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  #1  
Old 8 Oct 2005
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CA1 and CA2 closed to through traffic

Hi Guys,
Yesterday morning in Escuintla I saw in the newspaper that the worst has happened. Over 100 people dead, 1000s homeless, roads destroyed, landslides, and many bridges out. Thus the two transit routes for Central America are closed. Only local traffic. But how about me???
Interesting how a routine 12,000km commute home can turn into high adventure.
It started to rain when I left San Jose, Costa Rica. Then it rained harder. In Nicaragua the capital Man-agua lived up to its name. Part of the city was under one foot of open sewer. The rain increased in Honduras, and there were many landslides, even more in El Salvador, where the CA1 divides into the CA1, Pan American, and the CA2 Pacific, or Litoral. I took the CA2. When I entered Guatemala, I had to cross rivers that ran over the bridges. The bike became a submarine. More landslides. By sheer luck I made it to Escuintla. But what now?
After breakfast I talked to truck drivers, since nothing moves down here. Port is idle, and road to Guatemala City is closed bec. of a missing bridge. Tapachula, Mexico is said to be cut off as well. The truckies said, the only option is Antiqua on a new road not yet complete. The by-pass around Antiqua is not finished yet. So traffic has to go through the narrow cobblestone streets of the town, and the big rigs are barred.
Off I went. Got to Antiqua, and on the CA1 east to Guatemala City. Took me over one hour to find the CA9 going north to Porto Barrios. Good going on the CA13 to Tikal. Whole stretch paved and in good condition. Stayed overnight. Today I made may way through Belize, and am now in Chetumal, Mexico. Wow!!! What a ride.
For you guys trying to get to Panama, I suggest you take the Belize approach, and turn left to Copan, Honduras, rather than going south, for the time being. No telling how long Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico will take to clean up this mess.
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  #2  
Old 8 Oct 2005
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Sorry,
I think the road to Porto Barrios is the CA6. Must be all that diesel exhaust I'm inhaling.
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  #3  
Old 25 Oct 2005
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I'm heading to southeastern Mexico in about a week. Is it safe to assume this will be about the same or worse after Wilma?
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  #4  
Old 25 Oct 2005
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I understand Wilma caused some serious damage on CancĂșn and the surrounding areas. I would contact the Mexican embassy and ask for specific details.
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  #5  
Old 5 Nov 2005
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We just crossed the border from Mexico into Guatemala at Ciudad Cuahtemoc (La Mesilla on the Guatemala side). The border crossing is easy, the road, CA1, is in excellent condition except for areas where it has been washed out and temporary detours established. Expect some delays to get through the parts where the road is down to one-lane and is controlled by the police allowing only one direction at a time. We left CA1 at the turn-off for Solola near Lake Atitlan.
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  #6  
Old 7 Nov 2005
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Werner,
Thanks for the great update! Man, sounds like a very hairy experience. I'm amazed you got through all the water crossings without major problems.

My guess is the main routes will be back up and running in a month or less, at least in Mex & Guate. But Salvador, Honduras, Nicaraqua, any bodies guess.

Beach weather should be at its best now.
Hope you can stay around the Caribe region or go to the Pacific side to check it
out. November is the BEST!!

Good luck on your trip north!

Patrick

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  #7  
Old 8 Nov 2005
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Hi Patrick,
Crossing bridges under 2 feet of water and dodging landslides was indeed an adventure. So was the unexpected detour via Tikal and Belize.
I would have liked to unwind along the balmy Caribbean. But Wilma approaching had me hurrying home, and just in time. Two hurricanes during one trip is one too many.
Greetings, Werner
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