No rest for the weary, even on Christmas morning. We were up early in Lanquin and hit the road by 8am to head towards Laguna Lachua. From here on we were heading to new territory for both of us. Nothing better to me than that feeling of riding into the unknown, so much fun! Here was our planned route for the day:
After the 12 km climb from Lanquin back to the highway for Coban, we turned right towards Pajal instead of going back towards Coban. The stretch of dirt road from Pajal heading North lasts about 40 kms and has awesome views and climbs.
Then as it seems to happen fairly often in Guatemala, we hit perfect tarmac and ride mountain twisties all the way to Sebol. There you turn left and take a quick detour to get on the Transversal del Norte heading West. You'll cross this river on the quick detour:
The TDN is a wide freshly laid road that is quite boring if you ask me... very straight and smooth. Although I guess its a nice break for our bodies and Frenchy's suspension-less DR. That made for a quick ride to Raxruja and lunch at Pamela's diner. Pretty good food for being in the middle of nowhere, just hope you don't have 5 year old Pamela throwing a tantrum for her TV show/Pizza like we did. Kids can be spoiled anywhere in the world, this one definitely was.
From here you could continue on the boring pavement West to get to Laguna Lachua, but that's not we were after. So we turned left at the fork and headed South to Chisec. Stopped in a little market to buy dinner rations (no restaurant in the Laguna Lachua park) and then 35 kms after Chisec found the interestion to head North again. We asked a few collectivo drivers to confirm the turn and they said "si, pero muy mal camino"... music to our ears! We ended up on this "bad road" for about 70 kms until getting back to the dead end at the TDN. The scenery was great but the road was really rocky and a bit rough late in the day. The local kids liked our bikes so we let them play around a bit.
Once we hit the dead end, turn right and only a few kms to get to the entrance of Laguna Lachua. This is a scientific reserve and they are pretty strict on rules, no alcohol!? So we buy a few beers and enjoy them in the parking lot. From there its about an hour, hour and a half hike into the lake. We arrived at the perfect time in the afternoon and were rewarded with the famous sunset we'd heard about.
The lodging out here was surprisingly really well situated. They have a good lodge, full kitchen, space for camping, and latrines. Carlos who has been working 15 days on and 15 off for 17 years at the park was interesting to talk to (when he was awake) and he helped stir the fire to boil our water.
Day 2 Stats:
- Q55 gas in Lanquin
- Q49 food
- Q45 gas in Chisec
- Q190 total for park entry & lodging
TOTAL: Q339, ~$44
230 kms ridden