Friday, 12 April 2013

Semuc Champey To El Chol

Getting going at around 9.00am we hit the dirt road back to the main highway, the rest of the road was clean, neat and good condition so quite different form our “shortcuts” which we confirm ARE the longest distance between two points.

The temperature was hitting 40 degrees and we were following a slow car up the long winding hill .... both fans blazing away to help Maya keep her cool but nearly at the summit she started to vapour lock and flood with our light throttle and heat buildup despite still having two bars left on the temperature gauge.

She was trying to run on 2 half cylinders so I cracked her open to get some air in there which worked well, she sputtered for about another 300 metres then cleared her throat and by that time we had crested the pass and were heading down so less load and things were back to normal.

Rather than sitting behind the slowjoe I should have passed them and gone which may have prevented that but either way it was fookin hot. 

We reached the end of the tarseal at Rabinal at 2.00pm, we tried to find a hotel so the local police took us there.

The lady saw the bike (chiching$$) and that we looked a bit stuffed (chiching$$) so she hiked the price and told us with a straight face what we were to pay, we had her receipt book right in front of us which clearly said quite differently from previous customers charges.

Ready to take a tuck from her I inspected the room, came back put the keys on the counter as said no gracias (being polite) and we carried on. 

I was prepared to by ripped a little if the room was ok but it was 40 degrees C and it had no air conditioning and NO ceiling fan (fan which is standard here) so the angry dutchman came out (so did the angry chinese) .... the lady thought she had it in the bag so greed left her with an empty room, ironically no-one else was there and her previous customer date was a wee way back so all the signs were not ideal. 

Given it was only 2.00pm we had time up our sleeve so we carried on with the view of camping out somewhere high to get cooler air.

The road was totally dirt and pretty gnarly in places and had obviously had big rains in there and with cattle etc to look out for.

Stopped for a quick Pepsi to get some sugar boost

The road was beautiful and tree clad in places 

And open in others

We stopped beside a dry rocky waterfall for a photo and for the first time on the trip in total from Alaska I dropped the bike .... the ground was further away from me and being tired I just couldn’t hold her up. 

We both dropped to the ground in a pile of dust right beside a big hole which crumbled away as we stood up!!! was about 10 metres down before the bottom  

Fark ... that was was close, no damage other than to my pride so we picked up Maya started her up and carried on.

Was not even 5 minutes later we were stopped with road works, only a 10 minute stop but is was SO hot and I could not put the stand down on Maya due to the camber on the road so I had to sit on her and suck the heat .... the Keep Toasting Me 950 Sauna E

Soon on our way we rolled into El Chol a little town and in the middle of nowhere (well somewhere anyway) and spotted HOTEL. 

We rocked up and Ellen checked it out, respectable price and respectable room ... that is more like it.

After showering off and turning into humans we walked around town, people starring at me ... not many whitefoos come here me thinks, bought some tea which was Chicken and Chips and Tacos, total $27 Quizales which is about $3.50 for the two of us so after tea we blew the budget on three big mangos and scoffed them back out our room ... yummo!!! ... that was another $10 quitzales so $1.30 US for 3, if we can get em in New Zealand we pay about $3 - $4 each!!

Cool buses in this region, one of many that we saw

No Wifi here again so time to right all this up.

Off to Antigua tomorrow, 75 km of dirt roads with a new front tire waiting at the other end WOH HOH.

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