This is the old North Room blog – the new one is at www.north-room.com/blog

Here’s a photo I didn’t want to see!

Posted in Honduras, Mishaps, Travel by Mike on June 2, 2009

When I loaded up the fully-recyclable/whittled-from-a-single-piece-of-aluminium MacBook this morning, I’d intended for this post to just show my contender for 2009’s Rear of the Year, courtesy of Darcie (one of our nieces).

Then this showed up on the screen.

But isn't it supposed to look like that, Doctor?

("Happy birthday, Gonzo", said Dr Davey. "You've bust your Scaphoid...")

I didn’t blog about this at the time, but whilst Claire and I were in Honduras, and Claire was eating her delicious breakfast at Georphies, I was busily distancing myself from a moving motorbike and getting a ‘proper’ feel for some wet, Honduran gravel.  10ft or so later, I came to a stop and knew I’d hurt my left wrist pretty badly.

The flesh wound healed, but something’s still not right.  So today I wen’ to di doc’s, and di doc say…is broken.

The bad news is, I need to go under the knife and have a bone graft taken from another part of my body.  The good news is, it means I’ll be losing a couple of inches from my ass!  My Dad thinks I might even be able to fart out of my thumb, which would be nice.

So on hearing this joyous news, my attention immediately turned to my wife.  How would I prepare our candlelit suppers, clean the house for her, and iron her clothes?

“You’ll find a way, Mike, you’ll find a way”, I thought, so my mind quickly moved to my photographic commitments.  He estimates I’ll need to be in plaster for a total of 8 weeks, and the problem is that I’ve now got 4 confirmed weddings booked for this year, more in the pipe and other cool stuff planned beside – at least one family portrait session in June, more in July, then I’m spending a few quid days in August shooting with this guy in Philadelphia before my wedding bookings kick in.

I COULD leave it to fester, and hope the “95% chance of me getting arthritis in 10 years” doesn’t materialise, but if I square it away then the chances reduce to 5%.  The fact that I’m a right hander doesn’t matter – I need both to change a lens, pick-up heavy things (which I’m pretty good at), play golf, read a book, clean a dish, stick a shelf up, do the mowing, drive a car – so I figure the business case is there.  Either way, though, apparently I’m never doing press-ups again – unless it’s on my knuckles (sweet!).

So I’m biting the bullet and getting it done.  I go in this week.

For the record, I love you all.  But Claire’s my favourite…

Oh yeh – here’s the shot of Darcie on Shoreham beach last weekend.

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World Tour update: Nicaragua, Honduras (and a bit of Guatemala)

Posted in Architecture, Guatemala, Honduras, Landscapes, Nicaragua, Travel, Wildlife by Mike on February 1, 2009
Sunset over Lake Nicaragua from Ometepe island.  The sky was filled with colour.

Sunset over Lake Nicaragua from Ometepe island. The sky was filled with colour.

 

Herein endeth our first month and we’re almost done with Mesoamerica.  We’ve just arrived back in Flores, Guatemala, having spent yesterday and this morning walking round the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. (Albeit walking like we were both wearing calipers and looking like we’ve both had accidents in our respective all-weather trousers…).

Since our last post we’ve done some pretty serious mileage. In a nutshell, we’ve moved from Granada in Nicaragua to Ometepe island, survived Managua (the Nicaraguan capital), moved across the border to Tegucigalpa (the Honduran capital), up to the Bay Islands, across to the Mayan city of Copan (awesome), again over the border into Guatemala, stayed in the beautiful city of Antigua, visited the beautiful Lake Atitlan, hiked more than 4000 metres up the side of the absolutely hard as nails Volcano Acatenango (which I think is Spanish for “Stupid english wazzocks, do not bother”), then headed up to where we are now for our last bit of Central American culture and history.

Of the four countries we’ve now visited, Guatemala has to be our favourite.  It’s been much easier to access the culture and fabric of the place here than anywhere else we’ve found, and the places that we’ve visited and things we’ve seen have just blown us away.  Antigua, for example, is not only the most visually interesting place we’ve been to in its own right, but it also nestles between (count them) THREE volcanos;  Agua (to the North), Fuego (to the East), and Acatenango (just South of Fuego) are all clearly visible from the town.

During the days we were there, we were blessed with a number of eruptions of huge plumes of gas and ash from Fuego. And, after a painful 8-hour hike up to Acatenango’s 4km summit, we were also lucky enough to see one up close. As the only crew up there – we were with a German couple, two Dutch girls, two Aussie guys (one in shorts!) and our Canadian guide – we had the run of the place to ourselves and could not believe our eyes when we got up to the top – we were so far above the clouds we felt like we were in space and, right on cue, as the sun went down, Fuego rumbled loudly and spurted out a tonne of hot black ash. After the hardest day since records began, the experience we had up there just blew our minds. 

Check out the photos below, hope you are all well and keep us updated with all your news.  Lots of love, M&C x

As we headed North, the faunaa changed a little.

As we headed North, the fauna changed a little.

 

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Claire teaching some local kids how to talk proper, like.  I wanted to teach them You'll Never Walk Alone but the teacher was an Everton fan.

Claire teaching some local kids how to talk proper, like. I wanted to teach them You'll Never Walk Alone but I think the teacher was an Evertonian.

 

Thought I'd lost my old Streetfighter 3 moves, guess not!

Thought I'd lost my old Streetfighter 3 moves, guess not!

 

The laundrette in Ometepe had a strong environmental theme.

The laundrette in Ometepe had a strong environmental theme.

 

Granada's impressive Cathedral.  Most of the churchs here are scared from when the city was nearly destroyed - deliberately - by fire.

Granada's impressive Cathedral. Most of the churchs here are scared from when the city was nearly destroyed (deliberately) by fire.

 

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Whilst a little dated, Granada's transport network is better than ours.

Whilst a little dated, Granada's transport network works better than ours.

 

 

Better get inside ma (blizzard's 'a' comin'.

Better get inside ma (blizzard's a' comin'). One of Granada's fire-damaged churches.

 

Claire @ Masaya Volcano

Claire @ Masaya. Behind her is little brother.

 

The Spanish called this place "The Mouth of Hell"

And this is Big Brother. The Spanish called this place "The Mouth of Hell"

 

In 1991 it spat this out - a mere 1000lb lump of rock - crushing a car like a coke can, apparently.

And in 1991 it spat this out - a mere 1000lb lump of rock - crushing a car like a Coke can, apparently.

 

Large - the vehicles on the right are buses.

Large - the vehicles on the right are buses.

 

Another obligatory church shot - Granada.

Another obligatory church shot - Granada.

 

Nicaragua's most prolific Cigar Magnate is quite a dish - hot wife too...

Nicaragua's most prolific Cigar Magnate is quite a dish (hot wife too)

 

I remember rolling my own at Uni, but this took the biscuit.

I remember rolling my own at Uni, but this took the biscuit.

 

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Roatan - we waited all week for that sun!

Roatan - we waited all week for that sun!

 

I hear you fella.

I hear you fella.

 

Copan, Honduras.

Copan, Honduras.

 

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(cheese)

(cheese)

 

An early version of footy was played here to the death.

An early version of footy was played here to the death. My suggestion of a cheeky game of Heads & Vollies went down like a lead balloon.

 

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Up 'ere?

Climb THIS?

 

 

Claire and some of our possee at the summit of Volcano Acatenango.

Claire and some of our posse at the summit of Volcano Acatenango.

 

The in-flight meal on the coach was RUBBISH.  I went for the former and it wasn't filling at all.

The in-flight meal on the trans-Nicaraguan coach was RUBBISH. I went for the former and it wasn't filling at all.