Guat Dos

  A beautiful dockside Guatemalan sunset is where the story picks up.  We are staying at Jenna’s River B&B (not currently on a river, but soon to be on a river again), and after a delicious breakfast and a boat ride to one of the towns across the lake, we headed to the Crossroads Cafe per Jenna’s recommendation. 

It was closed for lunch, like any proper business should be, so we had lunch as well and came back a couple hours later. Upon arrival we had the best cup of coffee we’d had in a month, and met the proprietor, Mike. We promptly started talking dirt bikes with Mike who refused to let us pay for our coffee and tasty treats (including homemade by Mrs. Mike totally amazing cheesecake). What a nice guy. 

So we pottered about Panajachel, doing fun things like eating and drinking and horse back riding.  

Our horse back riding trip started in Santiago at the home of Jim and Nancy who have a lovely house and a bunch of horses who behave like dogs. When you walk into the corral they all trot up to you looking for a snuggle and a nose scratch. While Jim was explaining something to us I had one horse head resting on each shoulder. It was awesome. 

This is the end of the road that leads towards one of the volcanoes that surrounds Lake Atitlan.  

We took the horses up here after traversing through coffee fields on a goat track no more than eight inches wide with some gnarly rock sections that I’m not sure my dirt bike could get up, let alone a horse with me on its back. But they did it.  

We also had to go back down the same way and one of the rock sections was so steep I was staring ten feet down at the ground because the horse was completely vertical underneath me. Chris had a mommy horse whose foal was nursing until the moment we left. She was taking her time, taking breaks when she pleased and generally moving at a nursing mother horse’s pace. I was on a young boy who still had his huevos and very much wanted to be ahead of our guide, which meant he was up the ass of the lead horse while going up and down the aforementioned super steep rocky sections. I was a little afraid he was going to get kicked which would definitely land me with my head on some rocks. But he didn’t and we all had fun and got back safely, just in time for the foal to run up to his mom and start suckling before Chris had a chance to dismount.

 We finished the ride with an amazing homemade four course lunch with Jim and Nancy. It was a very lovely outing and well worth it if you’re in Pana. Just ask Jenna and she will arrange it all. 

But all the pottering about was really in anticipation of receiving our parts from KTMtwins.com. As you may recall, Chris’ sprocket had a terminal illness pretty much from birth. So we had brand new sprockets and chains being shipped to us, because every KTM shop we called told us either they flat out didn’t have anything, or they could get them in about 30-40 days (keep in mind that the sprockets on the KTM 690 Enduro are the same as all the sprockets for KTM dirt bikes from at least 2007 to present). Unfortunately, the UPS tracking site said the package was being returned because there was a mistake with paperwork. Because KTMtwins.com has such a high standard of customer service, proprietor, Ron, sent out a new package that same day so that we wouldn’t have to wait any longer than necessary. But this package was being held because there was no local phone number on it. So we called UPS in the states and they said they couldn’t do anything cause it was at UPS in Guatemala. So we called them and the phone just rang and a woman picked up, spoke some Spanish and put me on hold. Ron was doing the same thing on his end and we eventually got them a phone number. The next day they said the address wasn’t clear and the whole process began again. The next day they said UPS doesn’t deliver to this remote area so it’s been given to another carrier, Cargo Xpress. Cargo Xpress doesn’t have a record of the package. The next day we go to th Cargo Xpress warehouse in town and there are no international packages there. Then we are walking back to Jenna’s River B&B and we see the Cargo Xpress truck turn down our road! Excitement! hope! Barely concealed potential disappointment and frustration! Alas, our dreams came true, our package arrived. Not only did our package arrive, but the original package that had supposedly been returned to and signed for by KTMtwins (according to the UPS tracking site) also showed up.   

 With eight sprockets, four chains, two chain tools and a jug of maple syrup in hand, we got to work fixing up Chris’ bike. By “we”, I obviously mean Chris. Here he is right before the afternoon rain shower. 

  
After a few more cups of tasty coffee, a little bit more wine and many more negronis, it was time to leave Guatemala, Jenna’s River B&B and Crossroads Cafe. Mike sent us on our way with a couple pounds of delicious coffee and we left Jenna’s after such a lovely visit! Thank you guys so much! 

 
But it was no time to dawdle. A very important deadline had come up out of the blue: Rebecca Hinden booked a last minute trip to Nicaragua and she was arriving in two days! Tune in next week to see us blast through four countries to catch up with Rebecca when the Tip to Tip adventure continues! 

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