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Entry 19: Lake Atitlan – Antigua

GUATEMALA | Friday, 18 April 2014 | Views [460]

“I never met a fly without a buzz” was etched into my memory while attending high school in Virginia and from what I saw in San Pedro la Laguna, it may also be the unspoken mantra for many of her hostel inhabitants. Case in point-- Mr. Mullets Hostel offers free shots of tequila for breakfast and continues to pour until the wee hours.

Party scene aside, Lake Atitlan is a natural beauty and has more moxie in and of herself to offset the fly whisperers. For me, the Lake was a good place to chill out, rest up and do nothing. My only semi-adventure consisted of teaming up with the French Connection (Mateo & Pamela) for a lap around the lake on our motos.

On ride day, the sky threatened a rain which never came but the clouds did occasionally drift, drape and envelope the roadway. As we rounded Volcano Atitlan, a frontal-esque wall of fog surged down steep slopes and blanketed our path – it was purdy. Shortly after the misty mountain tranquility, and keeping with the yen and yang of Latin America, we came across a pissed off chicken bus that was tearing ass up a nasty route that would have been marked 4WD only in the States. The ruckus caused Pamela to turn around in the saddle in disbelief as I, sharing her sentiment, tightened my grip and focused on keeping my squirrely tires from fleeing their terrestrial roots and joining the ranks of the flying. In the end, the squirrels stayed grounded, the bash-plate did its job and the top of the hill was reached. Although we paused after arriving back on pavement to contemplate and laugh, we didn’t stick around long enough for the oversized yard bird with a nasty disposition to catch up. Winning!

After the ride we parked the bikes in San Pedro and birddogged a friend of M&P whom they had met somewhere else along the way. Said friend – James, is a former BMX X-Gamer who’s riding his bicycle down to South America and raising money for Cancer research.

 http://pedalingforpennies.info/

As it turns out, James also shares our love of having a good time and to cut to the chase – someone bought a bottle of Red Label and Pamela & Mateo didn’t leave San Pedro that night. Two nights later James and I found ourselves on the other side of the Lake at the French Connection’s crib which is just outside of Panajachel. We were treated to a home cooked meal, good views and great company. Friends.

ANTIGUA:

Back when I was in college and deciding on where to study Spanish, Antigua made the final cut but came in second to Seville, Spain. Antigua’s people are lovely and predominately Mayan, the streets and buildings are as colonial as they come and, like Lake Atitlan, it’s surrounded by volcanos.

I arrived on the 9th of April and shortly after, so did Semana Santa or Holy Week.

 

I have created a simple formula en lieu describing my time in Antigua during Semana Santa:

Latin America + Catholicism + Semana Santa = Game on, Jesus!

 

A photo = 1K words so, for brevities’ sake, please refer to photo Entry 19: Lake Atitlan – Antigua.

Jesus-Polooza aside, Antigua was also a good place to get some work done on the bike. The French Connection told me about a cool little bike shop named MotoMundo. Taz is the owner and mechanic of MotoMundo and after walking into his shop mid-day and rapping with him for ten minutes, he agreed to take a look at my bike. In less than 2 hours Taz resealed the top-end of my engine, changed my oil (new filter in stock!), cleaned and treated my air filter and lubed the chain. And just for the record – that was the first time that anyone other than myself has touched the engine on my bike – just saying...

http://motomundoantigua.wordpress.com/

Cheers & Thanks, Taz!

Today is Good Friday and in the morning I will be heading towards the Honduran border near Copan.

Hasta later!

 

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Colorado: 1995 & 2013

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