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Old 12-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #49
AK Smitty OP
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Somewhere in South America
Oddometer: 398
Coban hard ride all day Back to Coban!

So I decided that there isn't enough time to make Tikal. Pretty bummed about that but I feel it is the right call. I have today and tomorrow to ride and need to be at the Airport for the following day. It is doable mileage wise but with my recent events and unbelievable ability to get lost I decide to scale things back a little.

I am going to go to Sayaxche or Poptun to look at the ruins there and then make a U turn and head for Puerto Barrios. Then Puerto Barrios to Guat City the next day. That will put in the city the night before I have to meet my friend at the airport following morning. I think I need to be to the airport around 11 am, so I am not really considering that a riding day.

My plan did not work. My map (Guji Roji) of Guatemala is almost worthless and I thought I was in a different spot most of the day than I was. I pushed toward Sayaxche and took a left when I saw some big blue signs about ruins and other historical sites. I rode out this dirt road for about 20km and asked a couple of people about the ruins and everyone just looked at me. I think that I just didn't go far enough but oh well. I really felt like I needed to end up in Puerto Barrios tonight to make my schedule work. Had some fun on the dirt and decided that at noon it was time to head back south.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I still am not 100% confident riding dirt alone in Central America. I don't know if I ever will be and I am ok with that. If I am pretty sure it connects back to pavement then I will go for it. But when the GPS stops showing roads and the map never showed the road at all I usually turn around about 30km into it.

It was still fun and cool to see people's looks at the bike. Also right after I took these pictures I picked the dirt road the ended up coming to a big fort looking structure that I thought was military. There were no signs indicating military and when I got near the gate there were 2 guys in street clothes with automatic rifles. I gave them the hand motion of I'll turn around and got out of there. Headed back to pavement and south to take the turn to PB.

South of Sayaxche

What I thought was on my way to PB.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

But come to find out at the Y in the road I took the wrong turn! 100% my fault. I didn't find this out until after about 20 miles of dirt. I got to a guy with a hard hat and some cones across the road. I thought he wanted a 6Q toll, so I took out some money to pay. He actually was telling me they are doing blasting and the road opens at 6! 6!?!? Thats night! I have a chat with him over my map and he shows me where I am and it is not where I want to be. I suspected my turn was wrong but there are not a lot of signs in Guatemala to confirm such suspicions.

Now a decision; wait until 6 and ride a mountain dirt road at night in Guatemala or go back the way I came? Hmmmm No Decision! That breaks too many rules of logic even for me time to turn around. The problem with all this is now I have ridden all day and I am much closer to Coban than I am to PB. I guess I will be spending a 3rd night in Coban. I only spend 3 nights in places with beach and surf! But it is the right call. I get back to Coban at dark and I am beat without ever had gone anywhere. haha. I did see some cool Guat Mountains, but not Tikal or the Guat Caribbean which are really the two things on my Guatemala list beside Antigua. Guess I will just have to ride here again some day.

Checked my email before crashing and I had one from another rider. Michael from Australia that I met in Anchorage this past summer. He said he was going to use spot coordinates and swing by my hotel to say. We have quick chat since it is late and decide to meet for breakie tomorrow at 9am.
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