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Day Nine: Antigua, Guatemala – Copan, Honduras

Submitted by on Thursday, 19 February 2009No Comment

Day Nine
Antigua, Guatemala – Copan, Honduras
155 miles

Breakfast was included with the room and it was great. I had two huge cups of coffee and milk. The problem was that I don’t drink either one.
Several months before the trip, I started getting in contact with school mates through Facebook. I also put on vague details about my trip to Central America. Some of the people suggested that I go and visit Patricia (a high school classmate) who lives in Guatemala.
It didn’t feel right to contact somebody after twenty four years and tell her I was coming; especially since we weren’t close in high school. Still I was curious and decided to send her a message.
She cordially replied and told me she had read about the trip and she would welcome us at her place at anytime. We corresponded back and forth and she sent me Google coordinates and directions to her place. I wrote back and told her the day I should be there.
That morning I went to the local phone booth and gave her a call but I couldn’t get through. I tried several times but only once got her voicemail. I left a message and told my friend Lloyd the she didn’t answer so we were not going.
We packed our bikes and left. While entering Guatemala City, I recognized some landmarks I have seen in Patricia’s map. I knew she lived close by.
I pulled over and told my friend that we were really close to her place and maybe we should at least leave a note. I knew my classmates were expecting this reunion and I didn’t want to disappoint.
We did a u-turn and followed the directions that she had given me.  We did find her neighborhood but I couldn’t find the exact street. I stopped and asked for directions and if anyone could point out where the subdivision was.
A local worker saw me struggling and he came to help decrypt the map. He noticed I had phone numbers written in the map. He pulled his cell phone and offered it to me. Go ahead call her!
Patricia and her family were great hosts. She is a renowned artist in Guatemala but I remember her only because she was the top student in my class.
She showed us her place and workshop. She insisted in taking us out for lunch but it was getting late. I suggested eating close by because we still had a lot of riding to do. We ate at the “Pollo Ranchero” and we went our way.
I am glad we ate because the coffee was tearing me up and gave me some weird anxiety through out the day. The food made me feel better. We took some pictures and she posted them in Facebook calling our get-together ‘Central American class reunion of 85’.
She also gave me directions on how to get out of the city. Yippee! I didn’t get lost in one of the biggest cities in Central America. She mentioned that Copan was only about three hours away. She failed to forecast the traffic and bad roads though.
Riding Guatemala was incredible and the road had huge twisties that were pushing the limits of our driving leaning the bikes to the max. We had rhythm and we were going fast.
At some point we came to a halt just like what happened a few days earlier. We knew what to do at that point and managed to drive to the top of the line through the opposite side of the road.
There was a road block but a few minutes later they let us pass and we flew through the dirt road. We got in rhythm again until we were on the straight-aways.
Looking at the scenery, droned by the sound of the engine I managed to see the sign “Frontera El Florido” and I made the turn. Several miles later I started to doubt myself if I had taken the right road.
There were neither road signs nor people to ask if I was on the right direction. Yet when I saw a familiar name that matched the map I was still freaking out. My fears were unfounded though. We were on the border.
As soon as we got there the officer told us to hurry up otherwise we couldn’t pass. They were closing at six and it was 5:30. The Guatemalan border was fairly easy and it only took a few minutes so we ran to the Honduran border to get our paperwork. It was 5:45.
“Sorry we are closing,” the lady at the counter said while locking the wooden door. “I though you close at six,” I replied. She mumbled and told me the photocopy machine was off but if I wanted I could leave the passports and pick them up on the way back. My answer was a firm: ”No.”
We carry photocopies. She mumbled again “But you need two of each” It was clear she wanted to go home. We replied in unison “We’ve got them”. They opened back up and worked on out paperwork until a few minutes after six.
Ten miles later we were in the darkness of Copan, Honduras. We got to the main plaza where I hired a tuk tuk driver to take us to the “Iguana Azul hostel”. It was a real neat place for backpackers; clean and affordable.
We walked the town until we found a place to eat. Lloyd asked me to order for him and I got us some appetizers. Lloyd ate them all and asked for another round. I told man you must be hungry. Slow down otherwise you are not going to be able to eat the main course. “What?” He said. “I thought that was our meal”.
Because the hostel was dorm style they provided lockers and padlocks. I wanted to leave my suit there and when I realized all the keys opened all the locks. To make it easy on me I just put the left over locks in my pocket.

Rules for Iguana Azul Hostel:

1) No parties after 2 a.m.
2) No wild sex after 3 a.m.
3) No drinking or drugs after 4 a.m.
4) No more than three people in the shower at once
5) No toilet paper in the toiler.

The management

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