It’s been a wonderful experience. 17 days in the Yucatan peninsula and Belize, plus a daytrip to Guatemala. My love for road trips, for exploring, for being on the move all the time was reinforced by this trip. I feel lucky I had the opportunity to explore, for just a tiny bit, the Maya civilization throughout the Yucatan peninsula, to visit Belize and its natural beauties, to dive, to read, to write, to introspect, etc. etc. etc. I met wonderful people along the way, tasted great food, visited amazing places, even picked up few bedbugs on the way, gladly only for a few days :-)
I think that the following photograph from Day 6 best captures the essence of the trip for me… natural beauty, an amazing civilization, lost in my own thoughts, planning and looking at the future. I must have stayed at the top of that particular Maya pyramid for a couple of hours, with no other tourists around.
The trip in numbers
|Distance travelled:||2,973 kms||Doh! If I knew I was so close to 3,000, I would have gone for an extra drive somewhere :-)|
|Number of Julio’s (the car) windows working||3||after day 5|
|Number of bedbugs as “passengers”||few||but manage to “lose” them on the way :-)|
|Number of dives||4||the last one was with bull sharks|
|Number of people I met||sooo many|
|Number of Maya sites visited||10||including a cave|
|Number of photographs taken||1,120|
|Number of photographs kept||545||I didn’t keep the many originals from which I made the panoramas|
|Total size of photographs||2.15GB|
|Larger panorama||32MB||15,916 x 4,852 pixels|
The trip on maps
Here’s my route and a list of destinations. The red dots are places where I stayed overnight and my start/finish. I didn’t mark all the places I’ve actually visited.
Mexico and Belize
Mexico, Yucatan peninsula (first part of the trip)
Belize (second part of the trip)
Back to Mexico, third part of the trip
The geek in me
I was extremely surprised by the level of connectivity throughout my journey. I was not actively looking for WiFi but every hotel (with the exception of the one in Campeche) had free Internet access. The big hotels around the world charge for the use of their Internet connection and, here, all the cheap hotels provide it for free. This is one of the reasons I try to avoid paying for Internet access at expensive hotels. If I can, I’d use my 3G phone’s tethering capability (if I am not roaming, of course).
By having Internet connectivity I was able to post my travel blog entries almost every night, keep in touch with my co-authors about that Web book, and keep my ever-expanding mailbox under some control… What can I say? I am a geek and I cannot easily get disconnected :-)
The role of the Cloud
The Cloud played a huge role for the first part of the trip. I felt safe that one of my most valuable assets I was collecting along the way, the digital photographs, were actually kept safe. Using FolderShare (now called Live Sync), my laptop would automatically synchronize with my server at home. Therefore, I didn’t really worry about something happening to my laptop.
Well, at some point the server went offline. I didn’t know why. It was either because someone had broken into my place or because the server received an update and decided to reboot :-( Now that I am back, I know that it was the latter :-)
The experience made me think about the role of NetBooks in the future. I would have loved to have a much lighter, cheaper laptop with me. I didn’t do any development while on the road. I only needed it to do some writing, sync my photos with the Cloud, and perhaps some email. A cheap, $300-$400 NetBook would have been absolutely great for this.
Also, with SkyDrive offering now 25GB of free storage, with Live Mesh offering multi-machine synchronization, I could easily have a copy of my data on the Cloud as well. I am sure other companies offer similar technologies/services.
My road-trip days
When I left Seattle, this is how the weather looked like… (it hasn’t really changed much now that I am back but there is a hint of sunshine :-)
While in Mexico and Belize, I really enjoyed the sun, the blue sky, the orange sky, the sea, the stars, the green jungle…
I love road trips. I can’t have enough of them. Miles and miles of beautiful road. Even when I get lost, I love it!
It was an absolutely amazing experience. Thank you Mexico! Thank you Belize!
I really enjoyed writing my travel blog for these last 17 days. For all of you who have been following my travel blog entries: thank you for being patient with me.
Now, back to work, to a new challenge with Live Search and MANY MANY new ideas :-)