Thursday, January 29, 2009

Acapulco and the Grand Mayan

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New Delta Advert

Delta - When your far away from home it is good to feel all alone.

I did manage to remedy my problem by booking myself onto another combination of airlines. I will not be flying Delta anytime soon unless I get an email back from them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

DELTA DISS

Read this and you will understand pics to come:


THIS IS MY LETTER TO DELTA

I recently booked a flight with Delta to and from Panama City, Panama from Washington Dulles Airport. The trip was to span from the 2nd of January to the 14th. Shortly after arriving in Panama I was notified that my parents were going to be visiting Acapulco, Mexico on the 19th of January.

Being a very active traveler and blogger I decided to embark on a trek through Central America to visit my parents. First I called Delta to arrange my return flight from a new location. I spoke to the agent and was excited to find out that it was going to be 173 dollars to change my flight. This was in comparison to the flights leaving from Acapulco on the 29th that were in the 230 dollar range. I was ready to simply cancel my return flight at the time if the change was more than the buying a new flight.

Today I arrived at the Acapulco airport to confirm my tick and pay the difference (as directed by the agent that I spoke). I was given Sat or Wed to do this so I was there on time at 1PM. Upon arrival to the airport I eventually found the office that is located behind the emergency exit door and down the hall and spoke to the representative.

I was first told that his manager was not there and that he wouldn't be in for the next 2 days. This was bad news. He then called his manager and spoke briefly to him. After getting off of the phone I was alerted that the "Manager didn't care if I got a flight or not", but that he was going to try and help me. (Great Service)

I waited patiently for an hour until the line at the check-in counter died down and he finally begin to find my information. After to talking to a representative he told me that it was 550+ dollars to fly home. I was then alerted that the 170 dollars was only the change fee for the flight.

I then had to call a representative myself and was told the same and that they had contacted customer service and that the agent I had spoke to on the 8th to change my ticket had forgot to tell me that I needed to pay more but that I still had to pay 550+ dollars.

Needless to say I canceled my ticket. I then returned to my hotel to search for a new way home. Upon looking at the internet the flight I was scheduled on can still be booked for 400 dollars. Canceling my flight and re-buying is actually cheaper that changing a flight? This was news to me.

I then contacted a Delta representative in the United States to see if I could apply my return ticket to the fare on the flight and was alerted that my return flight was worth 18 dollars. The round-trip ticket is worth over 400 dollars, but that when it worked out the return flight from Panama was only worth 18 dollars.

Now I am stuck in Acapulco(granted not the worst place to be in winter) with no ticket home and feverishly scouring the internet for a cheap flight home. I rode on buses for over 60 hours to get to Acapulco from Panama City and I find myself wondering how long it would take to get home that way.

I am not quite sure what you will do with this letter, but I thought I might as well send it. Needless to say I probably won't be choosing Delta over other airlines in the near future.

Thanks for you time,

Jonny Walker

Monday, January 26, 2009

Still in Acapulco with the Fam

Having met up with parents in Acapulco is still a shock to my system. My days have slowed down drastically from the pace of hosteling around the world. With nothing to do with my days I spend my time on the beach, at the pool, and eating anything I can get my hands on.

Pic with the parental unit

This is how I travel when all of us go out. 7 pack into a small car which is ironic because in the US, Mexicans travel 7 deep in the car but here it is the gringos.


Here is a shot of the Grand Mayan Resort here in Acapulco.


This is how I spend my days. The surf has been breaking funny here recently so no time attempting to surf.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cliff Divers and Food in Acapulco

The other night we went out to a restaurant here in Acapulco that used to host John Wayne and a slew of stars from that era. There are bungalows there that they used to stay in that overlook the water from up on the cliff. Here is a shot of the parents and I catching the sunset.


After dinner we went to the cliffs nearby to watch local cliffdivers do their thing. Sadly, they have a union in Acapulco that prohibits others from diving so I had to take the role of spectator for this show. Next time I find cliffs I am jumping, only not in a speedo.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Acapulco

The adventure has taken a turn for the posh.


I had originally planned to stay in Panama for this trip but I decided to make it up to visit my parents in Acapulco Mexico. This did mean 60+ hours on a bus, but the lifestyle here has made the trip a little easier.

My parents are enjoying it here as well.


The pool that runs along the ocean is literally half a mile long here at the Grand Mayan Resort. The days are simple. Cocktails, snacks, spas, and time in the ocean and pools.


This is a far cry in comparison to the hostels of the past. I actually kind of miss the hostel life.


Sunsets all look the same in a way, but this was a good one.

With still under a week to go here things aren't looking that bad. Back hom for a week in Feb then the adventure moves to England.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Puerto Escondido

I am exhausted of talking about bus travel now so let's focus on the beach. En Route to Acapulco I spent two glorious days in Puerto Escondido, Mexico and almost couldn't bring myself to leave. It is an amazingly backpacker friendly beach with great surf.


This is the life


I even got the chance to test out the Olympus in the ocean and got some good surf pics. Of course right after taking the pics I got crushed by the waves.


I even got some from my board.


Even on a Sunday the town has some nightlife and live music. The guy on the right has an epic mustache.


If you are backpacking through I recommend staying at the Mayflower it is an easy life there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Heading to Mexico


After spending some time living cheap in this hammock in Antigua Guatemala I decided it was time to head North.

So I checked out of Jungle Party Hostel and said goodbye to Julio and headed out.

My life has become one big bus terminal.

This was my view more or less for the 24 hours it took for me to get to Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Volcano... not a problem

The Pacaya Volcano rests an hour from Antigua, Guatemala (my current location) Needless to say I had to hike it.

Here is a view of the active volcano. I had already hiked about 30 mins to get here.

The ascent toward the top was almost stupid due to the sheer lack of safety equipment so I loved it. Too many waivers in the US. Granted the guy that broke his ankle might think otherwise.
At the top I melted my shoes a bit while standing on recently hardened lava, but did get to roast a marshmallow. Of course by then it was getting dark and I had to make the descent in the dark sliding down a very loose and steep slope once again without a cable.


I did bring my iPOD and thought that Nirvana's Lake of Fire fit the occasion. Now to look toward Mexico to finish my month-long journey.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Life on the Road

Having traveled from Panama City to Guatemala City I have spent over 40 hours on buses thus far and I still have a long way to go to get to Acapulco Mexico. This is what my life has become.

Bus companies with names that seem to good to be true because they are. King my ass



Hours of sitting and watching bad movies that are often in Spanish


Countless mile markers in countries that can afford to put them up


Passing through cities faster than you can see them.

Endless Travels

Over the past few days I have not posted because I have been endlessly traveling. I left Panama and spent some time in Costa Rica before heading through Nicaragua and Honduras en route to a night in El Salvador and now I find myself in Antigua Guatemala.

The first trip involved a 3 hour border crossing into Costa Rica


Some shots of Costa Rica


These are all in San Jose



Yes I was there and I even found a nice Irish Pub in town that sold Guinness and put the NFL Playoffs up on the screen so life was quite nice there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Goodbye Panama

I am traveling again so I decided I needed to extend my trip again. Originally I was slated to be in Panama for 12 days. Now I am planning on a full central America trip that will encompass a month. I plan to travel from Panama City to Acapulco, Mexico. The trip with be over 1500 miles by bus so it should be fast paced. Wish me luck.

Panama Viejo

With my last real day of sightseeing here in Panama City I went out to see the old Panama. Some great preservation efforts have been done to keep it in tact and the ruins are interesting. It is sort of like a newer Machu Picchu without the hike.


View from the top.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Natural Park here in Panama City

There is a natural "rain forest" park within city limits. Today I paid it a trip and saw a few small animals and birds while navigating the trails.


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Monday, January 5, 2009

Shots from Panam

Yesterday I packed up and headed to the Panama Canal. It is the one thing that every good tourist must see when visiting so I made the trip via cheap buses.

Here is a shot from the Miraflores Locks leading into the Pacific Ocean.




I showed my friend Tom that I was from the USA



He showed me that he was from Australia
Then I notice that Australia had been invaded in the north by another country.

Needless to say I put in a call to the commissioner to remedy this international crisis. Hence, saving the day and manuevering a large cargo vessel at the same time.

Crystal Light here sounds more like an STD than a beverage. It might just be me, but doesn´t this sound a little odd.


The Panama Canal VIDEO

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Panama City nightlife short vid

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I came, I saw, I took a ten second video.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Panama City, Panama

I am at a bad internet place at the moment, but here are some pics of Panama.

Tha catherdral near the President´s house.



This is what some of the poor residential housing looks like. This is not the area Americans are retiring to.

But like all cities, The Hard Rock is Here.

Shock at the Airport

On the 2nd I flew out of Dulles at 3:15 and Amy flew out of Reagan at 3:00, at least that was the plan. I dropped her off early at the airport and headed back to catch my flight only to find that my flight was delayed and they had emailed me to let me know that I needed to catch the 12pm flight earlier that day, of course I did not get it.


In the end it was worked out that I would taxi to Reagan and fly out the same time as Amy. She was shocked to see me.


By the end of the day I was in Panama and she was stuck in Boston for the night after her flight got delayed. Hooray Delta.




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Friday, January 2, 2009

PANAMA

Today Amy flies back to England from Reagan Airport here in DC. Needless to say I might be a little bit depressed, so to fight depression I will be flying out of Dulles Airport (pictured) here in DC en route to Panama.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sweet Pool Underwater Montage

Got snowed in at the Inn at Snowshoe and went to the pool.

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