Stopped for lunch, and ended up staying the night!
Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
35Trip End Sep 03, 2008
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We changed into shorts and t-shirts for the first time in over two weeks (!) and hit the town for some exploring and lunch. Once again, the indigenous presence here is very strong and there were women and children selling their crafts everywhere. So today at lunch this very skilled little businessman about 10 years old convinced me to buy a scarf that his mother had made. It had started to rain and the scarf was beautiful so I took his advice and bought my first souvenir on this trip (it cost 2 bucks)...However it is too bad that we don't have more space on the bike because I would seriously want to buy clothes, blankets, purses, earrings, necklaces and more...maybe one day if we come back...:)
It was a short stay but definitely worth it, we went out for dinner in the rain and ended up at this Peruvian restaurant with live music. The food was delicious and we got to relax and have some great wine while watching the street vendors trying to lure the tourists into their stores.
Ok...Jess here...did I forget to mention that Guatemala is awesome? How do I know you ask?...we'll the first thing I saw when I crossed the border was a line of 1976-era Datsun B210 taxi cabs
The road from Xela winds through the clouds of the Guatemalan Highlands to a height of over 10,000 feet!...I'm glad the bike is fuel injected to handle the thin air!...not so sure about our lungs though, we can definitely feel it at the end of the day when it comes time to lug the boxes and bags up to our room for the night. Anyhow, the road had amazing high-speed sweeping turns which are so much fun on a motorcycle, but then, before you know it...the road turns from awesome tarmac to sticky mud! Then we kind of have to do the 2-wheeled mud-skate, hoping to keep the rubber side down until the road reappears...this was pretty sketchy early on in the trip...but now the Monster Mudder (the bike), just seems to weeble-wobble but doesn't fall down!
Our lunch spot for the day is Penejechel, an old tourist town on Lake Atitlan which occupies a huge volcano caldera...the lake itself is over 1000 feet deep...and with an elevation of over 5000 feet, it's one of Central America's gems...simply amazing! It was only 60 miles from Xela and I wanted to make some good ground today...but our eyes and gut told us to stop for the night...so we had to heed the call! It was such a great day...more rain of course, and the streets turned to rivers, but we just rolled up our pants, put on sandals, and slogged through the rivers to enjoy the town! We also had the chance to eat some delicious food! See the pictures!
Okay, a little grind between the teeth to satisfy the appetite and off to Antigua, or original destination today, in the morning...supposedly another beautiful colonial town ringed by volcanoes...and I love hot magma...wow...Guatemala is shaping up to be a beautiful destination!