Reports on my cycle trip around the World (by Ernest Markwood)
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
GOING THROUGH GUATEMALA
From Copan in Honduras Leana and I cycled up through the hills and crossed the La Florida border into Guatemala. I had to be rather careful as I was cycling on a broken front rim (it had worn through from braking, and the mean cobblesones at Copan had done the final damage). We stayed over at the first big town in Guatemala, Chiquimula, where I fitted the spare wheel rim. We found Guatemala to be quite similar to neighbouring Honduras, and the living expenses were also about the same. Not far from Chiquimula we paid a gratis visit to a small paleanthological museum, looking at the exhibits of dinosaur bones and some other archaeological displays. We took the Carretera Atlantico eastwards in the direction of the Carribean, where we diverted to take a look at another famous Maya archaeological site - Quirigua. In that vicinity there are some huge banana plantations, to the extent that harvested bunches are transported by cable car to points where they can be loaded (see pic). Then, further East and over some hills we stopped at the pleasant Rio Dulce town where we had a cheap room practically on the jetty where some of the many yachts were moored. We stayed a day and payed a visit to the Spanish colonial fort of San Filipe (designed to curtail pirate activity, which did the job untill the pirates burnt the place to the ground). As in many tropical countries, the palm oil industry is becoming popular (see pic of oil palm). We continued northwards from there through the former jungle province of Peten, as far as Florence (a historic town on an island in the lake, with the "other" part of town, Santa Elena and most shops etc., across the causeway on the mainland. Unfortunately I was rather ill (possibly due to drinking bad water earlier), so I didn't fully appreciate the nice room we had overlooking the lake. From there we headed in the direction of Guatemala's (and Central America's) main attraction, Tikal. For details of distances cycled see the following report.
My bike (Old Saartjie) on the first day of this trip, 27 March 2007.
PLEASE HELP TO KEEP OLD SAARTJIE'S WHEELS ROLLING: In order to fund this cycle trip I'd sold everything I had, but that has long gone. Please help if you can! If you want to contribute, then please contact me on my e-mail, and I will give you details. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My Cycle Route
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 March 2007 - 146 849 km so far
My name is Ernest Markwood, and I am a South African formerly from Cape Town. I am a Research Psychologist by profession, and operated a Market Research business before embarking on this journey. I sold my posessions and took off by bicycle all the way through Africa from Cape Town. Since then I've proceeded via the Middle-East through Turkey, the Caucusus, Iran, Sub-Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal), China, South-East Asia, Indonesia, Australia, South- and Central America, and the USA, crossing Canada from the West to East and then all the way down the East coast of USA, and Jamaica. Currently my mission is to close gaps in order to form a continuous route around the world. I left Cape Town on 27 March 2007. This was not intended to be a race, but rather an experience (and so it is!).
Me (Ernest), on one of my better days
. . . . on this trip I have looked like this . . . .
- - - also like this . . .
. . . . and I've even looked like this!
I have not been cycling on my own for this entire trip. Leana and I left together on 27 March 2007 from Cape Town, South Africa (our former hometown). Since then we have cycled separately at intervals, although in total we have been together much of the time. We split in 2013. For more about her see leananiemand.org.za