El Salvador & Guatemala (Boarder delays)

Posted by on Aug 5, 2012 in Travel Blog | 0 comments

El Salvador & Guatemala (Boarder delays)
The boarder crossing into El Salvador took 18 hours to complete. Dale recieved his import documents but when the authorities were inputting my data into the computer there was a power outage. Not knowing when the power would come back on, we waited outside their office. In the mean time we made friends with truck drivers who were stuck in the same predicament. Eventually we were told to come back in the morning. Unfortunately the guards prevented me from taking my motorcycle across the boarder so I was forced to chain the bike to a pole and finalize the documentation in the morning. We stayed in the boarder town El Poy that night. There was only one hotel and I assumed  it only survived by travellers being in a similar situation to us. We were awoken at 2pm by someone tapping on our hotel window. “Give me money mother Fu*#kers” We ignored the man and tried to go to sleep. He was persistant but after 30mins he moved on. I guess the word got out that some tourists were in town.
The next morning we sorted out our paperwork and we were off to San Salvador. As we overtook trucks we were given a honk. It was a freindship formed over coffee from the night before. We were staying with Maziel, one of my close friends I made when I lived in London. I had promsed to visit her one day so I was excited to catch up with her. We meet her family and friends. We visited Lago De Coatepeque and stayed in a hotel on a lake formed by a volcanic crater. It was nice to have a few days off the bike. We rented offroad buggies and headed into the rainforest. The track was slippery from the rain and we had fun slidding around the corners. While the war is over in El Salvador, the security obsessed country employs over 18,000 security guards. hotels, Food chains and even parking attendents pack M16’s and shotguns. It was sad to leave Maziel and her family. They had really looked after us and we had throughly enjoyed their hospitality. But we still had to travel a long way to reach Alaska.
We entered into Guatemala and headed for the capital city. We planned to catch up with our our friend Steve from the boat trip. We caught up over a few beers and exchanged travel stories of central america. Heading south we visited Antigua. Nestled between 3 Valcanoes Auga, Fuego and Acatenango this authenic town consists of cobbled streets, terrocotta roofs and dozens of Spanish language schools. Traditional artwork is sold in the towns markets. Up until now we have not had the chance to visit any Maya sites and I had read that Tikal was the largest archaeological site. Pyramid like structures poke through the jungles green canopy. We camped in the park and were awoken at 4am by the sound of howler monkeys sqaking in the trees above our tent. As we wondered through the thick jungle between the temples and plazas I couldnt help but think what it must have looked like in 700 BC when it was the most powerful kingdom of the Mayan civilization.

Leaving Tikal I nearly had an accident at 100kms per hour. As I rode along I felt the bikes power begin to drop slightly. I opened up the throttle more and there was no response. Then I heard a large explosion between my legs. The bikes back wheel locked up and I was forced to put all my effort into keeping the bike upright. I skidded for 40 meters until the bike stopped. Locals came out of their homes to see what had happended. We had only just filled our tanks with gas and I instantly started to run through possible reasons why the bike locked up. I thought the worse and questioned whether my gear box had blown up. A man came over and pionted to my back tyre. I looked down to see my sleeping bag had fallen between the chain and back wheel. Fluff, wool and sippers were engalngeld in the back sproket. It had completely destroyed both my sleeping  and water prrof bag. The local instructed his son to run back to the house and bring back a machette. We cut away what we could but needed to take the back wheel off to put the chain back on. The situation could have been alot worse.  

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