Tag Archive: Fuego

Got in to Keflavik International at 21:05 after an uneventful flight. The weather was abysmal. Driving rain and bad visibility on the Reykjanes peninsular. Sister Soffia & 3rd son Johan Kristin picked me up. This time of year, it starts to go dark at 16:00 pm. Called in to see mum at her care home in Hrafnista on the way in. She was sleeping but seemed to become more animated once she realized that we had come to visit. Didn’t stay long as we did not want to over tire her. Wednesday, Thursday & Friday saw steady, if slow improvements. By Saturday, the need for the nasal oxygen inserts had been obviated as she was managing to keep blood oxygen saturation at a nominal level. One hopes for continuous improvements as time passes.


Heard today that Fuego in Guatemala had erupted and people are being evacuated. We were there less than a month ago, were I took early morning photos of the volcano smoking into the early morning blue sky.

At the time it looked benign and unthreatening. How things can change in a heartbeat? 

Friday 23.11.18 Have been catching public transport regularly each day down to Hrafnista to see mum. I must admit to being impressed by how easy loading & using the Ap to buy & load travel credits. It is also very useful to track the progress of the relevant bus. One is able to time ones arrival at the bus stop, especially when temperatures are sub zero. 

25.11.18: Good to see the family gathered round for mum’s 90th birthday. She was rather tired, so we all repaired from her bedside to an adjoining lounge area, so that the noise and commotion would not unduly disturb & upset her.

Left Iceland on Wednesday 27.11.18. Hooked up with Lynn at Manchester airport, at the “The Airport Pub.”  She flew in from Faro Portugal earlier than I, having already picked up a hire car.  Drove to our Air BnB residence in Milnrow. It being after midnight, our host Liam had already gone to bed. Spent the next couple of days chasing round for Doctors, Dentistry and Eye tests. Spent the night back at Manchester Airport as the car had to be returned and “check in” was early, so it obviated any ensuing stress as a result of early morning traffic or delays. The 10 hour flight out to Cancun was uneventful, if not rather dull. Landed Cancun just after 10am Friday 31.11.18 to intermittent cloud and C30 temperatures.

Got to our AirBnB accommodation not far from the airport (host Isabel) at about 13:00 and just crashed out for the rest of the day. Stayed 2 days in Puerto Morelos and then moved off for a longer stay with host Liliana in Cancun. Will remain here until Tuesday 18.12.18 then go CUN-LAX then a 22:00 departure LAX-BNE, bizarrely landing 06:05 on the morning of Thursday December 20th in Brisbane! In effect, losing a day! 

Withdrawal agreement Tuesday 11.12.18

Things are getting a tad fraught as Tuesday 11.12.18 draws closer. I received a comment on Social Media:  “You put this post up so who do you think should be the Brexiter to sort out a “Candada style deal” or are you clueless like the rest of the Tories.”

(forgive the grammar, punctuation & spelling, it was non of my doing.)

To which, I responded:

Magnus Kwaszenko “I believe in this country and its ability to excel. I do note, that pejorative language seems to be common currency among “lefties,” devoid of a plan of their own. However, putting that to one side, after the Tories rid themselves of May, I would hope that a Brexiteer PM & Chancellor would be brought in to deliver the Brexit a majority of the electorate voted for. Who that may be, will be decided by the party process. Your supposition that I support a “Canada style deal” based on my posting of Steve Hilton’s opinion is bemusing, as I’ve never articulated that opinion. However, that being said, I would be in favour of a deal, that (#1) Takes back Parliamentary Sovereignty from the EU’s legislature. (2) Foregoes monetary disbursements to the EU. (3) Foregoes the overarching power of the ECJ. (4) Returns sovereignty over our fishing grounds (5) Returns legislative control over the integrity and functionality of our borders. (6) Demurs from subscribing to a conceived, but yet to be formed EU armed forces.(7) Gives us the opportunity to negotiate FTA’s.”

12.12.18  May decided to forego the presentation of “Withdrawal Agreement” to Parliament, because it became apparent that she would lose the vote. Subsequently a  “No Confidence” vote has taken place today as 48 letters of “No Confidence in Theresa May’s Leadership” by  Conservative MP’s had been received by Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee. She won it with 200 to 117  against. I guess, that we are stuck with her for the time being. Utterly disappointing.


Saturday 25.08.18  

Left Cancun at 11:00 & got into Aurora airport Guatemala at 11:52 local time, (there’s an hour time disparity twixt Cancun & Guatemala city). Lynn left from Cancun in the afternoon back to the UK to support a friend who is quite ill at the moment. After clearing immigration, Customs & getting some cash (Quetzal,£1=10qtzl) grabbed a “Collectivo” for the 1 hours transfer to Antigua (80qtzl). Got to Colonia el Manchen locality of Antigua and was met by my host Adam at El Mirador Apartment. Adam is Polish and he came over from Cambodia about 7 months previously following his girlfriend Anna, to start life here in Guatemala.

Fuego killed 62 people on June 5th 2018. Pyroclastic flows travelling down the slopes and into the town completely outran them.

Antigua, is a small town, lies in the shadow of three huge volcanoes.  Volcan d’Agua, Fuego & Acatenango are all around the 2550m (8300ft) in height. Two of them are considered active whilst Volcan d’Agua has been dormant for some time.

Santa Catalina Arch in Antigua, Guatemala, sits in the shadow of Volcan de Agua.

The town of Antigua is delightful. A tad ramshackled with numerous shops, artisanat establishments and lots of restaurants ranging from local cuisines to Japanese & Lebanese establishments. The streets are for the most part cobbled which actually does a fine job in holding down the speed of vehicles that traverse the town. However, the longevity of vehicles is somewhat circumscribed by the pounding they take over the time of their utility. The market is a thriving “hotch potch” of clothing stalls, food stalls, vegetable, meat & fish stalls all cheek by jowel in a seemingly chaotic cacophony of confusion. However, it functions as the heartbeat of the town.

6.09.18 Sunday: Just sneezed, and a crown has popped out. Guess that I’m going in search of a dentist tomorrow. Earlier went down town and watched a bit of the sunday service and then spent the rest of the afternoon just mooching around in the balmy afternoon heat. Showers rolled in later though.

On Monday 10.09.18, will be headed out to the Lake Atitlan area. The first accommodation will be at San Juan Laguna for three days. Followed by a two day stay at Casa Madera Atitlan by the lake.




Travelling by “Collectivo” (basically a van with bench seating),  north for an hour, for a  9 day stay in Puerto Morelos. I know very little about the place, other than the beaches are supposedly, nice. Our hostesses, Isabelle & Kelly are delightful, charming and very welcoming. One is a Phd student and the other a Marine Biologist with particular focus on Coral Reef atrophy.

18.08.18 Went down to the beach and was surprised and a little disappointed to see that though, the beach was pristine, huge quantities of seaweed are piled all along the beachfront. This phenomenon has been apparent for a year or two now and has impacted tourist numbers. The incidence of “sargasso” is also exacerbated by large quantities being pushed further north by outflow from the Amazon river further south.

The Collectivo back from town today had to be the worst ride yet. I counted 22 people squeezed into a vehicle akin to a Toyota Commuter with bench seats. “Up close & personal,” outside ambient temperature was in the C30’s, however inside had to be closer to C40. Faces, misshaped, distorted, were driven up against bulkheads, arms and legs squeezed into all kinds of weird shapes and perspiration dripped from everywhere. However, everyone, good natured & polite, with “long suffering” smiles.

Sad news from the UK. A friend is quite ill. Shocked and disconcerted. Lynn has altered her existing flight back to Blighty on the 20.11.18 to 23.08.18 in order to be close to Do at her challenging time. I’ll carry on to Guatemala and wait for her there in Antigua, a suburb in Guatemala city.

23.08.18 01:30 am Mexican time (10.30 22.08.18 UK time) sad news. Our friend Do has died.

Arrived Antigua (suburb of Guatemala City) after an hour & ten minute flight down from Cancun & an hour transfer from the airport. First impression are very positive. The highways are well maintained. The topography is amazing and bowling up at El Mirador accommodation with vues out on a volcanic landscape with El Fuego and Volcàn de Agua in the distance is, nothing short of sensational! My AirBnB host is called Adam. He’s a Polish guy that came over from a stint in Cambodia following his girlfriend Anna, and is now managing this business with her, for a period of seven months.

Fuego killed 62 people on June 5th 2018. Pyroclastic flows travelling down the slopes and into the town completely outran them.

Today (Friday) I have been catching up on emails & sorting out paperwork. It has been cloudy most of the morning but warm, with the sun making an appearance late in the day. The volcanoes are swathed in cloud. There is noise of festivities filtering out from the San Jose Cathedral,so I’m guessing it’s some Saint’s day celebration or other.Went down to town late afternoon to orientate myself a little more. Saw a couple of churches devastated by either earthquake or volcanic activity. The central square (Plaça Mayor) is delightful, full of tree giving shade, the Mayors offices and administration buildings, a church, and artisan shops and cafés surrounding the gardens under a wooden canopied promenade giving shade to pedestrians.


Tonight (Sunday20.05.18) will be the last in Acapulco. Have quite mixed feelings. The three locations that we stayed at were very different. From an initial domicile at the Nilo Hotel, being central, well maintained and in the last two days rather opulent. To fairly challenged accommodation at Pie de la Cuesta, but lovely attitude of our hostess. To a final domicile,  relatively close to Diamante Beach which was an environment, one would say was a little “controlled”, in that we were not give a key to the front gate & some limitations in the use of the air con were in efficacy. The expectation was also that we left the property during the day. One thing was for sure. We spent far too long in Acapulco. One week would have been fine.


Twin en suite at Casa de Pemaroche run by Marina & Roman a Swiss couple who with their respective partners have engaged with a new project…….in the sun!

Got on the road to Puerto Escondido at 22:00pm. Arrived at 06:00am the following day Monday 22.05.18. The bus termini, are largely well maintained and orderly. Took a taxi out to our Airbnb accommodation at Casa de Pemaroche in Brisas de Zicatela run by a Swiss couple, Marina & partner Peter. Marina & her brother (Roman back in Switzerland) had decided to purchase and refurbish the property along with their respective partners. The accommodation here is so peaceful & the owners, so welcoming that we’re extending another week. The well maintained swimming pool is also a huge “pull” as are the loungers in this sun soaked part of the country.

On UK news, I have become increasingly more pessimistic of us ever divesting ourselves of the infernal EU & its unelected arrogant apparatchiks. May & Hammond continue to disappoint. The “shadowy” Olly Robbins also does not inspire confidence, and of course all three of those aforementioned individuals are “dyed in the wool” Remainers. The Civil Service appears to be patently “underperforming” and engaged in “foot dragging” like recalcitrant “Sir Humphrey’s.”

Always smiling, always happy.

Lying by the pool yesterday, a lizard about a foot and a half long fell from the roof gutter of the property at Pemaroche with a thump. Obviously, had dozed off,  rolled out, and plummeted 15 feet to the pathway below. It got up, looking a little dazed & bewildered, then just ambled off. Meanwhile, our “Mr. Happy,” eternally good natured & enigmatic pool ball, floats around, a slave to the capricious whims of the surface breeze.

“Casa de Pemaroche” in Puerto Escondido. Pool, Shade, Shower, Mr Happy Pool ball & a couple of Garden Lizards that visit occasionally.

Have now extended a further week here, which is indicative of how comfortable we deem the accommodation & our hosts to be. The Brisas de Zicatela coastline & beaches are simply wonderful though bathing in the sea can be challenging along this section as the waves are “heavy.”

We’ve kind of made a prospective idealised route from Mexico through to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua which we may / may not stick to. I guess we will be guided by what opportunities present themselves.

Proposed route down through central America.

Sadly we were only issued with a 90 day visa at the immigration counter in Mexico City, (although the immigration officer did scrawl 120 days on the card.) It’s doubtful whether that would hold up to scrutiny should immigration choose to become pernickety. Unless we extend, we need to be out of Mexico and into Belize by the 09.07.18.

We were fairly ambivalent about visiting the Yucatan peninsula as that would imply going through Cancun, which holds no attraction. Oaxaca  lies inland, and promises to be a culturally satisfying experience. Disconcertingly, a volcano in Guatemala called Fuego exploded into fiery action a couple of days ago. Sadly 62 have lost their lives in the pyroclastic flow that engulfed them.


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