Go With The Flo

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We first met Manuela in our dorm room at Ummagumma hostel in Antigua, Guatemala. That was a week after we arrived in the country. We enjoyed her company and realised we had lots in common such as similar mindsets, sense of humour, and a love of similar foods. Mas salsa picante, por favor (More hot sauce, please)!

We continued to hang out and follow the Guatemalan gringo path together but it was in San Pedro where it became official. "Travel with me", she said. "I'll teach you Spanish", she said. Or something along those lines. In exchange, we'd provide the beer and you know how much Belgians love their beer! That was 6 weeks ago and we travelled together ever since. 

It was amusing arriving at a new hostel or posada hotel, seeing people's facial expressions as they tried to figure out where the 3 of us could possibly be from..

El negro, la blanca y la asiatica (The Black, the White and the Asian).

Sounds like a modern day western! In contrast, the most common travellers in Central America are the Israelis who have a very distinctive look plus 9 out of 10 seem to wear Jesus sandals (?).

An ongoing joke was giving her a new identity. Instead of Manuela from Austria, she became Flo from Belgium. We'd tease her by asking about Belgian traditions, foods, etc. She would respond by making up a near-believable story. Ironically an actual Austrian tradition that she shared is so bizarre, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was fabricated. In early December demon-like creatures called krampuses roam the streets looking for naughty children to beat (yes, literally beat!) with sticks. They are Santa's hitmen, if you like. Google it and see how scary they are. Poor kids!
As for learning Spanish, it was entertaining to watch her constantly interact, charm and negotiate with the locals. But it was all too easy to let her do all the talking. We probably should've practiced Spanish together more often but hey, manana, manana! But thanks to Flo, Mario can now count to 100 and no longer says VaMOOSE (instead of vamos)! Perfecto! ;)
Overall (hehe) she was a good influence by encouraging us to go to the gym and to improve our timekeeping, through her own example. But those darn Lees behave as if they're always on holiday or something! We learned a few tricks from Flo - things like cutting t-shirts, mixing coke and beer, and persistence when haggling to the bitter end. We also picked her brain about Central and South America where she'd been travelling northwards for the past 10 months.

So today we part ways but we're sure that someday, somewhere we shall meet again. Flo, you can't get rid of us THAT easily! Much Love, the LoveLees xx

NB!! Be sure to catch Flo in action by clicking on the video clip at the end of the photos. We loved that little running traffic-light man in Morelia, Mexico. The overlaid track is a Latin American club anthem that seems to be played everywhere around these parts. More videos from Issy Kakky Productions will be coming soon to a PC screen near you.
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m on

hos, makes was here

thelees on


thelees on

aaaah, of course, mark!

THE flo on

I just re-discovered this - the good days ;)

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