Day 96 – Caye Caulker, BZ to Flores, GU

Day 96 – Caye Caulker, BZ to Flores, GU     11/25/10     Mileage: 0 (riding)  3 hours on a chicken bus.

I was up early for breakfast and on the first water taxi off the caye at 8:30. The ride back to Belize City was nice and there were several cruise ships anchored just offshore…thankfully they do not go to Caye Caulker or the place would be ruined. I caught the first chicken bus back to San Ignacio and It was a spine powdering 3 hour ride as the suspension on the bus was completely shot. I actually sat leaned to one side so as not to send the shock from every bump straight up my spine. Back in San Ignacio I met up with Brian, packed up the KLR and we split back towards Guatemala. At the border we met two fellow ADV’ers (a website called Adventure Rider that I also post to) also riding KLR’s. We exchanged information as they are heading south as well, so perhaps we may catch up again down the road.

3 KLR’s and one lone BMW at the Guatemala / Belize border…

After crossing back into Guatemala, we rode back to Flores and found rooms for the night. That night we met Evan who is from Alberta, Canada and also riding an ’09 KLR just like mine. It was like a bloody KLR convention down here today! He joined us for dinner and we all swapped stories and lies from the road. I wasn’t able to find turkey and stuffing, and my dinner companions were from Canada and England, but I sure do have a lot to be thankful for, so it was a great Thanksgiving dinner none the less!

Advertisements

Day 95 – Caye Caulker, BZ

Day 95 – Caye Caulker, BZ     11/24/10     Mileage: 0

I slept in until 9 due to the late night festivities last night. After breakfast, two bottles of water and 4 coffee’s I felt ready for the day….or at least a day of sitting on my ass on the beach soaking in the tropical air and Caribbean sunshine. Life is rough, but I’m making the best of it.  😉

That about sums up the island style here pretty good…

I also spent some time updating the blog at a local bar that has wifi. At dusk it was back to the Lazy Lizard at the split to take in another great tropical sunset.

I went back to the room for a bit and then went out for dinner. I splurged on a nice meal as it was my last night on the Caye. Tomorrow I head back to the mainland and San Ignacio to collect the bike and head south back into Guatemala.

Day 94 – Caye Caulker, BZ

Day 94 – Caye Caulker, BZ     11/23/10     Mileage: 0

This morning I chilled for a bit before heading out to breakfast. I also moved to a much cheaper hotel…only $15 per night and right on the water.

My new hotel…$15 per night…

A great view from the balcony of my hotel room…

Then again, the island is only 1-2 blocks wide…so almost every place is practically on the water…or a 30 second walk from it! I walked around for a bit, then grabbed some lunch and used their wifi to get a blog post up and send some email.

Some views from around town in Caye Caulker…

At sunset, the place to be is at “the split” where the north and south part of the island is split by a narrow channel, compliments of a hurricane a few years ago. There is a great dive beach bar there called the Lazy Lizard, and everyone just chills there and on the beach to watch the sunset. The Lazy Lizard is for sale, in case anyone would like to co-own a dive beach bar with me! 😉

The scene at the Lazy Lizard at sunset…irie irie

After that it was out for dinner and few drinks, and I ended up at a reggae bar called the I & I where there was a lot of ummm, smoking. I chilled there for a bit, ended up talking to some local rastas, and then retired with my “contact high”. Irie irie, mon.

Day 93 – San Ignacio, BZ to Caye Caulker, BZ

Day 93 – San Ignacio, BZ to Caye Caulker, BZ     11/22/10     Mileage: 0 (Riding), 3 hours on a chicken bus.

 Brian and I met for breakfast and chatted about our trips. He was staying in San Ignacio for a couple more days and I was heading for Caye Caulker. My original plan was to ride to Belize City, stash the bike and take a water taxi out to Caye Caulker. But instead I decided to leave the bike in San Ignacio at the hotel with Brian and take a chicken bus to Belize City. This way the bike was safe and I wouldn’t have to pay for and find safe parking for the bike in Belize City. So later that morning I caught a chicken bus (only $7!) to the coast. After arriving in Belize City, I walked to the waterfront to buy my water taxi ticket to Caye Caulker.

The Belize City waterfront…

Belize City

I had 2 hours until the next water taxi, so I walked around town for a bit. Now maybe there is a nice section of Belize City, but I can tell you it isn’t by the water taxi docks! The regular taxi drivers were also annoying, shouting to anyone within a 3 block radius who looks remotely like a tourist if they need a taxi. I must have been asked 125 times in ninety minutes…no shit! I stopped even responding after a while as it was just incessant! The water taxi ride out to the Caye took around 45 minutes and there was a nice sunset over the water. Once I arrived I immediately like the low key vibe.

Arriving at Caye Caulker

Rush hour in Caye Caulker….nice!

At night these crabs are lurking everywhere in the tall grass….don’t take any shortcuts barefoot!

The streets are sand and there isn’t a patch of pavement in site…awesome! There is also no need for a car as the island is quite small and golf carts are the preferred motorized transport…but a beach bike or on foot is the best way to get around. I walked around for a bit and after getting a room, wandered out for dinner.

Day 92 – Tikal, GU to San Ignacio, BZ

Day 92 – Tikal, GU to San Ignacio, BZ     11/21/10     Mileage: 64

 It was absolutely pouring overnight, so much so that it woke me up a few times and that almost never happens. I got up at 6am and it was still raining, but luckily by the time the tour started at 6:30 it had stopped. The tour of the Tikal ruins was great and I’m glad I sprung for the guide. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

This mound is what the structures look like before restoration….completly covered by the earth and jungle.

The tops of the temples visible above the jungle canopy.

These cute little guys are everywhere…called a coatimundi.

Here’s a shy howler monkey….couldn’t get a good shot.

The tour was over by 11 and after packing up the bike I was off to meet Brian on the road to Belize.

Brian from England and his BMW F650

The Guatemala \ Belize border…it was a snap and took only an hour total.

The bikes at the border…

We rode together across the Belize border to San Ignacio and found rooms at a hotel in town. After settling in we went out for dinner and a few beers.

“Main St.” in San Ignacio, Belize

Getting a beer at Flayva’s

I personally got offered pot and/or coke 3 separate times that night, but of course declined…I already had plenty…  😉   It was also weird to be back in an english speaking country after almost 7 weeks in Mexico and Guatemala, I kept saying gracias instead of thank you!

Day 91 – Flores, GU to Tikal, GU

Day 91 – Flores, GU to Tikal, GU 11/20/10 Mileage: 42

Brian and I met for breakfast and we discussed the possible routes going south. I also spent several hours getting somewhat caught up on the blog while I had an OK internet connection. In the afternoon I packed up the bike and left for Tikal which was only a little over an hour away. I got a room at the famous Jaguar Inn right at the entrance to the Tikal ruins. I also signed up for a 4 hour guided tour for the following morning as I heard it was well worth it. I had dinner at the Jaguar and used the wifi for a bit, but turned in early as the tour starts at 6:30am and I wanted to get a good nights sleep.

I totally goofed in not getting any pictures of the Jaguar, so here’s some pics from their website.

Day 90 – Sebol, GU to Flores, GU

Day 90 – Sebol, GU to Flores, GU 11/19/10 Mileage: 122

It was pissing rain when I woke up and didn’t look like it was going to stop anytime soon. After a failed attempt to find breakfast, I packed up the bike and split. The road out of town was under construction and further complicated by a cattle herd being driven down what there was of the road by 3 Guatemalan cowboys. I sat there clutch ahead in first gear in the pouring rain but there was nothing I could do about it.

After the beef blockage cleared, I spun the KLR up to speed and hoped the rain would let up. No such luck with the rain but the dirt finally gave way to pavement and I was able to up the pace and at least eventually end the misery a bit sooner. The rain let up and even stopped for a bit and I was able to even enjoy some nice rolling hills for a bit, but it didn’t last long. I stopped off at a roadside tienda to scrounge up a bite to eat, but that proved to be a bit of a task. It was completely disheveled and disorganized, but I did manage to find tortilla chips hiding under some light bulbs and a small pack of vanilla wafers. The orange juice was 2 days out of date, but beggars can’t be choosers…and at least my grocery total was only 3 quetzals, or around 35 cents. Stomach satiated if not full, I pressed on in the rain. In Sayaxche, I had to take a ferry across the Rio de la Pasion which made for some good photos.

Queuing up for the ferryOn the ferry…The ferry carrying a semi truck back across the river…

Once across the river I could almost see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but mother nature had one more punch to throw. The rain began to fall with a tropical vengeance and I had to back off the pace. It was a total frog drowner and this went on for 20 minutes before the KLR had enough and quit firing. Luckily it was right in front of a gas station, so I pushed her the last few feet under the gas pump shelter. The reason was obvious…water had worked its way into the ignition somewhere, so I figured I’d let it sit for a bit while I got a snack next door. After 20 minutes I returned and she fired up after a little persuasion. By this time the rain had died down to a mere downpour so I continued. The last 12 miles into Flores (the way the GPS took me at least) were dirt, or more precisely a muddy morass. I finally pulled into town and me and the KLR were soaked to the bone and covered with mud. After settling into a hotel room and leaving a message for Brian, a rider from England that I was meeting up with, I went out to find a proper meal and to walk around town.

View from the roof top patio of my hotel in Flores, GU

Flores, GU

 

Back at the hotel I met up with Brian and we went out for dinner and a few drinks. He started out 5 months ago from Anchorage, AK on his BMW F650 and had virtually the same plan as me…to ride from Deadhorse to the tip of Argentina. He’s had a few setbacks, but is still pressing forward with his trip in true British fashion. As we’re both heading the same way, we talked about riding together for a bit which will definitely be a change, so we’ll see how that goes.