Guatemala/ Isla de Flores Dec/28/2012
I forgot to mention that, despite its bad rep, both Alex and I were extremely impressed with Mexico. Towns, especially in the south were super clean. I have even seen encouragement for recycling. Nothing but friendly people along the way and wherever we hung out. Even though we probably broke the traffic laws a few hundred times with or without the presence of the police, there was never any trouble nor bribes necessary. Police was always friendly and helpful. Despite thousands of topes (speed bumps) we have gone over, Mexico is in my top ten.
Remember Jim and his wife, the club owners that we met at Chichen Itzá? I got an email from him that he featured us on the club sites. www.musclebikesofamerica.com and www.musclecarsofamerica.com Thanks Jim. I will be sending the photos shortly.
We pack up and head out towards the Guatemalan border about 100km away. We drop by at a hotel/ restaurant about 20km from the border to get a coffee. Coincidentally, the South African owner was from Boquete, Panamá and we had a lot of friends in common especially from the bike club there, the Macho Montes.
Again, easy border. By now we are getting into the routine. In and out. Having no lineups really helps. Thus far, the Canada to US border was by far the most dreadful.
Beside us pulls up an old school, camo KLR with Ontario plates. Blake is an awesome dude from Ottawa that has been doing the same trip and has been on the road four months now. We drive together about 80km to Isla de Flores. Amazing town on a lake island. Very reminiscent to old Quebec. Narrow cobble stone streets with music coming out of the tons of restaurants and bars. In someway I feel pity for people who buy into prepackaged vacations in the ordinary vacation spots. We have hit dozens of magical spots along the way that are easily accessible for single travelers, couples and families on any budget.
We settled in a nice hotel for only $30 a night overlooking the lake and backing onto one of these cobble stone streets. Due to its tiny size, there is no back nor front yards on Isla de Flores so the nice lady let Alex park his bike right in the front lobby and I drove mine down the hallway right up to the room.
After the usual stroll through this beautiful island town, we set out to the boardwalk where there is dozens of stands and vendors selling local food. For 10 Quetzales (equivalent to about $1.25) I had a filing supper of 6 tostadas with just about every possible topping. And I was told it gets cheaper the further south we go.
We meet up with Blake and head the bar district to share many amazing stories and many more beers.