Avoid the dirt road from Santiago Atilan to San Pedro in Guatemala

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by daveg, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    This morning a friend of mine just did San Pedro - Santiago .
    He asked for a police escort in San Pedro and he got a Jeep with 2 cops escorting him all the way to Santiago .
    The chief of police in San Pedro told him to tell all his biker friends , to do the same : Just ask for a FREE police escort in San Pedro or Santiago
    #61
  2. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    :rofl :rofl :rofl

    First you said that it's safe, and then you say to get a police escort! Of course it's dangerous!

    Imagine if you wanted to go from Madison, Wisconsin, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but first you have to call the local police and ask for an escort?

    In all the ride reports I've seen, and in all my travels, the only other place I personally know that's like this is parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Bosnia and Guatemala are two places that in the last twenty years have experienced ethnic cleansing.

    A few years ago, in a TGI Fridays in Panama City, I met an old man. I didn't recognize him. He walked up to the table and said hi to my cousin. They chatted about nothing. Afterwards, my cousin laughed. "You didn't know who he was! He was the President of Guatemala! He killed like hundreds of thousands of people!"

    None of it "proven," of course.

    I had to go wash my hand.

    Meanwhile, I'm trying to get Nata Harli to remind me of the hotel he stayed at near there some where.
    #62
  3. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    :thumb As long as these ladrones are not buddies with some of the cops.





    No one ever said that route was safe as its been a known ladrones hangout for years. CA-1 between Huehue and Guate is safe. Not to say that you didnt witness a robbery there, but thats highly unusual. Of all the roads in Guatemala that locals have warned my about for the past 3 months, not once was that route mentioned.

    Oh Max, dont be so dramatic. There are much more dangerous places in the world than Lago Atitlan. :lol3 Set down the cocktail and back away from the computer.:rofl

    Am I allowed to give you a little shit every once in a while? :D
    #63
  4. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I'll see you at The Iguana on Lago Atitlan in two weeks, Vinnie, and I'm going to make you get me and two euro-trash backpacker chics get drunk.

    Or I'll meet you at The Hotel California, where Nata Harli stayed.

    I'm on my iphone, so linking photos is a pita, but if you look at my ride report, on page 1, 2, or 3, there's a photo of a tipped-over truck, and in the background, three men walking up the hill. One is carrying a machete, one a shotgun, one a drawn pistol. Call me a drama queen all you want... because that scene was pretty dramatic.
    #64
  5. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    :roflI could be in El Salvador in 2 weeks, depends how I do with my, uh, ahem, "appointment" in San Marcos. Besides that, my permit runs out in just over 2 weeks. :bash
    #65
  6. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I've read/heard that the Monterrico beach area is worth checking out.
    #66
  7. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    .
    #67
  8. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Getcha a few litros de Gallo frias, man.
    It's all cool here.
    A campfire.
    A log added or kicked here and there.
    Lottsa dreams.
    Which constellation looks like a nice set of D cups to you? Just asking...
    #68
  9. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    200,000 people were killed in Guatemala between the mid 1960s and the mid 1980s. It was genocide and I don't understand it. I do understand the social and economic result- on one side, a feeling of futility, lawlessness, and self-righteousness; on the other side, a feeling of victimhood, vengence, a need to dominate indiscriminately.

    The type of human conflict that results in genocide once interested me enough to make a trip to Bosnia. I travelled solo throughout Bosnia and the Republica Srpska. I saw dead people. I took precautions for my own safety.

    Guatemala is different from Bosnia, but it's the same. Mayans and Europeans are as different from each other as Bosnians and Serbs. Once the genocide and war was over, there followed a period of fractioning. Warlords trade in their artillery for small arms. Both sides hand out amnesty cards. Militants continue to orchestrate death squads. Eventually, the murderers just get old. 1966 was a long time ago. 1986 was a long time ago.

    If I'm sitting in the neighborhood TGI Fridays, and an old man walks up to me, you have to forgive me if I didn't recognize him as an ex president of Guatemala. This was in my neighborhood TGI Fridays, not a Guatemala TGI Fridays. It was very... ironic.

    I have mixed feelings about Panama being a place of exhile for ex-genocidal maniacs. I don't understand why more of the exiles aren't assasinated. Guns in Panama are as common as guns in the US. I understand, but I don't.

    I'm not making any judgements and I'm certainly not going to win an argument with a citizen or resident of Guatemala. I am certain that the area around Lago Atitlan is more dangerous than most other places I've been.

    Next time I'm in Guatemala, I'll be looking up a few Guatemala riders and buying them beer.
    #69
  10. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Before I get flamed, keep in mind that I'm a HUGE proponent of travel in all of Latin America.
    #70
  11. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    :scratch I have to think about that one for a minute.

    Dont know about traditional constellations, but after 6 months on the road, when kicking back in a reclining lawn chain under low latitude dark skies with a few brews, its pretty easy to turn the sky into pornographic star patterns. :rofl
    #71
  12. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I might finally have permission from my kids to take off for Panama. I'd be leaving Wisconsin on Friday. Iron butt-style to Los Angeles and Disney Land. Then Iron Butt style to the Mexico/Guatemala border. I'll either drop into Mexico at Tijuana, or somewhere farther East. Looking at maps, and from prior experience, is it quicker to get to Huehuetenango to go through Laredo Nuevo or Brownsville? I've gone to Tampico via Laredo Nuevo/Monterrey, and via Matamoros- which is quicker?

    What I really want to do is find this road and see if I can talk to some of the banditos. Photos of them with their balaclavas and weapons would be pretty cool, no?
    #72
  13. dtop1

    dtop1 Long timer

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    Bananaman: If you're going to be in San Diego, ping me to see if we can get together. To your question: I've been to and from Guatemala crossing at La Mesilla by all 3 major Mexican routes: Pacific, center, east coast. All 3 routes from San Diego are within 200 miles of each other in total distance. The Pacific route is the slowest and the east coast route is the fastest but the most boring because it's mostly freeways, cuotas and straight roads. Dan
    #73
  14. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    What Dan said.

    If you go through south Texas and hit all the cuotas on the east side of Mexico you can be at Lago Atitlan 2 days after crossing at Brownsville. Use the La Mesilla crossing into Guatemala. Arno just did it a few weeks ago from Xela to Brownsville, said it was boring as all hell, but lightning fast.

    See you in Central America amigo........ email sent.....
    #74
  15. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Another bandito turf is the volcano behind San Pedro - tourists on the trails.
    #75
  16. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    Hey dtop,
    question for ya on speed of travel then, Im heading out of CR tomorrow, need the fastest from the pacific coast of guat to the juarez crossing, I kind of expected the pacific route of mex would be slow, and ive been warned of bandits somewhere in there. Took the contral desert route in through Oaxaca to the coast, the part between the coast and DF Mex city was slow but scenic. Id rather burn as much mileage as I can each day. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Phil
    #76
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Matamoros-Tampico-Tuxpan-Veracruz-San Cristobal de las Casas-La Mesilla-Huehuetenango-Lago Atitlan-Hiking Banditos- Dirt Road Banditos.
    #77
  18. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    If your route is from the bottom of CA, Cheewahwah will be your pivot point for best-time, most efficient travel (unload mucho bucks at tolls for the ride down).
    #78
  19. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Are you saying South at Juarez, then to Chihuahua thru Monterrey to Ciadad Victoria to Tampico?

    Three years ago I rode Laredo-Monterrey-Ciudad Victoria-Tampico. From Nuevo Laredo to Ciudad Victoria, there were more than a few times when I thought the trucks were actually homicidal. Yuck.

    I seem to remember the cuotas along the Atlantic route, down to SCDLC, as being around US$50. Or am I off by US$50?

    (The bike is almost ready. Test ride yesterday revealed that the speedo STILL doesn't work. Fuck it, said I. I swapped the big old aeroflow windscreen for the original stock windscreen. Tons more air to the face, which is damn cold here in Wisconsin, and is going to suck on the 2200 miles to Los Angeles, but it'll be way better once I hit the heat. The side cases are packed and ready to mount up. I picked up a new North Face semi-waterproof duffle. 67 liters for the size Medium. Instead of the 51liter givi topcase. I'm starting with a brand new (be careful with fresh rubber!) Metzler Tourance rear. The front TKC has about 2500 miles on it. It might (might!) make Panama. I have a fresh set of TKCs to mount up once I get to Panama. I have a can of Redbull that I stole from Colomtnbkr. And I have three feet of vacuum cleaner hose for when I get to those fucking rivers.
    #79
  20. dtop1

    dtop1 Long timer

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    For the fastest time from Tapachula to Cd. Juarez I'd do the following:
    Tapachula-Juchitan-Acayucan-Puebla on the toll road-toll road around MX City on the NE-San Luis Potosi-Zacatecas-Gomez Palacio-Chihuahua-Cd. Juarez. It will take 4-5 days. Dan
    #80