If you're wondering what to expect of the facilities and transport on a YOLO tour through Central America, all in all I'd say the buses and hotels on my trip exceeded expectation - and free WiFi was everywhere!
Even in the most out of the way garage stops for toilet breaks, there were no "crouching hole in the floor" toilets. At one particular one in Nicaragua, the washing your hands facility was on the iffy side (big drum of stagnant water) and funnily enough, we had to pay to use the bathroom. It wasn't much, but did take us by surprise considering it was probably the worse toilet we came across. In El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, garage / convenience store toilets that were situated in outhouses were often locked by Security guards and unlocked for our use.
Shows I haven't been on the road for a while. I wasn't expecting WiFi practically everywhere in Central America. It was free at every hotel and even on the beach on Ometepe Island; the village had a Communications centre. On the buses (privately hired for our group) in Costa Rica, the drivers often shared their passwords with us if we asked. There was no WiFi at our actual Homestay, but we did get purified water from our family.
Most of the hotels had free water refills for G Adventures groups so we were always able to top up our bottles and keep hydrated in the humidity. Everywhere we went we had a shower in the bathroom and mostly the water was clear and non smelling. I used the tap water in Costa Rica to clean my teeth, also Granada and Poneloya in Nicaragua. I think I used it in Suchitoto (El Salvador) but skipped out in Ataco and Copan. In Antigua it seemed to be ok. I never drank the tap water though and didn't let any get in my mouth from the shower. I hadn't registered we would be bunking in together at the Surfing Turtle in Poneloya (males and females) and that it was in fact a hostel and everybody shared the bathrooms, but it was all good. So relaxing and chilled out there, it didn't matter. Apart from that, all of the accommodation exceeded expectations. I was expecting hostels and very basic sleeping and washing facilities on every night stop.
No problems with transport. All the buses we used were clean and had seat belts (in case you're wondering). I was expecting more "chicken" buses on the itinerary. I was under the impression these chicken buses were stuffed full of people and chickens hence the name, but I think this is a myth. It's also the reason I shelled out for my Rabies vaccines. In hindsight, I don't think I needed to get those shots, but at least it's ticked off the vaccine list now. There were a lot of dogs on the trip, wandering aimlessly, so I was glad I had them. I don't know whether we got lucky with the size of our group (12) so that meant we fitted nicely into a private bus. Working on contracts in a previous life, I remember very well the fixed costs for vehicles and how it could make or break the profit you made on a tour. I remember how important it was to hit certain load factors. 12 was always my magic number!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.