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Old 01-04-2013, 01:41 PM   #16
eddie98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catours View Post
Grew up in Savannah and then lived in Atlanta for about 12 years between school and work.
Good to know. I've been in GA since 1992. I'm from Guate, most of my family is still down there. They live in Mixco/ San Lucas. Next time we are down in Antigua I'll look you up.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:28 AM   #17
Catours OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie98 View Post
Good to know. I've been in GA since 1992. I'm from Guate, most of my family is still down there. They live in Mixco/ San Lucas. Next time we are down in Antigua I'll look you up.
Sounds good Eddie, small world. I have some motorcycle friends up in San Lucas, the Rivas family that has the German Shepherd school.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:30 PM   #18
Catours OP
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Day 2: Lanquin to Laguna Lachua

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
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #19
rebel346
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Small world!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie98 View Post
Good to know. I've been in GA since 1992. I'm from Guate, most of my family is still down there. They live in Mixco/ San Lucas. Next time we are down in Antigua I'll look you up.
Hey Eddie, I used to be on GSB with you when I lived in Woodstock. Matter of fact we rode Blood Mountain and up into Tennessee a time or two together.

Chris, I also grew up just outside of Savannah, cool RR keep it coming.

Cheers!

Earl
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:01 AM   #20
eddie98
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Hey Eddie, I used to be on GSB with you when I lived in Woodstock. Matter of fact we rode Blood Mountain and up into Tennessee a time or two together.

Chris, I also grew up just outside of Savannah, cool RR keep it coming.

Cheers!

Earl
Your name sounds familiar. Didn't you used to live off of Town Lake pkwy? we had breakfast at Waffle House? What are you doing up in VA?
Nancy says hi also.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #21
rebel346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie98 View Post
Your name sounds familiar. Didn't you used to live off of Town Lake pkwy? we had breakfast at Waffle House? What are you doing up in VA?
Nancy says hi also.
That's me, working up here now. Hope all is well.

Say hello to Nancy for me.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:08 AM   #22
richsuz
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I did the 40kms Sebol road in July. But upwards (heading south), in the rain, I can tell you first hand it was loads of fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catours View Post
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
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:20 AM   #23
Catours OP
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Day 3: Laguna Lachua to Barillas

The sunset was priceless last night in Laguna Lachua, the sunrise wasn't bad either. We were told there were fish up to 2-3 meters in the lake. We hung out on the dock and watched in disbelief as the Sabalo fish were feeding, coming up to the surface showing their dorsal and tail fins.

example of a Sabalo


Between the fish, local ducks, and then the howler monkeys yelling in the background, it was a pretty sureal morning experience. I guess this is why they are really trying hard to protect this precious nature reserve. Here was our planned route for the day:



We hiked back to the bikes, funny how you miss 2 wheels when you have to hike a few kilometers. From the park entry we started heading West on the main road.

Leaving Laguna Lachua park


A quick breakfast in the middle of nowhere and then we started hitting gravel/dirt for a while.








We hit Rio Espiritu and ended up taking a "wrong" turn - turned out to be one of the best sections of riding in a long time. We continued on dirt along a beautiful river and then hit 25 kms of super new tarmac that twisted among the mountains, we had the whole place to ourselves! Eventually we came upon a deadend made up of a pile of boulders. Naturally we ride around that and decide to continue on. That lasted for a few kilometers of fun dirt until we were flagged down by some locals yelling "no hay paso" (you can't pass). Usually I would want to keep going, they seem to underestimate enduro motos here. But we were in the middle of thick, slushy mud and it looked like they were right! It took some effort to turn around, butit made the locals laugh and at least we got the bikes nice and dirty.

the dead end


the mud


are you sure it doesn't keep going!?


turning around, Frenchy style!




where I stopped


me getting out of the mud


We backtracked about 30 kms to our wrong turn and took the correct fork towards Barillas. More steep climbs to high elevations and really small windy mountain roads. This is when we started to realize we were in Land Cruiser country, literally every truck was a cool Toyo Land Cruiser.

1988 Land Cruiser, the guy was asking Q44,000 (~$5600)


We found a nice little hotel on the edge of town called "Santa Cruz" and unloaded our dirty gear. Nice rooms and secure parking next door in the garage, perfect for Q45.





Barillas is nothing spectacular, just a typical Guatemalan mountain town. We did find Q5 beers and a great Q20 burrito, we were happy campers!

Day 3 Stats:

- Q50 gas in Playa Grande
- Q30 breakfast
- Q65 gas just before Barillas
- Q45 hotel
- Q50 food/beer

163 kms, 5 1/2 ish hours riding
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #24
GuateRider
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Thumb

Great pics I like your style !!
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:03 PM   #25
Catours OP
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Day 4: Barillas to Soloma

I doubt our starting point and destination mean much to most readers, but if you look on a map they are only about 25 kms away from each other. Of course we didn't take the direct route! Here is the route we generally followed, you can see that we were very close to the Mexican border for parts of the day:



It ended up being one of our longer days, but trust me the riding was well worth it! First, a quick update on Santa Cruz hotel. The promised hot water didn't work, oh well I'm not that spoiled. We left town and continued West towards San Mateo Ixtatán and then onto Patalcal. This area is filled with mountain climbs, descents, and then more climbs - all the time with beautiful views.





In Patalcal we found ourselves at a split in the road, to the right we could see a blanket of fluffy white clouds above Mexico, so we decided to go for it.

Mexican clouds in the distance


This is the road towards Bulej and then to Aguacate. After a snack stop in Yalambojoch, Frenchy noticed another flat tire. This guy has some luck, I tell you. He thought he was lucky to find a pinchazo just down the road but it turned out to be manned by a teenager who had no clue how to change a tire. Instead we used his air compressor and took care of it ourselves, tough life eh?



After we sorted the tire we got back on the road and happened to see a sign for Finca Chaculá (see RichSuz's recommendation in another post) and decided to pop in to check it out.

Finca Chaculá


That worked out well and we got some really good advice on the local area and based on the guardian's tip we headed to El Cimmaron. Cimmaron is a deep hole in the middle of nowhere, perfectly round with 172 meters diameter and 180 meters deep. There is a fertile, fresh, and green forest at the bottom that is protected by the walls with no trails to go down. At the trail head from the highway, we decided to go as far as we could on the bikes. This was a fun rocky single track trial until we hit a really steep section that screamed "park the bikes and walk from here". We reluctantly obliged and started hoofing it on foot to the hole. It was more impressive than we expected but very difficult to capture in pictures. Hopefully these do it some justice.









From Cimarron we headed south on nice tarmac to Nenton. This is when our day took a turn for the better as we headed East on some amazing mountain passes. At one point we got to a "T", looked around and decided to go left. Once again this was technically the "wrong turn" but it turned out to be one of the best sections of riding in our whole ride. Essentially climbing up to ~4,000 meters, going back down, back up, over and over on small dirt roads. There was also some great Pine forest with really deep silty sand, fun for me but maybe not as much for Frenchy trailing behind sans rear suspension. We ended passing through San Sebastian Cuatonm, then Pet, and finally to Soloma. We had to agree that was one of our best days of riding ever!! Again, as the crow flies - Barillas to Soloma is only 25 kms but I can't imagine a better route than today's 208 kms! Unfortunately we don't have a lot of pictures, but trust me it was an amazing section of riding! We were too busy enjoying it.

this gives you a glimpse of the road, you can see a few sections:


Day 4 Stats:

- Q9 snack
- Q30 lunch
- Q65 gas just past Nenton
- Q40 gas in Soloma
- Q65 hotel
- Q15 tacos
- Q2 internet
- Q18 dinner
TOTAL: Q244, ~$31

208 kms, 6.5ish hours riding
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:36 AM   #26
richsuz
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Originally Posted by Catours View Post
I doubt our starting point and destination mean much to most readers, but if you look on a map they are only about 25 kms away from each other. Of course we didn't take the direct route! Here is the route we generally followed, you can see that we were very close to the Mexican border for parts of the day:


On Jan 1st, We took off from Chaculá, Went from D to E on your map, but then on to C on a different road that takes you to the same spot with the fluffy clouds. the three way split. On to San Mateo Ixtatan. The longest day for us as well. 12 hour ride from Finca chaculá to El Unicornio Azul. Best riding day of my trip as well.

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:49 AM   #27
Catours OP
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Originally Posted by richsuz View Post
On Jan 1st, We took off from Chaculá, Went from D to E on your map, but then on to C on a different road that takes you to the same spot with the fluffy clouds. the three way split. On to San Mateo Ixtatan. The longest day for us as well. 12 hour ride from Finca chaculá to El Unicornio Azul. Best riding day of my trip as well.
you have a nice collection of bikes forming there, your kids are lucky!
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:15 AM   #28
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you have a nice collection of bikes forming there, your kids are lucky!
Only the YS250 and one of the XR125Ls belong to us. The other two are friend's bikes that I was lucky enough to borrow...yes I have good friends I can borrow bikes from.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:31 AM   #29
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Hey Chris,

Nice to stumble upon more photos of your week off adventure. We are headed up that way and then back down to Antigua again later in the week, catch you and Frenchie then.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:02 PM   #30
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Laugh

Keep it coming cant wait to see what happens next :-)
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