November 08, 2002

Acapulco Mexico to Antigua Guatemala

We ended up spending three nights in Acapulco and on the third night we went on a cruise of Acapulco bay. The cruise was a lot of fun and we ran into a group of people from England and ended spending most of the evening with them. After the cruise we retired to the local Hooters where we tried to explain the finer points of American Football to these soccer hooligans.

After leaving Acapulco we spent three days riding down the western coast of Mexico to the Guatemalan border. For the most part this part of Mexico while still beautiful didn't provide us with the same entertaining roads that we had gotten used to further north.

On Friday the 1st of Nov. we crossed into Guatemala and got our first experience with the tramaldadores(sp?) who are supposed to help you get across. While they did help quite a bit as there are no posted instructions as to what to do when you're crossing the border it's got to be said that they where a bunch of thieving little rats and we  kept an eye on them constantly as they kept trying to walk away with our passports and other important documents. It took over two hours to cross the border and it was brutally hot especially in our riding gear. While the sweat was gathering in pools at my feet I noticed that none of the locals where even perspiring the least little bit.

After finally getting across the border we made our way into Guatemala and after only a few miles you noticed a distinct change between the two countries. Guatemala appears to be better off then Mexico and this is really apparent when passing through the small town. The roads in Guatemala also appear to be in much better shape then the roads in Mexico. However it does rain quite a bit in Guatemala and no matter how well paved the road is it doesn't matter when it's covered by mudslides. We finally it made around the umpteen mile long traffic jam and arrived in early in the evening after riding through a torrential downpour.

After spending 3 weeks in Mexico it became pretty obvious to us that we needed to improve our Spanish speaking skills. So we signed on to take a week of Spanish lessons in Antigua which had the added benefit of allowing us the opportunity to stay with local families . Antigua is very cool colonial town and it's chock full of expatriates from the States and Europe so we had the opportunity to meet all sorts of interesting people . Our Spanish school also sets up tours of the local sights and villages so it was an excellent deal. On Thursday Todd decided to take his bike out to go exploring and when he got about 7 miles out of town his bike died on him. Currently we think that his regulator rectifier has died so we'll be spending another week here. It unfortunate that his bike broke down but this is probably one of the best places for it to happen. If it had happened in the middle of no where we would be really hating life but as it is now we've just got to spend another week in one the greatest places that I've been fortunate enough to visit. The dreaded Antigua whirlpool effect is taking hold. Once you get here it's very hard to leave.