Hills Like White Elephants

We´ve been on the move since my last post, but we have cheated our way further south in Guatemala. Our plans are to stop in Antigua for a week of Spanish lessons and a home stay with a Guatemalan family starting Monday, so we´ve had to take a few buses to get closer to town. We cut out the huge (and boring) road between Flores and Coban, resuming our biking from there. The landscape is definitely the most interesting it has been so far, and the towns are great too. We have passed through Tactic, Salama, and Rabinal in the past few days and currently find ourselves in El Chol. We´ve entered hilly/mountainous country which makes for great views and tough climbs. Today we worked our way up a 1600 ft. hill and promptly flew back down the other side. Since this took us several hours we decided to take another bus this afternoon in order to make it to a hotel before dark. (Plus the hill between Rabinal and El Chol is twice as big as the one we climbed this morning, but on gravel.)

Here´s a list of some highlights from the past few days:

We had ourselves a “chicken bus” experience not unlike Deb and Dan´s from the sound of it (they´re traveling in Kenya, for those of you who didn´t know). Our minibus to El Chol had a total of 16 seats, but managed to fit a whopping 27 people + a chicken + our two bikes and other cargo items. Granted most of the cargo was on the roof with one of the passengers and another passenger was clinging to the ladder on the side of the minibus, but I still thought it was a good haul.

When we arrived in Salama the other day we practically collided with a parade. From the looks of it all the “Miss Salama” contestants were showcasing their phenomenal waves for the crowds. To think, we may have caught a glimpse of the future Miss Guatemala!

Miss Guatemala?

Another contestant.

We´ve been traveling through a few of the more traditional Mayan villages lately, so there´s an interesting mix of modern dress and traditional garb. The traditional garb is fun. The men dress like cowboys with jeans and hats and belt buckles and all. The only difference is that you´re more likely to see them in galoshes than cowboy boots. The women wear ankle length pleated skirts of colorful woven fabric and lacey shawl-like tops. I´ll try to put some pics up later. For now, here are a few other photos:

Some pretty blankets — it´s a bit cooler up in the mountains.

A nice view of the valley containing Salama.

The sunrise in Flores.

Any more guesses? I´ll be revealing the answer soon….

5 Responses to “Hills Like White Elephants”
  1. Dr_Omega says:

    The ? pic looks like insect nest. D

  2. Anonymous says:

    In Kriol, I think they were trying to say. “This way for fried chicken!” Good luck trying to understand that. It will be interesting to see other guesses.Mike and Rose and family

  3. Anonymous says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACI! Not sure how to get you a message other than here. This should be a birthday year you never forget! Hope you have a good one!, Love, Kathy

  4. Kristen says:

    Hi sis & you lion look-a-like. That was pretty funny to read! It was definitely a laugh out loud moment. I miss you!! But it is so so wonderful to hear about your amazing adventures! That picture of the valley is really beautiful and I think it helps us to appreciate some of the hills you may be biking. So, you’re going to settle for a week or so? That sounds like a nice little biking break – maybe a little relaxing, but i’m sure you will still be taking advantage of every little adventure you can!! Well sis, I really hope that you have a wonderful birthday!! The big 26!! I think you are an hour earlier there, so about 1.5 hours away!! I hope you guys get to do something a little special – especially since it’s hard for any of us to do anything for you!! 🙂 Love you and can’t wait to see you! Happy Birthday!!Oh, and the picture…I think that it is a mega close up of Mike’s boogers!

  5. Josh says:

    Wool gloves?

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