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  #1  
Old 24 Aug 2008
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Avoid the dirt road from Santiago Atilan to San Pedro in Guatemala

I posted this over on advrider, but for those of you who don't bother over there:
Hi,
I was robbed yesterday at gunpoint as three guys jumped out of the jungle wearing balaclavas demanding my camera, phone, and money.

This occured on the dirt portion from Santiago Atilan to San Pedro. The road is great (and presumably safe) on the paved portion, but the last 15KM is dirt. Before my trip, I heard bad things about this portion of road, but when I got to Panajachel I started asking around for myself. Everyone said that the road is fine (I even asked two cops) except for one guy who warned of Banditos.

Foolishly, I ignored that warning. One never knows what to expect I suppose.

Anyway, I wrote about it on my blog and ride report.
My Tx-> tierra del fuego RR is: post #85 at
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...=361037&page=6


Their take: Fake wallet. I gave them my fake wallet ... they took out the 80Q ($11ish) and ... gave it back! It was loaded with CCs!

They were then prodding around, probably looking for a gun, and started poking my god damned money belt.

Here is where I was pissed at myself: I had all my CCs/Texas DL/Passport/2 ATM cards in the money belt.



Oh yeah, I'm also looking for a riding partner or two to meet up with in central america
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  #2  
Old 24 Aug 2008
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that sucks dude! not much you could do I guess. According to Wikitravel Guatemala has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Funny this because I had a dreamed that I was robbed in Guatemala after reading this fact the other day...
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  #3  
Old 25 Aug 2008
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I rode this in the other direction a couple months ago. Shortly after it turned to dirt I was stopped by three uniformed police officers. They stopped cars, hopped in, and provided an armed escort to the other side. I rode along behind them. I can see how it would be "easy picking"; the road was very rough and vehicles have to move slowly.

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. This area is a common problem, and you got unlucky. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip nevertheless.

I'm convinced that money belts (placed around the waist) are a bad idea, and your tale confirms it. Thieves know to look. Keep a little money in the wallet and the rest locked in the bike somewhere.

I'm in Panama right now, going to head back north sometime next week. I did the Pacific coast down through El Salvador so my return path will be through Honduras. If our paths cross, let's meet up for a .

Jeff
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Old 25 Aug 2008
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Sorry to hear you were robbed. Good thing you were carrying a fake wallet. I had an Australian friend who had a similar thing happen to him in Guatemala. One guy jumped out of the jungle with an AK47 and it scared my friend so much that he fell over on his KLR.
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Old 25 Aug 2008
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I can understand dropping the bike. I managed to pop the bike in neutral. I could just see they telling me to reach for my wallet and dropping the clutch and surging the bike into them.

Jeff,
Sounds like our paths will cross. I'm going to be in Guatemala City/Antigua for the next one to two weeks waiting for new CCs. I'm heading towards Honduras (Utila) once I get back moving.

dg
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  #6  
Old 25 Aug 2008
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Dave,

Tough break, glad to hear it turned out ¨Well¨. I visited the Lake about a little over a week ago, but didn´t have the cajones to take that road.

I saw that you were looking to meet up with another rider. I´m in Lanquin at the moment. If you´re looking to get out of the city, it´s a nice place to chill. I´m going to head out of here in a day or two, but I´m not sure where I´m heading. It looks like there´s an interesting route marked as a ¨track¨ on my map from around Fray Bartolome (if i´m remembering the name right) to Poptun, so I may ride that route before heading to the Honduras border.

Good luck with getting your paperwork taken care of.

Cheers
Jeff
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  #7  
Old 26 Aug 2008
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Jeff, be sure to find out if the road through Fray Bartolome is still under construction. I took it last year and couldn't get around the construction until they stopped working for the night. Made for a VERY difficult ride in the dark on steep, rocky dirt road.
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  #8  
Old 31 Aug 2008
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Lanquin to Fray Bartolome, Guatemala under construction (limited access)

stbarnett, Thanks for the heads up! I didn´t see your post until after I left, but I took a different route, (the back way from Lanquin to Lake Izabel), after a couple of bicyclists told me about the construction situation. They are only allowing vehicles to pass between 6am-7am, 12pm-2pm, and 6pm-8pm. I´m 100% certain about the 12pm-2pm window, but I could be off by an hour for the morning and evening windows. Thanks again!

-Jeff
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Old 31 Aug 2008
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Glad you missed it. But what a beautiful area around Lanquin and Samuc Champey! Are you heading further south? I'm leaving Panama for Bogota in two weeks, then south to TDF.
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  #10  
Old 6 Sep 2008
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Question Presently in Antigua ,Guatemala

Hello Dave
Sorry to hear about your mis-adventure.
I,m presently on Antigua and heading South.
Want to meet up and see what our plans are?
Staying at the Ummagumma Hostel.
Otherwise catch along the way?

from Bryn
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  #11  
Old 6 Sep 2008
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Hey,
I'm in Guatemala City right now, but I have to go to Antigua either tomorrow or Monday.

How long are you going to be there?

I'm going riding with a local tomorrow AM if the weather is better than it is today if you're interested. We can meet at the central park in Antigua.

Anyway, send me an email at thehubb (at) gsomething com

dg
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