Around Central America with the Girl Next Door

“Incisive and acutely observed, a cautionary tale for anyone planning to cross a continent with their significant other”

The Age

Six weeks into a new relationship, I invited the new love of my life to travel around Central America. Big mistake.


I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to invite a new girlfriend on a jaunt around Central America. The area was just emerging from decades of civil war and was still racked with poverty, disease and natural disasters. I can only surmise that I was still juiced up on serotonin. The fact that my publisher’s lawyers insist I call her ‘The Girl Next Door’ is a pretty good indication of how things went.

Over a period of six months we battled hurricanes, mosquitoes, uncooperative border officials and over-sexed Mexican commuters and learnt rather more about each other than we really wanted to. Each chapter has its own annoying habit – either mine or the GND’s – including map-hogging, over packing, bite-scratching and over-zealous haggling.

It wasn’t all bad. From the ancient Mayan sites of Guatemala to the perfect golden Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica, Central America served up its share of magic moments.

The Full Montezuma chronicles the all the highs and all the lows of one couple’s journey into the unknown.

Start your journey now for only 99p!

The Full Montezuma by Peter Moore

Here’s some great news. The Full Montezuma is available as an eBook right now. You’re just a click or two away from the chaos and colour of Central America as well as hard-won relationship advice!

Amazon UK | Amazon Australia | Amazon USA | Apple Worldwide

Photos from the trip …

Please forgive the poor quality of the images in this gallery. The originals are in a storage unit in Australia, so I’ve had to use images from when the web was slow and high resolution was a curse rather than a blessing. I plan to visit my storage unit some time this year. When I do, rest assured, the image quality will improve dramatically.

  1. A big thank you for a most fascinating trip though Central America and Jamaica + Cuba.

    I am a Brit, but worked in Jamaica 1967 – 1972. I visited Guatemala + British Honduras ( now Belize) And also San Andres, Columbian Island off coast of Nicaragua.

    I bought your book for AUD 0.50 from a junk shop at Mannum on the River Murray.

    Your writing is so descriptive I felt as though I was there, didn’t need any pictures
    Then wanted to tell a friend in Perth to read it so Googled your name and all these fab pictures came up.

    Need to read it a second time Must get your other books.


    Keith HEWITT

    1. Thanks Keith. Really pleased to hear you enjoyed The Full Montezuma, especially as you have travelled through the region yourself.

      And thanks too, for spreading the word.

      Much appreciated!

      1. Peter,
        Just finished it a second time, love your way with words. One can feel the “tension ” with the GND, and laugh at the situation.

        By the way there is a cure for sea sickness, An old RTW sailor taught me when we were sailing from Madeira to the Canaries. Put a lump of stem ginger in your mouth, but don’t chew it. Just let the ginger juices trickle into your stomach.

        Not convinced I asked him does it really stop sea sickness ? His reply, well if it doesnt work, what comes up tastes and smells so much better than vomit 😁

        BTW, have so enjoyed the book have now recommended it to about 8 friends, who have asked “What you doing during the lock down?”

        That 50 cents spent in the junk shop in Mannum was the best investment on my Murray river trip!

        1. Thanks Keith – I will try the ginger trick next time I’m on the high seas. My mum always made us eat bananas when we were sick. Apparently they are the only thing that tastes the same going down as coming back up!

  2. Hi Peter,

    Just reading TFM for the second time after reading The Wrong Way Home for second time after being stuck in Saigon recently.

    Did the SE Asia backpacker route in the 80s.



  3. Hi Peter

    Just finished TFM. Really enjoyed it and as other people have said you have a brilliant way with words and make the reader feel as though they know a town or city even if they haven’t visited the place.

    I really hope that you and the GND are still together and I guess it must be over 20 years ago that you made the trip.

    Just your Swahili book to go now.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for your message. Glad to hear you enjoyed ‘The Full Montezuma.’

      If you’ve got hold of ‘Swahili for the Broken-Hearted’ you’ll know that the GND didn’t last. Travelling together is usually a ‘make-or-break’ scenario for relationships and so it was for us.

      Not all is lost though. I have married and had a daughter since, so I’m not one of those sad blokes propping up a bar somewhere saying how much better everything was 20 years ago!



  4. I read NSITT sometime ago in Spain and really enjoyed it. I’ve just finished TFM and loved it. I spent some time in Jamaica and that section made me chuckle. I’m now up for your take on Italy and Africa.

    I know that you are married with kid (s) but I’m left wondering whatever happened to the GND eventually?

  5. Just finished your book Peter at 4 am! What happened to the GND? Looking at your pictures it looks like she was more than happy. You have rather pulled me up about taking a girl with me on a trip round Canada though. Less hassle on your own. Gonna get “Swahili” next as a follow up. That’s three books of yours I’ve bought so if I don’t get a mention here…they may be the last!

  6. I’ve just finished your book after picking it up in a hostel in San Cristobal! Thank you so much for making me laugh, especially as I’m travelling around similar parts with my boyfriend. I laugh as I see us in both of you – even yesterday the debate me and my boyfriend had about going to a cenote, him wanting the more rustic, free route in (with me in flip flops), and me wanting to just pay the tiny entry free for a much easier day! After being ankle deep in mud, my boyfriend finally relented and we paid the entrance fee!

    You both travelled to these parts over 20 years ago, what a completely different travel experience you had without the internet at your fingertips…..and without the Instagram generation. You were both so adventurous and brave to travel like you did. Hats off to you.

    Thanks once again for a fantastic book….and the photos to check out after made me smile!


    1. Hi Natalie,

      Thanks so much for your kind comments. Always pleased to hear that my book rang true with your experiences. It takes a certain kind of bravery – some would say stupidity – to travel with a partner!

      I know what you mean about the internet changing things, but in my own travels since I’ve been pleased to see that somethings never change. Meeting people and experiencing, just for a moment, their lives is still as rewarding and exciting as it always was. It’s just a little more difficult to just rock up and expect to find a room or get a bus ticket than it used to be.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to comment. It was very much appreciated!

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