I was warned ahead of time that this trip to Central America was not for people in wheel chairs. After much wheedling I managed to convince Overseas Adventure Travel to allow me to go. I was also given notice that if I could not keep up I would have to return to the United States at my own expense.
This was not a big concern for me inasmuch as I had my buddy Mike Roszak along to assist me in navigating the four countries.
The daily routine of getting braces and shoes on everyday was a simple task and towards the end of the trip we could accomplish this in a matter of minutes. The real challenge was navigating the ancient Mayan Ruins in Copan Honduras. At times we had to leave the wheel chair and walker at the bottom of a route while Mike and Jaimie lifted me up over rocks and tree roots. Back tracking for the wheel chair and walker we were able to travel a short distance until the front wheel would hit a rock and almost pitch me forward out of the chair.
While this was a daunting task I was pleased that we made it through the day and I now had renewed confidence that whatever was in store for me I could handle it. Next event was a half day horseback ride into a local Mayan village. Riding a horse was the easy part, getting on and off was another matter. We spent time in the village visiting with the local children and handing out ALS bracelets.
Luckily I had an understanding guide, Hector Franco, who upon observation deemed that I would able to participate in all the tours. Next tour, an extreme 8 zip line ride down a mountain side. That was the easy part, climbing to the top (over a mile of mossy rocks and jungle) was something I could not possibly make on my own. After a feeble attempt with the walker it was decided that a piggy back ride would be the most efficient mode of transportation.
Of all my extreme adventures this had to be the most difficult and I definitely overdid it.
I woke up the next morning thinking I could not possibly make another step, anywhere.
I told Franco that I would be satisfied to stay around the hotel while they visited the Mayan ruins in Tikal, Guatemala. Franco would not hear of this and convinced me that this was a tour not to be missed.
Thanks to Franco and his knowledge of the obstacles I would have to overcome he did a fantastic job of arranging for help in getting me around without slowing down the group. A special thanks to all my travel companions who gracefully accepted me in spite of my physical limitations.