Guatemala

A week ago today I left El Salvador in grande style. Crusing along through a small town 5km from the Guatemalan border, enjoying the plus 35 weather, then BANG! Everyone on the street took cover and I came to a screeching halt onto the sidewalk as my rear wheel capsized. The rim must of punctured the tire and as it did punctured the 70 psi in my tire creating something a little louder then a gunshot. Pretty sad for my wheel, but still a little on edge as everyone on the street stared my way I quickly waved down a taxi and got out of town where I then hopscotched three buses and a pickup to Guatemaal city. The next day i met my good friend Doug Hammell who was flying down for a couple weeks of riding, and thankfully had a full supplies of bike equipment including a new wheel. After some recovery time for my bike off we headed for Antigua Guatemala, well known for its spanish schools and for having probably as many gringos as locals. Too us though Antigua was a place to ride our bikes on the hundreds of kms of mountainside trails which the locals use to get to and from there small villages. As far as single track xc riding goes this is probably some of the best on earth although the getting lost factor is fairly substantial as these trails go every which way and sometimes into packs of rabid dogs and into steep dead end gullies. Nonetheless after a few great days of riding it was off to Volcan Pacaya, an active volcano in which people can walk across the open lava fields and cook hot dogs if your American, marshmallows if your Swedish or triple AAA sirloin steaks if you Canadian on the open Lava. The marshmallows burnt the hotdogs were black and our steaks were well done as none of us up there seemed to have a clue how to cook on open lava and for the most part underestimated the heat. The fact our shoes were melting below us probably should have been a good clue. After the lava BBQ we headed back into town were our overcrowded tour bus broke down just outside of town but wouldn{t allow us to get out to walk the last few minutes. Some of the Americans crammed in the back seat began to question the logic of our tour guides who felt it was safe to let us walk across open Lava field not safe to walk on lighted sidewalks 5 minutes to town. Once back in town, Doug and I packed up and left early the next morning for 3 days of touring across the country side through open corn fields, through volcano passes and now we sit on the shores of Lago Atitlan were we rest for tommorow.

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