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Us Discovering the Latin Americas

a travel blog by ryan & debbrial



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Ryan's Dreadlocks

Los Angeles, United States


Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California

First of all I want to set your minds at ease just a little. When most people think of dreadlock they think gross, dirty hair you don’t wash for weeks or even months, it has tons of dirt and wax and grease and bugs in it. But this is just a misconception. I guess for some people this could be the case and some people do try to create dreadlocks themselves by putting a bunch of products in their hair then tangling it all up. But most people and Ryan went to a professional dreadlock hair dresser (it’s a pretty chill job that makes good money actually). So for Ryan's dreadlocks the only product he used was a relaxer to make the hair more workable; then it was washed out. After it was dry the guy took a small section of hair and started backcombing it till the hair was in a big knot. Then he used his fingers to twist it up and used string to tie it off. And repeat...and repeat..... About 5 hours later he was tying off the last one. So no dirt, no grease and definitely no NO Washing. It can be washed as often as Normal hair.

Since pictures speak a thousand words I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.




permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 1, 2009 from Los Angeles, United States
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Flying Out

Los Angeles, United States


We went to check-in to our flight on line and only to find out that it was cancelled. Oh crap!! What a way to start an adventure as big as this. After sitting on the phone for an hour we ended up getting rebooked for an early flight (like 6:45AM) with a layout in Mexico City.


permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 5, 2009 from Los Angeles, United States
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First Night in Mexico

Cancun, Mexico


So we made it here to Cancun and the weather is great, about 32c and 90% humidity. After hanging out at the airport, getting adjusted and doing some people watching we got a cab to our hostel. It is a lot nicer than we expected. Clean sheets, towels and room. We also saw we had a roommate, an Australian girl. She has been traveling for 2 months; starting in Mexico City and around the Gulf of Mexico to Cancun. Next we hit the town to find a bank, a place to exchange currency and have dinner. Now its time for bed. Night!!!


permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 6, 2009 from Cancun, Mexico
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Maria Sabina

Playa del Carmen, Mexico


A morning in Cancun was all we needed to decide to move down the road. So after having breakfast and collecting all our stuff we walk back and forth on Tulum Ave. trying to find ADO (the bus station). Finally after completely backtracking twice we found it. (I guess we lost this Amazing Race challenge LOL)
About a hour later on the bus we arrived in [[Mexico/Playa-del-Carmen]] to be greeted by what I can only explain as the jolly beach bum of the town. He lead us to the hostel we were looking for anyways and gave us hiStory lesson of Maria Sabina; whom the hostel was named after. After hearing his Story and seeing her picture on the wall we thought of her as the pioneer of the Mexican Hippies with a joint in her mouth and a handful of mushrooms.


permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 7, 2009 from Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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Just Chill'n

Playa del Carmen, Mexico


Today is our second day in [[Mexico/Playa-del-Carmen]] and we are already taking advantage of its beauty and warm temperatures. Last night we went for a sunset swim. The air was about 85 degrees and the water was like 78 degrees. The farther we swam out the warmer it got. Weird.
But before our swim we went to the Super Walmart to bye groceries for the next few days. We already figured out it is way to expensive to go out to eat for every meal. So we bought things like Sandwich meat, bread, cheese, tuna, fruit, granola bars, eggs, yogurt, etc. This hostel and most have kitchens so we are planning to stick to cooking in.
Anyways after our swim, a Sandwich for dinner and a walk down the main strip we came back to the hostel and hung out with a group other travelers in the main lounge area for a few hours.

So today, we are back to taking advantage of this beautiful place. We got up walked down to the beach (about a 100 yards) to take pictures. Then we came back put all our stuff down and went back to the beach for a 200 yard swim and long walk.


permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 8, 2009 from Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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Jardin del Eden

X-Puha, Mexico


Today was an awesome day. We got up early went about our business and then went downstairs to meet up with a group of other travelers in our hostel to go to a cenote . We had all planned this over beers the night before when one of the hostel workers, Joe, said he wanted to take us. So in the group was Joe, Ryan and I, one guy from Japan and two girls; one from Hungary and one from Argentina. So we hopped on a bus and headed south for about 20 minutes then were dropped off on the side of the freeway. Joe directed us down a dirt road and lined with canopy trees were we finally came to the entrance of Jardin del Eden Cenotes.
The sight was breathtaking!!! Hard to describe in words but there were lots of lush green trees, moss covered rocks, pretty birds, iguanas, and tiki huts all surrounding a huge cool, crystal clear natural swimming pool. After our long hot walk we were all ecstatic to jump off the rocks into the water.
We swam around the cenote for a while then later Joe brought us snorkel goggles to explore the fish, eels and underwater rock caves/ tunnels. We did a couple practice dives then made the “big plunge” for the 10 second tunnel. Needless to say we made it through; thought it hurt our ears a bit but was soooo much fun. About halfway through the day it started pouring rain which was warm and refreshing and perfect because the mosquitoes were driving us crazy. The cenote was absolutely amazing.

After the cenote Ryan and I broke off from the group and went to Xcaret for a night show. The show was in a large stadium outdoor theatre with the performance area in the center and at a lower level so the audience could look down on it. It started with a reenactment of the Mayan life including two competition games they use to play; “Butt Ball” and “Fireball Hockey”. Ryan said he wanted to start playing the blazing fireball hockey when we get back home. Anyways the rest of the show was pretty much a musical describing Spanish invasion and life after through traditional dances and songs from each region of Mexico. We both really enjoyed the show.

In the meantime, back at the hostel all the guys running the hostel put on a hosted BBQ every Friday night for the guests. Luckily we got back from the show just as the meat was going on the grill and everyone started partying. So we cleaned up from the already long day and continued the fun. We sat around the lounge area eating, drinking and talking with about 25 other travelers and 20 locals. Ryan and I hit it off really well with a Norwegian couple, about our age. They are going to be here (Playa del Carmen) for a couple more days but we are hoping to meet up with and travel with them in Belize. Anyways about 2-3 hours later, a group of 10 of us went to the disco/ club district. We all danced together and I started learning Salsa from the Argentinean girl. After dancing for about an hour or two we came back home and went to bed. What a long but super fun day!!!




permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 9, 2009 from X-Puha, Mexico
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X-Puha, Mexico




permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 9, 2009 from X-Puha, Mexico
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Tulum Ruins

Tulum, Mexico


We got into Tulum yesterday (Sunday). It was a 45 minute bus ride from Playa del Carmen but seem a bit longer. When we got here we checked into the Weary Travel Hostel, which was about a block south from the ADO bus station, then walked up and back down the town. It is a small town only about 12 blocks long with lots of fruit stands and Pizza shops. We tried the pizza it wasn’t half bad! Anyways after we walked the town back and forth we came back to the hostel, picked up our book and proceeded to read in the hammocks under the trees for a few hours.

Today was a more exciting day. We got up early packed our bags for the Tulum ruins and the beach. We got to the ruins just in time cause there were a ton of tourístas behind us. It was 1 km hot walk to the ruins so by the time we got there we were glad the ruins are right on the Caribbean cost with a cool sea breeze. Tulum isn’t one of the biggest Mayan ruins sights but it is definitely beautiful setting with lush green trees surrounding an assortment of gray stone ruin temples on large fields of green grass and the crystal blue sea in the background.

We walked around the sight taking pictures and Ryan got some really cool panoramic shots.

About an hour of this and we decided to walk down to the beach, 800 meters. This was undeniably a long hot walk on the gravel road between two jungles.

Finally we got to the beach took a swim and laid out soaking in the sun and picture-perfect scenery. Once we were cooled off and relaxed it was time to hit the hot gravel road again.

We caught a taxi back to Tulum village, walked the streets looking for tortas (Mexican sandwiches and Ryan’s favorite meal down here so far) and bought two street tacos for some drunk, haggard guy begging us for money probably to buy a beer. We decided we would rather see our money go to food for him instead though I don’t think he was very grateful but our good deed for the day. The rest of the afternoon and night we hung out at the hostel, BBQ dinner (I made my first salad down here) and meet an Australian and English guy. Ryan and them went back and forth showing their tattoos and their tattoo artists’ work online. A dozen beers later we went to bed.


permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 12, 2009 from Tulum, Mexico
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Traveling by Bus

Chetumal, Mexico


We are on a 4 hour bus ride to Chetumal, the state capital of Quintana Roo (a state of Mexico) and the most southern main town. From what we hear Chetumal is pretty much just a place to stopover en route to Belize. On the bus with us is the Australian and English guys we meet last night. Between the four of us we hope to figure out how to correctly and safely cross our first country boarders. We also learned from pervious travelers to always take a official buses across the boarders instead of taxis. One couple we meet in [[Mexico/Playa-del-Carmen]] said they took a taxi from Nicaragua to Guatemala: the police stopped the taxi and took most their money on hand. Though we never planned on taking a taxi or crossing boarders at night. Anyhow we are excited for our first boarder crossing and a new country, Belize.


permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 13, 2009 from Chetumal, Mexico
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Boarder Crossing # 1

Belize City, Belize


So back to the rest of the day. Once we got to Chetumal as a group the Australian guy, English guy and Ryan and I decided to continue onward to Belize City. This was another 4 hour ride so we bought our tickets for the next bus. Goodbye Mexico! Ooohhh almost, first we had to go through immigrant on the Mexico side. Needless to say this was not as exciting as we had anticipated. The bus stopped at the board, we all got off and handed our passports to the guard. He blabbered something off in Spanish which was translated by the bus driver and our friends that we need a tourist card. WHAT?? A tourist card we never needed one for Mexico before, I don’t remember having one last time I came here and when were we suppose to get it. So our friends showed us theirs and we realized we did get one at the airport when we arrived but threw it away at our first hostel. Oooppps. Then the guard blabbered something more pretty much saying we had to pay an extra $30 for lost documents to get out of the country. The rest of the ride including the Belize board crossing was fine. When we got off the bus in the city we realized there was also another guy and two girl travelers on our bus. So as a group of 7 we crammed in a van taxi with all our bags, pretty much sitting on top of one another, in a van which Ryan said it needed new shocks. Regardless he was really cool with stories and took us to our hostel on the North side of Belize City, the SEA Breeze Hostel.




permalink written by  ryan & debbrial on October 13, 2009 from Belize City, Belize
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We met through a mutual friend in college about 5 years ago. We were friends for about 4 years and dated for a year and half. We recently got married on Sunday, May 24, 2009.

Now for the fun part... We decided not to do the typical buy a house and settling down, instead it was sell...

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