Riding 170 miles in a day doesn’t seem like much, especially for 2 Iron Butt riders. When you throw in a Central American border crossing, all of a sudden, the day goes quickly. I’ve learned that the hours of waiting go much faster and my patience remains at a much higher level if I open up my computer and work on stories for our website. Today was no exception. People watching and seeing vehicles such as this banana truck added variety.
One might expect big buildings to house the processes necessary for migration into and out of a country as well as the Customs paperwork to temporarily import a vehicle. That is not generally the case in Central America. Here, a small building with no decent waiting area served the purpose. When we got to the border, Barbel was still waiting at the window. She and Erwin had left the hotel 1 ½ hours before us and had not made any progress. It turns out that THE printer was not working. Only one printer serves all the importing of vehicles to Guatemala at that border. There is no back up for when it fails. Kevin jokingly showed the stress of a caged animal at this border. Finally, permits began printing and the line began moving – slowly.
Guatemala considers itself the “Corazon del Mundo Mayo,” Heart of the Mayan World. It has the highest indigenous population of any country in Central America. Larry and I followed Kevin through the “LOTS OF TRAFFIC AND CHAOS!!” our route notes had told us about Guatemala City.
Our 1st of 2 nights in the country was in Antigua de Guatemala. A beautiful colonial city which we appreciated during an after dark stroll to the main plaza. Motorcycles are so well accepted in this old city that tiles, decorated with an images of motorcycles, are inlaid among the cobblestones to indicate 2 wheel only parking. We ate Larry’s 1st Guatemalan pizza at an eclectically decorated restaurant. Per a recommendation, we tried Aguardiente, a local sugar cane liquor flavored with anise. The restaurant only sold it by the bottle, not by the glass. Now we know why. It really burned going down. The rest of the bottle will be a back up in case we ever run out of gas!
23- Mar Copan, Honduras to Antigua de Guatemala 170 miles
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