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We're Not There Yet

Bikes, bites, bytes.

October | 2011 | We're Not There Yet

We love Xela, we really do, but the mountain highland location makes it hard to remember that it is still summer. We are not the sunbathing, hammock-lazing, piña colada sipping types (although sometimes we like to see how the other … Continue reading

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Chichicastenango is a typical Mayan market: chaotic, colorful, dirty, and full of locals just dying to sell you handbags/jewelry/leather shoes/tablecloths/live chickens/lightbulbs/plastic bags. So why is it such a huge tourist attraction? Because it is the biggest market of it’s kind. … Continue reading

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Xela is not on the radar of many tourists who come to Guatemala on the whirlwind sightseeing tour (Antigua, Tikal, Semuc Champey, Lago Atitlan); this town rewards those who stick around for a while. And one of those rewards is … Continue reading

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The first question you are asked when you meet another traveler here is ‘How long have you been in Xela?’. It is a subtle difference from other common traveler’s get-to-know-you questions like ‘Where are you from?’, ‘Where else have you … Continue reading

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We often go to the local markets here in Xela for groceries and whatever other needs pop up. There is a definite, recognized hierarchy of value here as far as the markets are concerned and, like the good little backpackers … Continue reading

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Not even a week after our arrival in Xela, we found ourselves spandexing up and heading out to meet a group of strangers at 6am for a ride to the much-hyped Lake Atilan. Attila, our first friend in town, organized … Continue reading

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We decided to come to Guatemala only after wrestling with the safety issues for the better part of the previous 4 months. Stories of violence and crime here are real, but you always have to wonder what the context is- … Continue reading

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We got up early this morning to do the day’s ride into Xela (SHEH-lah), which is the mercifully shortened version of Quetzaltenango.  First we went by the local market, where women were selling all manner of excellent breakfasts.  We had … Continue reading

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The ride from Malacatán to Quetzaltenango, which is where we’re going to spend a couple of weeks learning Spanish, is legendarily difficult.  M looked on www.crazyguyonabike.com (which is a website that collects other bicycle-travelers blogs) for accounts of other people … Continue reading

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We caught an overnight bus out of Juchitan, in order to skip about 4 days of riding through the brutally hot region of the Mexican Isthmus.  The Mexicans we spoke with assured us that we were missing nothing, and we … Continue reading

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