Day 33 – Coban to Panajachel

WOW – Marc and I agreed that today was one of the best riding we have
ever had in our lives!
After our morning meeting with Trickle Up we hit the road towards Lake
Atitlan (apparently being considered to enter the list of one of the 7
natural wonders of the world). We had no idea what to expect.
Again we could take 2 roads – the long paved route or a shorter
smaller road with unpaved stretches. At the decision point we were
told that it would be only 30km of dirt so we went for it.
The reward was inexplicable. Not a single straight mile. The dirt was
fun. Wet but not slippery. Rocky but not too dusty. The temperature
was ideal. No traffic. Gorgeous views. Colorful and cheerful people in
the villages.
Even when it got dark the road was well marked and appart from the pot
holes it was still great fun to ride on!
We drfintely put our bikes through all of their paces.
The lake looks promissing – we got here at night so we will have a
good morning surprise.
Text only today – the Internet is out in the town.

Day 32 – Gucumatz to Coban

LONG day! Woke up really early to patch Marc's tire – went pretty
smoothly – we found the puncture and patched it with a little help
from Eduardo, Moira's helper – and then we hit the road.
The sun was intermittent throughout the day, the roads were very good
and the scenery was very nice – jungle mixed with some mountains.
We had to take a round about route to get to Coban since the direct
route was flooded. Turned out that we had to take an even longer route
since one of the roads we were going to take was unpaved. 100 miles of
unpaved road plus the rain plus the risk of a flat tire and the fact
that it would get dark soon made us decide to go through the much
longer but paved route.
It was our longest ride so far – 350 miles in one day – starting
around 10am and stopping at 8pm with an hour lunch break.
The final stretch to Coban was very twisty but must be gorgeous – we
will find out today on the way to Lake Atitlan.
The temperature dropped dramatically as well – we are at 4000 feet now.
Off to a meeting with the non-profit organization Marc is working with
and then hit the road again.
Photos and videos still to come – waiting for a good internet
connection.

From Motorcycle NY to SP

Day 31 – update

Eventful night!
While we were taking the showers and getting ready to go back to La
Plancha a light rain turned the roads into soap.
In the first 10 meters of road Marc slid off to the side. I turned
back to help and saw that the problem really was his rear tire that
was on the ground!
The first flat of the trip and the first time we stay in the same city
two nights.
We parked Marc's bike in the hotel's small garage, I removed my side
bags, and Marc hopped on my bike.
Back on to the soap we managed to cover 3 miles in about half an hour,
1 complete lay down of the bike, a couple of saves where the bike
didn't make it all the way to the floor, and endless slides.
The mud here clings to your tire. I could literally feel the bike
getting taller with the mud accumulating. Not to mention the complete
loss of traction!
When we got to the hotel we took a look at the bike and could not see
any of the tire's rubber – just mud.
Anyway – dinner was great and very funny. It ranged from a random guy
taking pictures of our table to a girl showing off her impressive
ability of sucking air in and then forcing it out her private part
making it sound like a fart – ha! It even rhymed πŸ™‚
Rachel's sister was very glad to meet us. She greeted us as "the
bloggers" and went on to explain that she had Googled "Belize to La
Lancha" and the first search result was my blog! She read it and
couldn't believe that it was from the previous day and that in fact
Rachel and Filipo had met "them" and that she was meeting us today!
The coinciednces of this world πŸ™‚
The ride back was better – the roads were dryer and I was a but more
used to it.
Tomorrow we will fix Marcs tire and keep going.

Day 31 – La Plancha to Tikal and back to Gucumatz

Quick post today – writting from my iphone – photos and videos tomorrow night maybe πŸ™‚ Had a great breakfast at the hotel (La Lancha, Jobompiche) and waited a little for the rain to subdue.
Rode to Tikal (1/2 hour) and walked around for around 2 or 3 hours.
Very interesting place and with a lot more visitors than Palenque in Mexico.
Our plans have been changing quite a bit because the route to Coban that we wanted to take is flooded and unpassable. A round about way was shown to us and we were told that it would take 6 to 7 hours!Β Quite a bit for one day – we would have to be on the motorcycles by around 6am to get there before dark.
The choices were to keep going today to make some progress or stay another night close to La Lancha and do the early bird option.
We met a very nice couple last night (Rachel and Filipo) at the hotel who invited us for dinner tonight with about another 12 friends of theirs who were arriving today. They are all going to do some travelling in Belize and then to Rachel’s sister’s wedding.
We decided to decide after Tikal.
We left there pretty late so after about an hour of riding we got to the intersection to go south or straight. We needed cash so we went straight. And then it got dark. So we went towards La Lancha and stopped another hotel right before it. Tomorrow I will post more on the dinner and the videos πŸ™‚
On a personal note – made my father sad – and for sure my whole family with my Freudian slip – I did not edit out a part of the video which I was smoking a cigarette. Something I am not proud of and have been doing on and off. Crazy addiction.Decided to stop once again. Threw away the pack…Well – not such a shirt post after all – been getting pretty quick with this keyboard πŸ™‚

From Motorcycle NY to SP


Day 30 – Belize City to La Lancha (Jobompiche)

Mood swing day for me. The weather was not nice so we decided to skip
the Cayes and head out of Belize into Guatemala.
As I was getting my bike off the center stand I dropped it and the
helmet fell on the ground – no harm done but it just ticked me off.
Then we looked for a place to eat and there was only a small shack
that semi-descent. Ate a small chicken patty and we hit the road.
The border crossing came up pretty soon after some flooded roads –
nothing like we saw yesterday though.
The process itself was not that bad… took about an hour and half…
had to go through a spray to kill germs and insects – which I went
through without the helmet – not too smart. Marc simply went around
it πŸ™‚
On the Guatemalan side the process also went smoothly – had to run
across a bridge to get photocopies of our licenses, passports, and
registration.
The road in Guatemala was pretty bad – barely paved with massive pot
holes – quite fun actually. Ari would be proud of us – no slowing down
this time – hahahaha!
We drove for about another hour and got to Francis Ford Coppola's
boutique hotel called La Lancha. Now I feel like I am getting my
birthday treat (as if this whole trip isn't a privilege as is).
The hotel is small and extremely well decorated. The huts are
distributed along the hill going down to the lake. Will take some
photos and videos tomorrow when its light.
Tomorrow we shall go to Tikal – one of the most important ruins in
Central America – more than 3000 buildings have been found and many
more to be uncovered in the jungle. We might get a guided tour this
time to get more information about it all.
Just a couple of photos:

From Motorcycle NY to SP