Friday, 26 April 2013

Quetzulnetango Fin De Semama

Xela, The Weekend WOHHOH

Sabado (Saturday) was a sleep in ... no pictures of that. 

We decided to take the day off, wonder around Xela centro, go to the market etc and just take the place in and case it out.

It started with a choco coco .... no explanation needed, measured by chocolateonfacesmileinpublic grin  <---- like this fella but brown!!

Ellen was a little more lady like

We had a great walk including finding longer screws for the top case for spacers and taking in the huge market.

Mangos ...... mangos ... argh we splashed out and bought two huge mangos for 5Q which is about 64 cents for the two, these were for the hot pools the next day.

Saw a 27.5 inch mountain bike for the first time although probably old news now I was excited to see it. 

Domingo (Sunday) was almost a sleep in with breaky at 8.30 am and Fuentas Georgina lined up for the day.

Fuentes Georginas is a neat hot pool centre sitting at about 2800 metres up in the cloud and fog line.

Time to break out the moto and take a 16 km ride, out of town was hard work as most centros are but once out of town and up to the access road that was as wide a one car in places it was neat fun.

It is incredible where the Guatemalans plant crops with some incredibly steep faces being farmed.

Crops brought to the road side and friendly wave from a friendly Guatemalan ... not hard to find here at all. 


The hot pools (Aqua Caliente) are in an amazing setting, the first pool at the top is a little too hot to start with and you have to get in quietly and can only stay in for a short while.

The next pool down is very comfy and can turn you into a prune cos you realize how long you have been sitting in there, then there is a kids pool which is shallow.

Ellen enjoying her back being tampt by the hot water, check out the ladys look on her face to the right of Ellen   .... I am sure it wasn't us

Right at the entrance there is another hot pool in a rock setting on the left hand side which is very cool so we made the most of that too.

Out treat for the day was to have the mangos from the market and they were simple beautiful providing the much needed orange ring around my mouth supported by a contented grin.

Having a late lunch there we chose the cheese burger option which come with chips and salad and come highly recommended.

Setting off for home looking like heated prunes we rode back partly through fog then popping out below the great white canopy allowing spectacular views of the valley giving us appreciation of our elevation.

One horsepower can move a lot but 100 HP is more fun 

This is the town of Zunil that you take the turnoff up to the springs

All in all a great trip from Xela, not far away and very nice.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Quetzultenango Semana Uno

Xela Week One

Starting at escuela (school) is a whole new experience after not being there since 20 years young ... now at 46 years young here I am again...don’t think I will get the cane this time tho.

I was introduced to my teacher Dayma, she was very fluent in English to the tune of 0, luckily her Espanol is fantastic.

So with deafening silence we started ...... ummm ....... yeah.... my name is Andi and I am a moto bikeaholic

OK, we did get going after a slow start, luckily with spending 4 months in Mexico and 3 weeks in Cuba I had a basic knowledge so I could pick up the ball and run with it which was our saving grace.

At first I thought it was a complete disaster with her not talking english then when I thought about it I was there to learn Spanish so “sink or swim” here I come, luckily I could swim albeit a little but it was enough to understand her and start making ground.

Me wif my skool book ... just like a mug shot in jail 

And Ellens

With the first day finished I am surprised I got home cos my head was not on my shoulders and thankfully autopilot took me home to a good feed waiting for me. 

To be fair I had mixed emotions, one of accomplishment, one of stepping outside my comfort zone, one of total torment and misunderstandings so apparently I had a very successful day.

Another student who had been there for 5 weeks said if you go home feeling you know it all you have stuffed up, these words are very very true. 

Fast forward to Friday to the end of the first week that went faster than my first date with a hot chick I feel in my mind that I have actually achieved a huge amount, not knowing it all and coming home every day with a saw head and having to focus hard to answer simple questions I know I am going forward.

Ellens teacher Kartie

Action shot with my teacher Dayma

There is also the aspect that we are living with our Guatemalan host family who speak 100% Spanish only so the Kiwis have been teaching them Chanish and Spinglish (known as Spanish to the educated people) coupled with smiles and larfs which go a long way. 

All in all a very successful week so obviously I have no clue what is going on.

Antigua To Xela

An uneventful ride once we got out of Antigua, we had a local who decide he wanted to fit in where we were behind a truck and he literally pushed us out of the way, I tooted our spastic horn then blew passed him leaving him stuck behind the trucks in a cloud of diesel.  CC beats arrogance! 

We did have a wee moment on a corner when we hit heavy rain with a greasy patch and coupled with our shiny new rubber was a bad combo, only 1 km down the road a car had lost it and tried to jump the centre island too..... the island won BIG time 

The road was absolutely mint condition and winding around hills and valleys so a nice ride

The road just before Xela took us up to 3031 meters or 9944 ft for you imperialist, this of course took us well into the fog zone and thus cold, at one stage we slowed right down to about 30 km/hr as we could not see a thing.


Xela was nice and cool on arrival... 20 degrees!!!!! .... cool .... listen to me I must be getting acclimatized and I have to admit during the rain it dropped down to 13 degrees so I turned on the heated grips as I was wearing my summer gloves.... gettin soft. 

We found our escuela (school) and found out where our host family is, they have courtyard so Maya is safe which is essential.

Antigua ... Time To Look Around

Not going to write much as the pictures do more of the explaining, the first photo is one I should have put in the last post of our HUGE Frappes so when we hit Antigua again these are on the list

Antigua is a fairly "gringo" town with many foreigners there, felt kinda funny but to be honest I really like it.

It is a very nice place with the old town typically tidied up and revamped.

The church in centro

There small emblems cast into the footpath for moto parking, something we hadn't seen before. 

Very old building having suffered major damage, not sure if it is old age or if the civil war took its tool

A very typical street in old town, makes for interesting riding especially when they get wet 

Local markets selling all sorts

Locals selling their goodies

The place is alive with brightly coloured buildings, this is very typical here at least in old town

We are looking forward to going back to Antigua to have a better look around and meet up with Julio and go on some local rides, also we "should" understand a lot more Spanish which we are really looking forward to using to get in the depth of the Spanish speaking countries rather than just getting by.

El Chol To Antigua

Ok, pologies for the late update ladies and gent, Wifi VERY sporadic here is Xela so I am doing a Cafe hop to find the best Wifi to meet your needs  

Ok, El Chol To Antigua

First things first we had to get Maya out of the market that had set up earlier in the morning, luckily it wasn’t tight and they all thought it was pretty funny. 

The road started out as dirt and we had sporadic tar seal of race track quality here and there mainly in towns then back to dirt and with the occasional bordred bridge thrown in.

The entire road was being revamped with heaps of work being done, the entire side of a main town street blocked of with concrete formwork, concrete trucks, workers, screeds etc so they were paving a huge section of the road.

There were newly constructed bridges and detours everywhere which made for interesting riding, this didn’t stop us from getting lost and having a grande tour of a small town through streets no wider than a small car.... it was great fun. 

At one stage we were stopped completely by a big digger hacking up the road and were mobbed by little bikes....when the truck left and the road cleared it was like a MotoGp start with bikes fizzing off everywhere trying to get out front ... it was hilarious to watch so we calmly took off giving them all the lead until they reached top speed then we blazed on by like they were standing still ... the look on their faces was funny.

That is Valentino getting the right line out on the right 

Carrying on down the hill the road was that of a freshly laid supermoto circuit and beautifully finished.

Arriving in Antigua we set too trying to find economic accommodation but first I went and found Taz @ Moto Mundo which I did, for those wanting to find him easily the GPS coords are in the above post.

Taz is a great guy and seriously helpful, he took us to a hotel that was reasonably priced and had solid Wifi.

We could not park Maya in there so Taz said no prob leave it at his shop .... easy.

We got settled in and had a walk around town splashing out of a MEGA frappe, it was beautiful. 

Tea that night was spent with Dan and Elaine some travellers we had met at Utopia lodge in Semuc Champey... they trustingly lent us $100 Q as we had left our money behind, the restaurant is called Por Que No and the food was excellent. 

The climbing rope to get into the loft

REAL food

Next morning I went back to Tazs workshop to spoon off the stuffed MT21 and spoon on a shiny new one. 

Also on my list to do was place a fine mesh in front of the radiator to stop fine mud clogging the radiator fins, Kiwi fix will do .

That evening we meet up with Dan and Elaine, Dave and Jana at their hostel for happy hour drinks and a Dave Burger, good times, good chats.