Sunday, May 31, 2009

Active volcano, new friends at most beautiful lake

Standing 1 meter away from liquid lava erupting from an active volcano! This is an hour away from Antigua which used to be the first capital of Central America and the entire city is now an UNESCO world heritage site.

I'm fascinated since forever by Indian, native American people. Many tribes of Mayas are living in the highlands here and I now have a new 10 year young Indigenous friend who gave me friendship presents and also painted nice pictures for me. This was at amazing Alicias place, she is going to establish a birth hospital here. Her house seems to be turned into the local village Kindergarten.

Lago Atitlan in the highlands is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Kayaking on crystal clear water, surrounded by 3 volcanoes was awesome!

Lago Atitlan: Odometer: 4300 miles, riding time: 88 hours
Antigua: Odometer: 4480 miles, riding time: 91 hours

Monday, May 18, 2009

Border crossing, awesome (!) rides, Chapolines and Mezcal

The border is a tiny little different compared to the US one! ;) A single tiny barrier which doesn't even fully close in the road, you can probably just duck and ride through it! A customs guy walks up to it and manually lifts it.

This is not a circuit racetrack. No, it's a Guatemala road, 2 lanes each way no marker, new done, which is like this for about 20 miles. Only one hour between roads like this ...

... and this: I now have a new under- standing of the term "roadblock" !!!

Met Raol, a local from a mountain city Oaxaca on his BMW F650. We were flying through my newest top no.1 highway for riding: 175!!! Turn after turn from the coast through the mountains for 3 hours. He introduced me to a local dish later, "Chapolines". Grasshoppers! I tried it! How it tastes?


After a ruin stop I made my way to Guatemala, I randomly stopped at a tiny Mezcal farm. Mezcal is a local version of Tequila. In the middle of farmland, this is a small building where traditional 4th generation family runs a fully organic production. I had super fresh Mezcal coming straight out of the distillery. Tequila today is mostly industrial produced, so this was a nice experience. Now I know how to make it! :)

Oaxaca: Odometer: 3600 miles, riding time: 71 hours
San Cristobal: Odometer: 4050 miles, riding time: 81 hours
Guatemala border: Odometer: 4150 miles, riding time: 84 hours

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More surfing, Newborn turtles, Acapulco & company

Yet another surfstop. Water keeps on getting warmer, love it!

Locals released hundreds of 2 hour young turtles to do their first ocean swim.

My bike and I got company, met an Australian couple and a Canadian kid with a surfboard rack attached to his bike. All on KLR's, too.

Acapulco is a dirty hole. It's like Waikiki, Hawaii: The city name sounds awesome, but 1 day is enough to understand why you should avoid this city. Touristy, dirty, too many people. But since I watched the Elvis movie as a kid I wanted to see the famous cliff diving live. I've been to the bling restaurant "La Perla" where you can watch the action from your table. All kinds of movie stars and royalty have eaten here before.

So far the only problems with bandits is the corrupt police: Got a second shakedown, but getting pretty pro to deal with this.

Red tide: I've seen the first time in my life an ocean glowing green at night. It's quite amazing. I've stopped in a little surfing village, but the water was bad as I arrived. Algies die off and at night you see phosphor glowing in the waves.

Acapulco: Odometer: 2900 miles, riding time: 56 hours
Puerto Escondido: Odometer: 3400 miles, riding time: 64 hours