Looking for tickets or info for the Get Happy Tour 2018 featuring Bowling for Soup, Army of Freshmen and The Aquabats?

This domain name was used for the Get Happy Tour back in its original run around 10 years ago, when I used to do work for BFS and AOF. However, for the past 5 years it has been used for my travel blog as I never thought we would have another Get Happy Tour and I didn't want it to go to waste.

But as a favour to two bands who have done a lot for me over the years, and so you don't miss out, ticket info is:
O2 Presale: 10am on 25 September
General Onsale: 10am on 27 September.

Tickets available from ticketmaster.co.uk and bowlingforsoup.com
 


Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Hot Springs’

Mayan ruins and a survival experience

January 31st, 2012 No comments

Today was my first day which didn’t involve lots of long distance travelling and I managed to fit in a lot of activities, despite not getting much sleep last night due to my assigned room mate being a VERY loud snorer. Luckily I brought some silicone ear plugs with me in case I went swimming so I’ll dig those out of my bag ready for tonight.

I met up with the girls ready to head into town fairly early. First stop the casa del todos which is a shop / laundry / Internet cafe / restaurant all in one. I needed to get some laundry done as we had been recommended by our guide not to use the ones at our next destination. After some negotiation I managed to persuade them to have my laundry done early, rather than at 6pm, so that I could pick it up after visiting the ruins. Then it was back into town for breakfast and a quick souvenir shop before making our way to the ruins.

On the way to the ruins

On the way to the Copan Ruins

The easiest way to get to the Mayan Ruins outside Copan is to take one of the tuk-tuk taxis from near Parque Central as there are usually a few around and it’s fairly cheap. Just tell them you want to go to the ruins and they’ll even come back to pick you up at a specified time (I recommend having a couple of hours at the ruins but you could easily spend longer if you want to visit the tunnels and take time looking at everything).

We decided that since there were 9 of us it would be best to hire a guide to give us a tour – entry to the ruins is $15 per person and the guide was $25 split between the 9 of us. Our guide, Mauricio, was fluent in English and very knowledgeable about the ruins. During our visit, which probably lasted 90 minutes, we were shown the petroglyph staircase, ball court, statues, temples and many other features and given detailed information and history about them all. During our visit we also saw some wild parrots and a few other animals. The site is small compared so some other sites in the Mayan world such as Tikal and Chechen Itza but if you’re here then it’s worth a visit.

Enterring Copan with our guide

Entering Copan Ruins with our guide

Wild Parrots

Wild Parrots at Copan Ruins

Copan Ruins

Copan Ruins

They used to execute people here

They used to execute people here

Copan Ruins

Copan Ruins - the canvas covers the famous staircase

Me and a Monkey statue

Me and a Monkey statue at Copan

Me at Copan Ruins

Me at Copan Ruins

Some of our group at Copan Ruins

The members of our group that toured Copan Ruins

After returning to town I grabbed a snack for lunch before running a few errands – taking photos from the lookout above the town, picking up a few more souvenirs, sending postcards and picking up my laundry before heading back into town to meet up with the others for our journey up to Macaw Mountain. The price we paid included the Tuk Tuk up to Macaw Mountain and the entrance to what was a really nice bird park. They have all sorts of birds including Hawks, Parrots, Owls, Toucans and even one at that says “hola” to you when you enter. They have an interactive centre at the end of the recommended walking route which allows you to get up and close with some parrots, as you can see.

Yummy!

The dulce de leche cake and Dark Maya milkshake were lovely!

A view over the town of Copan

A view over the town of Copan

This bird said Hola!

This bird said Hola!

Macaw at Macaw Mountain

A Macaw at Macaw Mountain

Lovely scenery

The scenery at Macaw Mountain

A Toucan

A Toucan at Macaw Mountain

Me and some Parrots

Me and some Parrots

Mena managed to organise things so that we could fit in the ruins, Macaw Mountain and the Hot Springs all in one day. We decided to be collected from Macaw Mountain and then do the hot springs in the early evening as they were along the same mountain road anyway. However I wouldn’t recommend doing the hot springs as late as we did as it was dark by the time we arrived, and that caused a few problems.

Our guides for the evening told us to leave all of our bags, shoes, torches, towels etc at the bottom and just walk up with them but this was a mistake. We needed to take flip-flops and torches as when it was time to descend back down the hill to the car park we couldn’t see anything and it was a case of feeling our way down the mountain – luckily a couple of people remembered the way. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was still light, if we had torches, or if the guides didn’t have to take one of the others back down to the car park before we all finished due to a few problems – taking the torch with him. I have new respect for people that have to survive in the jungle after getting lost. The hot springs themselves were refreshing and worth a visit if you’re into the area, during the day, and they’re your sort of thing.

When we got down to the car park there was enough time to get changed before a nice BBQ that the guides had put on for us – kebabs, cheese, beans, salad, bread and tortillas. There was just enough time to stuff ourselves before getting back to the hotel. Let’s hope I get some more sleep tonight despite the snoring as we need to be up at 545 ready to meet at 630 for the bus to our next destination.

This dinner was great

This was a great BBQ

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Fish River Canyon

August 16th, 2002 No comments

We did it! Fish River Canyon has been conquered by a gang of kids from Kent, a Metropolitan Police trainee and a trainee teacher! At 85km it was a bit tiring but we saw some amazing things along the way.

We got up early on the 13th to begin the trek. We took a while to get ready which meant we didn’t start until a bit later than we wanted to but we made enough distance to an ideal camping location 7km into the canyon. Before we started Rod took group photos for us all and this is another photo that brings back such great memories as I type up this transcript.

Our group

Our group

Rod - the TRUCK driver

Rod – the TRUCK driver

It took a while to descend into the canyon. The trail was a bit crumbly under foot and you needed to watch where you were treading. One of our group was a little hesitant so I stayed back with him and Jez until we caught up with the others at the bottom of the canyon next to the river. We relaxed there for a bit before starting off on the main portion of the trek. We only progressed a few km on the first day, which was a lot less than we hoped, but where we stopped was an ideal location to spend the night. Our campsite was on a bit of an embankment with ditches that had been etched in the sand on either side. We had some sort of monumental WWI trench battle throwing sand backwards and forwards which was fun for a while but soon got annoying. We won anyway when me and Dominic went behind enemy lines and ambushed everybody from the flanks.

Bottom of the canyon

Bottom of the canyon

Our group

Our group

The next day we stopped at some hot springs and a building which somebody, probably from the UK, had painted “Sainsbury’s” down the side of. I didn’t get a photo of that but somebody else did – I’ll see if I can find it later. The hot springs really helped the feet which were starting to ache by now. While we were there we also saw a Horse although how he was there and how he survives is a good question! That day we progressed quite a bit and trekked about 23km and our campsite for the night was next to some bushes near the river on the bend of the canyon. It was really windy so we had to weigh the top sheets of the tent down with rocks to stop them blowing away. Although strangely enough even though the tents only just stayed in position the cutlery and plates that we had to abandon when the sandstorm came in were still there. I guess they had a low enough profile even when abandoned mid-way through a run from the river up to camp! We also saw our first rain of the trip although it only lasted 20 seconds.

Me at the Hot Springs

Me at the Hot Springs

Horse

Horse

My tent group

My tent group

Yesterday was our longest stint of the trek. We trekked about 35-36km seeing some really lovely scenery such as “Four Fingered Rock” and also the grave of a German soldier. When the country was a German colony the army had a huge battle against the Nama tribe who didn’t want them there. The battle took place in Fish River Canyon and the Nama were destroyed but only one German soldier was killed and he was buried at the scene. Our campsite last night was near the river but surrounded by bushes, which we thought was a good idea after the storm the night before, and it also provided us a good shelter from the baboons we saw 15 minutes or so before setting up camp. Last night was also the night most of the group decided to “sample the facilities” – ie digging a hole in the ground… but enough said about that. We thought it was going to be another storm due to the sky but nothing happened and it was a fairly calm night. This was just as well as Harley decided it would be a good idea to swim across the river yesterday when he took a shortcut that got him stuck on the other side of the river – his stuff was wet enough from that!

German soldier's grave

German soldier’s grave

Four Fingered Rock

Four Fingered Rock

Red sky at night!

Red sky at night!

Something I will really remember from that day is the Haribo incident. We were resting at the bottom of a hill that we were going to climb over as a shortcut when Will suddenly said “Do you know what I could do with right now? Haribo!”. He then went into his bag and pulled out a big bag which he had been saving and shared it out. Jez, our other leader, said the same thing but about Kylie Minogue but alas she wasn’t in there even after he pulled everything out all over the floor!

Dan R went one too far last night too so Jez got his own back by poking him with a big bit of wood then chasing him around the canyon floor. I didn’t take part even though I felt like it due to him being a complete menace to society so far this trip! We had a nice campfire going though which added to the atmosphere and he didn’t make this one explode !

Dan and the stick #1

Dan and the stick #1

Dan and the stick #2

Dan and the stick #2

This morning we knew the end was in sight as we only had 24km to go. The leaders decided it would be a good idea to give us some training so gave us one of the radios we had then set off into the distance without letting us get ready first. It was good to be out on our own but the group did get split up a few times. We all regrouped at the bottom of what we thought was a shortcut before heading up the hill a bit to try and get reception on the radios to contact the leaders. It turns out it was the wrong way anyway so we went back to the river and followed it along its course until we found our leaders waiting for us. After a few harsh words we progressed further before stopping for lunch.

After lunch we all headed off at our own pace. Some people were faster than others, then there was a group of people that finished a little later, followed by me, Dan Becks and a couple of other people. We were all pretty exhausted by the end but when we walked up those final steps and saw the campsite there was relief! We walked into the campsite, around the corner and saw the truck which was even more of a relief. Dan B screamed “trruuuuuuck!!!” and ran towards it which was something I didn’t have the energy for despite it looking like paradise.

Finishing the trek

Finishing the trek

Since getting back we’ve just cleaned up and relaxed by the pool. Unfortunately my electric razor has run out of battery so I had to get a disposable one from Simon and attempt to use it for the first time ever while in the shower. New experience but I managed it.

We’re going out for a meal in the restaurant tonight!

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