PHOTO ESSAY

JULY 2016

The month of July was frustrating to say the least. 6 months on the road without too many major problems or incidents, this month threw everything at us. Plagued with mechanical problems and having to wait for replacement parts, we ended up staying put for the majority of the month in the town of Palenque. Still, it wasn’t a bad place to breakdown as we had plenty of adventures to keep us occupied. Day trips to all the neighboring waterfalls and hanging out in the jungle at the Palenque ruins made for a pleasant time off the tandem.

Once we had installed our new components, it was off to the Guatemalan border following the Route de Maya, a gorgeous 100 mile road which loops the border of the two countries, Along the route, we swam in yet more waterfalls, watched monkeys roam the tree tops, glimpsed at exotic birds overhead, and cycled through many Mayan villages, the locals decked out from head to toe in traditional dress, their faces stared blankly at us as we rode by, I doubt they see many Gringos coming through their villages on silly looking bicycles.

Crossing into Guatemala was straight forward enough, well the first part anyway. We loaded up the bike on a launcher (boat) and crossed the Usumacinta River without a hitch. Then came 12 miles of the gnarliest road we had seen so far on this trip. I say road, but really it was a washed out track with the added fun of seamlessly never ending hills which were so steep and rocky it took all our strength to get up over them, yet somehow local buses crammed full of people, luggage and animals managed to speed up and down this ‘road’ passing us in a cloud of red dust whilst we spent most of the time either pushing the bike or fixing flats tires. It took us nearly three hours to get to the end of that road. After we had cleaned the dust off our gritty faces we hit the tarmac and travelled north to the island of Flores and then on to the wonderful ancient Mayan city of Tikal. From there we battled 35c degrees headwinds to our fourth country, Belize.

We had a love/hate relationship with Belize. On one hand we had probably one of the best days of the trip so far, snorkelling on the second largest reef in the world, swimming with curious manatees, rays and nurse sharks it was just wonderful. However we had a spat of bad luck. We were robbed of some of our possessions when we went for a swim, and the bike broke down yet again so we had to ship in more parts. The final days of July ‘bad luck Belize’ continued when Julie caught a backpacker we had befriended earlier on in the week going through our bags in the hostel dorm, luckily she caught him before he took anything.

After a week in Belize, which seemed like a lifetime to be perfectly honest, we had enough, we decided to head back into Guatemala and continue through the highlands. But Belize wasn’t finished with us yet, Hurricane Earl was making its way over the country (Belize hasn’t had a hurricane in 6 years). Luckily for us we were far inland so by the time it reached us it was downgraded to a tropical storm. Still, the storm delivered enough punch to knock out the road we were hoping to take and we were forced back to Flores which was a 70 mile detour. August, please bring us better luck.

Total so far: 4323 miles.
Mexico – Chiapas.
Guatemala – Peten.
Belize – Cayo, Belize.


Current Location:
15.471877, -90.373471

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Cascadas de Agua Azul

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Cascadas de Agua Azul

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Cascadas de Agua Azul.

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Underwater at Cascadas Welib Há.

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Cascadas Welib Há

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Cascadas Welib Há

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Tikal.

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Storm over Caye Caulker, Belize.

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Waves, Caye Caulker, Belize.

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Storm over Caye Caulker, Belize.

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Dock, Caye Caulker, Belize.

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Blue Tang Fish.

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Coral Gardens, Belize.

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Ray, Belize.

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Brain Coral

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