Posts Tagged ‘GO HERE’

I went to a few areas in Peru: Lima, Cusco (Machu Picchu) and Arequipa (Colca Canyon). All are lovely as are the people and the food is out of this world. My whole time in Peru was based on hiking/trekking/outdoor-stuff. With that said, I will tell you briefly of Lima and then do a compare/contrast between Colca Canyon and Machu Picchu as far as places to go hiding after Z-day:

Lima is a great city. Here are the things that surprised me the most about it:

1) It looks like Europe. I guess it’s an old Spanish colony, so I shouldn’t have been TOO surprised, but the architecture did surprise me in how beautiful and ornate it (still) was.

2) The economy of selling STUFF is unbelieveable. If you wanted pencil erasers, there was a guy selling those. If you wanted small pink rulers, there was a guy selling those, too. If you wanted a blue ruler, there was a different guy selling those. If you wanted plastic made-in-china-anything, there was a whole mercado dedicated to it with alcoves upon nooks and crannies dedicated to everything and anything you could ever possibly imagine.

TL;DR: If you want to get cheap knock-offs for cheap- go to Lima.

With that said- I did have amazing Cerveche here, and Pisco sours. If you are unaware (as I was), Peru is second to France in the number of “fancy 5-star food” dishes that they have available to the public. I was skeptical, but the only “bad food” I had was while on the treks, which I’ll describe later.

Later:

I flew from Lima to Cusco (mainly because a 1-hour flight was 92$ and the bus was 74$ and took 24+ hours. I may be self-employed, but my time is still valuable!) Once I got to Cusco, I was bound and determined to not get altitude sickness like I did in Quito and went for a 6k run. It took me over an hour– and I was tired, but I felt good. This proved to be a great idea- because I wasn’t nearly as tired as I was in Quito. I think the Coca tea also helped. (Gift from the gawds, I tell you!)

The Inca Trail tour (Cost 450+$usd) was all booked up for months, so I went on the Salkatay tour (cost 230$USD) which is MORE HARD CORE and WAY BETTER, imo. 5 days, 4 nights of trekking on uneven ground which the farmers now use to get live-stock/goods across the Andes to the various villages. We camped, ate simple food, ascended to 4,650meters above sea-level, woke up to roosters, hiked about 20k a day and I made some amazing friends.

Machu Picchu (59/70)  just as amazing as you would imagine. Or maybe you don’t know much about it- so that’s why you’re here… It’s a city where the Incas lived, high in the mountains, far from everyone else. The city was beautifully built out of rocks that were carved BY OTHER ROCKS and then SANDED BY ROCKS until they were smooth. Take the time to read that sentence again. Keep in mind they had no dynamite or sand-paper, no wheel and no iron/metal tools. This was 1100AD. All they had were pissed off Gods that they had to give sacrifices to, coca, chocolate, llamas and rocks. Oh yea, they didn’t even have donkeys at this time… Those were introduced by the Spanish. All the rocks were “harvested” out of the mountain and carried by either men or weak-ass llamas (who can only carry up to 50kilos).


Ok- moving on. Waynapicchu (is another mountain that over-looks Machu Picchu. This is actually the safer of the 2 places because it’s a higher mountain and has SOME structures that are left over. It’s also kinda difficult to get up to because the rocks and trail is strenuous for people with brains, let alone those without. (In the picture below- Wayna Picchu is the mountain peaking up on the right).

 

The location of WaynaPicchu is fantastic. 10/10. It doesn’t get too cold or too hot. Machu PIcchu has all the available means to do agriculture that held a civilization there for 300+ years. (9/10) There is plenty of water that falls during the rainy season, as well as natural springs. (10/10) The lodging is rustic, but could be adapted for common-day use. You need to replace the thatched roofs every 5 years, but your house can withstand the great tests of time, including earth-quakes! (9/10) There is not a lot of civilization. Aqua Caliente (a town named after a nearby hot-spring) is super touristy, but that means goods (like some of the best damn hot-chocolate ever!). It’s down the mountain, but probably has enough “stuff” that would tide anyone over during the apocalypse. (Except guns… I didn’t see any guns. Doesn’t mean that the farmers don’t have them, though….) 7/10. Non-dead dangers would include things the ruthless mosquitos, poisonous spiders and altitude sickness. Not too shabby over-all. (7/10) The locals speak Quechua and Spanish- but most of them speak a little English (enough to communicate with tourists). Quechua is a dying language, sadly, but their customs are not. They are kind and proud people of the Inca who still weave their own cloth, sing their own folk tunes and know how to convince the land to grow crops. (7/10)

 

(picture below shows the view of Machu Picchu FROM Wayna Picchu).

Colca Canyon is also a great place to go during z-day. If you travel south (8 hours by bus) to the big city of Arequipa you can get on another bus (for 3 hours) to the Canyon.

Be careful of local buses, though, because they tend to go off the side of the cliff often.

The canyon is the deepest canyon in the western hemisphere. It’s pretty desert-like, with not a lot of natural springs (but some!) and an impressive river at the bottom. The river is full during the rainy season (Jan-March) but starts to run dry after that.

From the canyon, you can drive up to summits of 4,900 and hike up volcanos (where the Incas held most of their sacrifices to the Gods). There aren’t many permanent structures here, but they do have a great vantage point.

 

(this trek was brought to you by Troy Meat Shop)

I haven’t really felt inspired to write a Zombie-survival page for every country/place that I’ve been in. Panama was difficult because I was mostly in Panama City or Colon. Portabello was amazing because that’s where a lot of Captain Henry Morgan battles were fought and I got my PADI certification while diving amongst his sunken ships!

I digress.

Colombia was amazing. I spent over a month in Colombia and it wasn’t enough. A place that all the cable news stations warn us about to never venture out to, I loved every single minute. I swore that all the citizens of Colombia had a meeting where they agreed to treat every foreigner as if they were royalty because their reputation is kinda crappy. Everyone agreed and they set off to find any foreigner… Throwing them gifts and tokens of appreciation and love. There is a new tourist slogan about Colombia where they say “the only risk is that you won’t want to leave”. And this is true.  For some reason, though, I think the amazing hospitality and the kindness of people would slowly go away once they all became zombies.

Medellin (58/70) was a city where I cried, constantly, because of the beauty of that city… However, the only safe place to hole up in would be Arvi, a natural park where you have to ride a gondola (Metro-cable-car) up to it. Even then- you’d have to go through the swarms of Medellin-citizen-zombies just to get there and then hope/pray that there is electricity that is powering the metro.

Location: 8/10 (in between a lot of mountains, but lots and lots of people…)

Water: 9/10 (delicious tap water!)

Lodging: 9/10 (brick/concrete houses all over. Plenty to squat in.)

Food: 9/10 PAISA!!!! GO HERE JUST TO EAT BANDEJA PAISA!

Costco equivilent: 4/10 – while there are no super-stores that I could find, there are markets… however, those markets will be managed by Zombies….

Non-dead dangers: It did rain a lot while I was there, which means mosquitos later. But overall, I didn’t meet any weird-looking dogs or snakes or scorpions or anything else that was deadly while I was here. 9/10

Locals: there is still a lot of crime in Medellin, apparently. I didn’t witness any, but everyone told me that there was still some sketchy areas. Which means, of course, that there are guns! and lots of them! So you’ll have a huge arsenal — if you can find them. Also, if you meet locals who are Colombian, they will welcome you into their home and you’ll instantly be family. 🙂 Always a nice feeling. 10/10

Bogota (60/70) is like a Latin NYC but with the weather of Seattle. It’s higher up in altitude so it remains temperate all year around. Walking around a city is one of my favorite things to do of all time- so this was perfect for me. Some hills, a lot of random little shops, lots of posters to gawk at. It was lovely. However, Bogota has well over 7 million people- making it NOT any kind of ideal place for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Location: It’s high up in the mountains. The weather is temperate year around. It rains a lot, but this means great for growing crops. 8/10

Water: delicious tap water– also lots of natural springs! (9/10)

Lodging: Tons of great housing. Very well constructed. Just the problem with very close neighbors. 8/10

Food: The food can vary. The restaurants vary all over the board- but they won’t be around after everyone is zombies (or they will only be serving brains). I did spend a great deal of time just eating the various fruits that were in the supermarket. (one day I picked up 15 different fruits and tried a variety of them). All were different and pleasant. There were no chickens or pigs to be found, though– not sure where the farms are. Also- it should be noted that you can get ANYTHING delivered in Bogota. Anything. We tried this with beer and pharmacy drugs. (#winning) 9/10

Costco equivalent: While there were no huge “super stores” that sell everything (and you certainly can’t just buy guns like you could in the states) there are tons of security guards on every corner “guarding” something and holding semi-automatics. Finding weapons won’t be a problem, but finding enough ammo may be. Finding other stuff isn’t a real big problem- but you just need to go to several stores to find them. (7/10

Non-dead dangers: The only big thing here is dugs. Which raises a great question: What would a coked-up zombie be like? Would he run faster? Would he even bother running after you at all? I should add this to my [good questions] blog page. 9/10

Locals: Again- the most awesome and hospitable people on the face of the earth. Full of life (and would probably even love being zombies). They would definitely be the most fashionable ones that I’ve found. 10/10

Cartagena (49/70) is probably the “most safe” because it has an “old city” that was once used as a fort against the Spanish during the gold-war days. However, it’s hot. I’m not just saying it’s warm…. I mean it’s sweltering. Shade is going to be your best friend (along with the delicious juices- be forewarned- all your generator power will go towards the blender to make juice.)

Location- you have the beach and the old city wall. You could probably hole up in the old city, but there isn’t much going on there except for really old buildings that have withheld the test of time. (9/10)

Water: some potable water– but it may turn sketchy after the apocalypse…. unknown. There is plenty to swim in, though! 7/10

Lodging: Lots and lots and lots of really old (beautiful) buildings! (10/10)

Food: they don’t grow a lot THERE– they ship it in. So getting food may be a problem for later. 6/10

Costco Equivilent: again, no super store. No super-market, either. A lot of little mom/pop stores. 3/10

Non-dead dangers: the currents in the ocean CAN be quite high. Also, the UV rays can hurt you something fierce if you aren’t wearing sunscreen. (Mental note: Add sunscreen to my zombie survival kit!) 7/10

Locals: The locals were lovely here– but I prefer them in other parts of Colombia. It should be noted that this is a tourist destination and I didn’t have a chance to meet “the real locals” who weren’t trying to sell me something. 7/10

Santa Marta (53/70) is lovely- but more lovely was Tayrona, a national park located just east of Santa Marta. It’s glorious to go hiking, rent a hammock, lounge at the post-card-looking beaches. Is there a lot of food? Not really… There is plenty of fish and fruit- but nothing else, really. Are there a lot of people? Just tourists. In my opinion, this is where you would go to vacation during the Zombie Apocalypse. Especially at Tayrona. No zombie wants to go hiking through the jungle and the beach would be isolated enough that would make you relax a little during the terrible times ahead.

Location: secluded and off the beaten path. Beautiful beaches. Especially Tayrona. A lot of places you can only access via boat or long hikes. 10/10

Water: everywhere! You have to buy filtered/bottled water here… so bring some iodine or a steripen! 7/10

Lodging: Plenty of old buildings in the “old city” that you could hole up in. There are also really cute bungalows on the cliffs that you could squat in. No AC (and you would need fans at least) 8/10

Food: Lots and lots of fish! some fruit that is grown locally/a little ways away. But not a lot. Agriculture could probably happen in Tyrona after the apocalypse, though. 8/10

Costco: nope. None. No big stores what-so-ever. 4/10

non-dead-dangers: jelly fish was a scare for a day as were the currents. Our legs were also eaten alive by mosquitos and sand-fleas (note: put baby-oil on your legs to avoid getting bitten by sand fleas!)- but other than that- it’s a beacher’s paradise. 7/10

Locals: the locals were lovely. Kinda and amazing people– even for a touristy destination. 9/10

Barranquilla (61/70) was special in it’s own way. I went there and stayed with a couch-surfer (now a great friend) for 4 days. It was also the very beginning of Carnival, which is the 2nd biggest Carnival in the world after Rio. The first night was my first experience of Colombians and how passionate they are about life. Laughing, singing, dancing, drinking, offering everything and anything they have to total strangers. (Again, the amazing hospitality). Carnival was unique- so I shouldn’t grade an entire city based on it’s crazy/amazing festival. I will note, though, that if you want to have a great time right before Ash Wednesday– go to Barranquilla. Book ahead. Just go, laugh, have a great time. Go to the beach after you close down some bars. Dance your ass off. Be silly. Drink aquadiente (and cringe… because it’s foul) and then drink some more. Enjoy your time in Colombia.

Location: It’s kinda like Dallas/Fort Worth. It’s very concrete and sprally and massive. It’s a sport to drive here. Not a lot of parks, but plenty of places to hole up in and hide out– you’re also close to a beach if you need to get away. 9/10

Water: lots of potable water and you’re close enough to a beach to get away. During the rainy season/months it rains a lot and the streets are flooded. (forwarning) 8/10

Lodging: LOTS of concrete/safe buildings to hole up in. Lots of places to hide. 10/10

Food: The food is decent. I had a lot of standard dishes that I enjoyed. You can get some awesome seafood here as well as some produce. I’m not sure where the produce comes from- so again, it may be imported. 8/10

Costco- *edit*- They have Pricemart! 😀 I haven’t been there- but it exists. I doubt you can buy ammo- but you can probably buy everything else. 7/10

Non-dead dangers: The only “scary” thing about this town is the local’s kidneys and their driving….which leads me to…. 9/10

Locals: Amazing locals. The best, actually. It may have just been the people that I stayed with- but I was constantly and pleasantly surprised by how amazing these people are. Their culture is just oozing out of them and you can’t help but be happy and feel welcome and immersed in their lives. 10/10

So there ya go…. That’s Colombia. I will be back (this time I’ll actually know Spanish). *note: the Colombians speak the best spanish in all of Latin America. So if you want to take lessons- do it here and learn it properly. I did not follow this advice because I’m stupid. So I’ll continue to speak Spanish like a 2-yr-old.

Costa Rica (zombie survival) 41/70

The last time I was in Costa Rica was about 10 years ago with my family. A lot has changed since then. I don’t remember many details from that time (like what currency we used, how much things cost, etc) but I remember the people and the lack of “American things”.

Currently, Costa Rica is the new home to Ex-pats. With a McDonalds on every corner and a Starbucks on every other corner and people always in a rush to get somewhere (except to work), Costa Rica reminded me of an expensive Miami, Florida. In fact, I blew through more of my budget here than anywhere else in Central America—which makes my insides hurt. Why is a third world country so expensive? The mystery remains.

With all this said, this trip I stayed mostly in the middle (San Jose area) and hardly did any “toursty” things. Instead, I lived vicariously through other travelers who had more income than myself.

Overall, Costa Rica, in terms of the Zombie Apocalypse, would be a decent location to hole up. There is a crap-ton of fertile/plot-able land, lots of new highways being built along with anything commercial that you are missing in your life.

LOCATION: 8/10

Costa Rica really only has 2 seasons. Wet and dry. This means that they don’t have harsh winters or any weird/crazy climate issues. The dry season can get quite warm, but nothing too terrible. The wet season is where it rains every day for a few hours (apparently you can set your clock by this) and replenishes the land. Costa Rica also has a lot of mountains, rainforest and beaches— so if you’re sick of one thing, drive 30 minutes in any direction and the climate will change drastically.

WATER: 7/10

The city water is drinkable, but has a funny taste. I found this in a lot of locations, but it wasn’t harmful- just a little “chemically”. (Not chlorine, it’s something else. Bromine, maybe?) Aside from this, depending on where you are, the rain water (during the wet season) may or may not be enough to carry you through the whole year. Finding a river to do your washing may be the best option.

LODGING:  7/10

The houses vary depending on the class of person you are squatting from. There are mansions, simple “duplexes” (made out of concrete), shacks, etc. Also, it depends on where you are in the country. Because the climate range is so huge throughout all of Costa Rica, your housing could vary.

Almost all are water-resistant. None of them have heat (don’t really need it), nor are they insulated. This could pose a potential problem, depending on the apocalypse.

FOOD:  8/10

Costa Rica grows a lot of the typical Central American agriculture that one can find. There is also no lack of coffee here. (Picking it can be gruesome/tiresome… Maybe you can hire some zombies to pick/roast your coffee for you?) There seemed to be no lack of food in the markets except for spices (which is common around here). The only surprising thing was the lack of green in the city. Not a lot of people had personal gardens (that I saw/experienced).

SUPER STORE EQUIVILENT: 2/10

This is where Costa Rica kinda fails. I didn’t see a single “super store”… For anything. I found a lot of strip-mall-like things. A lot of people had guns, a lot of people had stuff- but it seemed that they had to go to many stores to get said stuff. A little inefficient, but it works for them. Will it work in the Zombie Apocalypse? Perhaps not.

NON-DEAD DANGERS: 5/10

Mosquitos, fleas, flies… the typical dangers that anyone has anywhere. Malaria exists- but I didn’t meet anyone who has known anyone personally who has gotten it.

Also, as far as I know, there are no natural disasters in this area. (some earthquakes, but nothing terrible, they have a lot of volcanoes, but most are dormant/not threatening if you plan properly. No hurricanes or big storms or anything like that.

LOCALS: 4/10

For me, the locals ranged from Ricos to Ex-Pats. So keep this in mind when the apocalypse happens. Both know the value of their land and both know that you (as a tourist) have money and are there to spend that money. So don’t be surprised if you meet a zombie that has their hand out wanting coins for something.

Nicaragua:  42/70

I stayed at two farms in Nicaragua and traveled a lot all over. One place was Matagalpa (a bigger city of about 600K) in the middle of the country. Another was San Antonio De Upa, a tiny hamlet (population 30? Maybe?) that you hike 8K from the bus stop to get to and is off the grid. Jinotega (180K population) is just north of Matagalpa.

I left here and went to Jinotega to another farm which was closer to a town (hitch-hiking is the preferred method of transportation of getting to/from towns) which is a blessing and a curse. You get access to bakery shops(!!!!) but you are also closer to more people (potential zombies). Being at the Biosfera the land, forest and natural springs were magical and I felt connected with the land. It was also pretty high up on a hill and semi-tucked away. The highway was right at the end of the driveway, so you never felt totally isolated. (again, blessing and a curse for the zombie apocalypse).

*note: if you’re a coffee drinker, this is the place to be! Actually, this is one of the places that Starbucks gets their coffee.

Leon, Nicaragua is great place to settle for a few days as it’s very close to beautiful beaches, volcanoes (that you can sled down!), public markets and lots of people to socialize with. (the locals are incredibly friendly and most people speak English in the bigger cities).

For being the second poorest country in the western hemisphere I stuffed myself silly (on zombie-apocalypse day) for 5$. Also, being the second safest means that I will most definitely be returning to Nicaragua soon.

LOCATION: 8/10

Nicaragua has many different climates all within a few miles of each other. You can be in a sweltering hot city in the middle of Leon and drive 20 minutes and be on a gorgeous beach. Or drive 20 minutes the other direction and be in the coffee plantation mountains.

Lots of places to hide away and get away, with paved roads and easy access to more populated (read: better equipped) areas.

WATER: 8/10

There are natural springs everywhere. Drinking the tap water, though, you need to be careful as it’s unknown where that water is coming from. Bring some iodine or find a spring.

FOOD: 7/10

If you like rice and beans, you’re in luck! If you like veggies, the market is your friend. (requires a trip to a high-populated area). If you need meat- you also won’t have a problem, but refrigeration is an issue (as is electricity in general.) but if you can find other people to share a chicken/cow with, then again, you won’t have an issue with food here.

LODGING: 2/10

Most of the houses here are pretty rustic unless you happen to find a really wealthy person who reinforced their house with concrete/sand bag foundations. Keeping out the elements isn’t the problem—but keeping out a hungry hoard would be.

COSTCO/SUPPLIES: 1/10

In all my travels I couldn’t find a general warehouse of goods. There are plenty of little shops- but you would have to know where to go/what you’re looking for (as the signage isn’t really well laid out/labeled). I’m also not really sure what the gun situation is, but only the bank-guards seemed to have them (that I saw).

NON-DEAD DANGERS: 7/10

The worst issue that I had were mosquitos and/or fleas—and even that was limited by comparison to other countries that I have visited. Other issues would be earthquakes or mud-slides during the wet-season.

Being on organic farms, however, I was told that the bigger problems were the locals using pesticides and those chemicals leaking into the water supply/other crops/land. This could have long-term health problems…. But I won’t get into that here. (we’re just thinking about surviving zombies, afterall.)

LOCALS/CULTURE: 9/10

Hands down, the nicest people I have met in Central America so far were the Nicos. Very polite! So thankful/appreciative that I was there! They were patient with my (abysmal) Spanish and giggled internally when I resorted to miming what I wanted. Besides being overly friendly (trying to pick me up), I loved my time here.

Guatemala (zombie survival)

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Z0mB!eZ
Tags: ,

GUATEMALA: 41/70

Guatemala is a country in Central America with a bigger population of a few million, but mostly because of Guatemala City (which has most of the population in it.) The rest of Guatemala is “suburb” type of city where there is a lot of agriculture, farm, dirt roads, and Maya ruins.

LOCATION:  7/10

I was near the city of Flores, which is a mystical part of the country, but definitely lower populated. The elevation wasn’t overly high or low, but the temperatures were pretty moderate. Even though it was the wet season, it was fairly dry this year.

WATER: 2/10

The water supplies were awful where I was. Our drinkable water was delivered. Apparently, a lot of farmers pour chemicals on their crops and the run-off gets into the water supply, which pollutes the spring. However, it does rain a lot during the wet-season, so rain-water could be an option for at least 5 months out of the year.

LODGING:  8/10

A lot of people build a fortress/compounds and have their whole garden in their “yard”. Banana trees, goats, pigs, chickens, herbs, tomatos, onions are all cultivated in yards already. Also, some houses are fortified with cinder-bliock or stone with the house part on the inside.

FOOD: 6/10

See above in yard and water supply. A lot of things grow, but if you are the type that NEEDS TWINKIES! Guatemala may not be the place for you.

SUPPLIES: 7/10

We went to the market several times and it always seemed stock full of anything/everything that you could possibly ever need to survive. There are a few things that are difficult to find in Central America (in general) like quick-dry items (or an REI/camping type store). But everything to set up base somewhere and live for a while can be found with ease.

Oh! Also worth mentioning is that all banks have their own security guards with guns. So finding one won’t be an issue, but finding ammo may be.

NON-DEAD DANGERS: 6/10

In the place I was (not a farm- but a little neighborhood), the only dangers we faced  (in the “compound”) were scorpions, fer de lances, bed bugs, and tarantulas. There were very few fire-ants. The rest of Guatemala, however, is on a fault line and has had earthquakes in the past (which could be terrible, seeing that the construction of buildings isn’t really set to any standard that I know of.)

LOCALS/CULTURE: 5/10

Besides the food (which is tasty and simple!) Mayan culture is also abundant and pretty awesome to dive into. I didn’t hear any music during my time there, but I did see a movie (Twilight) in Spanish—which was just as terrible as the English version.

I shall note that if you don’t speak spanish, you will have a difficult time getting around. People are friendly enough- but I’m assuming that all that politeness will go out the window once they are zombies.

Also note: If you hear someone moan “sesos”– run. rapido.

Belize (zombie survival)

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Z0mB!eZ
Tags: , , , ,

Belize = 44/70

 

Belize is an English settlement in Central America that has a population of about 360K (for the whole country). They are on the Caribbean coast, so that means there is a crap-ton of snorkeling, diving, water sports as well as the convenience of the country being really small so you can drive across it in 2 hours.  I was there in November and the bugs were AWFUL on the farm—but I was also a) on a farm b) came here during the “wet season” c) terribly unprepared. So just bring socks and long-sleeves and you’ll be fine.

 

 

LOCATION: 7/10

Central America is a great location weather-wise. A lot of rain in the “winter” (wet season) and it gets really hot, but never super cold. (no snow). This makes it ultimate camping weather, which is important during an apocalypse.

 

WATER: 9/10

Water a plenty here! When it’s the wet season, (if the air is ok), you could drink rain-water (and everyone has a rain-water collector.) If you find a spring, you could also drink from that.

 

Also, because it’s a coastal city, you can always get on a boat and paddle out to one of the keys (caye) for either R&R or escape!

 

LODGING: 6/10

Housing is kinda touch/miss in Central America as a whole. Some people have wood shacks with steel/tin roofs that are easily accessible to zombie hoards. Other people have cement/adobe huts with thatch roofs (again, not really zombie-proof). Many places in Belize were raised up, though, which IS pretty zombie proof—except they are made of wood (easily burnable). So housing may have to be reinforced.

 

FOOD: 9/10

My Belizean experience included a lot of farm food (There is an organic farm in Rancho Dolores, btw) which was all delicious. Papaya, oranges, limes, lemon, kumquats, bananas (a plenty), coconut, rum, sugar cane, beans, onion, ginger, etc were all on the menu every night. The locals all have chicken-coops and cows and sheep and other animals that are all tasty when prepared. The other nice thing is that the locals all know how to butcher meat/eat well— so if you find a local who isn’t undead, you’re in luck!

 

COSTCO/SUPPLIES: 4/10

You won’t have a problem finding a machete, but finding guns/gun supplies will, most definitely, be more difficult. I never found a need to go and get weird/random things that weren’t available at a local store, which is nice. If you are willing to “camp” for a while- you’ll be fine.

 

NON-DEAD DANGERS:  2/10

Oy… where do I begin?

-panthers

-fire ants

-fer de lances (pit viper snakes)

-mosquitos (malaria…. Very rare, though.)

-scorpions (I didn’t see one)

-Tarantulas (actually, they are pretty docile, but a worry, none-the-less).

-rats/mice a-plenty (potential rabies/diseases if they get in your food supply.

 

LOCALS/CULTURE: 7/10

There is definitely a lot of amazing and proud culture in Belize. A lot of the locals are from Africa (slave ships) or from other countries in Central America. All have amazing ancestor tips/tricks as well as ways to celebrate/have a good time (almost all include rum).

 

Monterosso is one of the 5 cities (vinca terras) in the mouth of the Italian Rivera. Little villages of about 1000+ people that has turned into a resort get-away for tourists. During the winter, like most tourist attractions, the place is deserted and a lot of attention goes towards fixing up the rooms/properties and general maintenance. During the on-season there are boat rentals, music parties, lots and lots and lots of food, hiking to the other towns and beach-time.

The Italians (here… As this is my first experience in the country) are lovely, polite- even if their English isn’t great. (strange for a resort town, but I’m the foreigner!) it does make you wonder– would they say “brains”? Or “mente!”?

So many questions!

“Enough about this… LN! I want to know if Italy (Monterosso) is a fit location for the zombie apocalypse!”

Alrighty then… We’ll get started.

Cinque Terre : 53/70

Location: 8/10
The weather was amazing for the week I visited. It was 72 (22C) the whole time I was here. The evenings were cool, it rained randomly- but never for very long, and the humidity levels are just perfect where my curly hair looks like something that was painted by Botticelli.

Monterosso is also located in mountains (grape, olive and lemon farmland) where you have to hike over semi-steep/rough terrain to get to the next town over. There are roads, but most of the people don’t drive or have access to cars, so they take the train that was erected in 1870.

Water: 9/10
The Mediterranean Sea is glorious. For us, it didn’t matter what time you went swimming, it was always the temperature of bath water. It’s also suuuuuuper salty where you float! Because of the salt, it’s said to have healing properties….. I doubt it would heal the undead, though.

Lodging: 8/10
(see pic) the houses here are built up and on top of each other. My traveling friend and I made the comment that our room “was on the top of billy-goat bluff” because of how many steep stairs we needed to climb. I barely stumbled up them after drinking 3 bottles of prosecco- so zombies would have a harder time, I would think.

The rooms/houses are really close together which can be beneficial incase you are in a James bond movie and need to jump from window to window.

Food: 10/10
Where do I start? You would never be hungry here. So much pasta, fresh lemons, grapes, olive/olive oil, bread, prosecco, seafood, gelato. The worst thing would be fresh water. (but why drink water when there is so much wine?!?)

Costco/equivilant: 3/10
Monterosso is a town of 1500. There are 5 bars, 1 pharmacy, 1 bank, 1 post office and 2 tiny markets. The rest of the shops are for the tourists. There are no “just for the locals” places because it’s just too small to even differentiate. That being said- there is no Costco… Not for miles in any direction.

Also, that being said, I’m not sure guns exist here. I haven’t seen any police with any on their person.

Non-dead dangers: 8/10
Dehydration, flooding, and sunburn would probably be the worst of it. I thought one would die of gluttony because of the richness of the food- but I’ve been gorging myself and don’t feel disgusting (like I do after thanksgiving, for example) afterwards. We aren’t sure if this is because their food has no preservatives or chemical crap that lousy American food has.

It would be interesting to see if zombies in Italy would rot faster because of this fact.

Locals: 7/10
Getting used to “Italy time” isn’t just a jet lag problem… It’s a culture thing. Nothing happens fast here. Unless its running after a bocce ball or after a cute girl on the beach.

With that said, they dance a lot, swim, sit and listen to the ocean, and- of course- play bocce!

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