Voyage to South America travel blog

September 14, 2010

Today I road 285km’s from Coban to Antigua – it took 9 hours. Cara and I drove from Coban to Antigua a few weeks back and it took 4 hours AND we had to drive through Guatemala City. This time I chose a different route where as I wouldn’t have to go through the city.

Truth be told, the route I chose today was the route she and I were to do the first time (Antigua via Salama, Rabinal, El Chol and San Juan Sacatepequez) but I missed a turn and ended up going the way we did.

From Rabinal to San Juan the road was all dirt. Good dirt - for the most part. There were some tough, wet, rutty sections but it was nothing like the previous days adventure. I only dropped her once and it was my fault not the roads’ fault. I am not sure the distance but between these two villages it took the most time.

For lunch - I had tacos (3 x Q10) and a RC kola on the street at an unmarked village. Same goes for breakfast – unmarked village. It was the usual. Eggs con tomate y cieboya, tortillas, weak café negro (x2), a slab of cheese and some beans. I am really trying to cut down on the tortilla intake. Carbs and I my belly mix – well they do – too much.

There was a super interesting market taking place in Rabinal. It was a cattle/donkey/horse market. I, of course, have seen these before but never on main street and every sub-street off of main, basically the entire town as a cattle market. It was full on. It must be that all the farmers from the surrounding villages bring their ‘goods’ to Rabinal on Mondays. Clearly, many of them have not seen an Electra before. I was driving slow – paddling my feet – though the main part and asking for directions. The animal’s seemed to be cool with it and even some of the ranchers but children hid behind Moms’ skirts and Moms ran to the other side of the street. I really get tired of this after a while. I just want to fit in and …I dunno. I realize that this is never going to happen but……..anyway. Poo - lots and lots of poo.

The route took me over the Sierra de Chuacus. Up down up down up down. I had to stop several times to let Electra cool off. The tappets are out and the oil (20w50) has broken down - both due to, I think, I have over heated her on several occasions since the last adjustment/change. I will have both adjusted and changed in Guatemala City when I get the suspension re-built.

The guys from CATours want me to take a few handfuls of brochures to several hostels in the city. This will give me something to do. I think I’ll stay in Zone One as I know the area and it’s relatively safe. Plus, there are a lot of hostels in the area. Great for brochures.

The bed bug itch has subsided some what. I sleep on my back and when looked at the sheets the other morning in Coban and they were pockmarked with spots of blood. I hate those little sons a bitches.

It’s good to be back in Antigua. Not because it’s a little more civilized (I would rather be in Coban) but because I know where everything is. The people at the hostel were glad to see me. Tomorrow, September 15, is Dia de la Independencia in Guatemala. I may be wrong, as I am a lot, but I think that Antigua WILL be THEE place to be tomorrow. I will probably spend the night reading and writing. Lame. I guess this comes with being alone and 43. Oh fucking woe is me! I am fine with it. Every New Years Eve, for at least the past 8 years, have been the same. Just another day.

On my entire weeks journey to the northwest I saw only three westerners. The two in Todos Santos (and its Todos Santos and NOT Todos Sandos like I wrote in previous entries) and one in Coban. NICE! I made a few more errors (Torque Vs. HP) it’s torque Vs. speed. Then there’s the grammar and spelling. Ha ha ha ha. What a dumb ass. Those that have known me for a while expect this from me.

I received, the other day, an interesting email from a man who ‘just came upon my web site’ while doing some research on travel to the region. We have exchanged a few emails. He sounds like a really cool dude. He has done a lot of travel in the region several years back and really enjoys what I write. He gets it – he really really gets it.

I get kinda stupid with my shit sometimes but I am not going to erase any of it. Its how I felt and was experiencing at that moment.

The only thing that gets any exercise is my forearms and upper back and quads. My forearms getting the most then my upper back then quads. I stand on the pegs a lot. Always in the dirt. And more so now that I have lost my both sets of glasses and can’t see shit.

September 15, 2010

200 years of independence from Spain. Canada from England 0 (kinda).

Pretty slow day today. It’s nice to get those once and a while. I slept in, a rarity. As a person gets older the earlier they wake, then they have an afternoon nap and then go to read around 8 or so. This is my program. Am I really THAT old? Seriously? I do enjoy it. I read slept and read, slept until about 10:00 this morning. I relished getting back into ‘Atlas’ but when realized the time I felt guilty and foolish for wasting half the day.

I had a shower, and washed the lid and gloves. The walked in to El Centro to watch the parade. There were several. I missed the main one. It was the first time my camera has seen the light (cloud cover) of Antigua. I really am not to keen on bringing out my large digital SLR into the public. I feel guilty exposing such PERCIEVED wealth. And perceived it is, for the camera is seven years old and it has a lot of sophistication. And at the time of purchase cost a great deal of money. Today, a camera of equal quality would cost 75% less. It’s the size that is deceiving. I should take more pictures of Antigua as it is a picture taking place. The doors – in particular. And the door knockers.

I got into an internet shop today. Hells bells, I received a lot of interesting comments on my post the other day; in particular the section about my parents email getting me down. Well fuck man – it did. Hell I, of ALL people know they meant well and love me and want the best for me but if things get me down – I write about it. I suppose I should put muslef in their shoes but I can only write of mine – anything else would be struck down as hearsay,

The heat/road/humidity/everything else got me down that day. I received a shitty email from home and then email from my parents – all this got me down AT THAT MONENT IN MY LIFE. This doesn’t mean I don’t love my parents and wouldn’t kill the bull for them. It means, if I recollect, the road was shitty, I received a shitty email for a admirer back home, the heat was shiity, I had bed bugs..I can go on and on but what the use? They wrote me and I wrote my thoughts. Nuff said.

Now I have to explain to those who commented on my comments. This won’t take long, three words in fact…. Thanks, I need that!

Today I got into Atlas – finally. Such a great book and superbly written. I re-read certain sections over and over again just to appreciate the authors talent. But alas, am reminded that in the 50’s people wrote/spoke in a different manner as does a great friend of mine – Dr. Gordon White. Dr. White was born in the 30’s and introduced me to backcountry skiing. A great man. A man I truly respect. He is now in his mid-eighties. You can tell the sophistication of a person in the way they eat. At least this is one of my yard sticks.

Whenever I go over to his place it is immaculate and we are listening to classical.

I am eating at ‘The Opera’ again tonight. Last night the waiter asked me how much my laptop cost. I felt I had to quantify the value so I told him it was military laptop (and it is). That was mistake number one. Next mistake was telling him that it cost 5k. Who in this or the western world has a laptop worth 5k? I guess I do. Without getting into it - I am now treated with a certain ‘caution’ at the restaurant. I don’t know what they think. I am reminded of the civil war, the US involvement and now hippy boy shows up at one of the nicest restaurants in town, orders the same thing every time (USD$60and has a 5k laptop). ´Yeah, he’s one of those`. `Those` that came here in the 80’s, didn’t give a living fuck about the county nor its people and culture and trained people to kill to ‘protect THEIR country’ (I don’t know if a question mark should go here).

After the internets I went and had a bite at The Bagel Barn then went back to read. I fell asleep until 4pm or so and then walked around to find a few shops. I need a new pair of Tevas. I am hoping that an outdoor shop here will have a pair but my feet are big, 44. I also needs new glasses, both prescription and prescription sun glasses. I have to go to the city in a few days so I think the glasses are best found there as for the Tevas – better get used to thongs for the time being. A long time being.

During my walk I ended up at CATours. This is a mistake to show up around 4 or so. Dave, the owner, and Chris, his right hand man are always there at that time. All I wanted to do was let the shop know that I was going to the city and I would hand out brochures at various hostels if they wished. Well, four beers and three tequilas later I left. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are the salt of the earth and I really enjoy their company immensely but………hell I am probably the biggest influence.

My situation back home has subsided considerably. It took awhile for me to realize that things beyond my control or those whom I can’t control I should not stressed about. Is this not why I left?

The ringing in my ears continues. Not all the time just certain times. I can’t pinpoint the cause nor the reasons but I am concerned.

It rained today while I was sleeping. It sounded like the usual – nothing heavy nor light. Just steady rain for a couple of hours.

I am curious as to when my parents, brother and their wives are going to visit me. Mom said she has a hectic summer – with entertaining and all. Deep down, she loves it. If she or they don’t want to do a ‘holiday’ they should visit me. I don’t know why anyone hasn’t suggested it. I could name a shit load of places all would like. But I can’t force them on a plane.

The town went off today. Lots of parades and all.

Tomorrow is the start of Vishnu’s colors. He has three days planned at five to six hours a day. Being riveted, by a needle, for that long is unappealing to me. I know my limits and that exceeds it - by a lot.

I really miss Cara but not to the extent anyone should write to me about it. It’s merely a comment. Just as everything I write. I really now…most of it is bullshit. Spur-of-the-moment bullshit. No one should ever take it as a personal attack Just my thoughts at the moment – dude.

Not feeling so well tonight.

There is a man who is living next to me at the hostel. He is in his 60’s and for his retirement all he does is travel. He lives in hostels all over the world. He really doesn’t do much though other than sleep. I asked him if he went down town this afternoon and his reply was that he has seen enough ‘4th of Julys’. Well, Dude, it’s a reason to get out of bed. He’s actually a really cool guy. I have painted him in a bad light. I have had a few conversations with him and his is very articulate and his mannerisms are immaculate. He has told me some fantastic stories on places he has been to. It’s really quite amazing to look into a mirror. Just spilt a martini on the keyboard of my laptop. Toughbook my ass.

September 18, 2010

I washed the bike today. It cost Q.40. Fuck I was mad at the guy. Last time I was there it was Q.20. It`s always Q.20. We got into an argument and he won. Wash the fucking thing then. I ain`t coming back and nor am I coming back to your wifes resturant. He won. I also changed the tyres on Electra today. This is the last time I do this. If possible. Scuffed knuckles again. They are never going to heal. On top of that I put the front one on backwards. Stupid me. I´ll get BMW to change it when I get there on Monday. I also went to a welder to get the frame re-welded and they didn`t have a T.I.G welder so that too will have to wait until Monday. I wandered around looking at all teh glasses shops today as well and none of them have the look or style I am looking for so, once again, I´ll get it in Guat City.

I got Vishnu finished up yesterday and fuck did it hurt. five hours. It took a total of nine and cost Q.3800.00. Same as the US or Canada. Maybe a little cheaper. I am going back when I return from the city to get Shiva`s trident on the inside of my bicept and Lakshmi needs her owl. Can`t have a Lak with no owl can we?

Blah! Feel stuck. Time to roll.

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