PHOTO ESSAY

August 2016

On the first day on entering Guatemala, Hurricane Earl made landfall over Belize, delivering lashings of rain and wind. We were right in the storms path so we were forced to seek shelter in a hotel for 2 days. The hurricane knocked out the road we had intended to travel, so we backtracked all the way to Flores and picked up the main highway from there, in all, a 70 mile detour. Thanks Earl!

Over the course of a week, we travelled slowly into the foothills of the highlands, the roads we came across were some of the steepest we had encountered on this trip so far, between 17 to 28% grades made for more pushing than riding. We ascended to the city of Coban, which is at 5000 feet above sea level, high up in the Guatemalan cloud forests. Taking three days off the bike to the magical valley of Lanqúin and Semuc Champey where we went caving for the first time, which turned out to be thrilling (If not a bit dangerous) experience.

Back on the bike, three valleys stood between us and the town of Antigua, each pass well over 7000ft. After ascending and descending two of the valleys we had to give up on the last 22 miles as we had a hotel booked for the following day. There was no way we could make it with a 7000ft climb in our way, so we called it a day and hitched a ride. Looking back on it, I just don’t think the heavily loaded tandem is built for those kinds of grades…. Well unless you’re doping or a machine.

We decided to base ourselves in the pretty old capital of Antigua for the last few weeks of August. Julie attended Spanish school whilst I drank fresh coffee, ate my weight in banana bread, and tried my hand at mountain biking, which ended up with two cut elbows and a cracked rib. I think I’ll stick to bicycle touring, it’s less dangerous.

Total so far: 4584 miles. Belize, Guatemala – Peten, Alta Verapaz, Baja Verpaz,
Current Location: 14.56431 -90.72548

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Caving in Semuc Champey

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Mountain Pass outside the town of Salamá

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Julie and Chewbicca 

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Mountains between Rabinal and El Chol.

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Mountains between Rabinal and El Chol.

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Mountains between Rabinal and El Chol.

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Mountains between Rabinal and El Chol.

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The Rainy Season. Tabasco.

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Semuc Champey

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Julie and Chewbicca 

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Mountain Bike Crash.

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