Guatemala 02/08 – 02/11 and 02/20 - 02/28/2011

We entered Guatemala at Frontera Corozal in Tecnica. This village is not even shown in ‘google maps’ which indicates that you will go really through the jungle. Sleeping in the midst of this jungle village the first thing I learned by experience was what the expression “cock-crow” really meant. Back home in Switzerland a village has got perhaps 3 to 4 roosters whose crowing you can hardly hear, but here you are woken up by about a hundred of them. Imagine the “noise!”

A day ride over gravel roads gave us a first impression of Guatemala. The countryside with its jungle was nice, the villages quite poor but the people very friendly so that we felt safe. The  Spanish language appeared to us less clear than it was in Mexico and the quality and diversity of the food worse even though the prices were higher to our surprise.

Since we entered Central America, my recumbent bike is not only an attraction but provokes people even to point at me and to laugh. The top was when I was asked if I was a cripple.

A side trip to Tikal was totally worthwhile. The ancient ruins in the reddish evening illumination sticking out from a wide area of rain forest are still an impressive witness of ancient times. When I was there silence covered the woods but the many and huge pyramids seemed as if they were still speaking.

After a detour to Belize we entered Guatemala again at the Caribbean Sea at Puerto Barios. The road up to Guatemala City was definitely the worst of the whole tour since the beginning of our journey as there is so much heavy traffic and the drivers of any means of transport are normally driving crazily. We had several severe situations. It culminated when I was forced on the ground by a truck and hang in the side rail.

When we chased down to Antigua we got finally to see the typical picture of Guatemala, the multiple wooded volcanoes. What a difference, suddenly you are surrounded by volcanoes and ride into one of the nicest colonial towns of Central America after you have just passed the ugliest place, Guatemala City.
Right when we arrived we met Matt, the Canadian, again whom I had met in the beginning of the tour in Alaska. How special to catch up again after eight months. He became our new companion.