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Old 10-23-2012, 06:55 PM   #361
Merlin III
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Paul, that place is lush and beautiful. Any signs in Guatemala of psychological scars on the people or scars on the landscape from the Guatemalan Civil War? As I recall the Mayan people suffered much during that time period.

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Old 10-23-2012, 07:31 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
thats a good point to know, as i said i wasn't going to ask at the bridge...i was in customs with a customs agent clearing 7 semis, and he spoke perfect English, he told me the trucks have to pay so he tried to calculate against his cost what my cost would be ( a small percentage) he didn't know it was just a guess and the boss of the area didn't know either...thanks for adding that
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Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
Paul, that place is lush and beautiful. Any signs in Guatemala of psychological scars on the people or scars on the landscape from the Guatemalan Civil War? As I recall the Mayan people suffered much during that time period.

I would be very interested in your opinion too. There is a lot of talk about that, but, me being from here, cannot tell. I think it is because the generation today did not live through it all. You see either really young or really old people, and old people tend to be forgiving. The few indigenous people from the war generation, that I know in the IXIL triangle, don't seem bitter about it, even the ones that lived in the mountain for years, staying clear from the Army or the revels. It was tough, but in general they are stoic people and very dignified. We don't get the "you owe me and my people" generalized in the States among the minority ethnic groups. I hope not to sound as a bigot.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:48 PM   #363
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Well Paul I've been reading/checking your report everyday and I still love it man.

I'm 12 days out of surgery and went back to work yesterday because your damn ride report is making me itchy. The Doc says I may avoid chemo this time since it seems we caught it much earlier than originally thought. That means I get to move my departure date up by about 6 months.

If I woud've known my 3rd battle with cancer would be my shortest I wouldn't have sold my bike. lol

Thanks for taking my mind off all the bull shit and keeping it on all those beautiful places I hope to see next year. Your RR means more to me than you could ever know and I hope one day to shake your hand.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:44 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
Paul, that place is lush and beautiful. Any signs in Guatemala of psychological scars on the people or scars on the landscape from the Guatemalan Civil War? As I recall the Mayan people suffered much during that time period.

its strange there is poverty everywhere, the Mayan Indians are the ones in the small villages living in the little houses and huts lit by candles at night time and their standard or=f life must be miserable as we look at it but they all walk around laughing and joking and if you make the effort to smile and wave they will do the same. The landscape doesn't show any instances of war at all.

no my viewpoint may change soon on that as next week i am doing a hike in the mountains outside of Todos Santos which is an area hit very hard during the war and i will be staying with families that were involved so i will let you know when i get back.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:50 PM   #365
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I would be very interested in your opinion too. There is a lot of talk about that, but, me being from here, cannot tell. I think it is because the generation today did not live through it all. You see either really young or really old people, and old people tend to be forgiving. The few indigenous people from the war generation, that I know in the IXIL triangle, don't seem bitter about it, even the ones that lived in the mountain for years, staying clear from the Army or the revels. It was tough, but in general they are stoic people and very dignified. We don't get the "you owe me and my people" generalized in the States among the minority ethnic groups. I hope not to sound as a bigot.
to be honest i have found in the small villages that the people are very friendly and proud, regardless to their standard of living, it is a very humbling experience that i think a lot of people in North America should see to make them aware of how good life is north of the border

as i noted in the previous post i am heading that way to the worst areas hit during the war in the Ixil-Triangle region, and the mountain-ringed town of Nebaj with its bright traditional dress and solemn history so i will have first hand conversations with some of the elders and let you know what i learn while i am there
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Motojon76 View Post
Well Paul I've been reading/checking your report everyday and I still love it man.

I'm 12 days out of surgery and went back to work yesterday because your damn ride report is making me itchy. The Doc says I may avoid chemo this time since it seems we caught it much earlier than originally thought. That means I get to move my departure date up by about 6 months.

If I woud've known my 3rd battle with cancer would be my shortest I wouldn't have sold my bike. lol

Thanks for taking my mind off all the bull shit and keeping it on all those beautiful places I hope to see next year. Your RR means more to me than you could ever know and I hope one day to shake your hand.
Jon that is phenomenal news i am very happy for you

now it sounds like its time to go and do some window shopping for the perfect machine and get yourself in shape for your own big adventure...i look forward to meeting you on the road and hearing stories of YOUR travels
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:57 PM   #367
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Hey Paul. Enjoying the RR.

You're taking a very different route across Guate than I rode last
February. What are the roads like along your route? R1200GSA friendly?
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #368
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Hey Paul. Enjoying the RR.

You're taking a very different route across Guate than I rode last
February. What are the roads like along your route? R1200GSA friendly?
most of them are good, i am doing quiet a bit of dirt racks, some intentionally but most not so. probably the toughest roads would have to be around the Lanquin area.

Taking the road south out of the Flores area it is reasonably good pavement most of the way to Sayaxche which is where the ferry is ...after that the quality declines a lot, bridges washed out, some area that have had land slides very recently and all the heavy equipment is still there doing repairs (rough grading)

then around the Raxruja area maybe a bit before you take a mountain pass road that is paved, then goes to dirt for about 1 KM then paved then back to dirt and stays dirt all the way to Lanquin, it gets more and more technical as i climbs, and what made it worse for me was the heavy rains so the road was all basically FIST sized rock and because i'm on a road rear tire (still trying to find a DS replacement) i had minimal grip.

the road dumps you out in a few very small towns and i think it was Sebol there was a market (it was a Saturday) and people were moving their market stalls for me to ride thru.

once you reach the split on the Ruta Coban, right split goes to Coban and the left to Lanquin thats where it gets bad, only about 12-15 km's but the road is in real bad condition if it raining (50/50) on a GS coming back out, some very steep climbs, dry weather not a problem, wet weather grip would be an issue for sure

then the road from Lanquin to Semuc Champey I WOULD NOT do on a GS you are just asking for trouble, minimal traffic so a lot of slime and moss on the rocks and very very steep climbs, take the 4 wheel drive bus, and they struggled, there were some mud areas maybe a 8-12 inches deep in parts as well across the whole road for a few hundred yards...

i spoke with Chis at CA Tours and he was surprised i had taken the route i did and and told me its an area he avoids with his 250 dirt bikes on a tour at this time of the year

so you are warned...but i know you'll do it anyway, get some good photos

i couldn't due to the intese rain that was coming down
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:10 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
most of them are good, i am doing quiet a bit of dirt racks, some intentionally but most not so. probably the toughest roads would have to be around the Lanquin area.

Taking the road south out of the Flores area it is reasonably good pavement most of the way to Sayaxche which is where the ferry is ...after that the quality declines a lot, bridges washed out, some area that have had land slides very recently and all the heavy equipment is still there doing repairs (rough grading)

then around the Raxruja area maybe a bit before you take a mountain pass road that is paved, then goes to dirt for about 1 KM then paved then back to dirt and stays dirt all the way to Lanquin, it gets more and more technical as i climbs, and what made it worse for me was the heavy rains so the road was all basically FIST sized rock and because i'm on a road rear tire (still trying to find a DS replacement) i had minimal grip.

the road dumps you out in a few very small towns and i think it was Sebol there was a market (it was a Saturday) and people were moving their market stalls for me to ride thru.

once you reach the split on the Ruta Coban, right split goes to Coban and the left to Lanquin thats where it gets bad, only about 12-15 km's but the road is in real bad condition if it raining (50/50) on a GS coming back out, some very steep climbs, dry weather not a problem, wet weather grip would be an issue for sure

then the road from Lanquin to Semuc Champey I WOULD NOT do on a GS you are just asking for trouble, minimal traffic so a lot of slime and moss on the rocks and very very steep climbs, take the 4 wheel drive bus, and they struggled, there were some mud areas maybe a 8-12 inches deep in parts as well across the whole road for a few hundred yards...

i spoke with Chis at CA Tours and he was surprised i had taken the route i did and and told me its an area he avoids with his 250 dirt bikes on a tour at this time of the year

so you are warned...but i know you'll do it anyway, get some good photos

i couldn't due to the intese rain that was coming down
I did that route Back in July, in the rain. Went down those 15 kms to Lanquin on a 1983 GS650 Suzuki



This is what the road was like then, yet my wife negotiated it on her Fazer 250 with 100% road tires.



10 kms before Campur, on the Sebol route, we had to stop. They were dynamiting the road! At the time they were allowing 1hour traffic, every 6 hours!!!! This is whe you encounter the fist size rocks. My son on his Honda Titan 150, My wife on her Yamaha YS250 (YBR250 in europe) and my ride.



So, Paul, are you already on your way west? If not, may I suggest you go east first towards Cahabon? its a wonderful road, dirt, but wonderful views. This is also the best time for the best white water rafting in the area. I am attaching a map below.

http://goo.gl/maps/RiKh1

There is a nice milk farm in Acul, just 13 kms from Nebaj. Hacienda Mil Amores. Google it. From there, there is a road to Todos Santos, not the one on the google map. Ask the owner of Mil Amores, he can direct you there. It is a difficult one,I tried to do it on an 1979 XS650 once and failed, but I have heard of a couple of gents that did it on a couple of GS bimmers last year. Also, the area is a very popular amongst hikers and there is an outfit that takes people from Nebaj to Todos Santos by foot. It is a three day jaunt. Ask in Nebaj. Mil Amores is Q160, and meals are served at the owners house for Q50.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:25 AM   #370
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Found you, went through and now, have to follow you. Damn you, for the dreams you feed.
Anyway, they are most appreciated and might bring closer the SA project.
Don't know if thank you or not...
Ride safe!!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:15 PM   #371
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Originally Posted by richsuz View Post




So, Paul, are you already on your way west? If not, may I suggest you go east first towards Cahabon? its a wonderful road, dirt, but wonderful views. This is also the best time for the best white water rafting in the area. I am attaching a map below.

http://goo.gl/maps/RiKh1
those photos look pretty much like my day there, it was the weekend so no blasting was happening, but when i left the road was closed for blasting again but i was heading in the opposite direction towards Coban, lucky

i am south of there now i'm a few days behind on this report, actually in Antigua until friday then heading to Xela for a hike for a week then back to Antigua or maybe to the beach and do some surfing if possible
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:17 PM   #372
rtwpaul OP
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Found you, went through and now, have to follow you. Damn you, for the dreams you feed.
Anyway, they are most appreciated and might bring closer the SA project.
Don't know if thank you or not...
Ride safe!!!
good to have you along, any questions just fire away
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:09 PM   #373
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i was woken in the middle of the night probably around 3 or 4 am but very heavy rain hitting the palms that made up the roof of the palapa by the river i was staying in (and the view)




eventually i went back to sleep but was woken again around 6 am as it was still raining...the next time i woke it was 7, i got up and looked out fearing the worst, i saw pataches of blue sky and decided to make a run for it, even though the roads are bad they seem to drain off and dry reasonably quickly...it is only around 12 km's or so to the paved road but not an easy start to the day (see previous posts)

this photo is probably about the best part of the whole road



when i did reach pavement i was in fog and drizzling rain of and on for hours




and again going thru markets but this time as they were setting up, so not as many people around



eventually as i had missed the turn to the back road i had to go thru Guatemala City...NOT FUN...i think i may have shortened my life by a few years due to all the fumes



eventually getting thru the city and heading to Antigua, i stopped into see Chris at CA Tours, had a beer and headed off to EL Hostal

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Old 10-24-2012, 05:41 PM   #374
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If you come through Venezuela and need some help let me know, ill show you some nice places to visit
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #375
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If you come through Venezuela and need some help let me know, ill show you some nice places to visit
that would be great, i spent some time with "SS in Vzla" a few weeks back (in Mexico) and planned a route for about 4-5 weeks but it would be good to meet up as well and get your opinion on places too...drop me a PM and let me know where you are...i should be there middle of December
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