Cycling the Guatemalan Highlands: Poco a Poco

What more can you ask for, stunning views, mountains, white knuckle descents, grueling climbs and colorful people.

 

Overview of the 7W

Overview of the 7W

 

Biking through the Guatemalan highlands has been one of the most rewarding journeys on this trip thus far. After having 5 weeks off the bikes it was hard to get back on the bikes let alone tackle the mountains starting at some 2,400 meters and climbing higher. The air is thin, climbs are quad bursting, but the scenery … breathtaking and worth the pain.

 

Stunning Guatemalan Scenery

Stunning Guatemalan Scenery

No matter where you are, there is never a soccer field out of sight.

No matter where you are, there is never a soccer field out of sight. I don't want to be the one who has to get the ball!

 

Young Boys

These young boys were having a lot of fun with the old tire. When we rode by they helped push us up the hill.

 

We left Quetaltenango after a month of studying spanish with apprehension with all the latest stores of robberies and violent crimes here in Guatemala. Sick of jumping back and forth on our decision to ride or to shuttle we just went for it. A decision we have not regretted thus far. Guatemala has easily been one of our most rewarding experiences with kind people, good roads and friendly drivers. The best we have encountered yet. We have simply fallen in love with this diverse country.

 

We traveled high into the mountains via highway 7W (for detailed travel route see here), dubbed as Guatemala’s most scenic highway, however a landslide in 2008 right before San Cristoból Verapaz wiped out a good section of the highway which lead to a brutal 1 hours hike – push the bikes to get up the steep gravel grade that the locals have built a detour around.

 

The landslide on 7W, 1/2 the mountain gave way in 2008

The landslide on 7W, 1/2 the mountain gave way in 2008

 

Roads in this area seem to climb forever with a rapid decent right back down where you started. Mike learnt his lesson after previously beating his sped record of 76 km/hour on the bike and proudly took a picture of his achievement of his odometer to sadly find out that we somehow lost the pictures from that day. Determined to regain the proof he opened it up on a straight away that quickly lead to a shape turn, braking too hard too soon (something he should have known to avoid from his driving days) the trailer rapidly started to fishtail, miraculously he maintained control of the bike but the ExtraWheel disengaged sending it and the bags flying ass over tea kettle. Thankfully, the bags got the worst of the damage, Mike surfaced unscathed and the fender on our trailer is a little worse on the wear, but otherwise intact… thankfully. He has now learned to decent slower… but his courage dangerously regains daily.

 

74 km/h

Mike's trying to get photographic evidence of his previous 76km/h record... this is after the ExtraWheel went flying off.

 

The damage

The damage from Mike's crash at 74 km/h, luckily it was only the bags.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Tags: ,