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Old 02-21-2014, 12:24 AM   #76
CaptUglyDan
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Originally Posted by eakins View Post
Best of luck!
No way in hell I would ride in Mexico with a camo bike
Nor I, but nothing a rattle can of paint can't fix.
Riding with a Washington state plate down thru Mex and CA is even worse.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:13 AM   #77
jrzyguy OP
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Day 14 - Zanatepec to San Cristóbal de las Casa

The climb in elevation brought welcomed cool mountain air as I approached San Cristóbal. I stayed at the Blue Bamboo Guesthouse, run by Steve and Sophia with their two adopted street dogs.


I soon took to the streets exploring.








After dinner I headed back out into the streets.










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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=952794, Solo Month in MX and GT

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Old 02-21-2014, 07:29 AM   #78
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Day 15 - Border Crossing into Guatemala

I left my guesthouse later then planned, after talking with Sophie, who is a linguist, about learning the Spanish language. She shared a lot of helpful insights.

I wasn't far from San Cristóbal, riding slowly through a small village, when I felt something hit the inside of my lower leg. It was one of those moments I could have easily dismissed and continued on, but I made a U-turn and carefully scanned the road surface. There in the middle of the street was my wallet. I carry it in a zippered thigh pocket in my riding pants... and apparently didn't zip up the pocket. What a mess I would have been in, had I left my wallet in the street! I counted my blessings for miles!

Leaving San Cristóbal, the road south begins in the pine covered highlands and then descends to a warmer elevation. As I came closer to the Guatemalan border we began to climb into beautiful mountainous country.




Then, just before I reached the border, the road tightened and was lined on both sides with vendors. My pic doesn't show how it was teaming with foot traffic, vehicles of all kinds, and shoppers... a real crowd scene!


In hindsight, my border crossing went rather easily, but because this was a first for me, it was sensory overload. I was first told that I needed to return to the Mexico side (4 Km down the road) to get a departure stamp on my passport. When I returned, and was having my paperwork processed, the immigration officer pointed out to me that my Certificate of Ownership shows my license plate ending with a 9 and the plate on my bike ending with an 8. I walked a few feet toward my bike with my Title in hand, looked at the Title and then at my plate, shrugged my shoulders, and returned my papers to the officer. Believe me, I deserved an Academy Award for my act... inside, I was panicking... would they refuse to let me in? Disaster averted, they completed my paperwork! The moto Gods smile again!

Now, in full disclosure, I must explain the plate number issue. I have two bikes that I registered in Cali at the same time... and the plate numbers are in sequence. And yes, I inadvertently switched the plates... dumb shit!


Oh yeah... I'm in Guatemala!




The road to Huehuetanago cut through the mountains... most of it felt like riding through a canyon with little elevation change... a fabulous road to ride!


When I arrived in Huehuetanago, I realized that I've returned to a former world of navigation... I have no GPS mapping for Guatemala!
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19810842, 2 Months in Mexico "Heading South"

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=952794, Solo Month in MX and GT
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:40 PM   #79
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Great stuff, Jim. Keep it coming. I had one of those little number issues here in Fort Collins. My VIN number was transposed on a registration doc, but thankfully it all happened at home.

--Doug M
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #80
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Great stuff, Jim. Keep it coming. I had one of those little number issues here in Fort Collins. My VIN number was transposed on a registration doc, but thankfully it all happened at home.

--Doug M
Yeah Doug, the details sometimes bite me!
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:49 AM   #81
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Gps

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Originally Posted by jrzyguy View Post
When I arrived in Huehuetanago, I realized that I've returned to a former world of navigation... I have no GPS mapping for Guatemala!
Enjoy Guate! I'm jealous.

As for the maps, if you can find a computer, you can download routable maps for pretty much the whole world here:

http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

These are the maps I used last year, once I left Mexico and I found them to be 90% as good as the Garmin maps, only free.

Good luck, amigo!
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:17 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by m_p_w View Post
Enjoy Guate! I'm jealous.

As for the maps, if you can find a computer, you can download routable maps for pretty much the whole world here:

http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

These are the maps I used last year, once I left Mexico and I found them to be 90% as good as the Garmin maps, only free.

Good luck, amigo!
Thanks Matt. Since I posted that message, my Garmin is giving me some info, but it's sketchy. I can't download with my iPad, but if I can use a computer in an Internet cafe, I should be able. And GT is awesome... the roads, the people, the scale... all good!
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:38 PM   #83
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Huehuetenango For The Night

I was surprised at how large Huehuetanango is... a great jumping off point with access to all of a moto traveler's needs.

The view down the street from my hotel. I've never been in a city where scooters and motos had a greater presence... they were everywhere in large numbers!


I had dinner, and breakfast the following morning, in this place. Both the exterior and interior were log cabin style. Totally out of character for the city. But the ladies that ran it were sweet and the food was good!


The signs were backlit and suspended over the street... never saw that before!
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19810842, 2 Months in Mexico "Heading South"

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=952794, Solo Month in MX and GT

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Old 02-22-2014, 05:38 PM   #84
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Day 16 - Huehuetanango to Quetzaltenango (Xela)

The ride to Xela (pronounced shell-ah) was fairly short and pleasant. Sharing the road with the "chicken buses" was a highlight... they are bling machines and take the corners wide open, leaning on the horn whenever it's needed.


I was struck by the steep slope of many fields... it seems they are usually quite flat or terraced, but not these!


The moment I parked my bike at the plaza, Marco came over to introduce himself and to show me the twin 125 cc Yamahas on which he and his girlfriend are doing their world tour. They are Argentinian and have worked their way up through South and Central America. I received a warm welcome to Chichi!


I checked into Los Chocoyos, a multi-cultural guesthouse. Kind of bohemian with very friendly guests... I really liked it! Here's is a pic of a dance class being held right outside of our rooms.


As I usually do, I changed clothes and started exploring. The town receives some tourists, but not enough to make much of an impact. A visitor gets of true sense of what it's like to live there.

This gentleman has no trouble relaxing in the main plaza, the Parque Centro América.


Still in love after all these years! The Parque was filled with people enjoying the day.


My walk continued into the evening. Xela has a vibrant Centro.








The Los Chocoyos guesthouse (left) and an amazing bakery/restaurant next door.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #85
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I didn't know Clang had an identical twin brother!

The moment I parked my bike at the plaza, Marco came over to introduce himself and to show me the twin 125 cc Yamahas on which he and his girlfriend are doing their world tour. They are Argentinian and have worked their way up through South and Central America. I received a warm welcome to Chichi!
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:32 AM   #86
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Keep It Coming James

It's really a joy too see an old friend's pics and description of travels through Central America. Wish I could find my old Guatemalan exchange student college friend's contact info and hook you up. I'll be testing your Spanish soon.

With eyes closed I keep tapping my heels together but still awake in a pile of Jersey snow.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:49 PM   #87
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Hey Jim, way to go man. The bike looks good - mean. Ahhhh Coco! Remember him well. Actually glad to see him after Dennis and I rode the countryside for a day and half with no contact of anyone.
I'm still in hope of doing what your doing this fall - we c. Ride safe, watch the traffic. I'll have a lot of questions for you later on. The pics are great - thanks.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:10 AM   #88
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It's really a joy too see an old friend's pics and description of travels through Central America. Wish I could find my old Guatemalan exchange student college friend's contact info and hook you up. I'll be testing your Spanish soon.

With eyes closed I keep tapping my heels together but still awake in a pile of Jersey snow.
Hey Chuck, Good to hear from you. Spring is around the corner!
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19810842, 2 Months in Mexico "Heading South"

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=952794, Solo Month in MX and GT
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:29 AM   #89
PlznMySoul
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I really liked it! Here's is a pic of a dance class being held right outside of our rooms.
Something tells me that I would have been in there dancing with them trying to get my Salsa and Merengue moves in order.

Great Pics.. keep them coming. I now understand why those who travel Mexico enjoy reading and viewing new Ride reports. A lot of "Flashbacks" take place as you see places that have been visited.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:48 AM   #90
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Hey Jim, way to go man. The bike looks good - mean. Ahhhh Coco! Remember him well. Actually glad to see him after Dennis and I rode the countryside for a day and half with no contact of anyone.
I'm still in hope of doing what your doing this fall - we c. Ride safe, watch the traffic. I'll have a lot of questions for you later on. The pics are great - thanks.
Thanks for the encouragement... it continues to be an amazing time!
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