Friday, June 25, 2010

Only A Matter of Time, Guatemala

Guatemala has some big trees, After passing dozens I decided to finally stop at this old fella.

Mario with the gun seemed to like pointing the barrel at my knees, Alas, after this long, looking into gun barrels and having guns pointed at various body parts almost seems normal now.
The infamous slow let down fall over. I tried to keeper up right but, alas, she was too heavey and I let it down easy and got some bystanders to help a brother out with the lift now that I'm as weak as Pete Wedge.

All along the coast the last storm named IDA flexed its muscles and took several bridges out making for many detours and river runs.

Paper pushers forming a wall around the window at Guatemala. If you want through you gotta go through these guys first. I managed for 5 bucks.-
Its been a bit of a tough ride through Central America riding solo thus far. It seemed that on the way down everything was smooth and easy. The way back has been challenging despite the near perfect roads, which occasionally have a washed out bridge to contend with. I've had to make a few detours but I still have been able to get to where I wanted to go with little troubles.

Yesterday was a day that I won't soon forget. First of all I crossed into Guatemala and began making my way to Lago Atitlan where Julie and I visited on the way down. Along the way while passing through a small village a truck slammed on its brakes and I had to stop quickly as well. I planted my feet on the asphalt off balance and had the infamous slow motion fall over trying with all my might to hold the bike up. Alas, the machine was too much so I had to lay it down. As I am in no shape to wrestle with the fully loaded bike I simply waited for someone to come along and help me. Down here there are alway people willing to help a guy with a big motorcycle.

After the fall over episode I rode my way up to Lago Atitlan through Santiago and took the back way into San Pedro. This is apparently the dangerous way in and on a short dirt road section just before the asphalt began again some dude jumped out in front of me with a hand gun and a black balaclava touting a machette. The hill was was climbing at that moment was super steep so I was in 1st gear trying to maintain balance. Then the bandito jerk pushes me and the bike over and begins demanding cash. I was being pretty cool about the whole situation but the machette was being pointed at me more than the gun was and the thought of getting slashed was on my mind. I opened up my fake wallet and pulled out the evuivalent to 80 dollars and handed only the cash over. He started asking for my camera, my GPS, and my passport....I was like yeah right asshole!
He began cutting my bungee cords and taking my tent and therma rest. All this time I was trying to lift the bike and asking the guy to help me with the bike. He just stood there looking at me perplexed as I was heaving on the bike with all my might. Finally after about 2 minutes of me yelling to him to help me lift the god damn bike he stopped pretending to slash me and ran off into the coffee bushes just as an old man with two little kids and a dog appeared. He probably knew the man and didn't want to get exposed. The old man helped me with the lift and roughly 30 seconds later the police truck that was chasing me for passing (again) in the last town appeared. They were ticked off at me until I popped my helmet off covered in sweat and began telling them that I had just been robbed.
At this statement they jumped out of the truck and 2 of the three police men ran with me into the coffee plantation. I was running after the man in his general direction until it dawned on me that I was chasing a man with a gun and a machette and I was way ahead of the police who might mistake me for the bandito in the thick brush. At this notion I returned to the road and gave a small statement to the police man looking after the bike. He asked why I passed them in the town and I said it was because I had a fast motorcycle. He liked the response and a conversation about the bike commenced before I left.
I Finally made it into San Pedro only 2 km further just before dark and found a hostal called "Yo Mama's Place!" I had a few beers and told my story to a few people who seemed shocked that I did'nt loose everything and that I didn't give the man all what he was asking for. But I say frig him!! He was a 25 years oldish punk who got away with 80 bucks. I had such aweful thoughts last night and began negotiation for a gun with a man that said he'd hook me up in Guatemala city to return in the morning to rid the area of a vermin who preys on motorcyclists apparently. I was told that I was the second guy with a touring bike this month! Alas, after sleeping, the beer stopped talking and I decided to sum the whole experience into a good story to tell the grand kids.

1 comment:

  1. Your grand kids will love your stories, & blog, but your poor parents have my sympathy! HAHA!