DAY 52, Dec. 1, 2011, Guatemala Border / Quetzaltenango, Temp 8 to 25C (350/8725km)
San Cristobal to Comitan was filled with Mountain living and Topes (30 for 80km). C4R7T5V7. David and I found it interesting how the further South in Mexico you go the cleaner and more developed the cities became especially in Chiapas state.
|The back of the shop in the background is actually on stilts|
to be close to the hwy, I guess.
Comitan to the Guatemalan border at Las Champas. C6R7T3V7. Good piece of road with long distance mountain views.
Went through the Mexican check out for the bike and me. I had to pay a stupid tax as I didn't keep my receipt showing I paid to get in the country which is bullshit. It is not possible for me to have my tourist card and import a bike through Mexico with out paying when I crossed from the US. Not wanting to hold us up I paid and it was on to Guatemala to check in. A fake detour lead us through the first of two markets with people all over the place. A shock for sure, but once we settled in to a parking spot it was really easy!
See stats page for border info.
|Getting information on which |
buildings to go to.
|Very busy border|
|Migracion for Guatemala|
Excited about getting through the Guatemalan Border
Road in to Guatemala started well and then filled with towns, tumulos (speed bumps) and some pot holes and waterfall wash outs. C5R5T6V7.
|Making tracks in to Guatemala|
|Chicken Bus, the cheaper option to get through |
|Road side works wondering |
about these fully suited dudes
Road through the mountains towards Quetzaltenango
Arrived in Quetzaltenango know as Xela (Sheala), which seemed rough and chaotic at first, but once we found the hostel ($14 each which at the time I thought was super cheap, see Honduras / Nicaragua) and went out for amazing Tapas ($10 for a good fill) we realized how good this town was.
Dona Mercedes Hostel, very good value.
|Quetzeltenango (Xela) Center|
DAY 53, Dec. 2, Panajachel on Lago de Atitlan, Temp 10 to 25, Max elevation: 3000m (100/8825km)
Xela to Pana was fantastic. One of the best road conditions on my trip starting at 1500m and crossing 3000m and back down to 1500m at the lake. Two lanes all the way in to the clouds with stunning views (access to Pana is not great for 20km, but good curves). C7/8R8T3V9. Check it out...
|45 deg fields|
|Volcanos on the lake|
|Riding Side Saddle|
Chasing Dave to Pana
Riding in the clouds
In Pana we grabbed this amazing hotel Jardinis del Lago by recommendation ($36 each) right on the Lake. It was really nice, but unfortunately they had claimed to have WiFi in the rooms and didn't in the end. So, after getting screwed around on WiFi at most of the more expensive hotels I lost it and got my money back and left David there for the night. I would have been happy with a discount, but they went for the whole refund. Stayed at Larry's Place for $14 instead (no wifi, but saved $22).
|Surrounded by locals with questions about the bike.|
|view from room of hotel I did not |
stay at through the night
|Cute kids happy playing|
|Kids working the streets|
|Pana Harbour, yikes|
|Discussing how much their photo was worth. |
$1, every model has to start somewhere.
|Or Yes? In the end I walk away|
from this seller and his $4 price tag!
|I love looking at this Cutie, Sabrina. |
Unfortunately her mother's email
didn't work so I couldn't send her
Met Leda the night before at her little food stand on the street. Ate well and got to chatting about diving. Some how we figured out with my poor Spanish and no English that she could get us both a dive for the same price as what I was paying for one. So, 7 am she was waiting patiently in front of my Hotel and we were off to Santa Cruz by boat to the only Dive shop on the lake (Ati Divers, great guys).
Arriving at the Santa Cruz dock I was immediately happy. Ati divers operating out of Hotel la Iguana Perdida was very well run. After the dive I was not able ride up in altitude for 24 hours so brought David back later to stay the night at the great Hotel!
During our dive we were the subject for a Guatemala Tourism video for diving at the lake. Perfect, but no discount and in the end I had to pay $30 for the dive which was ok. It turns out my Spanish is even worse than I thought as Leda didn't come to dive, she just came to help me get a good price, but had no leverage at all as this was a proper shop and not a couple Guatemalans free diving from a dock. Regardless she enjoyed herself a lot although she was kicked off the boat for the Tourism video later joining when the film crew got the footage they needed and left us to the real diving. Not much to see on the dive as we didn't go to the thermal cracks underwater (which was on the second dive, urgh), but I experienced a high altitude fresh water dive and the pressure increases associated.
Dive intro video
|The scene was to show us submerging. |
I could have used more weight.
|Me, Max, Andy, Andy|
and camera dude
|Check out the Volcano behind us|
|Cute little Leda along for the ride, thanks for the photos.|
|A friendly game of Apples to Apples|
(Alex, Max, Andy, Me, Ross, Hannah, Yonnie)
DAY 55, Dec. 4, Temp 26C, Antigua Guatemala, (100/8925km)
Woke to the open air which always helps when you have a had a couple the night before. My stomach felt a bit off and I think drinking the lake water during the dive may have been a bad thing (see Honduras post). The boat back to Pana was much faster as it was only David and I instead of a full one like the day before.
|Waiting for the ferry back to Panajachel|
|Brushing at Sea|
After getting back on the bikes I got us a little lost, not lost, but on a tougher A to B path.
Great views to start the day. Instead of taking the road back towards CA-1 we pressed on with the advice of my GPS to find ourselves on a rough road with a river crossing. C7R3T3V7.
|To No Road|
|How did this happen? But fun.|
|Saw a bunch of Marathon|
runners going up this tough hill.
Very tough hill!
GS through the River
Then I took us down an even better path around Patzun on the way back to CA-1 through Patzicia. Oh GPS you are so funny...
|You want us to go where?|
|Down here! We turned around as 600 lbs of bike was |
not going to work on a footpath.
Finally we made it to Antigua after all the direction changes. Even Antigua was hard to find as there was no sign! Are you kidding me, no sign to the most popular town in the country? May be I missed the sign.
|Excellent road from Chimaltenango to Antigua, C6R7T3V7|
|Parking the bike in El Hostel|
|Nice garden in el Hostel|
|Lots of Fire Cracking kids|
|I love this fountain, but why?|
|Oh, that's why|
|$5 for Mexican Mezcal and a beer. $8 for the good stuff.|
Always able to find a couple Aussies with bad
moustaches up for a drink.
|Entrance to this section of the bar|
at Cafe Paseo.
DAY 56, Dec.5, Chiquimula, Temp: 24 to 32C, Elevation 500m (230/9155km)
Tried for the Honduran Border today, but a slow go through Guatemala City and lots of traffic put us in Chiquimula for 4:30ish. With 60km to go and sun down for about 5:45pm we opted to stay at Hotel Hernandez which is really the only good spot in town for $8ea! WiFi, pool and right in the heart of the city. Funny thing is it took a bit of time to find it as the front door is not huge in comparison to the hotel. Check the video.
|Great road to Guatemala City with 2 lanes through|
the mountains. C7R7T4V7/8.
|Guat City looks easy enough, but it|
wasn't. GPS did alright.
|Lunch stop after Guat city at |
Paso Texas on the road side.
Again my spanish fails, but
happy with boiled beef and veg
as the stomach was starting to act
|Rougher road on CA-9, C4R4T6/7V7.|
Hotel Hernandez in Chiquimula
|Night Market in Chiquimula|
|This powder dyes used for painting.|
For reviews of Guatemala check out: http://thelifeofbrad.blogspot.com/p/tlob-to-argentina-stats-page.html
|Now we know what Paul Henry was doing after|
getting sacked at TVNZ
Bon voyage Brad.
me gusta tu vida. amigo la procsima ves que regreses a honduras mi bebe osten y yo te vamos a acompañar a recorreer el mundo en motocicleta jajaja. bay
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