Paramilitary shootings have doubled in frequency in Guatemala of late. It’s election time, with a 24 caret nasty standing for presidente. So I plan on moving sharpish.
Antigua’s dawn is beautiful. The clean high-altitude light sharply draws out the bright earthy pigments on the walls. The blocks of competing colour jostle happily like drunken wedding guests. By breakfast time the language-learning factory is in business. So we load-up and leave at eight, happy enough after a brownie and café latte in the town square. I took a dozen shots of the town arch. The day before I had used the other half of the film on Mayan children. Clichés satisfied, we move through the country in two days. After a wet week in an endless line of belching lorries and four days on the border trying to get into Guatemala, we have one of those unforgettable lovely overlanding rides. Fabulous new empty roads in the highlands, untouched by tourists, twisting along the sides of jungle-covered volcanoes. Even the noxious capital at rush hour opened up and let us through.
It’s a day when you are completely happy to be on a motorbike filtering through the city traffic in half an hour, and then transported to that dreamland of mountainside lefts and rights. No other way to travel, for the highs and the lows.
Photos by Didier Martin.
See his web site at http://www.ride4kids.t2u.com/
The crossing into Honduras is bribe-free until the last stamp. They had stayed open especially late for us. So they said: that’ll be 20USD please. He went down to ten quick enough, but we probably should have screamed ourselves blue. That sure would have put the frights up his dead ancestors. But we stumped up. Tired after ten hours on the road, a glimpse of finishing line put paid to principles.
Posted by at June 13, 2003 04:45 PM GMT