|August 14, 2010
On August 12th we left Pana. Our destination is Coban. It’s about three days drive from Pana using the route I have chosen. On August 12th we drove to Huehuetenango to spend the night. Huehue is the first town I hit when I entered Guatemala so I knew the town and the hotel we would be staying at. The young fellers at he front desk sure where happy to see me again and even happier to see me with a Chiquita! It was an uneventful trip that took about four or five hours. When we arrived we went to the market. My petzel needed batteries and I had to get some steel wool to clean the exhaust. That’s long story for another day when I get to doing it. As we returned from our walk it started to rain. Really really rain. Then hail then more rain. I can’t say that it’s the heaviest I have seen but pretty damn close. We got up early the next day to drive to Uspantan to stay the night. We could have drove from Huehue through Sacpulas to Uspantan and through to Coban but I couldn’t get reliable information on the road conditions from Uspantan to Coban. Some say its all dirt after Uspantan and others say it’s paved. It is the rainy season so there are also a lot of mudslides we have to worry about. So to play it safe we will stay in Uspantan.
Just north of Sacapulas is a village called Nebaj. I don’t know what got into me but we went there instead of going east to Uspantan. It seemed a little out of the way thus an adventure in the waiting. Unbeknownst to me there are two ways of getting to Nebaj. One before Sacapulas and another after Sacapulas. My map showed that the road in was after Sacapulas however a sign before Sacapulas pointed to a road leading to Nebaj. We took that road thinking that the map we were using was wrong; which happens quite often. It was all dirt. We climbed and climbed. So much so I had to stop to let Electra cool off. About 15km’s up the road we came upon a huge wash out (derumba) that left about 30m of road missing. Clearly no cars or trucks could pass or have passed. I examined it for 10 minutes or so and then thought; yeah, fuck yeah we can do it. We unloaded Electra and moved some rocks and made a trail. I dropped into the wash out and sat there in the gully for a good 10 minutes. By this time a crowd of villages arrived. I felt like Evil Kneviel. I got on and put her into gear popped the cutch and stalled. Doh! I rolled her back to get a better run at it again and popped the clutch and in about 3 seconds I was up on the road on the other side. I turned to face everyone on the other side and let out a, ‘Fuck Yeah’. Everyone was smiling and some laughing. I couldn’t stop from shaking. So much so Cara portaged all the gear over the ravine. The situation was intense. If I had of dropped Electra to the right she would have fallen into the ravine and we would have been fucked, royally. We arrived in Nebaj around 2 pm, had a shower and decided to go for a walk around town. There are a few backpacker types around town. No tourists though, it’s refreshing. There is nothing for the tourist here other that the remoteness and the beautiful countryside.
When we got back from the market I gave Electra the once over. I found that she was missing one of the two bolts that holds the header to the frame. I carry a lot of extra stuff with me so I had another bolt. When I replace it I used heat resistant thread lock and a lock washer. I did the same for the other both. That should do the trick. More and more Electra seems to have been patched together by some sort of Mad Max mechanic. All is good though. It makes her tougher.
With the steel wool I bought I am going to scrub the exhaust till it shines and wrap titanium ‘asbestos type’ heat tape around the entire exhaust. Andreas had done this to Twinny and he claimed it helped her run cooler.
Today, August 14, 2010. We decided to stay in Nebaj another day. I lost my prescription sunglasses yesterday. Shitter. What can I do?
Yesterday, when we were walking around, we stumbled upon an enterprising tourist agency that had made a map of all the villages, roads/hiking trails in the District and photocopied it. I saw this once before in a small village called Mung Sing in northern Laos, 7km’s from the Chinese border. At that time every map was hand drawn and they had individually colored, with canyons, indicating the tribes in the area. I still have the map. I should frame it. I have heard from other travelers that Loas is ugly with backpackers now. 10 years ago it was cool.
I used the map to go to a village called Samolita. It was two hours one way and the road ended there. There was a beautiful waterfall just out of Nebaj. The further we got from Nebaj the more beautiful the countryside got. No garbage. No Coke-a-Cola. When we arrived there was nothing; just a small cluster of houses and one tendida that sold cookies and coke-a-cola products. Could you imagine that your first induction into the west would be a coke product? Enter diabesotiy