|A morning's ride by the lake|
|This shows the stove, and one of the enormous creamy delicious avocados that grow on the tree outside.|
|A typical hearty lunch. The soup was made of a local leaf, but it just did not translate...until tasted, then it was delicious.|
|The view from my room across the San Pedro La Laguna|
|Christian, a fellow student, who I enjoyed a few beers with along with others, who alas I did not snap.|
Much of the Guatemalan community life has the gentle backdrop sound of the ladies making tacos in the morning. It is a the 'pat pat pat' of the 4 inch circular unleavened staples being flipped from hand to hand. They are cooked on wood-burning stoves and the job is only done when 10-20 tacos are made per family member. At least an hours work every day. I think that 'pat pat pat' will stay with me for ever as a delightful harmonic sound of continuity and custom in a heavenly place.
My homework had competition from some office issues on various fronts that took quite a lot of time. If truth be told any excuse not to learn irregular future tense verbs was a blessing and my engagement in work issues has always pleased and fascinated my mind more than most other subjects.
|A walk up 'Indian Nose' on Sunday with Samual, who had garaged Batty for the 2 weeks. In fact we got a bus up most of it, at his insistence, but the view was breathtaking|
|Can you see the Indian nose above the town...he is lying down facing the sky|
I planned to exit Guatemala fast via the historic and beautiful single storey town of Antiqua and then on to Honduras, mindful of a booking on the good ship Stahlratte from Panama to Columbia at the end of October.
A great day out from Antigua was the climbing of Volcano Pacaya, with a group of other travelers.
|This is Volcano Fuego puffing a little...you can just make out. This is the Volcano that erupted a few weeks back that made the news.|
|A surreal landscape near the summit|
|A Lava cave left from the last eruption a couple of years ago.|
|The obligatory marsh mallow roasting over the small vents to the magma below|
|We were all set up for these action shots running down the lava dust/sand....it was like a mixture of skiing and walking on the moon....I imagine|
|Meike, along with Jasmyn below, were fellow Volcanoers, and we hooked up for a drink later in the evening, where Batty was working her charm.|
I kept meeting others and overhearing conversations about a couple of delights that to miss would be a crime. So plans changed and decided to spend a few more days here.
As great fortune would have it, the post that I had put on Horizonsunlimited.com about being ripped off at the border was picked up by Richard Chang who lives in Guatemala City and loves bike adventures and meeting new folk. He made the trip to see me in Antigua and we had a great day chatting about his fine country, bikes and travel.
My tyres were getting a bit worn low, and with Richard's 100% help, Batty and I went into the city to sort this out. Now with new Pirelli tyres, Batty has unknown confidence on the very abundant and exciting roads of Guatemala.
The hand of friendship did not end at Richard's, for he arranged a number of his pals to show me around the city on the Saturday, and I think Rodrigo, Javier and Dagoberto have to be up there with the best of them at showing off Guatemala City. All the sights, and a delicious breakfast of revoleto, a pig offal stew at the central market.
|Rodrigo and Javier in front of the Eiffel tower...a gift from France.|
|In perverse way, these slums cascading down the valley in central Guatemala city, caught my imagination more than some of the cities other sites. They were so alive and the hopeful made really quite good houses out of very little.|
|Our Railway Museum guide, Javier and Dagoberto|
|Suzanne and Richard|
|From the road they took me along on the way north from Guatemala City|