Raphael Kessler

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South East Asia 1999

  1. Vietnam - February 1999
  2. Thailand - April 1999
  3. Malaysia and Singapore - May 1999
  4. Indonesia - June 1999
Africa to home, the long way
- Africa
  1. South Africa
  2. Namibia and Botswana
  3. Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya
  4. Uganda
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Egypt
- Middle East and Balkans
  1. Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey
  2. Balkans
  3. Turkey
  4. Iran
- Asia
  1. Pakistan
  2. China
  3. Tibet
  4. Nepal
  5. India 1
  6. India 2
  7. India 3
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Bangladesh
  10. Myanmar
  11. Thailand
  12. Cambodia
  13. Laos
  14. China, Macao and Hong Kong
  15. Mongolia
- North America and Caribbean
  Caribbean, USA, Mexico and Canada
- Scandinavia and Eastern Europe
  1. Russia
  2. Sweden
  3. Baltics
  4. Poland and Czech Republic
South America 2002
  1. Brazil
  2. Argentina
  3. Chile and Easter Island
Central America and Mexico 2002
  1. Panama
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Nicaragua
  4. Honduras
  5. El Salvador
  6. Guatemala
  7. Belize
  8. Mexico
South America 2003-4
  1. Trinidad and Tobago
  2. Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana
  3. Venezuela
  4. Colombia
  5. Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands
  6. Peru
  7. Bolivia
  8. Argentina
  9. Uruguay and Paraguay
  10. Bolivia 2
  11. Peru 2
Specific Pacific
  1. California to Fiji+ French Polynesia & Cook Islands
  2. Samoa, Niue and American Samoa
  3. Tonga and New Zealand
  4. Australia 1
  5. Australia 2

El Salvador


After Copan I went to El Salvador (still with Natasha and Darren). Part of the reason I wanted to go was because I had heard generally defamatory reports about the country, but mostly from people who had never visited it and I wanted to see if they were justified. After an easy border crossing we tried to go to a small town called Metapan in order to get to Montecristo National Park. After a while it was established that there were no more buses at that time so I negotiated with Luis a taxi driver to take us there. Luis was a very jovial guy who spent much of the time laughing. Within the first few minutes he had got a bit lost and almost destroyed his already damaged car when he went on the wrong route which was barely fit as a goat path. After ripping off his exhaust and sticking it on the roof rack as a memento we found the right road and headed off through lovely scenery to Metapan. I asked Luis if he saw many tourists coming through the border, he replied that it was very rare that he saw any. I asked him why he thought very few visitors came to his country, he didn’t have an answer. I then asked him if it was true that at night there were very many criminals around in the cities, which he confirmed. I also asked if there were bandits on the roads which he also confirmed. I suggested this might be why not too many people visit El Salvador which he thought was quite a reasonable explanation. We arrived in Metapan just as it was getting dark and had a wander round town and got something to eat. Next day we tried to make arrangements to get to the park but it became clear that transport to get there would be prohibitively expensive so we gave up on that plan and headed to Santa Ana, El Salvador’s second city. We went to see Joya de Ceren an interesting Mayan site where the village was buried by volcanic ash and so excellently preserved. Utensils, living structures, pots, statues and numerous other artefacts were discovered in generally very good condition. What is more is the actual homes the people lived in have been excavated so there building techniques and the way they lived one and a half thousand years ago is visible. From there went to San Andres where there is another interesting Mayan site, with several pyramids and another interesting museum, the last Mayan site we visited in El Salvador was Tazumal another ziggurat also with an interesting museum with some excellent artefacts discovered in the vicinity. So after just a few days we left El Salvador for Guatemala. The people in El Salvador were extremely hospitable, good humoured and helpful, the sites were interesting and the prices fair.

I am now in Guatemala but I will write about my adventures here in another newsletter.



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