Guatemala Part 3: Spanish School and Lago Atitlan

If you’ve been following along you know a large chunk of our time in Guatemala was spent driving the epic, but absolutely fucking terrible roads, and hiking as many volcanoes as we could. Per usual, time slipped away from us and before we knew it we had spent almost 5 weeks in Guatemala. Two of those weeks we stayed in one location immersing ourselves in the Guatemalan culture by enrolling in Spanish School in Xela. El Mundo en Espanol here we come!

Xela (or Quetzaltenango)

Xela is the nickname given to Quetzaltenango. It is a tongue twister of a name confusing gringos and locals alike. Despite being the second largest city in Guatemala, the old town historic area remains quite quaint and colorful. If we hadn’t decided to take Spanish class here we probably wouldn’t have made the journey to this beautiful colonial town. We figured it would be a perfect place to touch up on our Spanish as some of our other options (Antigua or Lake Atitlan) had WAY too many distractions…terrible for Mitch’s ADD.



Guatemala Part 2: Volcano Addition

So we’ve decided to change things up a bit and instead of writing a meandering posts regarding the stupid shit that happens to us along the way we’re going to get a little more specific and focus solely on the Volcanos of Guatemala. Believe it or not, there are 27 (mas o menos) volcanoes in ol Guate – enough to keep you busy for a while. Two out of three climbs we chose strictly out of convenience, the other (Acatenango) came HIGHLY recommended! All-in-all we climbed over 1000 floors and took over 100,000 steps (at least that’s what the iPhone said).



Guatemala Part 1: Hello Rain, Nice to Meet You

The road was as slick as snot from the past three days of nonstop rain but it was time to man up and ride through it (plus we really had no other option as our lease was up on the AirBnB). The dirt had turned to a thick pasty clay providing zero traction for our tired and worn tires, but with a break in the rain and our gear (all slightly damp) loaded we decide to make a run for it…Guatemala here we come!! We had big things planned…Tikal, Semuc Champey and Zephyr Lodge, Spanish School in Xela, as well as some friends and family visiting…Guatemala, you better not disappoint!



Belize: A Vacation From Our Vacation

For weeks (well months) we’ve heard it time and time again…”How the hell are you Boys still in Mexico?” Friends from the road have blast past us time traveling to Nicaragua or Columbia before we’d even left Mexico and its abundance of tacos and tortas. It was hard to leave but our time had come. We officially left Mexico after 100+ days of epic riding, one burnt clutch, 2 cases of Salmonella, incredible diving, 1 near-death experience, and a life time worth of adventures and new friends. Satisfied, yet sad, we busted south to the Belize border!

We’d heard conflicting reports about how much of a pain in the ass the border crossing was but in reality it was straight forward and simple. We headed directly to the Mexican border in Chetumal, got stamped out of Mexico, cancelled our Mexican vehicle import papers, and headed down the road into Belize! The first stop was tire fumigation, which we accidentally drove through setting off the sensor giving Justin a nice shower of pesticides. Next up was getting stamped into Belize and our bikes imported before heading to the insurance office to get the mandatory vehicle insurance. Entering Belize, we received a level of efficiency we had long forgotten existed while in Mexico, our trusty Rastafarian insurance agent had us stamped and ready to hit the streets in minutes! (more…)