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  • Antigua and Earth Lodge, Guatemala « Travelling Greenheart Mike
    Zi8 on loan from the CCI Thanks guys this beats the motorola phone Play around with the controls by rolling your mouse over the slideshow or click on it to open the web album page Further travel commentary and off topic musings coming soon March 12th 2010 Category Ecological place Guatemala Hiking Wwoofing Leave a Reply Cancel reply Name required Email will not be published required Website You can use

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/guate/antigua-and-earth-lodge-guatemala.html (2015-10-15)
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  • Guatemala – Lake Atitlán area « Greenheart Voyagers
    well given the normal precautions for travellers are applied Wandering around Panajachel there are abundant artesan stalls and shops selling well priced locally made goods and gifts in all shapes colours and sizes I am called amigo by street sellers countless times I had no idea I had so many friends here and I am often offered wheat or that s what it sounded like by lots of folks either racing past on their bicycles in tuk tuks or by baseball capped up youngsters trying to hawk boat trips around the lake The lake s indigenous ladies in traditional dress sell or try to everything from textiles and clothes to bananas and trinkets carrying around their weighty surplus stock on their heads in a marvellous balancing act As well as visiting Guatemalan folk a lot of gringos vacation at the lake area the beard count on the males is about the same as the head count and many backpackers head for the town of San Pedro across the lake where lodging is cheap and there s a lot on offer in the way of Spanish schools touristy shops cafés and restaurants plus a bit of fun to be had in the bars at night However when not on site at Project Nuevo Mundo I spent most time in Panajachel on the north shore staying at the wonderful Hostel El Viajero towards the lake on C Santander where the hostel manager Carlos from Guatemala looked after me very well and we shared many pleasant times together conversing about our countries The hostel has nice clean rooms good hot showers free internet wifi a kitchen for cooking and their courtyard is full of beautiful plants and flowers Like many budget hostels here they have a long way to go before being classed as green ecological but hopefully my suggestions will have made a small difference and the hostel will improve in time Panajachel Food Shopping Tips and Tops Just a few suggestions Top Tip Haggling is de rigeur for most things in Guatemala Get in there with some good natured banter to avoid paying the gringo mark up price The Market at the top of C Principal Calle Real on the outskirts of town past the church Perfectly wonderful local fresh fruit veg cheese eggs plus fish from the lake if you fancy it all sold by locals There are also some great looking well priced comedores here and some smelly meat chicken stalls plus clothing and house hold extras electronics and packaged goods galore At markets in Guate get used to having weights and measurements in good old imperial pounds and ounces pints and gallons not kilograms or litres just to confuse things a llittle more In street opposite the market look for Super Pan where you can get the cheapest bread and stodge stocking cakes to accompany a nice cup of tea in your hostel Also try the panaderia near the Church which has a huge range of tasty cakes

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/guate/guatemala-lake-atitlan-area.html (2015-10-15)
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  • Photo preview of Guatemala « Travelling Greenheart Mike
    things and soon I shall have something better for snapping the shots So just a wee preview of things here in Guatemala at Project Nuevo Mundo and around Lake Atitlán whilst I get my report written up and on the Blog Enjoy February 14th 2010 Category Uncategorized Leave a Reply Cancel reply Name required Email will not be published required Website You can use these HTML tags a href title

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/uncategorized/photo-preview-of-guatemala.html (2015-10-15)
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  • Magic Mayan marvels in Mexico! « Greenheart Voyagers
    hope to catch him another time So Friday rolled around and I took a stroll to an ecological place to stay in Cancún the only one I could locate on the internet for Downtown Not in my budget range the Hotel Rey del Caribe does look nice and offers recycling bins still v rare anywhere in Cancún has alternative sources for power and even a couple of rooms with a composting toilet In the afternoon I volunteered at the Red Cross Cruz Roja and helped box up aid food packages for the victims of the Haiti earthquake Saturday saw a visit to the laid back island of Isla Mujeres as everyone had been highly recommending it I buddied up with Joanne from NY and we shared a cab to the port A modern boat complete with on board drinks sellers and top deck musicians takes foot passengers from Cancun s Puerto Juárez to Isla The Ultramarina ferry 140 pesos return Once on the isle there are plenty of cheapish hotels or try the Hostel Poc Na down at the beach which looked fun I enjoyed a great swim from a fine sandy beach and if I d had more time I would have checked out the nature reserve located at far end of the isle Had lunch at cheap restaurant veggie huaracha rice and beans and a cold beer all cost less than 50 pesos With the wind picking up took a further stroll around top end of island had a local coffee and hopped back on the ferry to Cancún Colectivo back to bus terminal 5 pesos Well worth checking out Isla Mujeres then Next time I ll stay for a couple of nights to explore the isle properly and get to the nature reserve Monday 18th January 2010 It looked like Belize was next on the cards So it was off to the south of the Yucatan in preparation for a border crossing the following day This meant a 10 30am ADO bus Cancun to Chetumal 256 pesos five and a half hours Overcharged by taxi 50 pesos to Hostel Chetumal This is a nice family run hostel dorms around 180 pesos on Calle Sicilia and San Slavador but is not close to anything of interest or near the water front I took a local town stroll to get my bearings Chetumal has lots of shops and some big supermarkets for those stocking up before heading for Belize There s also an excellent Mayan Museum and a load of Pharmacies but don t try and buy beer from shops after 9pm for some reason they have a rule forbidding it I bought a filling and tasty spicy tamale for dinner from a place near my lodgings Fellow hostellers Anthony from Bristol and Flemish Belgian lassies Laura and Fyne were great company and we chatted and shared travellers tips and tales till bedtime Tuesday 19th January 2010 Laguna Bacalar near Chetumal Mexico Of an afternoon buddied up with hostel pals and we took shared taxi to Calle de la Independencia 15 pesos opposite Red Cross where shared taxis took the four of us 25 pesos 40km north of Chetumal to Laguna Bacalar The large lagoon 60km long allows you good possibilities to swim chill stroll around the shore and to take photos of its seven shades of blue waters Come dusk return trip to Hostel Chetumal and preparation for bus tomorrow At the hostel I checked my emails and found that Belize ex pats Richard and Alisa of colloidal silver fame were not actually in Belize as hoped but in Mérida back up in the north of the Yucatan peninsular So handbrake on change of plans and I hastily booked a bus to Mérida as I was not wishing to visit Belize without my buds being there Wednesday 20th January 2010 11am bus to Mérida 256 pesos 6 5 hours walked to Posada Casa Chelia guesthouse www casachalia com Greeted by affable Belgian co owner Jan Did an evening stroll around town up street 62 to the Zócalo main square and checked out a couple of the other fine plazas The squares were busy with people performing and singing to the crowds chatting chilling on the benches or having their shoes polished I grabbed a couple of bits for dinner and headed back to the hostel keen to see more in the light of day tomorrow About Mérida What to see Plaza Mayor shaded by giant laurel trees for locals to relax chat and enjoy free internet Seen as the main square and was the center for the conquistador Francisco Montejo in 1542 when Mérida was founded Standing magestic on the square we find two of the finest buildings in Mérida The Cathedral enormous and with soaring facades the oldest in the entire American continet built in Spanish Renaissance style between 1562 and 1598 A pink palace lines the north side of the square el Palacio del Gobernador This was built in 1892 and is open to the public to admire its architecture and stunning murals by Fernando Castro Cacheco which decorate its patios One should also visit the immense Mérida Market located on Calle 65 where everything from fruit and chillis to hats hammocks and traditional dresses can be bought And don t forget some colonial mansion spotting with a stroll down the tree lined boulevards of Paseo Montejo These are just a few starters Mérida has a lot to offer Thursday 21st January 2010 Chatted with hostel owners Jan and Rosalina about volunteer possibilities at Casa Chalia checked out their studio lodging for potential volunteers and then took a long stroll around town Anyone wanting to volunteer in Mexico in this town do contact me Met Richard and Alisa at the Hyatt Mérida hotel for a pretty reasonable buffet lunch 109 pesos considering this is the Hyatt and headed afterwards up to their beach house they were renting west of Progresso a seaside town 45minutes north of

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/mex/magic-mayan-marvels-it-must-be-mexico.html (2015-10-15)
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  • Coats and hats on folks, this is Chicago! « Greenheart Voyagers
    The El and buses 2 25 per journey This place is huge but you can get around easily enough and some lines are open 24hrs a day lucky for my much delayed arrival due to the weather A visit to the City Library Museum set in an amazing 18 th Century building was one of the best bits of my time there as was the tippy top view of the city from the 96 th floor of the Hancock building where the heady heights were nicely complemented by a tremendous Margarita cocktail The Millenium Park Magic Mile and the many zones of Downtown are all great fun to check out Food and drink experiences were abundant and I was thrilled to get a dance in too at the Ohm club where legendary Chicago house DJ Derrick Carter was spinning on the ones and twos what a night The Greenheart shop on 1911 W Division St or shop online at greenheartshop org was a treasure trove of ecological products great clothing ranges and abundant fair trade items A good number of the product ranges are produced by local groups such as the top selling Beeline honey body creams and lotions Also available are environmentally friendly soaps made by a Chicago women s group really nice things and handy for my keeping my washbag stocked with biodegradable smellies If you find yourself in over here please do visit the shop as you ll also find it a super place for gifts There is so much to discover and do in this city my few days there hardly scratched the surface A big hello and massive thanks go to Emanuel and Laura of the CCI for making it happen and to all the guys and gals I met there I will be back

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/chicago/coats-and-hats-on-folks-this-is-chicago.html (2015-10-15)
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  • The flight of fluke « Greenheart Voyagers
    It was a nippy old start to things as Britain joined much of the northern hemisphere in suffering artic blasts and more snow than many have ever seen Snow and ice however tend to be the traveller s enemy and it was a case of playing it safe by getting close to the airport a good 24 hours before my flight to Chicago USA was scheduled out of London Heathrow terminal 5 I stayed at the Chanins Hotel Hounslow near the airport the night before flying out It s a good place to stay clean warm economical and just a half hour ride from terminal 5 on the bus number 490 which has a stop just round the corner from the hotel Now flying is something that is much talked about in green circles and the greenest of greenies will shun a flight in order to keep the carbon footprint to a minimum My own view has been to agree that flying is detrimental for the environment and so it was a tricky decision to board the two winged beast that would zip me across the pond to the Americas in order to crack on with the next chapter in my travels But lack of any realistic low cost alternatives coupled with the fact that I have made a huge effort to fly much less in the last three years and am actually on what is hopefully a beneficial mission rather than just a jolly mean that I am somewhat less troubled consciously about flying this time That said it is getting less and less attractive to plump for air travel these days with cattle herding check in procedures huge queues security paranoia and all round stressed staff As if to underline this my flight out of Heathrow was a whisker from being cancelled due to bad weather and finally landed in Chicago nine hours delayed after a change of crew and pilots who were legally no longer able to take us to our destination When we finally landed on a snow covered O Hare runway I heartily joined everyone else in giving the BA crew a rousing and well deserved round of applause Many other passengers whose flights did get cancelled weren t so lucky and were trapped in brassic Britain Getting out of O Hare airport and to my hostel downtown Chicago was a blessedly straight forward enough affair and by five o clock in the morning local time after a v long day I was at last switching orf the light to get a few hours kip before my American adventures would start a proper Thank my flukey old lucky stars I m in Chicago Illinois Aooooooooooo January 9th 2010 Category Uncategorized Leave a Reply Cancel reply Name required Email will not be published required Website You can use these HTML tags a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite s strike strong Top Supporters CCI Greenheart

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/uncategorized/the-flight-of-fluke.html (2015-10-15)
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  • The rest of the west « Greenheart Voyagers
    friends enjoying some Castilla y Leon style hospitality this area being a treat for tapas just order a beer the scran comes free and you get to choose what you ll have to scoff Quality So with a final adios to Spain stopping in the town of Cuidad Rodrigo for supplies the three of us headed out west and back into Portugal The others were keen to visit Murray s farm and the weather there had turned a tad drier at last On arrival at Quinta Linda once more we had to laugh as there were five Greenheart Ibiza past and present team members on one plot quite a reunion As tends to happen we got down to cracking on with things and soon were tackling the task of plastifying the barn roof This involved wrapping up the place in waterproof black plastic sheeting not particularly pretty but very necessary for winter and no mean task considering the height of the edifice and lack of any scaffolding Photos coming soon Indeed with the days getting shorter and the nights more nippy this being late November my time on the Iberian peninsular was coming to a close December was to be spent in the UK in preparation for the next phase of the travels the Americas Howdy doo Chris and Tara Greetings from a most snowy and wonderful Chicago I thought I d drop you a wee note just to let you know how I m getting on typing away here at the Hostel International Chicago a great place to stay and I feel quite the VIP here having my own room Andrea has been fantastic as hostess and entertainer supreme showing me the sights and looking after me wonderfully I really love this city already and its warm and friendly citizens more than make up for the icy temperatures It was great to meet the staff at both the GH offices and shop which I visited on Friday last week I had some interesting discussions with the team at the comittee meeting and have some great ideas and plans to be getting on with More about those v soon The GH shop here is superb and I was most impressed with its products location staff and initiatives that it is supporting truly fabulous Tomorrow I shall be working in the Wells office with Andrea in the morning and I shall be off to buy a video camera so I can do some filming to add to my travelling greenhearter s blog I hope to update it in the next couple of days with my latest moves and a glowing report on Chicago Then on Tuesday I am flying down to Cancun to begin the C America mission As you ll imagine I m most excited and really looking forward to that part of my travels I ll keep in touch with you on how it all goes So a fantastic start to things this side of the pond last night

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/spain/the-rest-of-the-west.html (2015-10-15)
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  • Portugal – go there, it’s very, very nice! « Greenheart Voyagers
    there is a fantastic renovation project in progress So it s down to work in the warm autumnal sun and there s plenty to do I get cracking on clearing bracken from the terraced levels collecting wood from the surrounding areas recently logged municipal land assisting with living spaces renovation removing weeds from around a channel for the river to flow and helping with hoofing things up and down the land This is certainly good exercise and the calf muscles of my legs agree Wind turbines at the top of the Caramulo hills Naturally there is healthy fare too with tasty Portuguese breads cheeses cakes and vinos to keep us all contented Local shops and markets in Viseu are well priced and a pleasure to visit lacking the crowds hustle and bustle and noise of the Spanish ones In fact there are hardly any people at all in some places Back at base starlit night skies no light pollution and distant views of the mountains complete the idyllic settings and give one a great feeling peace in nature Up above us on the hills huge wind turbines spin quietly and efficiently A quick list in no particular order of low environmental impact living in a rural paradise and my points of interest so far Outdoor shower with homemade solar heating panel plenty of water from the river Huge garden mushrooms sprouting everywhere tasty as Photo Voltaic panels on the van roof energy for nowt all good while the sun shines Use the granite stone barn as a living space at least you ll be dry Grapes galore wine and fire water grappa are expected soon Roasted chestnuts An old recycled painters pot makes a great fire brazier If you need to know ask a local one neighbour here is known

    Original URL path: http://2012.es/wwoofing/portugal-part-1.html (2015-10-15)
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