Guatemala City to Honduras/ Yaniv Singer

It makes sense to pay out of your ass to BMW in the States, but for some reason here it just doesn’t. Everything else here is paperless and unofficial, so when they wanted us to hand to the office the bike papers and our details before the mechanic even looked at Erika’s bent handlebar (which prevented the throttle from springing back into place) I politely declined. Instead, I rode the bike to where the actual mechanic worked, and hoped that some Guatemalessness remained in them. They fixed it in 20 minutes, and I gave them some cash, saving the whole ordeal of going through the office, paying them 10 times as much, and having them pay the actual mechanics nothing more than their meager monthly starving wages. Concerning our tools, we managed to almost completely replace our $120 toolkit for $50 worth of Stanley tools. All of these morning erands left us only a few hours of riding in which we were constantly behind a truck or a school bus from the US that passed its age of legality there. It’s really incredible. 95% of busses in Guatemala and Honduras are school busses from the US. I understand that passed the age of 7 they can no longer be used in the US, and are sold for roughly $1500 to bus companies here, where they run for another 20 years. Riding behind them, however, is guaranteed to leave 2 soot rings around your eyes. We only made 70 miles, and crashed in non-other than the bone-fide Hotel California.

The following morning we were on the road again. I felt like a million bucks. It made a huge difference to be able to wake up and seconds after starting the bike do 60 on the highway, with no other intent than cover as many miles as possible. Though the border between Guatemala and Honduras is said to be horrendous, we got through it under an hour, and pushed on towards San Pedro. While generally things are very simple travelling, sometime the simplest task in the US becomes complicated here in Central America; For example, finding drinking water. Stores kept having just the small, 500 ml, bottles of water. We finally found a place that sold the big 5 gallon jugs. It turns out that it is way cheaper for us to buy one of those and return the jug, even if we only use one-third of it, than buying even the one-gallon bottles, rare as they are.

While we were filling up our CamelBaks two Americans in their 60s rolled in driving a white Chevy pick-up. Within minutes we were setting up our tent on Samuel Adams’ lawn. He bought a few acres down here seven years ago, and has built a house for him to live in, and another one for a Honduran family to live in, rent free, so they could watch his property while he ventures back into Florida. The property was beautiful during the last minutes of day, and magical at night, with hundreds of fireflies hovering over the expanse of land. He said that he loves it down here, because once he bought the land he could do with it whatever he wanted. No building codes. No permits. No engineers. No laws. It sounded pretty good to me as well.

this is the motorcycle shop in Antigua where we first realized our toolkit had been stolen.

From volcano to utila

camping on Sam Adam’s lawn

From volcano to utila

In the morning a Missionary came over. He’s been down here for 33 years. His wife is running a bi-lingual school, and he asked if we minded coming over and speaking with the 200 or so kids about our bikes and our trip. We were happy to. The kids were as sweet as they come. It was something new for them the see a girl on a motorbike, to see a tent, or to hear of the concept that a couple plans when they want to have kids. In many conversations throughout Chiapas, Guatemala, and Honduras, we discovered that girls are married off at the age of 15 and leave their home.

Showing off our tent to a bunch of sweet kids. How are you? I asked, FINE THANK YOU! they yelled back in perfect unison

From volcano to utila
That same day we rode hard, and after 170 miles reached La Ceiba. We found a hotel that had underground parking and agreed to store our bikes for a week. The next morning we hopped on a Ferry to Utila, where I am writing from now (Finally the blog has caught up with the present, the first battle won in a losing war).
Utila is gorgeous. Though only an hour away by boat from Central America, it is very different from it. Everybody speaks English here, as it used to be a British Colony. It is more like a Caribbean country than a part of Central America, thick with Caribbean cooking, rolling accents, and an enveloping aroma of weed.our view from the bed

From volcano to utila

As soon as you get off the ferry people try to lure you to their own dive centers. We chose one of them, and Erika began her SCUBA open water course an hour later. With the course, we get a free room that sits 10 feet from the water. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve been in since the beginning of our trip. There’s a guy that floats over with his boat, and you can buy extremely fresh fish from him. On our first night here we bought 5 pounds of fresh red tuna meat, and together with the 15 people residing in the dive center, instructors, dive-masters, and all, we got drunk on rum drinks and had a great dinner. The atmosphere here is very chill, and everybody is very nice. I could stay here for days, which is, since Erika is getting her Advanced Open Water Certification here as well, the plan.

From volcano to utila

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