John and Gerry are now in GUATEMALA - CENTRAL AMERICA


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Volcano near Guatemala feb 2003

Volcano near Guatemala

Guatemala, which lies above El Salvador was a very picturesque country, though its capital was anything but and we only stayed the one night there. While walking around it we walked into yet another protest. These have been a common feature of Latin America and again while peaceful there is always the ominous presence of armed riot police. It was while there strangely that we heard of the deaths of 19 people in La Paz and it was sad to think of those poor Indians we had seen walking the streets so peacefully and how yet again how we had avoided a calamity for no more than with the floods in France we also saw that there was disastrous flooding around Titicaca and Cusco only days after we passed through in sunshine. The highlight of Guatamala was its old capital of Antigua Guatamala. With its cobbled streets and colonial buildings it´s no wonder that this place attracts the tourists it does. It was a truly relaxing place to stay and those of you familiar with the Touratech catalogue will recognize it as the location of that picture of the bike going down one of its cobbled streets. Ever since we arrived inside Nicaragua we have been in a very active volcanic region and all around Antigua loom volcanoes. Quite a number of these are active and it was fascinating to watch the smoke billowing from a few of them.

Center of Guatemala feb 2003

Center of Guatemala
cobble stone streets of Old Guatemala 2003

Cobble stone streets of Old Guatemala

Market in old city guatamla feb 2003

Market in old city Guatamla
Ballon maker Guatemala feb 2003

Ballon maker Guatemala

demonstration inGuatemala city feb 2003

Demonstration in Guatemala City
Market in Guatemala feb 2003

Market in Guatemala

The road back down to the coast out of Antigua is brilliant as it winds through these volcanoes and in this region we met Udu, a German touring on his Triumph Tiger and who obviously appreciated this region also. Mexico lying north of Guatamala was very easy to enter and we decided to try and get up as far as Acapulco as quickly as possible. The roads here militated against that to a degree for while not as good as Central America´s they are o.k. The problem instead being the number of speed ramps that are placed along them, quite often without any indication which is dangerous when you hit them at high speed which each of us did in turn. Along these roads we bumped into an Argentinean, Izikel and his English girlfriend, Olivia who were also heading for Acapulco on their bike and so we had a good conversation about common interests. Acapulco where we are now is very glamorous especially in comparison to a few of the Mexican towns we stayed in en route here. Today we took a tour around it and the obvious highlight was the divers off the cliff. They formed their own union in the 30's as they couldn´t get insurance and amazingly since they became professional there has been no fatality. It scared me to even look at them scale the cliff for their jumps not to mention the dive itself. Normally at this time of the year Acapulco would be crowded with Americans as its the dry season here now but it´s a measure of September the 11th. that the place is relatively uncrowded at present. It makes the beaches all the better for us though and the ocean here is beautiful to swim in. From here we will head up to the Baja and into California where Bob is scheduled to take a break from his journey to Alaska by flying home to the Emirates while John´s wife, Margaret, his daughter, Julie and grandchild are flying out to meet him which will leave me with time to trip around some of the states before we both fly south to Australia. At this stage we have decided to cut out our New Zealand leg of the trip on the grounds that the extra flights it would entail would cost more than were we to go there directly from home at some future date and we are now mindful of the fact that we are so over budget already that by the time we reach India we can see ourselves on the streets there playing the hurdey gurdey to get the fare home.

Hotel in Tamarindo Guatmala feb 2003

Hotel in Tamarindo Guatemala
Hotel pool Tamarindo feb 2003

Hotel pool Tamarindo

Restaurant in old city of Guatemala feb 2003

Restaurant in old city of Guatemala
Rug seller Guatemala feb 2003

Rug seller Guatemala

Tamarindo beach feb 2003

Tamarindo beach
Transport Guatemala city feb 2003

Transport Guatemala City


Volcano near Guatemala feb 2003

Volcano near Guatemala

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