Cobán – Flores

Cobán – Flores

We knew that leaving Cobán we would be losing the best part of a mile in elevation so expected an easy day, we were wrong. There was a late start, and then we got separated and with my Kindle not working properly it was a challenge to meet up again. Thankfully a guy by the side of the road lent me his mobile phone to call Peter with. I’d tried using a payphone, of which there are plenty, but it didn’t seem to work for whatever reason. After that, it was the downhill, but there was

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Guate -> Cobán

Guate -> Cobán

The ride to the bus terminal was not particuarly eventful. Rafael had told us about how Guate has terrible traffic, but we’d not really noticed it. There were a few occasions when drivers pulled off death defying moves of pulling out in front of trucks and hoping they’d stop, and the horrific exhaust fumes continued. We’re not sure why, maybe there are lower standards, but vehicles in Guatemala produce some very strong emissions that make the air quality terrible, making Mexico

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Day off in Cobán

Day off in Cobán

On our day off in Cobán we went to Lanquín and Semuc Champey, a town and national park about 70km east of Cobán. It was out of our way to bike there, and so we took a collectivo, which are basically minibuses to go to the small towns around Cobán so the people can take their produce (mainly crafts) to the central market to sell. The first bus was at 6am, so we were up at 5 and out the door by 5:30. Even though it was a Sunday, and she didn’t have any other reason to be up that early,

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City of Guatemala

City of Guatemala

Rafael went back to his other house with plenty of everything to give to the needy people he worked to help. We had originally planned on hopping a bus to Cobán, but a late offer of a couch in the downtown came up and we figured it’d be a bad idea to turn down the chance to see the capital. We rode the short distance into town and met up with our host William at the hostel he worked in. He gave a $5 city tour to the guests, but we were allowed to tag along as his Couchsurfing guests. I’m

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Volcan Pacaya and Guate

Volcan Pacaya and Guate

We were awake just after 5am and got ready just in time to take a “chicken bus” to the nearby town of Escuintla. They are derogatively called chicken buses to indicate that can take anything, even a chicken, on them. They are old US school buses that have been changed a bit, mainly by making the seats much closer and reducing the size of the aisle. I’m pretty sure the aisle, which was about 50cm wide, would be classed as a fire hazard and so illegal in more litigious countries,

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