Oscar Rodríguez

Journal to my trip to Central America (this is NOT a blog!)

Theme song: Day After Tomorrow - Faraway


Download the full track

Download the entire trip


On mid-March, 2008, when I learned I'd be able to go to Japan on a scholarship, I thought it might be a good idea to get a bag and hit the road, and go to some places I'd never been. On May 17, that idea became a reality, and I set foot on what would be the longest road trip I'd ever been to.

The destination is Central America. Starting at home in Bogota, Colombia, I thought I'd make it all the way up to Guatemala, but only using traditional (i.e. non-air) transportation, at least as possible.

I documented my trip with my Garmin GPSMAP 60 with an external antenna (mostly to be more discreet when outdoors), and my Sony Vaio U-101 (RIP), which I used to make these writeups.

There are some places where I have friends, and there are some others where I don't. In total, I expect it to take me four weeks all the way up to Guatemala, and depending on how tired I am (and how much money I have left! ^_^), I may go back by plane.


Note: I do not recommend doing this trip. Especially going to the Uraba region in Colombia and crossing the border between Colombia and Panama, as this region is very dangerous. Unfortunately the situation in Colombia has led for many people to get kidnapped and even killed in this part of the country. And even if nothing like that happens, it is very easy to get lost in here, take the wrong boat and end up in a completely different place. Pretty much nobody speaks English in here, and lack of knowledge of the local language, customs and colombian common sense (which is different from that from other countries) may get you paying for much more than you'd expect, or in some serious trouble. If you choose to do a trip similar to this one, you do so at your own risk, and you will not hold me responsible for anything that may happen to you. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!


Well, the long awaited final version is here. 6 months after I actually finished this trip, and writing it from my apartment in Yokohama. Well, what can I say, this trip was (up till then) the trip of my life, even better that the trip to Japan in 2006. But all good things have not-so-good parts. If you traveled with me by checking this journal as I wrote it, you might have noticed I stopped writing as I entered El Salvador. Actually, I did write some things for the parts in El Salvador, I just didn't upload them until now...

However, the story with Guatemala was quite different. If you know me, it is quite likely that you know the real reason I made this trip. And if you don't, then read on to find out ^_^; Anyways, the Guatemalan section was quite different from the rest of the trip, and I did not write anything for this page. I've written some things to explain the overview of what has been one of the most important turning points in my life, but mere words are unable to convey the real feelings behind that.

But this page is not a stupid emo rant! it's a travel journal, so pack up your bags and come with me on a trip done the way REAL men travel!

Also, please forgive some minor spelling and grammar errors I might make. I wrote this on a really small keyboard, and even though I said I was going to fix them later, I think it's best to leave the original version!.

Para los que hablan español, realmente lo siento, pues había dicho que iba a escribir una adaptación en español. Realmente no creo hacerlo ahora, así que espero que disfruteís de la versión original en inglés!

The photos for this trip can be found in my photo gallery.

You may also want to listen to "Faraway" by "Day After Tomorrow". I decided this song would be the theme for my trip as I entered Honduras, so please listen to it at least once if you can!

So, without more preludes, let's get on to it!



Day 1, 2008.5.17 (Sat) - The journey begins

Day 2, 2008.5.18 (Sun) - Crossing Uraba

Day 3, 2008.5.19 (Mon) - The gulf of Uraba

Day 4, 2008.5.20 (Tue) - Goodbye, Colombia

Day 5, 2008.5.21 (Wed) - Codename Blue Eagle

Day 6, 2008.5.22 (Thu) - A sick day off

Day 7, 2008.5.23 (Fri) - My day out in Panama!

Day 8, 2008.5.24 (Sat) - Across Panama

Day 9, 2008.5.25 (Sun) - The magnificent Quetzal

Day 10, 2008.5.26 (Mon) - Crossing the border to Costa Rica

Day 11, 2008.5.27 (Tue) - Downtown San Jose and Aikido

Day 12, 2008.5.28 (Wed) - Nice and healthy rest

Day 13, 2008.5.29 (Thu) - Hao's Birthday

Days 14 and 15, 2008.5.30-31 (Fri and Sat) - Some more relaxing at Hao's place

Day 16, 2008.6.1 (Sun) - On to Nicaragua

Day 17, 2008.6.2 (Mon) - First exploration around Managua

Day 18, 2008.6.3 (Tue) - Visiting Lake Nicaragua

Day 19, 2008.6.4 (Wed) - On to the Volcano

Day 20, 2008.6.5 (Thu) - A suspicious crossing into Honduras

Day 21, 2008.6.6 (Fri) - The bumpy ride to the island of Utila

Day 22, 2008.6.7 (Sat) - An island drunk of tourists

Day 23, 2008.6.8 (Sun) - A weird trip Into the Mayan empire

Day 24, 2008.6.9 (Mon) - The little Muisca boy

Day 25, 2008.6.10 (Tue) - Two border crossings on the same day

Day 26, 2008.6.11 (Wed) - Maje! these are some real men!

Day 27, 2008.6.12 (Thu) - Around San Salvador

Days 28-33, 2008.6.13-18 (Fri to Wed) - The Guatemalan part and Moving on

© 2007, 2008, Oscar M. Rodríguez. o-rodrig [at] rapapaing [dot] com