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Old 04-28-2012, 06:28 AM   #421
BOBaloo22
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Hola Brian,
Your trip is amazing! I look forward to your posts and pictures and yes I am living vicariously through you.
Vaya Con Dios,
Bob
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:15 AM   #422
BC Brian OP
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Great Ride Report!

Muchas Gracias rschutte
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:19 AM   #423
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Hey Brian!

How are the Spanish lessons going?

Hola SoSlow
los leccions de espanol van bueno.
yo no se mucho, pero yo aprendo mas de todos los dias

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Old 04-28-2012, 07:22 AM   #424
BC Brian OP
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Originally Posted by Turk34 View Post
Hi Brian,

Great Adventure, perfect documentary..I am taking really good notes from your trip...

Wish you the best..Safe ride.....

Thanks Turk34

There is so much to see here and I am only reporting on a tiny portionof what I see and do.

If you are planning a similiar trip, I highly recomend it

the food alone is worth it!!
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:26 AM   #425
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Originally Posted by BOBaloo22 View Post
Hola Brian,
Your trip is amazing! I look forward to your posts and pictures and yes I am living vicariously through you.
Vaya Con Dios,
Bob
thanks BOBaloo22

I am glad you are enjoying my RR

Maybe one day, when I am back to the real world, I can live vicariously through a RR by you??!?
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #426
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Day 63 April 29 0 kms Quetzaltenango (Xela)

I was getting pretty tires of studying, so I figures I would grab my camera and go look around Xela. I headed out towards town. Here are some of the things I saw on my walk.
My street.


Taxi hasn’t moved for a while


Sundays are pretty slow in this part of town.


Almost all the streets are one way……sorta….




Lots of color in town.






Overlooking part of town.


I walked by a futbal field. These guys play serious futbal.






Then over to the Minerva Market










I wandered over to the “big assed, modern, too expensive for most people” type mall, and that when I met Billy.(pronounced Beelee)


Billy was parking his bike while he waited for his wife at the bank. We got talking, and we probably BS’d for close to an hour. He had lived in the US for 4 years ( San Francisco) but had picked up squat for English. I figure my Spanish lessons were paying off, as it was probably the best conversation I have had outside of the school. I’m not saying it went perfectly, but Billy was really interested in talking with me and was very patient with my Spanish, and I was getting a lot more out of the conversation than any previous ones.

After the mall, I walked over to the zoo. I looked around for someone selling, or taking tickets, and apparently its free admission . How cool is that?( I told my host family it was free admission and they seemed to think I was supposed to pay. I told them I tried so they teased me about sneaking in.)

Zoo










Then I headed home for more studying…………………………..
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:28 PM   #427
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Nice photos! I really like the contrast in colours - some of those buildings are painted in really interesting ways!

Neat to see that row of bikes, too - glad your language lessons came in handy!
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:06 PM   #428
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Excellent report Brian! Quetzaltenango is one of my favorite cities. Can't tell where you are staying from the pictures? I never made it to a big mall it must be a bit away from the plaza? The panteon is worth a visit. The commerical building at the south end of the plaza has nice Guatemala stickers, they are on the second floor in a gift shop, the lady keeps them in a drawer behind the counter.A ride up into the highlands to visit Departemento San Pedro,San Marcos would be a highlight for you, this is different than Lago Atilan. I built houses for Habitat para La Humanidad in San Marcos, pm me if you want some more ideas for Guatemala.
Saludos Cal
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:02 PM   #429
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Day 62 through 68 April 28 – May 4 0 kms Quetzaltenango (Xela)

It has been a pretty good week here, and I have been busy with school and studying. But there has been some stuff going on…..

On Monday morning, I got up at my usual time, ate breakfast with my host family, and headed off to school. When I got to school……. It wasn’t there. I mean, the building was still there, but it was cleaned out. A couple of family members were sweeping up some garbage, but everything else was gone. No desks, no chairs, no blackboards, nothing. Hmmmmm……..

Turns out they were tired of the noise from the night club next door (the school owners live in the school) and decided to move. But to where? They told me not to worry , it was real close. So all week we have been having school in a local restaurant. Today, finally, I got to see the new school…and it’s not that close J

On Tuesday, on the way to school, I noticed that the streets weren’t very busy, no kids going to school, and the usual honking of cars trying to push their way through traffic wasn’t happening. I got to the town square, and I heard motorcycles and a real loud speaker blaring something I couldn’t understand.








Turns out there was some kind of bike meet going on, a ride to a nearby lake, and everybody was invited. I seriously considered skipping school that day and joining in, but I figured I had better work on my spanish some more.

Turns out May 1st is some kind of National Holiday, and the only things open were a few restaurants, the occasional tiende, and our school (still IN the restaurant)

After school on Thursday, I went home for lunch, then headed back down town for a bit. I was doing my usual sit in the park and watch the world go by, when this old wizened looking fellow sat down beside me on the park bench. That’s when I met Felix. Felix is an………..interesting…….guy, and he asks me my name, where I am from, and what am I doing in Xela. I tell him my name, where I am from and that I am in Xela to study spanish (All in Spanish) He tells me that to learn spanish, I will need lots of practice, and that he would like to help me learn spanish. Well, isn’t that nice? So we get to talking, and he asks me if my family is with me, and I tell him they are in Canada, and he says “You are here by yourself?” Then he asks if I have been to the hotsprings here. I tell him no, but I have been in Canada and in Peru. So he tells me how nice the hotsprings are, and how healthy they are, how good for the muscles and respiratory system, and lets me know that he will take me……… after hours……. when it is closed………….. and we can soak in the hotsprings…………. Together……… when there is no one else around…………. ………………..hmmmm………….
So I am thinking, well, at least I am getting to practice my spanish……
After a bit, the conversation turns to massages, and whether I have had one in Xela. I am being pretty careful with what I say now, so I tell him there are many massage parlors in Canada. So he asks if when I go, if go naked, so I tell him I wear my underwear,(I have never been) and he is quite surprised I wear ANY clothes at a massage parlor and suggests next time I would enjoy it much more if I was naked……… hmmmmmm………….

Well, practicing spanish is a good thing……………………
So he tells me if I want to go to the hotsprings with him, he can take me next week, and offers his phone number to me. I tell him that my cell phone is from Canada and doesn’t work here.(BS) I told him I had to go home and thanked him for the spanish lessons.

My spanish still isn’t that good, but I think I have a date with him next week………


My Homestay has been really good. The people are really nice, there are lots of them, and no one speaks any english. There are family members in and out all the time, sons, daughters, sons in law, daughters in law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces nephews. I still haven’t figured out completely who is who, or who actually lives here.

The food is authentic Guatemalan food. Many meals I have no idea what I am eating, but it’s really good, and there’s lots of it. One day, Blanca, the lady of the house, tells me we are having papas y carne (Potatoes and meat)
So I eat, and the potatoes are kind of mashed potatoes with vegetables in it and some kind of spices I can’t recognize. The meat looks like beef, but is cooked in a sauce with, again, undefinable spices ( I recognized garlic and salt, but there was more there than that) So I ask her what the meal is called in spanish, and she looks at me like I am stupid and says “Potatoes and meat”
I have been eating a lot of beans and rice, and, although it tastes real good, I might lay off the beans and rice for a while J

Garage/Living room


Don Fredrigo, Blanca and me


Don Fredrigo, Thelma and Hiro in the Garage/Living Room




School has been great, and a lot of fun. I have learned about 200 verbs, about half I know, half I still need to learn, and half that I will never use.( really, when am I going to use “Afligir”(to Afflict) or “Espiar” (to Spy) in a “me Tarzan you Jane” conversation with someone I meet on the street?(ok, now it’s more like “me are Tarzan, you am Jane”))

But I do know how to conjugate regular verbs and a lot of irregular verbs, and my vocabulary has increased greatly. I still have a lot of memorizing to do (I have 130 words to memorize describing parts of a motorcycle alone) plus tons of other palabras.

But I now know the difference between “Yo Tengo Hambre” and “ Yo Tengo Hombre”
It was explained to me over and over until I learned to pronounce it right.


My teacher (Gersan) is a young university student, who, whether planned or not, uses a lot of laughter in his teaching methods. He is constantly using his coworker (Byron) for examples in his teaching. And not really flattering examples either. But, I can now say “Byron is a really a girl” or ”Byron sells a lot of drugs to children” in spanish. Byron being a drug dealer, transvestite or a girl were the main “Byron” conversation topics, but there were others. I had a lot of fun telling him stories in spanish, like how we would send people to the store for a bag of spark plug gaps or that their bike needed the muffler bearing looked at. I had him almost crying with laughter at one point with my stories. And he wouldn’t let go of the term after I explained what a “nooner” was.(If you don’t know what it is, google it. It’s a real word……sort of)

Gersan and me in the new school.


I think I mentioned a few pages back, while I was still in Mexico the first time, that being away from my family was tough and we were going to change how I travelled. After much discussion with my understanding yet somewhat frustrated wife at home and in Peru, we figured out what that might look like. We decided that I would try to be home by the end of June for the kids’ summer break. Simple. Now all we had to do was figure out how to do that. I could carry on to South America, fly home for 2 months and carry on in the fall for a while. I could Ride as far as Chile, put my bike on a plane and be home in time for summer vacation, or I could make my trip a North America only trip (Ok I have been in Central America for 2 weeks, but that doesn’t really count) and ride home for their school break.

The Beauty of not having a plan is that it’s pretty much impossible to go off plan. After much deliberation, we decided on the North America only scenario. So tomorrow I head back to Mexico to visit some friends there ( the folks riding the beemers I met on the Baja camping on the beach) and then head back towards Home (the long way, like, via Newfoundland) I won’t get to see South America this time, but we are in the midst of making a plan for the fall to get me through to the “year” we had originally planned on. We aren’t really sure yet what that will look like, but we are pretty sure it might possibly be on a continent that begins and ends with the letter “A”……..maybe J

The Ride Report will continue as normal until I get home, and then carry on again in the Fall.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:13 PM   #430
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Bringing back memories.

Hey I was there for a month in '99 with my wife. Despite the creepy old guy, the hot springs are great. Also, you might like a side trip to Momostenango on the klr. After Xela we headed up to Todos Santos for ten days of study. There's some dirt up there. BTW I taught at WLJS back in the early nineties. Coincidences.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:17 AM   #431
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Originally Posted by SoSlow View Post
Nice photos! I really like the contrast in colours - some of those buildings are painted in really interesting ways!

Neat to see that row of bikes, too - glad your language lessons came in handy!
Thanks SoSLow
Once you get past the fact that this is a very impovrished country, the buildings, streets and neighborhoods are really quite interesting. The insides of the buildings are painted in interesting colors as well.

2 weeks of spanish instruction is no were near enough to be able to speak properly. There is a young hottie from Halifax studying here who has been studying for 3 months and hr spanish is still not yet perfect. Maybe I have to move here for a few years to REALLY learned the language

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Old 05-05-2012, 06:24 AM   #432
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Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Excellent report Brian! Quetzaltenango is one of my favorite cities. Can't tell where you are staying from the pictures? I never made it to a big mall it must be a bit away from the plaza? The panteon is worth a visit. The commerical building at the south end of the plaza has nice Guatemala stickers, they are on the second floor in a gift shop, the lady keeps them in a drawer behind the counter.A ride up into the highlands to visit Departemento San Pedro,San Marcos would be a highlight for you, this is different than Lago Atilan. I built houses for Habitat para La Humanidad in San Marcos, pm me if you want some more ideas for Guatemala.
Saludos Cal

Thanks Cal
I have been staying in Zona 1, near 12 Avenida and Calle Rodolfo Robles, near the police station beside the small parque.The minerva Market and Centro Comercial are about a mile walk from there.

I am not going to see much more of Guatemala this trip, but would defineatly love to come back again.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:32 AM   #433
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Originally Posted by BCT View Post
Hey I was there for a month in '99 with my wife. Despite the creepy old guy, the hot springs are great. Also, you might like a side trip to Momostenango on the klr. After Xela we headed up to Todos Santos for ten days of study. There's some dirt up there. BTW I taught at WLJS back in the early nineties. Coincidences.
Hola BCT

Its funny you should use the term "creepy guy". After I told the story at school, "Creepy Guy" became synonymous with all things even slightly sexually deviant. In the course of my classes yesterday, the term was probablly used 100 times.

I loved Todos Santos, and will probably go there again with my family one day. Were you there during the "Turtle realease" season. It was spectacular.

Our son graduated from WL (now an"SS" last year and has now completed his 1st year at UNBC (Sort of :) )
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #434
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Being in a similar situation in January as you are now, I would suggest continuing south if you have the time and money. I deeply regret coming back north, however I didnt have the time and lacked some money for a comfortable return if I were to continue south.

That being said, I still wish I would have kept going. S.A is high on my list, but now that I need a lot of money to fly there, buy a bike and ride for months, it looks like it's on the back burner for some time. In comparison it would it would have been few extra months and 1000's of dollars and I could have done a lot of it. Now I'm reading about those who I met on my travels currently doing it.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #435
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Thumbs down

Please dont post pics of the creepy guy in the hotsprings.
But if you can dig up the Salmon River girls pictures,that would be O.K.
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