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Old 12-01-2012, 10:58 AM   #721
oisterska
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Spectacular. I haven't been reading ride reports lately, but this one got me hooked quickly.

Gas money sent.

Keep on rolling!
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:26 AM   #722
Ni3ous
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post

There were also fields of these plants by the acre in rows. Wish I knew what they were:




Buenos noches,
Juanito
Hello, I am not wery familiar with South American plants, but in Slovenia this could be tree nursery for pears.
People who want to have pears at home, they can buy this one or two year old pear tree, and they can plant it on their land, to let it grow further in a tree.
If pic would be made closer, I could tell better.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:56 AM   #723
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Originally Posted by kennyanc View Post
I am really enjoying your ride. I am furiously gathering info on the Yucatan, Guat, and Belize for a 6-8 week trip of my own in Jan/Feb. I will be following in your footstep a good bit of the way. Spent a week in Zipolite last winter but didn't get any further south. I want to spend some time in San Cris and visit many of the same ruins you have seen. Might even make it on up to Tulum and the Itchy Chicken.

Thanks for all the work you are doing to document your trip. I will be looking for that hotel in Santa Elena.

Kenny
Hi Kenny,

Hope you find some useful info for your trip. January is next month! Should be fun.

It's beautiful country up in Ashville. I always wondered what the anc was for in your name. Now I know. Ashville, NC.

I like your thinking. Smoky mountains in the summer. Centroamerica in the winter. Sounds good to me. The Oaxacan coast is like a magnet. Hard to pry myself away from that area.

And yes, y'all boys talk differnt out there in Ashville.

Saludos,
Juan
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JDowns screwed with this post 12-01-2012 at 12:16 PM
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:08 PM   #724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Best way to beat the larger groups of tourists at Tikal and to do a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the same time, is to hire the guide who wakes you up at 3:30 am and takes you on a hike into the park, way before it even opens to the public. Yes, you'll be hiking in pitch dark so bring a flashlight. The trails will be very slippery in places.

You'll climb to the top of one of the templos and sit and listen to the howler monkeys shriek in the dark as the day begins to dawn out of the mist. One by one the other tall templos focus out of la madrugada.

Did this in February of this year, and it was one of the best experiences of the trip.

Tip: Be patient. You'll be asking yourself - "what's the big deal, I'm just sitting here, like forever". Then you'll begin to understand. John will get it. Some fat tourist from Bayonne NJ, who couldn't make the hike anyway, would ask to leave before the show begins.

Tip: Be prepared with a decent raincoat and expect a passing morning shower while on top of the templo.

Tip: After you come down from the templo, you'll also be first on scene for all the classic spots at Tikal. Be prepared for morning photography capture.
Señor Trice,

First you plant the idea that I am now obsessed with to go slog 40 miles through the mud in the jungle and visit ancient unrestored temples. Now you want me to get up at 3:30 effing AM and go commune with nature on a fifteen story pyramid. What's it gonna be next?

Bayonne is sounding good. I hear they have good fast food and donut shops.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:22 PM   #725
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oisterska View Post
Spectacular. I haven't been reading ride reports lately, but this one got me hooked quickly.

Gas money sent.

Keep on rolling!
Hi oisterska,

Thanks! I will be putting your donation to good use to pay the local hiking guides so I can go slogging through the jungle.

Portland is nice. In the summer. Glad to have you along as Chief Executive in charge of the Cascade Division. Oisterska is going on the gas tank as a proud sponsor of the Zombie Apocalypse Travel Agency. I will continue to put donated funds to good use in research and development for your future travels.

Muchas gracias amigo,
Juan of the Jungle
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:35 PM   #726
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Like the Fred Flintstone zipper repair Mr. Stonemason. Tools of the trade.

IIRC, you said you only sleep 6 hours a night. So be ready with food for the morning trek.
Looking forward to the sunrise pictars Sir. You are a Danial Boone of sorts imho.

OldPete screwed with this post 12-01-2012 at 05:41 PM
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:37 PM   #727
wanderlost
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Donation for hike

Hi John:

Another Sherpa rider here soaking up all the good info for a future trip. Made a donation for either gas or the guided hike so you can enjoy it and take lots of pics to keep us all entertained here in the rainy Pac NW.

Keep up the good work.

Paul
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #728
tricepilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Señor Trice,

First you plant the idea that I am now obsessed with to go slog 40 miles through the mud in the jungle and visit ancient unrestored temples. Now you want me to get up at 3:30 effing AM and go commune with nature on a fifteen story pyramid. What's it gonna be next?
Here's a question.

Do you recognize this place:



Remind yourself that it's a great place, for sure, and you'll be back there soon enough.

Which is the reason you do what you do, so when you're back home in that place above, you can close your eyes and not have to say to yourself, "why did I turn around at the gate?"

You are at the gate.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:29 PM   #729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlost View Post
Hi John:

Another Sherpa rider here soaking up all the good info for a future trip. Made a donation for either gas or the guided hike so you can enjoy it and take lots of pics to keep us all entertained here in the rainy Pac NW.

Keep up the good work.

Paul
Hi Paul,

Thanks so much! I'm going to have to do something special for the Portland division. You guys are coming up big for this next leg. I'll be in Portland next summer to put a stone facade on my sister's house. Might have to take the Cascade division out for pizza or something. Glad to have you aboard as Chief financial officer of the Willamette Valley. Wanderlost is going to look good on the gas tank. Might confuse the Honduras aduana officer at the next border though. ¿Que es woonderloost?

I will continue to test the limits of the Sherpa and report back what I find.

Muchas gracias amigo,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 12-01-2012 at 05:40 PM
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:56 PM   #730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Here's a question.

Do you recognize this place:



Remind yourself that it's a great place, for sure, and you'll be back there soon enough.

Which is the reason you do what you do, so when you're back home in that place above, you can close your eyes and not have to say to yourself, "why did I turn around at the gate?"

You are at the gate.
Okay, okay. I'm adding Chief Executive in charge of Corporate Sales and Marketing to your list of duties. Your job as head of flight ops obviously is leaving you with too much time on your hands.

Tikal then the jungle trek. Check chief. Costa Rica and Panama are getting hammered right now and I don't particularly like riding in downpours, so an extra week out in the boonies of Guatemala won't hurt anything as the rainy season tails off further south.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #731
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Nice relaxing day in Guatemala today. Just wandering around and taking pictures of beautiful Guatemalan women texting on their cellphones. Had a nice one of a gal that looked like her girlfriend had just texted her that her pinche novio (fooking boyfriend) had been cheating on her. I don't think I'd want to be in his shoes from the look on her face. Hell hath no fury like a spurned Latina woman. It could have been something else. I have an active imagination.

Alas, I inadvertently seem to have pushed the wrong button and lost the pics from the camera from this morning. Bummer. Also, of less interest to most were the pics of the church Renaldo and his crew are building next door. Really nice work. They were putting the finish coat of white stucco on using white porland cement and white sand. Some really nice beveled corners and hand made cement ogee decorative touches. Chatted with him while he made sure his nephew did a perfecto job on the front wall. He does nice work.

There was a semi truck blocking half the street across the way all afternoon unloading Suzukis at the moto/household appliance store. They had an armed guard riding along with a pistol grip pump 12 gauge and bandoliers of shotgun shells. Wouldn't want to be the hi-jackers that messed with that truck. When they finished unloading, the two drivers and Señor Pump Action hopped in the cab and drove off to their next delivery.

The only pics for today are of some bikes they unloaded. They were putting sale price tags on. I was just curious what a Suzuki GN125 costs in Guatemala. It has a good reputation for durability. Turns out it's 10,990 quetzals ($916.00):



or this AX100 is 6990 quetzals ($582.50):



If I were going to spend the winter in Guatemala I would just fly down here, buy one and make a license plate for it and ride it around. Sell it when you leave. If you don't leave the country it would be cheap and easy transportation for riding around all over the place.

I ride up on these 125s two up doing 55 on the backroads. I'm not sure if they are at full throttle though. That's more weight than me and some saddlebags and a topbox loaded with camping gear. I could see spending the winter in Guatemala. It's nice down here.

I also did research on the internet on the El Mirador hike. It's hard getting current information. It looks like this guy is the best bet:

http://amigoshostel.com/tours/el-mirador/

for a gringo like me. I was thinking of riding up the muddy trail to Carmelita and checking it out in person but it sounds like politics and greed are entering into the hiking guide scene up there in the last six months and the cartel has raised prices and is giving private guides grief. It's sometimes better to go with the local mafia rather than take a private guide and get turned back or have to sneak around. It's also cheaper if you go with other people and split the costs. It was 200 last year but it looks like I'll probably end up spending 250 or 300. You guys have come up with a third of that in the last couple days so I think it is only right that I do the research and development required in case it is something you want to do in the future. It should be interesting.

Don't tell Tricepilot but I could take a helicopter up for the same price. I would never hear the end of it though. So I'll be slogging. I climbed up a ton of pyramids in Mexico in full riding gear and motorcycle boots past the wheezing tourists. Also was on a 26 day Outward Bound trip where we were put out at snowline for three days with no food. Just a tarp, 10 matches and a little notebook and pencil. I still have that notebook. Okay, that was 40 years ago. But I still compare life's difficult times to back then huddling around a fire for three nights freezing with no sleeping bag and dreaming of steak waiting for the sunrise. El Mirador will be cake compared to that.

I'm off to Tikal tomorrow. Today I spent 145 quetzals ($17.40) on food and lodging.

Buenos noches mi amigos de aventura,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 12-02-2012 at 07:26 AM
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:40 AM   #732
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" taking pictures of beautiful Guatemalan women"

To quote someone else on this site, "if you don't have a picture, it didn't happen."

Be safe my friend,

Ron
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:39 PM   #733
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Had a nice breakfast at the hotel. Was sitting out front watching the world go by and this guy walked into traffic with a begging bowl:



He was holding out a green plastic bucket and people were throwing spare change in. He just stood there in the middle of the road as traffic weaved around him:



I went over and talked to him and gave him some spare change. I'll give quetzals to anyone with the huevos to stand in traffic with a bowl. He wasn't from Guatemala. He looked like an old hippie who had taken a little too many psychedelics. Here he is telling me he is from another planet and fighting for his freedom unlike stupid gringos like me. He had some good points there. I liked his style. Sort of Hindu Sadhu with a stainless steel pipe instead of a walking stick and dirty shorts instead of a dhoti.



After breakfast I rode over to Flores and found the Los Amigos Hostel who arrange hiking trips to El Mirador:



Nice place. Only 45 quetzals for a dorm bed. Plus a nice atrium with couches and wifi:



I met these two nice Canadians from Williams Lake, British Columbia. Here are Kurt and Cory on a KLR and Dakar getting ready to head out:



And a nice Dutch traveler who was heading out:



I talked with Mathias the owner about El Mirador and he called Carlos who is the guide. Carlos is a nice guy, but there aren't enough people today to take a trip tomorrow. But there are plenty of backpackers coming and going. It is my understanding that these things happen quickly so maybe I'll hang out here and see what happens. Already in the last 15 minutes 3 people from Belgium and a German have come that are interested.

We'll see……

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:31 PM   #734
GuateRider
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Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
The only pics for today are of some bikes they unloaded. They were putting sale price tags on. I was just curious what a Suzuki GN125 costs in Guatemala. It has a good reputation for durability. Turns out it's 10,990 quetzals ($916.00):



or this AX100 is 6990 quetzals ($582.50):




Buenos noches mi amigos de aventura,
Juanito

Hola Juanito , you got your exchange rate wrong ! Seems like you are taking the same rate as for the Mexican Peso
Q. 10,990 = $1,410.00

Keep on enjoying Guatemala !
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:51 PM   #735
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Originally Posted by GuateRider View Post
Hola Juanito , you got your exchange rate wrong ! Seems like you are taking the same rate as for the Mexican Peso
Q. 10,990 = $1,410.00

Keep on enjoying Guatemala !
Hola Julio,

You're right. Thanks! I'm glad someone around here knows the value of a quetzal. Two days in and I still am thinking in pesos.

At 7.80 quetzals to the dollar a quetzal turns out to be worth more like 13 cents.

Gracias amigo,
Juanito
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