Thursday, 18 July 2013

Guatemala Sum Up And The Heart Speaks

Greetings all, well I have to say I have a love hate relationship with Guatemala, to be clearer on that I love Guatemala but I still hate hospitals.

The medical treatment I received for my ribs was excellent and my nurse was yummy so that was good, I just hate visiting hospitals so on this next leg of the journey we are staying right out of them.

This is my happy happy joy joy hospital photo

So starting from the beginning, entry in to Guatemala was not really smooth with the big fat customs guy leaving for his lunch break while 90 % of the way through our paper work, a small bell rang and he just left the building and no one would say he had gone to lunch for an hour, so we and many other behind us were left standing wondering what was going on.

If they had said lunch time then sweet we would have got some lunch but it seemed to be a secret and they seemed proud to make it a secret and just hold everyone up ..... not good tourism relations and that guy really should get another job, apart from his secret unexplained exit the process was straight forward.

We both love Guatemala, it is the start of the Jurassic Park section of Central America and we found every bit of it excellent.

Sumec Champey is our favourite location in Guatemala .....the place is nothing short of stunning.

We took up Spanish lessons in Xela and this has provided an excellent base to start with but we need a little more practice and hopefully with immersion this will help.

I was lucky enough to hang with what car?? (Juan) and we did a big boys day out to Tajumulco Volcan which was great, we rode up to about 3400 metres (11200ft), thanks mate it was a sanity break from Spanish lessons!!!

We also had the pleasure of meeting Guaterider and Mrs.Guaterider Julio and Luisa in Antigua, even tho he rides a BMW he is still a great guy. 

Richard Chang from Guate City (GC) took us from Antigua to GC which was really cool unfortunately the crash bringing that to an early finish ... that is where the I hate hospitals comes in. 

I had the three hour ride to GC in the back of a heavily sprung ambulance and I felt every toppe and bump from Palin to GC.

Having four breaks in the ribs things were crunching around, it would be fair to say it was slightly painful and at one point I had tears rolling down my face and I just wanted to go home, if I could have pushed the escape button and be back in New Zealand in one piece right then I would have done it. No other way to explain the value of home comfort, I was not happy.

With the confirmation of broken ribs from X Ray they said nothing they could do, having had broken ribs prior I knew what I was in for so we bought some tape and taped me up BIG time for support and this worked very well. 

Me doing some electrical work on Richard wee Honda, I was going mad so had to do something, note the strapping on my back to hold me together., sorry Mike no girl bum shots  

Enter in to the equation Victor who is a good friend of Richards in GC, he had offered us to stay with him but by the time we arrived at his place he had inadvertently picked up a broken whiteyfoo patient more than a RTW traveller.

So our three days turned into two weeks, Victor your blood is worth bottling mate, you are a true gentleman and a welcoming host, we didn’t know how we could reciprocate being in our position.

We then headed back to Antigua, funny thing was prior leaving Antigua to go to GC we had talked about extending our stay in Guatemala ..... irony is turning up back in Antigua not quite in one piece but we got to enjoy it for another month and do more Spanish so we had a bonus there.

Not long after we went back to Antigua Gene and Neda arrived and Gene was kind enough to bring Maya back from GC to Antigua as I could not ride her, thanks mate, the ADV tree works well.

This then provided a great platform for a few social nights of international travellers, we were also joined by Phil and Jane so we had quite the gathering for a short time.

Upon leaving Antigua when I was ready to ride again we then spent the last weekend back at Victors as RTW travellers and not broken patients, we had organised a ride with his cuzzies on the Sunday so that was cool.

Unfortunately Victor had a binning on his bike and broke two bones in his leg .... and he rode home ..... I am feeling like a girl now taking an ambulance.

So very quickly it turned around that we were there to help Victor and reciprocate with help for him in his time in need, so yet again our stay we extended to help Victor as he couldn’t drive so what comes around goes around, coupled with that our cable and pinlock insert that we ordered 6 weeks earlier had not arrived so we extended our VISA’s and TVIP, Victor needed help so that concluded it it was worth staying on to help, I became a personal driver to help him get about for that following week then his cuzzy was going to take over.

Funny how things can change in an instant, seems to be the basis of our travels.

The Bike

So we got a lot of parts out of the USA and sent to Julios in Antigua, these were the final mop up after the shitty purchase issues we had, thanks Julio, again you made life easy for us.

Maya is all good barring any issues from riding but oil changes are netting nothing unusual which is great and now we have our washable filters etc working for us.

I am looking forward to wearing shit out now as that means we are travelling!!!


Across the board we have been good, life has been treating us well but it was a difficult time for us with me being broken and I have to admit I probably don’t make the model patient.

Ellen did well to see me through the hard time of the first couple of weeks of the ribs including a couple unwanted sneezes bringing tears and crying and not being able to breath .... it was hard for both of us at this time ..... and with all the drugs there was no drinking so a double wammy. 

Ellen also tortured the guys with her sushi making several batches for the team to scoff. 

So at the end of Guatemala we still live and we are still in love and we have realized a few things,

I don’t bounce like I used to
Gene likes KTMs
I still hate hospitals
Fresh fruit from the eternal garden of Guatemala is world class
Guatemala is somewhat of an adventure biker paradise
We still hate mozzies
Guatemalans love blowing shit up

Where does this leave us now?, well since the beginning of our trip we have lost 18 weeks to failures in just 13 moths, 6 weeks to Suzuki failures, 6 weeks to Ellens crash and now 6 weeks to my ribs, we are now miles behind where we thought we were going to be ... who cares.

We are lucky enough to have the time, not many people get to travel for 18 weeks let alone have 18 weeks off the road within a trip.

Now things come in threes so they say so from here on in our trip will be boring with no more BIG issues but we promise to do our best for photos and writing ...maybe some more bum shots for Mike. 

I am very glad I could not push that escape button as I would have regretted it, like all horror moments there is always a silver lining born to see you through and yet again people went out of their way in our time of need so just when you say to yourself well how the hell is this going to unfold ... it just does and unfolds with bonuses.

I don’t suggest for a moment you rush out and break your ribs tho .... it is not recommended.....however these are 

So to finish up, thanks to all in Guatemala, luv to all, Andi & Ellen

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