Volcan Acatenango & El Salvador
View of Antigua and one of its many surrounding volcanoesI saw a commercial that they are making another KungFu panda movie. A friend of mine named Akshay will likely watch it 3,000 times in the next year.
Sunrise from the top of Volcan Acatenango I need to give a big shout out to this chicken. I left my bike and extra gear in a woodshed while I hiked up Volcan Acatenango. Not only did this chicken protect her little chicks, she watched over my stuff too. Thanks pollo.This is the only photo of El Salvador I will share for now. Sleeping in this hamaca next to the ocean by far made for the best night of sleep I have had on the trip. I got to watch men come in at night from fishing off of little inflatable rafts. They wore hand and feet fins and tied their catch to their legs. The next morning I would watch the fishermen push their boats on to shore, taking note of their tactics so that I could help in Nicaragua.
Belize & Northern Guatemala
Guatemalteco getting the job done! Note that the branch is tied to his back and fully balanced in the air. Throughout Guatemala I normally see people walking the streets with wood piled on their back for fuel to cook and keep warm.
Meet Frank the Flying Dutchman. Frank has ridden over 570,000 kilometers (that's more than 350,000 miles) on his bike around the world for the last 40 years. Still going strong as he is finishing up his tour of some Central American countries. Frank shared stories and tips from his journeys as we walked ruins and shared a Coke. You the man Frank. His site is www.frankvanrijn.nl
Saved the best for last. The ruins of Tikal. I arrived before sunrise as scrambled my way through the dark in the jungle to stumble up on the Gran Plaza. Truly spectacular. A couple people have died trying to climb the temple above. I survived.
Recording of howler monkeys screehing in the ruins of Tikal. These guys greeted me on the way into pitch black jungle in the morning.
On the morning of February 9th I heard Latin music and shouts from children as I biked into a small pueblo in a mountain valley. Seconds later I was asked to remove my helmet while dozens of kids threw flour in my hair. A Guatemalan tradition to celebrate Carnival, the kids, some dressed in costumes, take the streets in a parade to school. I bought a bag full of flour to get back at them, but ended with enough flour in my hair to make a small pastry.
One night after setting up my tent I was approached by two neighboring families with competing offers to host me for the night. Hospitality which I have found is not rare in Guatemala. I had to decline the offers that night, but one of the fathers gave me his machete for protection during the night. My first machete. Fortunately or unfortunately I didn't use it during the night and felt unproductive the next morning.
Meet Regis, a Frenchamn who is walking from Mexico to Argentina. He is the first person I have met who I believe has to work harder than I do to get through the Americas. Regis lives in a tree house in France and recently is living with a goal to spend as little as possible. An interesting pilgrimage he is on.