Central American Explorer, November 1997

Hello world! Okay, first thing to do here is to restore some ancient blog artifacts.

In 1997, I built a website for Dragoman, the adventure travel company, in return for a 3 month road trip through Central America. En route, we published an online travelogue onto the Dragoman site so that our friends and families back home could keep up to date with our adventures.

We found the odd internet cafe, even a couple with a scanner to digitize some of the Polaroid photos we’d taken. But mostly it was a big challenge to find computers with a modem and an internet connection.

The most memorable deployment was in Tegucigalpa, hiding behind a false wall in a small bookstore, trying to upload HTML files at a baud rate somewhere around the speed of morse code. In Tegucigalpa in 1997, there was a waiting list to get phone numbers because the local exchange only had 5 digits to play with. The owner of the shop explained that whenever a local died, there was a rush to get the phone number, so it’s really hard to get connected to the internet. “Some people around here would kill for an internet connection!”

This is possibly the first ever group travel blog, lost many years ago to some website redesign but re-published here again in it’s original glory.

One objective of this is to find and reunite all the wonderful people who were on that fateful trip, the Central American Explorer which departed Panama City on 6th November 1997.

My second objective; as part of the restoration process I will be embedding some digital maps showing parts of the trip, in an attempt to find the best digital map trip widget out there. I have recently been working on such a thing at Lonely Planet, so we’ll start with that:

Here’s all the Dragoman posts.

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