Date: 16/12
City: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Kilometres ridden: 224
Cumulative kilometre: 27815

We left a bit later, since I wanted to put some Christmas decorations onto our bikes and Almi had another PC for Sigrid to fix. Almi’s sister – Kathy – came to say goodbye as well.

At the Rio Dulce bridge we meet a Guatemalian couple and they suggested a nice hotel with a pool, which was just what we needed, so we called it a day.

We were 240km from the border, that meant an early start tomorrow so we can make the border and find a hotel before it is dark.

Date: 17/12
City: Metapan, El Salvador
Kilometres ridden: 275
Cumulative kilometre: 28090

Early start and it took us two hours to get to the Guatemala border. We overtook a long line of trucks until a guy stopped us and told us to park the bikes on the right hand side. To keep it short, we crossed the border successfully after spending three hours on the Guatemala border and two hours on the El Salvadorian side. During the process we met an Argentinian couple in a 2CV (Ente), which travelled north. They earned some money by performing puppet plays and using the car as their stage.

When we left the border it was 4PM, so we decided to find a hotel in the next town. When we found a nice hotel Sigrid drove her bike up the step and through the door herself πŸ˜€

The plan for tomorrow was to get as close as possible to the Honduras border, since we would like to pass through Honduras in one day.

Date: 18/12
City: Santa Rosa de Lima, El Salvador
Kilometres ridden: 353
Cumulative kilometre: 28443

We packed the bikes and went to an ATM to get some more money but my card didn’t work, luckily Sigrid’s did. In the end we left at about 9:30 AM. We bypassed San Salvador and with it a large stretch of road maintenance, which could have easily cost us a couple of hours. Finally we made it to Santa Rosa de Lima, which was just 30km from the border. The hotel was a mixture of normal hotel and car hotel (hourly rented rooms). We have heard from fellow travellers that these types of hotels are safe, clean and cheap, and it was. We had a warm shower the first time in weeks and a good WiFi connection as well.

Tomorrow we will try to get through four border crossings and to ride 160km through a road with large potholes. Honduras border crossing has the reputation of being the worst crossing in Central and South America. So tomorrow we will give it a try.

Date: 19/12
City: Zomoto, Nicaragua
Kilometres ridden: 188
Cumulative kilometre: 28631

Started relative early and headed to the border. There was a long line of trucks that we ignored as usual and passed on the left hand side. When we finally stopped at a place that looked a bit official, plenty of helpers stormed toward us – a bit like flies. To cut is short, we met Peter -a fellow bike rider from England – on the border and we decided to share the cost for a helper to speed things up. Below is a picture of Peter and us on the bridge between El Salvador and Honduras.

The helper was doing all the work while we were chatting and after three and a half hours we were through the first two borders. That didn’t look too bad. Now there was plenty of time to ride the 160 km and to get through the other border as well before it gets dark. That was the first time that we rode a long stretch on the Pan American Highway. The first bit was like a normal highway, straight and reasonable well maintained. It was in no where near as bad as people described other roads in Honduras. Towards the Nicaragua border the highway changed into a nice twisty road, still well maintained, which was unexpected fun to ride it.

We arrived at the Honduras border around 1PM, so plenty of time to get through it. When we approached the border, a chain was tightened over the road, so we stopped and thought that an official would approach us. Instead the helpers were coming like flies again, we decided to take advantage of their service again to make the border crossing fast. Three and a half hours later we left the border and where in Nicaragua, Yippee, we made it in one day! To be honest, without the helpers we wouldn’t have made it in one day. We stopped at the next bigger town and had a look at the two hotels, one couldn’t park our bikes securely, the other was not flash, but it would do after a long day.

Tomorrow we have a look what we do for the next days, particular at the 21st December, Doomsday, the end of the world.

Date: 09/12 – 15/12
City: San Andres, Guatemala
Kilometres ridden: 63
Cumulative kilometre: 27591

We packed the bike and had breakfast, took a couple of pictures of our accommodation and the wildlife around.

We were waiting until 10AM when the internet was available again. We needed to get a confirmation from our language school, and we got it! Somebody on a motorcycle will meet us on the Island of Flores, behind one particular hotel at 2PM. Not sure why we couldn’t meet us at the school? So we went on our way. At a petrol station stop we meet two bike riders – Damian and Alexander – from Argentina. They ask questions about the Guatemala/Belize border and the Belize/Mexico border, how much money they had to pay and what the process was. Shortly after they continued to the Belize border and we on to the Island of Flores. Just after 2PM a motorcycle rider appeared and guided us to the school, where we finally meet Ernesto, the organizer of the courses and accommodation. He showed us where we could park our bikes safely and our host – Almi – arrived and opened the door to the secure bike park. It was the unused house of her brother,Β where the bikes where safely looked up :).
After settling into our room, Almi introduced us to the rest of the family: Raul, her husband, Kevin, her son and Naomi, her daughter. In addition there where two dogs – Doggy the dog of the house – Boody, neighbour’s dog who appears at her house as soon she has students, one goat and two turtles.


After the introduction we started to make some lemonade together, which was fun. Maybe we can do the same with our grapefruits at home.

We were keen to have a look at the lake, so we went for a short stroll to the beach and a dog – Boody – was with us all the time. We were a bit concerned that the dog would get run over by cars or motorcycles, since he was completely oblivious to them. In the end we arrived safely at the house and could just witness a wedding from the rooftop.

Almi very nicely and patiently talked to us, which was not easy. She cooked Spaghetti with rice and something cooked in Banana leaves, it tasted nice. Then her husband arrived and we had a nice conversation with him. Seems they have a problem with a virus scanner on their computer, we will have a look at that later on. Tomorrow at 8AM the Spanish school starts.

The next day was our first school day, the bags are packed and the school is in walking distance, just 20m from our accommodation.

After the first day, it felt like my head would explode. So after school we had a power nap. Once completed, we went on a small excursion to the town centre Β – a Β few steep uphill roads, but the view from there was nice.

In the evening we went swimming with Almi and the kids, which was nice since the ambient temperature was still high. The next days in school went well; I adore the patient my teacher showed when he described the same words over and over again. The daily routine was: go to school after breakfast, come home have a power nap, then we did homework and in the evening we studied Spanish at the terrace until the sun went down (not sure how the bottle of beer came into the picture…) Β πŸ˜‰ .

And in the morning, I asked ????? – my teacher – not to cry when he was correcting my homework, and here are both our hero’s, ????? and Julia.

The conclusion of this week is, ‘Spanish teachers don’t cry’ πŸ˜€. Sigrid wanted to take some pictures, so I was pretending to know what I’m doing.

We really enjoyed being part of a family, so when Almi had to peel more than 150 bananas I offered to help, since Sigrid tried to fix her computer overrun by viruses. The peeling was finished it in no time, but the computer took considerably longer since the virus prevented a virus checker download (a good old USB stick with linux and virus scanner solved the problem in the end).

Almi does a lot of volunteer work; she teaches in a school twice a week and helpes in school to wrap Christmas gifts for kids. One day we went with here to the school to help, some people worked, some played silly with the kid.

For me it was very educational, this time the kids taught the adults(s).

One evening, after Almi came home later from school, we decided to dine out and used the time before the food arrived for education.

After dinner we made a detour to the playground, lucky that the kids where asking for it πŸ˜€

The last day we went swimming to a different spot. There was a house with lake access for sale, it was going really cheap πŸ˜€

It was really fun, the kids, Boody the dog and Sigrid enjoyed it.

Tomorrow we will leave San Andres and start our way to Nicaragua, where we will celebrate Christmas.

Date: 06/12
City: Tikal, Guatemala
Kilometres ridden: 111
Cumulative kilometre: 27528

Took a couple of pictures and said goodbye to Rosa, our host. We enjoyed the time here and Rosa looked after us really well.

We jumped on our bikes and rode to the border. The border crossing from Belize was easy and on the Guatemalan side we had to change money to temporarily import our bikes. This time we had all the paper work needed, including copies of our documents πŸ˜€

During our process, we met Ron again, the Canadian motorcycle rider we meet in San Ignacio, Belize. We decided to ride together until we turn off to Tikal. On our way we had a breakfast break on one of the road side stalls.


After 60km we turned off to Tikal while Ron continued for another 150km to get to a very nice hostel in central Guatemala. When we arrived at the entry to Tikal – 17km from the ruins – there was a boom gate and a booth that sold tickets. The ticket purchased before 3PM were only valid for the current day, but after 3PM would be valid for the next day too. To get to the hotel tonight and to the ruins tomorrow we had to wait until 3PM, which was another two hours. Close to the boom gate there was a restaurant (a good place to have it πŸ˜‰Β ), so we had a coffee and wrote a posts for the blog.

While sitting there we noticed that a couple (Tobi and Donata from Germany) was trying to get money to enter Tikal- but there was no ATM at the entrance. We offered to lend them the entry fee and work something out later. In the end, they decided to drive back to the next town and get some money out of an ATM. When they came back, they stopped for a chat to waited with us until 3PM. During the conversation they mentioned that they had a package booked that included accommodation, a breakfast and dinner deal and guided tour in the morning for a good price. So we decided to check it out. After 3PM, they continued, so did we. On our way we found a nice sign, there must be cougars around.

The street close to the hotel was blocked, they were paving the road so we couldn’t get straight in. A nice guy suggested that we could ride on a foot path, over the lawn of the campground and then back to the road to get to the hotel, which is what we did. At the hotel, we asked for the package, got a good price, so we stayed. Easy! At dinner we met Tobi and Donata again and we found out that a special birthday for Donata was comming tomorrow. We kept it short this night since the morning walk started at 4AM.

Date: 07/12
City: Tikal, Guatemala
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 27528

We really got up at 3.45AM, used our torches to get to the front office to get a coffee. When Donata arrived, we sang happy birthday with a candle from our camping gear.

Then we started our walk to the temple IV. On our way we could hear some howler monkeys making noise. They sound like lions or other wild cats. We went up onto the temple, sat down at the top and waited for the sunrise – listening to the voices of the jungle. When the sun started to rise, we saw some fog coming in over the top of the trees, it looked fabulous.

When the sun rose, we stood a bit aside from the centre and could see how it must look on the 21th December. The sun was rising just behind another pyramid.

After this experience we started our tour of the ruins of Tikal in earnest. Our tour guide was great explaining the sites and the animals as well

On the way Sigrid found a nice natural swing and couldn’t resist trying it out. We also saw some monkey’s, but they all ran away – even though I showered beforeΒ the tour…. πŸ˜‰

The trip ended at the grand plaza, a complex with two pyramids and the royal palace. By that time our stomaches were dictating the next stop – breakfast at the hotel.

When we arrived, the hotel had prepared a table for Donata outside in the sun and Tobi had as well organized a birthday cake. So the staff came out and sang happy birthday.

I liked the vase for the flowers, it was either freshly cut bamboo or a banana tree slice, what a brilliant idea!

After breakfast we had a power nap and had a second go at the ruins in the afternoon. We spent more time at the grand plaza. On our way we passed a huge ceiba tree, a holy tree for the Mayas- it linked the sky with the underworld. The tree was too big to get it on one picture, so I tried it with a panorama shot πŸ˜€

At the grand plaza we climbed a couple of buildings and had a look from the top at other temples, places and housing of the elite.


On our way back, the sun started to set which made the way back to the hotel really beautiful.

On our way to the room we found a group of strange animals roaming around. We were asking in the hotel for the name, they told us and …. we forgot :/

To top it up, there was a monkey in the trees and a deer at the back porch.

What a day. Below is the path to our room and the room itself.

We decided to stay a day longer, since our next target (San Anders) is only 60km away and we have to arrive on Sunday.

Date: 08/12
City: Tikal, Guatemala
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 27528

We had breakfast with Tobi and Donata, took a couple of pictures, went together to the minibus and departed. They left for Flores and we went to the museum.

The museum was not as impressive as we thought. The best thing was a nice model of the ruins and a sign that warned people about a crocodile.

We saw only a small crocodile, not sure if there are others around.

The rest of the day was used for swimming and relaxing in anticipation for the next week.

Next week we try to learn Spanish; I hope the teacher is strongΒ πŸ˜€