Day 51: Chimusinique, GT to 4 Caminos, GT

After breakfast at the Hotel Pino Montana, there were many ups and down in store for us in the road today. First there was a 10km ride uphill, then 10km downhill. Then 45km uphill, 15km downhill. We made a couple of stops along the way, for snacks, water, lunch, and to ask how much longer we’d be riding uphill. It seems like the answer was the same every time–“Oh, you’ve just got this little bit more of uphill, then it’s all pretty flat from there.” And then we’d continue going up, up, and up.

We ordered hamburgers at the lunch stop, and they ended up being these tiny one-and-a-half-inch patties on huge buns. We were hungry and were tempted to get seconds, but I didn’t want to reward their providing a bad product by getting more of that product. But I did feel kind of bad; when we first pulled up, the man of the house yelled to his wife to come out to serve us. As we were eating, though, he was heading out, and looked back at us and said “Thank you” in English; I felt he was being very sincere and grateful. The whole experience made me think that we were the only customers they had in weeks.

Our destination for the day was Quetzaltenango, but the town of 4 Caminos was on the way. We were told that Quetzaltenango was a nice place to visit, but it was another 15 kilometers off of the highway, and we would have had to ride that 15 extra kilometers back the next morning, so we decide to just stay in 4 Caminos. The name means just “4 roads,” and that’s all the town was, a crossroads that it seemed nobody came to unless on the way to somewhere else. There was endless traffic streaming through the one traffic light, mostly school buses converted to passenger buses, taxis, and semi-trucks, all blowing their horns endlessly. As we sat at a Chinese place for dinner, the constant din coming from outside was almost comical.

The hotel was decent, though, and they had cable TV, on which we were able to enjoy the Cleveland Browns beat the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

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