During our second day in Guatemala City on Oct. 16, I packed up my things, took my bike apart, and prepared to fly home to Cleveland. Ray continued riding until Costa Rica, and is also home as of Nov. 3.
I started considering coming home during the difficult days of riding in the Chiapas Highlands. I gave myself a few more days to think it over; I didn’t want my decision to be driven by just having bad days on the bike, as I knew from the beginning that there would be many days like that. During the next few days, I enjoyed the riding a lot more, but still had feeling that I was ready to pack it in, so that told me that it was the right decision.
I’m not sure that I can really articulate the reason why I decided to come home before completing the ride. The reasons that anyone decides to start a journey like this are complicated, and the reasons why you would decide to end it are just as complicated. I suppose I might sort it out after having caught up on completing this blog, or maybe some day in a book. Either way, if I come up with any enlightening information, you’ll be able to find it here.
Our second day in Guatemala City was relaxing and enjoyable. We explored the upscale Zone 14 neighborhood where the apartment was located. We found a shopping plaza nearby, with a bagel shop where we got breakfast, and a Subway where we later got lunch. There was a dry cleaning/laundry service there, too, so Ray took his clothes to give them a good cleaning again.
I looked into getting my bike shipped home, but FedEx quoted almost $800US. So, I stripped off all of the good parts, everything that I could save and fit into my checked bags to get home. I left the frame and fork (including the bottom bracket cups and headset), fenders, handlebar, wheels, and cargo racks.
We further explored the neighborhood that evening, and ended up at Friend’s, and American music-themed restaurant and bar, and enjoyed a good dinner.
The next morning, Juan took us out to breakfast, and we said our good-byes as Ray continued on his ride, and Juan dropped me off at the airport.
I got checked in without any problems. I had a layover in Houston, where I got through customs without any hassles, and later arrived on-time at 10:38pm in Cleveland on Friday, October 17, 2008.