As we suspected, our laundry was still pretty wet in the morning. Both of my bike shorts were in the laundry, so I resigned myself to pulling on a damp pair of shorts, as Ray and I arranged the rest of our damp clothes on our bike racks, hopefully to dry in the breeze and sun.
We stopped at the Mexican border patrol office before leaving town to have our “tranmigrante” permits verified and stamped, then headed up the road towards Guatemala. We crossed the border without any incident, only have to stop at the office to have our passports stamped; there was no fee.
The Guatemalan terrain was somewhat hilly, but the grades were not too steep, so the riding was pleasant. This section of the Pan-American Highway went through a long canyon, so the scenery was very beautiful. In some ways, it seemed very similar to Mexico, but in other ways, very different. The terrain looked a bit more rugged. The men dressed pretty similar to how they dress in Mexico, but the women wore more of the traditional hand-woven skirts and sweaters. Vulcanizadoras were now called “pinchazos;” topes were now called “tumulos.”
We had some very good and filling pollo asado for lunch. The tortillas in Guatemala are a little smaller around, but thicker than in Mexico, and quite tasty.
It looked like rain in the afternoon, but it never came during our ride. We were recommended to go to the city of Huehuetenango, but after our Spartan accomodations last night, we didn’t feel adventurous, and we passed up a nice hotel right on the main highway on the outskirts of Huehuetenango, and decided to stop there. After getting showered, we walked up the road a bit a found a roadside bar, where we went in for a snack and some beverages. It rained for a while outside, so we stayed and talked to a couple of local men, who were just as friendly and hospitable as the locals we had encountered in Mexico. When the rain finally let up, we walked back to the hotel for dinner.
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