October 31 marked 100 days of solo travel, but on this day I was far from a solo traveller. For the first time in this adventure I was riding 2 up and in a group (4 bikes and 7 people), it was nice to have some company. With my new friends I headed into the northern district of Quiche, stopping first in the town of ChiChi to explore the famous market. The most interesting part of Chichicastenago was the church, as sermons were held in both Spanish and one of the many ancient Mayan languages. This area of Guatemala is still very rich in ancient Mayan Indian traditions and has been the most interesting areas of my adventure.
Our destination for the weekend were some remote cabins outside of the town of Nebaj . I was a beautiful place nestled in among some small mountains with a small river flowing along the road we took to get there. The roads we took there were great fun, we passed through several small towns, there were sharp twists and turns, incredible scenery and the last 15 kilometers was gravel and mud. The following day we went in search of a waterfall outside of a town that I could not pronounce. We took a gravel road until it turned into a donkey trail which continued up the mountain side. Riding two-up on this type of road was challenging and I often kept saying to myself “you grew up 150km from Niagara Falls, why do something so difficult just to see a waterfall”. We eventually made it to the place where the walking path to the waterfall started, only to have it start raining hard. We all agreed that if the rain continued like it was the trail back down the mountain would be too dangerous to ride, we left without seeing the falls. Determined to see a waterfall we headed for another small village that would most likely not be having rain. We parked the bike, hiked for ten minutes and came across a spectacular waterfall deep in the forest, much different than Niagara and well worth the effort to get there.
My passenger for the weekend, Ingrid, was a real trooper. She had only been on a motorcycle once before, for a very short ride, and seem to have no fear of the sharp turns, cliffs that were only a few inches away from the roadside or the often high speeds we were able to reach. And when I dropped the bike trying to avoid a speed bump, she picked herself up, brushed off the mud and remained smiling. It was the first time that I had a passenger during this adventure; I enjoyed the ride a little more this time.
November 3, 2011
The parts of my motorcycle should arrive today. I am getting anxious to get back on the road and start heading south.