ENTRIES FROM THE GLOBAL TRIP BLOG CHRONICLES

Accentuate The Positive, Eliminate The Negative

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted November 29, 2007

DAY 5:  “What is there to do here?” Camilla had asked Leon, the bartender at Lazy Lizards near the Split in Caye Caulker.

“Nothing,” the big bear of a bartender answered after giving it some thought.  “Snorkel…  This is the relaxation island.”

Camilla and I had heard similar answers from other travelers: 

“There’s not much to do here but look for a snorkel tour or do nothing.”

“It’s nice, but I think you only need a couple of days here.”

With that said, Camilla and I packed up and hopped aboard the first water taxi back to the mainland.

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Little Caesar’s Apocalypto

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted November 30, 2007

DAY 6:  In Mel Gibson’s Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto (that’s not a typo; he egotistically augmented his director credit to the title), a lone Mayan runs for his life to avoid being sacrificed by his Mayan rulers, during the fall of the Mayan empire.  The Oscar-nominated film of 2006 was Mel Gibson’s last directorial effort before he went on a drunken public anti-Semitic tirade, putting him in the ranks of other embarrassing tirades alongside Michael “Kramer” Richards against African-Americans, and Kanye West against U.S. presidents who “don’t like black people.”

I never actually saw Mel Gibson’s Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, nor does it matter, for this blog entry is Little Caesar’s version of the Mayan civilization:  Erik Trinidad’s Little Caesar’s Apocalypto.

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Pondering of Pig’s Milk

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted November 30, 2007

DAY 7:  After a nice day of leisure in Flores, our traveler’s quartet was fully rested for the seven-hour southbound ride to Semuc Champey, a national park known for its waterfalls, caves, and pools in the middle of the jungle.  We were all making headway to the Guatemalan sites in the south, and Semuc Champey served as the perfect stopping point in the middle to break up the trip.  The Berkeleys, Camilla and I collectively opted to take a tourist minivan with a trustworthy travel agency who did our laundry for us.

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Slick Shoes

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted December 02, 2007

DAY 8:  I’ve titled this entry “Slick Shoes,” figuring that many of you readers out there of my generation will understand that it is a reference to the movie The Goonies, the immortal Spielburg/Columbus movie of the 80s where a bunch of Oregonian kids hike through watery underground passageways in search of the lost treasure of pirate One-Eyed Willy.  Slick shoes are of course, shoes that squirt out an oil slick via a mechanism in the heel, so that chasing bad guys can slip and fall, providing an easier getaway.  In the movie, they are invented by the Asian character named Data — and it’s already been established by a Frenchman on this trip (in Caye Caulker) that I “look like [him.]”

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Karma

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted December 02, 2007

DAY 9: In the reality show The Amazing Race, competing teams of two sometimes form alliances to help each other out in times of need.  For the past couple of days, I had already been helping out Jim of the Berkeley team by lending him my cell phone a couple of times to call his bank, Washington Mutual, back in California; the Berkeleys hadn’t declared that they were going to use their card overseas and were blocked from using it.  So far, Jim had run up some long, expensive phone calls in attempts to get it active again, with no luck just yet.

“I can loan you money if you want,” I offered.  I’d been in the situation many times before and knew what they were going through. 

“I think we’ll be okay,” Jim said, optimistic in his next opportunity to try out another ATM machine.

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A Coffee Story

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted December 04, 2007

DAY 10:  “Oooh!  Real coffee!” raved Camilla.  “It’s so good to have a good cup of coffee.”  As a former barista of a Seattle’s Best in Portland, OR, my traveling companion was a bit of a coffee snob — as many Americans have become in our contemporary coffee culture.  So far in Central America (and in other developing nations I’d been), we consumed coffee as the locals did — with hot water and instant coffee granules that locals were accustomed to through their upbringings in regions dominated by instant coffee pushing cartels like NestlĂ©.

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Nocturnal Eruptions

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted December 04, 2007

DAY 11:  “‘Camilla Versus The Volcano?’” Camilla suggested.

“I already have an ‘Erik Versus The Volcano,’” I informed her.  Knowing we were to be booked on a volcano hiking tour that evening, we were discussing possible blog entry titles at breakfast.  I was telling her that I already used a nod to the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie, Joe Vs. The Volcano, as well as a nod to Dr. Evil in Austin Powers with an entry titled, “Liquid Hot Magma.”

“Nocturnal eruptions?” Camilla suggested.

“How about ‘Lookin’ For Some Hot Stuff?’” I said.  She laughed.

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A Three-Hour Tour

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted December 04, 2007

DAY 12:  I met a girl from Arizona at the Bagel Barn that morning who I struck up a conversation with.  As we waited for the next brew to finish, I told her about my coming day trip to Lake Atitlan.  “Have you been?” I asked her.

“Yeah,” she told me. 

“How is it?”

“It’s nice.  It’s different from here,” she told me.  “It’s not like tourism here; it’s a lot more poor.  People will keep coming to you.  You’ll see.”

“Okay.”

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Disbanded Until The Bay

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted December 05, 2007

DAY 13:  When I started this trip the day before Thanksgiving, I anticipated traveling solo, not knowing exactly if that seemingly random person I’d been chatting with on-line would actually meet up with me.  SBR Camilla did actually appear, and we got along fine, and so I had been traveling with her for twelve days since that afternoon we met at the basketball court on Caye Caulker in Belize.  Together, we traveled for a few days until we encountered “the Berkeleys” Jim and Tilu, who were also worthy companions to travel with, all the way from Tikal and down through the jungle to Antigua, Guatemala. 

But like all good things, it would all come to an end.

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Logos

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour"
Posted December 06, 2007

DAY 14:  The minivan driver had just dropped Camilla off at the Guatemala City airport and rushed back into the city to drop off the rest of the passengers going to buses of varied destinations.  My bus was to be a “luxury” bus run by Tica, a private bus company with their own stations, servicing the major cities of Central America, from Mexico to Panama.  I would take it to the next major city on their route, from Guatemala City to San Salvador (translation: “Saint Salvador”), capital of the almost eponymous El Salvador (“The Salvador.”)

I had paid for my ticket at the gRuta Maya tour agency in Antigua who gave me a not-so-official-looking bus ticket on their standard form with their logo on top.  “[Is this the ticket?]” I asked.

“Si.”

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ABOUT ERIK R. TRINIDAD

When he’s not making a living as an interactive/motion designer or playing with fast food, Erik R. Trinidad is a travel writer, blogger, video host and producer focusing on adventure and culinary content. His work has been featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Adventure.com, Discovery.com, Saveur, CondĂ© Nast Traveler, and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why, which also includes the work of Tim Cahill, Doug Lansky, Jennifer Leo and Rolf Potts. He has also referenced his travel experiences in his solo book, Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended.

For over ten years, Erik has traveled to the seven continents of the world — from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo — with a curiosity for exotic foods and a thirst for adventure (and writing material).  In his travels, he has been mugged at knifepoint in Cape Town, extorted by corrupt Russian police on the Trans-Siberian Railway, stranded in tornadic storms in the American midwest, and air-lifted off the Everest Trail by a helicopter that was thankfully paid for by his travel insurance.  But it hasn’t been all fun; he has also donned a tuxedo amidst the penguins of Antarctica, paraded with Carnival-winning samba school Beija Flor in Rio, run for his life at Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls,” cage-dived with great white sharks, gotten shot point-blank in the stomach in Colombia (while wearing a bulletproof jacket), and above all, encountered many people around the world, including some Peruvian musicians in Cuzco who learned and played “Y.M.C.A.” at his request. He loves the irony that, after everywhere he’s been, he has never been to Mexico.

Erik writes stories and news articles when he’s at his base camp in New York City, and continues his blog when he is on the road — provided he’s not occupied tracking down lost luggage.

Additional news/article clippings at ErikTrinidad.com.



See Erik talk about travel in an American Express ad:



Read about Erik in this feature article from Filipinas magazine by National Geographic Traveler Associate Editor Amy Alipio.



The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
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