Tikal to Poptun, Guatemala - Central America - CycleBlaze

December 21, 2022

Tikal to Poptun, Guatemala

It has been said to do something every day that scares you.  Well, that has been the theme nearly every day so far.  Not necessarily frighteningly scary, but more unexpectedly, and then growing out of that experience once it is overcome.  You just never know what is going to be around the next corner.  Every day something happens or you see something that you can never expect, which is what makes this so exciting and wonderful!

Today I was on Guatemala Hwy 13 the whole way and it had a very unusual shoulder; where they repaved a couple times, they only did the where the main traffic goes, and not the shoulder, leaving a very large "curb" almost to drop down into and have to try to get out of it when there was too much debris in it (which was often).  I pretty-much had to get down in there whenever there was a semi behind me, as the road was not very wide.  If there was someone coming the opposite way, the semi would not be able to move over.  So one time, there was some mud down in the shoulder that made it very slippery, and given the "curb" to jump back up to the main road, I slipped and created the first crash of the trip.  Fortunately, the only casualty was a rip in the outside of the Ortlieb bag, but that and the front bag saved ne from any road rash.

I had to pull off the side of the road for a work call, and it is very hard to find a quiet spot - you either have traffic (motorcycle and semi noises mostly), dogs, or roosters.

Oh, and free-range chickens here means that they peck out of garbage piles, so, watch where your chicken comes from.

It was cloudy most of the day today, looking like it could rain any time.  I went through another rainstorm today, and waited it out some under a large tree for a while too.  It is often quite beautiful after a storm cloud if the blue sky comes out.  The second storm came just before my hotel.  I thought I could make it, but I had to pull over to find shelter for 30 minutes or so.  Another young man on a motorcycle joined me too.

It seems motorcycles either have one person, or three - an adult and two kids.

I finally got to the hotel and checked in.  They had a restaurant on-site too, which was nice as I have learned to stay away from hotels on the main highway as they are just too noisy with bars and traffic, although the side ones have more roosters, so, take your pick.  I asked for the menu and the older woman (owner) just went to her freezer and took out a couple of bags - that was the menu.  It was good though - some scrambled eggs with rice and sausage (hot dogs I think) and a tortilla.

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My dinner last night with Hanna near Tikal. My dinner this vegetarian relleno of some type, and Hanna had fresh fish. Both of our plates we so delicious, and about $6 ea.
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Casualty from crash
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An example of that nasty "curb" from repaving, but not the shoulder.
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Lunch
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Me escaping the second rainstorm of the day. I thought I could make it to my hotel first - it was only about a mile away, but no.
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It is hard to get the scale of the size of these leaves, but the ones on the left are about 3'x5', and the long ones on the right could be 10-15' long.
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Bill ShaneyfeltTaro on left
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taro

Banana on the right

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana
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1 month ago
These leaves are huge!
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Bill ShaneyfeltBanana tree

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana
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1 month ago
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What a huge room!
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Approved condensate receptacle.
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Just leaving my hotel getting some snacks.
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Although this hotel only had one water line gong to the shower head again, it had this strange instantaneous water heater at the head. It worked though. Yes, it is perfectly fine to have a 40-amp breaker in the shower with you, and twisted wire connections above instead of in a liquid-tight J-box. What's the worst that can happen here?
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Imagine someone locking you in the shower? But no worries, both were rusted to the point they did not work.
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Today's ride: 75 miles (121 km)
Total: 533 miles (858 km)

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