July 11, 2012 - On the 9th we left for Tikal via Coban. The roads were lovely and just at the end of day one to Tikal, my bike died.
We'd decided to break up the ride in two days as it was just too far. Coban was our place of choice to stop. The roads in the interior were fantastic. Riding through lush green forests on perfect tarmac.
All along the way we passed through small villages with their usual blend of "tiendas", little mom and pop shops and new advertising for the local cell phone monopoly. Kids, dogs and the odd cow meander through the streets at will. The remarkable thing the last few years is that no matter where you go in the world, people are mesmerized by their mobile device screens, deep in thought as to what to reply next to their Facebook friends. More often than not, we rolled past police check points where three or four officers were too engaged with their LCD screens to notice us until the last minute, at which point we'd already rolled past and weren't volunteering to stop.
I did manage to snap a picture of some kids playing the old fashioned way.
A day ride in Guatemala would not be complete without a landslide.
This was a lot more precarious than the picture reflects.
In the afternoon of our first day north, we stopped in Coban at the central square looking for a place to stay when my bike refused to start again. A few minutes later I'd figured out it was either the ignition module or the timing sensor. We found a hotel and I pushed the bike around the block. All my fastidious archiving of old BMW trivia came in handy and shortly thereafter I'd figured out what the issue was. Luckily I had a spare ignition module with me and I was rolling again an hour afterwards.
We arrived early on the second day in Flores, a small town on an artificial island an hour outside of Tikal. It was very laid back, but with a decent amount of tourists.
The next day we visited Tikal, a "de rigueur" stop in Guatemala. We took a tourist minivan and left the bikes at the hotel. It was way too hot to ride and then walk around in gear at the site. Unfortunately, the guy managing tourists in the minivan said: "And today, my friends, I will speak to you about Tikal ... our history very important, because I want to practice my Engrish with you". And so started an hour long monologue about Tikal, religion and who knows what else. We were reminded again as to why we never use organized travel options.
There are more pictures of Tikal from the "Slideshows
The next day, we headed out to Honduras.