There is a beautiful mountain sunset as I pass by Huehuetenango. But as usual, the color is gone by the time I find a place to pull over and get out my camera. This would be a recurring scene. The further south you travel towards the equator, the quicker the sunsets are. You have about one minute to catch a good tropical sunset. There is barely a half hour from the time the sun sets until it is dark. And dark it gets as I continue down the road. And then an amazing thing happens. There is a brand new road. It is four lanes wide and freshly paved. HOLY COW! This is all new. The road is nothing but horseshoe bends winding through the mountains. There are reflectors on all the lanes and brand new striped lines. It lights up like an airport runway in the cool dusk air. I finally reach the turnoff to Lake Atitlan and drop down the super steep road to Panajachel. This place has grown from a sleepy lakeside hip hangout into a real touristy place. With discos and lots of Euro and American kids. So I find a room at the El Centro Hotel for ten bucks and call it a day.
I have traveled 3000 miles, so in the morning I go next door to the Texaco station and buy some Havoline Supreme 20W50. Two quarts costs 65 Quetzals, so about 4.50/quart. Not my first choice, but any kind of oil that you’ve heard of is hard to find down here. And good motorcycle oil is unheard of outside the big cities. So I drain the Sherpa into a couple empty water bottles and change the filter with one I brought. It only uses a quart and a half with filter change. And the Super Sherpa uses the same oil filter as the Honda XR250, so easy to find more down here. The town is quiet in the early morning hours after a hard night of partying. And Lago Atitlan is beautiful in the crisp morning air. But this place is too touristy for my taste.
Now I wasn’t planning on going any farther than Guatemala to go to the dentist. But the weather is gorgeous, and my money is going farther than it does with a bigger less fuel efficient bike. So I think to myself, why not head south a ways and come back to Guatemala to get your teeth looked at later? Anything to put off going to El Dentista. And at my age, who knows what the future holds. So I think, why not explore some countries you’ve never been to.
This starts sounding like an excellent idea. The bike is running like a dream. The Sherpa is easy on tires. I might need a new rear before I get home. But so what? There are plenty of small bike tires down here. Hmmmmm.
Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. So I fire up the bike and head out of town towards Guatemala City.
JDowns screwed with this post 05-22-2010 at 10:09 PM