Monday, June 8, 2009
6/8/09 3 Days of Adventure. Day 3 Semuc Champey to Flores 180 Miles, 10 Hours
I wake up and have a pancake breakfast with Jens, Anna and some other hostel folks, say goodbye and hop in the back of a pickup truck for the 12 km ride back to Lanquin. 35 bumpy-ass minutes later and I'm back. Today I'm going o try to make it north to Flores, a tiny island in the jungle state of El Peten and a jumping off point to see the Mayan ruins at Tikal. I check out of the hotel and the bike fires right up. I head back along the rocky path and cross my fingers going up the rocky trail. Just 11 kms of this I keep telling myself. I come across a bulldozer which is trying to grade the road and a water truck which is spraying water to keep the dust down but is creating a muddy mess. My rear tire is pretty bald and I just hope I can plow through but I end up stalling. And now the bike won't start. I notice gasoline leaking out of a carb. FUCK. If I am really stuck here it is going to be a BITCH to get towed somewhere where it can bee fixed. I figure the bike is just flooded and I wait 20 minutes and manage to get the bike going. I make it to the asphalt and ride the 50kms back to Coban where I plan on getting the bike looked at. I figure Flores will have to wait. However, it's Sunday and everything is closed. At least I find an ATM and get some much needed cash. I decide to try and push and make it to Flores, at least another 4 hours away. After several wrong turns, bad directions, and not ever really being sure where I am, I arrive in the town of Sayaxche. The bike is not running so well, a noticeable lack of power and a couple more engine floodings. I'm really hoping to just get to Flores where I'll take a day off and take care of the bike, other errands and just rest for a while. I'm pretty beat by the time I get to Sayaxche. I'm now in the mostly undeveloped state of El Peten, out of the cool mountain air and into the heat and humidity of the jungle. Im trying to keep the bike running constantly as I'm worried about it not starting up again. However, I find out I'm forced to make a short ferry crossing which is normally a cool thing, but I need simplification today, and this is definitely more of a complication. Especially when I go to the wrong ferry at first and then have to wait 30 minutes for the engine to unflood and the bike to start again. I cross on the right ferry and am an hour away from Flores. The sun is setting, the temperature is cooling and it's turning into a really nice ride. Until it gets dark and the lack of road signs has me 30 miles out of the way from where I need to be. I backtrack, take the right turn-off and soon take the causeway into the tiny island of Flores where I get a bed for $3.50 at Hostel Los Amigos, which is clean, beautiful, and has tons of amenities available. The plan is to take care of the bike and errands tomorrow, Tikal the next day, and then hopefully to Belize the following day sans potential bike and passport problems. I catch up on this blog and stay up late into the night alone watching downloaded movies on the fast wi-fi connection here. Finally a chance to relax, get some shit done, and get ready for the next leg of the trip out of Guatemala and into Belize.