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{ Monthly Archives } February 2011

santa maria

One of the reasons for coming to Xela is its proximity to two of Guatemala’s highest mountains. Santa Maria looms over the town at 3771 metres and Tajumulco, Central America’s highest peak at 4220 metres, is not far away. I am keen to climb both of them. After stocking up on some warm cloths at […]

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Xela is Guatemala’s second largest city and it has a significant population of foreigners – the majority of whom are studying Spanish and/or working at a host of NGOs on various social projects. Despite my rather unfortunate introduction to the city I quickly warm to Xela  – there is a good second hand bookshop with […]

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welcome to xela

We arrive in Xela early enough in the day to have ample time to find somewhere to stay and then address myself to the task of finding a good restaurant where I can celebrate my birthday in style. After an extremely satisfactory birthday dinner, Silke and I start to walk towards the guesthouse where we […]

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to toto

As soon as my bike is back together, I set off from Panajachel towards Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second biggest city – more commonly known as Xela, its name in the local indigenous language. Nancy and Matthew have given me information about a dirt road that goes over the mountains to Totonicapan and as the alternative route […]

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glimpses, in passing, of panajachel

Overall, I don’t pay Panajachel much heed.


the box

Back in Panajachel (AKA Gringotenango) I go straight to the delivery depot to pick up my box. I enquire, as a matter of idle curiousity, why it wasn’t delivered to address that is clearly printed on the carton and the women shrugs, indifferently. “They couldn’t find it,” she offers by way of somewhat inadequate – […]

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san pedro and the whirlwind riders

I am excited to be going to San Pedro, on the other side of the lake from Panajachel, to meet Tank and his buddy, Mike, who have just ridden a couple of ’74 Honda Singles down from the States and are taking a bit of time out to study Spanish before heading onwards to South […]

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waiting for the box

I arrive in Panajachel hoping to find bike parts and a few other goodies ready and waiting for me but I am sadly disappointed. This bounty, which promises to revitalise my flagging stead, has been en route all the way from Australia, courtesy of an extremely generous benefactor, for a considerable period time. It might […]

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the last haul to the lake

We finally hit paved road in San Martin Jilotepeque, a sizable town with a great market.

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The reality of travelling on dirt roads, generally, is that if they are not muddy then they are dusty. Most of the roads that we traverse in the Guatemalan mountains show evidence of the exceptionally heavy rains of the previous wet season – whole sections of road have been swept away by landslides – but […]

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