Voyage to South America travel blog

The village of San Mateo

This may not look steep but it is. I was going up...

Hotel de las bed bugs

Hotel de las bed bugs

Hotel de las bed bugs

Hotel de las bed bugs

Hotel de las bed bugs

Too tired to sleep or care

Tomorrow is another day

September 9, 2010

I left Todos around 7:30 or so. The sun was shinning and all was good. I got a great picture of Totos from across the valley. All the riding today is going to be off road. I sent up the suspension and lowered the tyre pressure. The front shock is so badly damaged I would be not be surprised if it need to be replaced. I received an email from Gorge at the BMW shop and he said it would take one day to rebuild both shocks. Somehow I doubt that but we’ll see.

The first town I am going to hit, on the map, is a village called Jacaltenango. This is a lot harder to find than the map would lead you to believe. There are many small unmarked villages. Usually there is someone around to ask but sometimes they speak there own dialect; combine that with my pidgin Spanish/English, I get people walking away from me - fast. Other than that I just follow the most well used road. If next village, on the map, is fairly large (+2-3,000 people) there will be a lot of traffic going that way. Sometimes I get lost and have to turn around but what the hell, just more things to see.

After Jacaltenango +/- 20km’s (1hour) I was supposed to hit a paved section of road leading to Nenton and the Mexican border. There is no immigration outpost there, so if you cross in to Mexico you’d have to drive to San Cristobal and explain yourself; that I would like to see!! Anyway, about 5km’s before the paved section the road turned into a soupy swamp. The road became river and the river became road. It was by far the deepest and longest river crossing I had to do yet. The ground under the water was nice but I was going so fast and it was so deep that water was coming over the windscreen. Then I hit pavement until Nenton and back off road for a long long climb to San Mateo Ixtatan.

We climbed and climbed. I had to ask for directions several times. It was very very steep and rocky. Near what I thought to be the summit the fog rolled in and I couldn’t see 20’ if front of me. I had to stop twice and let Electra cool down. About a half hour later it started to rain. It was really cold. I came upon a three way intersection and not knowing the way to go I had to wait for someone to show up. I guy in a 4x4 drove up and gave me directions. It seemed as if he wanted to see if I was going to be OK because he didn’t leave my sight. Well, on a very steep rocky section he was going too slow and I was following him and sure enough the ass end of the bike slid out on a wet rock and I ended up in the ditch. He stopped and we got her back on her feet again and this time I got to lead. Fuck this slow/fanning the clutch shit, I sped off. The rain got so bad that I stopped at the next village and told my escort that he should go ahead as I am going to wait out the rain. That took a half and hour. I left in a light drizzle. Completely soaked. Boots included! I think this is the first time I have had wet feet with these boots. Sidi Crossfires. They are dirtbike boots with great flex so I can walk in them just fine.

When I arrived in San Mateo it was pouring rain. I parked the bike and walked around for a place to stay. There are about 16,000 people in San Mateo and only two hotels and no one was at the front desk of either, I went and had some chicken at a comidor down the street and told the owner about my predicament. When I was done eating he sent one of the staff to help me out. I got a nice room with a TV and hot water for Q70. There was no where to store Electra so the owners son who owns and internet shop under the hotel told me I could park there. He has not seen the bike at this point and there are two rather high stairs. I got the bike and told him that he is going to have to find a few buddies to help me lift the bike into the shop. Sure enough, around 6pm several guys were there and we could still barely get her into the lobby. I ate dinner at the same comidor that I had lunch at and gave a Q10 tip for the girl who helped me out.

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