so people decides to live on a riverless limestone plateau, you might expect rain to assume a lot of importance.
Newest update: 5th January (day 231)
We finally waved a fond farewell to Antigua Guatemala, after passing Christmas there. Then we moved onto the highlands of Guatemala for a while, most notably the colourful market at Chichicastenango. Then it was on to Lago Atitlan to chill out and await the new year. Finally, we headed east for the ruins of Quiriguá and the Rio Dulce.
Picture of the week. The market at Chichicastenango. A vivid sprawl of people sporting their traditional dress, not to mention just about anything that anyone might conceivably want to buy.
Newest update: 22nd December (day 217)
We've been in one place for the last twenty days: the longest stop for seven months. We're learning Spanish in Antigua Guatemala, where the living is easy and not even my first homework for seventeen years can make me feel fed up.
Also, whilst in Antigua, we've found time - mostly at the weekends - for some trips out of town. This article also has most (if not all) of this update's best one-liners.
Picture of the week. Exploding volcano. Not one of the great pictures, but the sight of red hot rock spurting out of the ground makes this one unmissable.
Newest update: 2nd December (day 197)
So, now over six months on the road, and still no major illnesses, accidents or other unpleasantness, and we're into our third country.
First, Mexico's third city: Puebla. From there, we went east to Oaxaca, a name which is pronounced "WaaHAAcaa" (and don't bother asking for directions if you don't know that). From there, we went past various attractions including a seriously overweight tree onto Tuxtla Gutierrez. Next stop San Cristobal de Las Casas, for a little Mayan culture.
Finally, the big border crossing into Guatemala, and our first night there in Huehuetenango.
Two pictures of the week. First, Fun prehispanic pottery. The most notable thing that disappeared from local art when the Conquistadors arrived was the sense of humour. Second,
Pomegranate. Yum yum.
Public Health Warning from Jan: 'The camera can lie'. David has become very good at 'doctoring' photos. Mainly this means improving them no end. But I am afraid where this will end...
Newest update: 22nd November (day 187)
9 days since the last update. We spent a few days in big, bad, scary Mexico City. Then, after a brief interlude* we headed for the ruins of Teotihuacan and a couple of other archaeological sites.
*More about that brief interlude. As our regular readers will know, we've been selflessly blazing a trail through the U.S. and Mexico for some time, just to bring you these pages. Well, this has been such hard work that we felt that we deserved a holiday from the holiday. So there.
Pictures of the week: Voladores rite
Newest update: 2nd November (day 167)
Three weeks since the last update, and a bumper crop of new stuff as
a result. This is our first posting from Mexico: hopefully by now we've
mastered the technology and the next one won't be so delayed.
After we crossed the Mexican border, our first two nights were spent
in the town of Hermosillo, where we recorded
those all important first impressions of this country. Since then we've
moved on through the US retirement home of Alamos,
to the splendid Copper Canyon, then a whistle
stop tour through various towns and adventures from Los Mochis to Zacatecas. There's also a few reflections on driving
Entries have been pouring in for our second
competition, so check that out. The closing date isn't until approximately
when we say so, so there may still be time.
Finally, two for all the geeks out there.
First, ever wondered how useful those image manipulation programs like
Paint Shop Pro are? Take a look at Alamos
Church, which is linked to the picture before I reprocessed
it. Pretty scary stuff.
Finally, check out the new maps page,complete
with graphical index.
update: 11th October (day 145)
Since last time, we've been on a whistle stop tour, passing through
several sites in quick succession. Fortunately, all that activity has been
followed by a most pleasant holday from the holiday, courtesy of our splendid
Los Angelenan hosts, Sarah, Rod, Rebecca and James. Living in such civilised
circumstances makes a most pleasant change.
In summary: a quick visit to (yet) another slot canyon, this one called
Pass. Then we moved on to the heat of Mojave
Desert and then Death Valley. The article about these deserts is not
only amusing (I think), but also contains
our latest competition. Don't miss it.Thoroughly cooked, we exited stage
west for the
High Sierra of Lone Pine, Yosemite
and King's Canyon. This all ended with a little meditation amid the trees
of Giant Sequoia National Park.
Photo of the week: rock
textures from Wire Pass. Let's hope this goes a little way towards
explaining our slot canyon fetish.
|Newest update: 23rd September
Three more national parks since our last update.
First, Bryce Canyon, all picture postcard rock
formations. Then, Zion, monumental cliff faces,
plunging canyons and glorious scenery. Finally, the Grand
Canyon. All splendid in different ways, my favourite was Zion.
Now, the last time I posted something intended to annoy*, I got just
one response, and that was agreement. This just isn't good enough: either
no-one's looking at this or it's too hard to find the good bits. Hence
the new-look front page.
*this was the middle-sized
town America bit: perhaps you do all agree....
|Newest update: 12th September
Only seven days since the last posting, but we've
been stunned by the scenery more times than you'd imagine. The rock formations
of southern Utah are unique, and we've also discovered the beauty and fun
of slot canyons (please excuse the profusion of photos of the latter, but
we are rather smitten).
The full story: first we went to Dead
Horse Point for a sunset, and were so taken that we drove under it
the next day. That took us to Canyonlands National
Park, where a nail-biting dirt road led us to our first slot canyon.
After that, it was on to Capitol Reef National
Park, another slot and a host of beautiful vistas. And finally to Escalante,
the USA's newest National Monument, for yet more slot canyons, and other
bewitching rock formations.
Last but certainly not least in this episode,
a couple more entrants in Pedants
corner (thanks to Neil
Evans for nitpicking and classical references, and to Mark
Leonard for comprehensive research on a small but vital grammatical
|Newest update: 5th September
Lots of activity since the last update. First
a day at Dinosaur National Monument, scene
of a thousand big bones, then a lengthy sojourn in Rocky
Mountain National Park (six days under canvas left us a little smelly).
Finally, a couple of days enjoying the rocks of Arches
Also new in this episode is a new rant on the
subject of middle-sized town US. Nothing
very offensive has appeared on this site recently, hopefully this will
go some way to rectifying that
|Newest update: 24th August
Since the last update, we've "done" Wyoming and
Montana. For those who've had just about enough of adventures in National
Parks, take a look at our tour of small-town Montana,
which involved a lot of local colour and no hiking at all. For those that
are enjoying the parks, there's Yellowstone
and Grand Teton. And there's a new section
dedicated to wildflowers.
Our more eagle eyed readers may spot that that
activity doesn't quite fill the elapsed time since our last posting. The
reason for this is quite simple... you may remember that we had taken the
car in for a quick oil change a week earlier in Boise. The full story is
rather tedious, but suffice it to say that should someone called Sheldon
ever volunteer to change your car oil, just say no. If he insists, remind
him that any plugs he plans to remove should be screwed back in carefully,
particularly if they are designed to keep oil in the vicinity of the rear
differential. The rest is history, but at this time we would like to commend
Dave and Mike of Flat Creek Auto, Jackson, without whose expert assistance
we would be rather more days later than we already are.
|Newest update: 10th August
First in this update, one last picture
from Alaska of a brown bear. This
follows a brief encounter between our 'normal' camera and some scanning
technology, so should be of interest to nature fans and to geeks.
It took 6 days to get from Redwood NP, across
Oregon and Idaho, to Grand Teton NP. In between, we had a few days' R+R
in Boise, whitewater rafting nearby, a visit to the "Craters of the Moon
National Monument", and a lot of beautiful scenery, notably the Sawtooth
Mountains. Click here for the full story of our
own private Idaho, not to mention movie reviews.
|Newest update: 4th August
Eleven action packed days later, there's a profusion
of new stuff this time. We've been to Mount
St. Helens, and on through the Oregon Coast. Then a pleasant sojourn
in Crater Lake National Park, courtesy of
Christylee and Nicole, followed by a brief stop at the Oregon
Caves National Monument and finally back to backpacking in Redwood
National Park, an awe-inspiring location. Makes me feel tired just
|Newest update: 23rd July
Well, ten days since the last update, and the
first phone socket for six nights (spent the last five in the tent).
Since we last wrote we got the car mended in Seattle (broken petrol gauge)
and visited the Olympic National Park. This involved flying visits to Hurricane
Ridge and Lake Ozette, and then our biggest wilderness adventure yet,
a five day/four night hike up the "Hoh River trail".
Newest update: 13th July
Wow! Ten days since the last update, and a lot
of stuff to report. The main action has been visits to North
Cascades National Park and to Mount Rainier
National Park. In between times, we had a small adventure in somewhere
called the Coloclaun Pass. That includes
some wildflower photos: and there are
some more flowers on a belated Alaskan
As well as all that, I've added some more information
to the car page, in response to various questions
from our readership. This includes a small discussion
with one Mark Leonard about the role of the car in popular American culture.
There's also new stuff on the Readers'
comments page, including questions about who writes what, the technology
in use, and finally our first readers' trip joke!
Finally, we declared the competition
After much deliberation, we've decided to award first prize to Amanda Brainyperson
for getting the answer correct, even though Paul Smoothtalker was more
sycophantic. So Amanda, please collect your $100 prize whenever you next
see us in person (offer expires on December 31st).
|Newest update: 3rd July
Since the last update, we went
from Homer to Anchorage, and hung around in Anchorage for a few days.
Then we bid a sad farewell to Billie, and flew back to Seattle to begin
our tour of the other 48 states.
Step one in that tour has been the purchase of
a splendid vehicle for the journey.
We had a few more general reflections on our six
weeks in Alaska. You can get at these from the odds
and ends section.
We also added a couple of new photos to the old
to Valdez page, one of the trans-Alaska
pipeline and one of the Worthington
Finally, don't forget that one way to see the
summary of the Alaskan trip is to look at newly working clickable map.
|Newest update: 25th June
A lot of travelling since the last
update. In summary, Denali-Fairbanks,
we finally sat still in Homer for a while.
Health warning: a lot of that isn't that
exciting. We had a whale of a time with the scenery, and the animals, and
the local colour (i.e. bars) but you may not.
We also finally got the clickable map
working, it's a doddle this html stuff.
|Newest update: 16th June
On the 11th and 12th, we travelled
from Juneau to Denali National Park. Then we stayed
in the park from the 13th-16th. Sorry about the lack of updates, but
the park has a lot more bears than telephone sockets...
Also, by popular demand!! The readers'
comments page! (well, when I say popular demand, I'm really
talking about a few terminal geeks who find this interesting. Anyway, there
Competition update: see the readers'
Our more eagle-eyed readers may have spotted a
dearth of information about the events of the 9th and 10th of June. Well,
Well, the 9th was spent touring Juneau city, fairly unremarkably: the museums
there are especially unremarkable. The 10th was yet another hike: hugely
enjoyable for us, but do you really need a description of a Porcupine up
at tree? I think not.
|Newest update: 8th June.
We're in Juneau. There are a couple of new pages.
One talks about the hikes we've been doing around
here. The other describes Glacier
Bay, for which words are hardly adequate, but is in any case a highlight
Our competition is generating
keen interest: three entries already. One is clearly correct (hi Amanda)
but needless to say that isn't necessarily enough to be a winner. Entries
will be accepted "for a while".
A popular addition from the last update was Alaskan
boat people. Alternatively, refer to either history
of previous updates, or the day by day
and odds and ends buttons at the top
of this page to get at previous articles.
|Newest update: 3rd June.
Major update: five new pages and
lots of pictures to boot.
This update comes from Skagway, gateway to the
Goldrush of 1898. There are two pages about our adventures in Skagway:
and cycling first, and then a trip on the White
Horse and Yukon Railway.
There are also two new general pieces about Alaskan
boat people and the difference between travellers
Another addition is a history
of previous updates, useful if you haven't looked here for a while
and want to know what's changed.
Finally, question time. Are there any amateur
meteorologists out there who might want to hazard a guess as to what this
|1st June STOP PRESS!!! We just got to Skagway - now, finally, north
of the top bit of Scotland - and it hasn't rained for 48 hours! Those of
you who have been following these pages carefully will know that this represents
something of a breakthrough, and won't be surprised to hear that we've
been taking full advantage to hike around like mad. None of this leaves
time for boring stuff like updating web sites, so you'll have to wait a
few days to hear the full story of the assault on the AB mountain.
In the meantime, there's a couple of new photos on the Ketchikan
page, and a new page about Sitka.
|28th May today, and we're in Sitka. It's still
bleedin' raining, something that it has done pretty much non-stop for a
week (we did get one day off).
We also added a picture of a totem
pole to the Ketchikan page.
|May 26th, and we're in Ketchikan. Raing
|Juat arrived in Ketchikan following the
ferry ride from Bellingham.
The main feature of this, our first Alaskan stop, was water. They got around
190 inches of rain last year, and most of this year's ration has fallen
in the last 24 hours. It isn't actually raining at this precise moment,
but it clearly hasn't finished for today yet.|