After 6 months on the road we needed a little down time and we decided upon Panajachel, Guatemala on Lake Atitlan. It’s only 177 km from the Mexican border, but the drive took us about 5 hours. The first section of the “highway” near the border is very rough with mostly potholes and full of big trucks going 20 km per hour. The next part is a windy mountain road. Again with trucks going very slowly. The middle part is a smooth 4 lane amazing road until the turn off to Solala. The road down to the lake is 17 km , but it is 85% down hill and was under construction with 50% grated pavement.
The town is very walkable, but there also many tuk tuks everywhere. There are also a lot of mopeds with 3-4 humans riding on each. If you have a bike its usually for 2. The village sits on the over 1000 ft deep lake with the view of several volcanoes. This is a place where 85% of the population are Mayan. The women and a few of the men dress in traditional clothes that are very bright and the color varies from village to village around the lake.
The market here is daily, but is the largest on Sundays. The produce is amazing. Almost every time I passed Maria i enden up buying some strange fruit she had for sale. These are Sapote and they have the flavour and texture of pumpkin pie. My other favorite haunt was to see Mirna at Super Pan for fresh hot banana muffins for 1Q each. On my way out of the bakery one night I saw Norbert on his V strom and he is also from Vancouver! The restaurants here are good and you can get a huge meal and soup for 25 Q or 3$.
We were here over the holidays so there was all kinds of activities, street dances, and of course hundreds of fireworks. At midnight on Dec 25 and 31 it sounded like a Chinese fireworks factory was on fire.
We ventured across the lake by water taxi to the village of San Juan and then walked to the next village of San Pedro. Each of the villages around the lake has different local arts and crafts for sale. Daniel made friends with this 91 year old gentleman in the park in San Pedro.
We also rode the bike east down the lake to the Village of Santa Catarina and San Antonia which are both clinging to the lakeshore.
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Author: Worldwide Ride.ca
Sara “The Peach” Pedersen
I grew up in Vancouver, B.C. I attended the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario. I met Daniel at Willow beach in Victoria on June 4 1994 and we were married June 22, 1996. Right from the beginning we shared the love of travel and adventure. Daniel surprised me with a Yamaha TTR 125 on our 5th wedding anniversary and I was hooked on off road motorsports. We have enjoyed off road motorbiking, single track and dunes riding. About 10 years ago we started to plan a big adventure to explore the world. After discussing different modes of transport we thought motorcycles were the right choice for us. In the fall of 2010 I took my motorcycle license course. Just before I completed the course I got my new 2010 BMW F650GS Twin! Let the adventure begin.
Daniel “Big D” Pedersen
I’m a country boy at heart that was born in Calgary, Alberta. I moved to the coast of B.C. as a teen and then to Victoria on Vancouver Island to attend College. I’m a numbers guy and an adrenaline junkie. I’m caught in the contradictory world of a love for great looking corporate balance sheets and the smell of race gas. Now a tad older my love of travel is starting to scream for more attention. No more just reading of great adventures. The time has come for this one lucky Dude and his Peach to start writing one of their own.
The Dynamic Duo
On June the 4th, 1994 she had long jet-black hair , wore cut off jean shorts and cowboy boots. He wore a floral tie and a grey suit. Despite the differences it seemed to work and two years later they were married. Early on they both pondered what they wanted out of life? To see the world, its people, and experience their cultures was their answer to one another. They settled in Port Moody, BC and have spent their lives intensely working towards the day when they could break free of the mundane, the ordinary and the ever-present trap of more stuff. They set a plan in motion and have worked towards it for the last ten years. The path has not always been easy, but it was totally worth it now that the dream is a reality. Hello world here we come!