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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.

Shops in Guatemala tend to have fanciful names and use idiosyncratic imagery to promote their services and goods: this bike shop, in the mountain town of San Martin Jilotepeque, is called Bike "War"! The cyclist depicted bears little relation to Guatemala's bike riders.

We might have left dirt roads behind for the moment but there are still some hills to scale, though, and at dusk we find ourselves searching fruitlessly for camp site among the market gardens about 30km from Panajachel. Volcan de Fuego puffs out a little plume of smoke in the distance.

The last wet season saw more rain fall than has ever previously been recorded and the roads, even paved ones, suffered for it. This bridge has been washed away leaving the river to be forded.

Weird roadside mines line the highway...

...which goes up and down and up and down...

...all the way to the lake.

We stop to admire the view for a while before the final descent into Panajachel. (Photo: Silke Moeckel)

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