T – Alright!!! Guess what? We finally left San Pedro today. There was big smiles all round as we packed up our little bikes for the first time in for weeks! Oils checked and new sparkplugs in. Nothing could stop us now.
Except the reluctance of the bikes to start. Normally both bikes fire up with one swift kick in the guts, but not today. I jumped and jumped and jumped on Mabels kickstart but the little witch was having none of it. Eventually I succumbed and flicked on her choke, an item I havent used since Australia, and then she hesitantly squeaked and moaned into life. Fuel fumes were purring out of her tail pipe and I eased the choke off. Which prompted her to splutter, fart and die.
A few more kicks though and some good rebs to clean out her dirty throat and she was happily, by happily I mean grumpily, ticking over and warming up while I tidied up the last of my packing. Similarly Rosie was also reluctant to start and sat there pouting and pouring clouds of fuel packed vapour into the air. They must have been enjoying sitting in the garden, swanning about like royalty. No time for that now girls. We have to climb some mountains today!
C – The final week of the school was another intense week which saw us delving into past and future tense.. so many words and conjugations to remember!!! We participated in the activities again, watching a documentary about sustainable rural development, listening to a talk on environmental sustainability and then cooking tamalitos con frijoles! Last night we were particularly blessed to be invited to observe a traditional Mayan fire ceremony. Our time at the school was wonderful and I can highly recommend this school as a great place to learn Spanish and also learn about Mayan culture. The school is just far enough out of town that it is peaceful, the gardens are beautiful and back right onto the lake, the teachers ware kind and patient and all the activities are super fun! Corazon Maya is the place to check to out if you are keen on learning Espanol!
Despite enjoying the school so much, I was super excited to be back on the road again! It was lovely to go through the now rusty routine of packing up and preparing the bikes for take off.
T – We headed on out of town. It was brilliant. Oh to be back on the road again! We had thought to head to Panajachel again for the night. Chantelles RST Adventure boots were pretty well wrecked and really hadn’t performed well since she bought them. The toes were peeling up, the soles were so thin you could almost see through them and they were definitely not waterproof anymore. After an exchange of emails with RST Chantelle now has some new replacement boots coming, free of charge. They are likely to be shipped via UPS into Antigua which will take roughly 3-4 days. So we may have to hang about next week a little while we wait.
The ride up the mountain was great! Slow and steady we went. Mabel having a chug and a gasp every now and then, possibly thanks to the extra weight I may have gained, and in 1 hour and 20 minutes we were over the top and on the Pan Am.
We reached the turn off for Pana but because we were enjoying the riding so much we decided to just roll on to Antigua some 150 kms away. The bonus for the little bikes? It was basically downhill the entire way.
We stopped along the way to admire the scenery and chow down on some breakfast in a lovely little road side stand that really went all out to feed us. For $4 each we ended up with a huge serve of eggs, beans, coffee, sugared bananas, tortillas, tostadas, some little sandwich things stuffed with cheese, and a biscuit for our coffee. So good!
C – It was wonderful having a small interaction with the family who prepared our breakfast! The school did pay off afterall! The breakfast was amazing, along the view, and my theory of plastic tables and chairs still holds true!
T – We pulled into Antigua under threatening skies of grey and soon found a hotel, very expensive though, with hot showers and wifi. Oh but the wifi only worked in the reception, oh and only works on mobile phones and tablets apparently!
We wandered through the large market nearby and then went and checked out an art gallery and museum before wandering the streets until dark.
We found dinner in the grounds of one of the large churches here and paid less than half the going rate for equivalent food in one of the many expensive restaurants located in the city.
Tummys full we retired to our room where we hatched out a plan for tomorrow. A trip down to the coast to the small town of Monterrico.