Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Today, I love Facebook. And Antigua.

Overlooking Antigua

We left lovely Lake Atitlan for Antigua intent on getting some work done on the bikes so we would have a better idea of whether or not we would need to “settle down” and wait for parts in Guatemala. (It appeared that the Transalp was sweating oil from somewhere around the shaft and the Africa Twin’s rear brake was still very noisy and needed the keeper.)

A fellow motorcyclist who we’d come to know through Facebook had reached out while we were in Flores the week before and asked if there was anything we needed. We just asked him for a contact at Honda Guatemala, but he insisted on knowing what parts we needed… It turned out that Honda didn’t have any of the parts we needed, but Cisco managed to find seals for the Transalp through two other shops that he found… The keeper for the Africa Twin was going to be another issue… but not to worry. Cisco’s friend has an Africa Twin and would gladly lend him the part in question and Cicso would simply machine a copy for Roel, himself. And get this… he was doing all of this for us in the week leading up to his own departure on a year long motorcycle journey through Central and South America. Incredible!

The awesome rear brake retainer that our Facebook friend Cisco made for Roel - gotta love social media when it works this way! We hope to meet him somewhere on the road as he is also making his way to South America right now.

By the time we had made it to Antigua, Cisco had left on his journey, but he arranged to have another motorcyclist get the part to us. So, that afternoon, the Olivares family came to Antigua to meet us and hand off the parts. They were just lovely and shared their excitement and passion about Antigua and Guatemala with us, telling us about several interesting places to visit and things to do.

Lovely little tiles indicate that there is plentiful bike parking in Antigua. Love that!

Armed with their advice, we decided to stay in Antigua for a few days and get things done (including a little R&R as my hands were still pretty sore).

Our very first night in Antigua was a Sunday and we were fortunate enough to catch a procession leading up to Semana Santa. Hundreds of Catholic devotees lined the streets, dressed in purple robes, black robes and white robes and they  traded off carrying “floats” holding life-sized statues of Christ, the Apostles and Mother Mary.  Incense filled our nostrils and heavy religious music from the bands that marched behind the floats, filled the
streets. It was quite a sight.

Anders and Petra of Two Bikers One World happened to be in Antigua, too, so we got together for a bit of a splurge: Indian food!

The next day we wandered around town, ate incredible banana bread (yes, banana bread!) and gazed at the smoking volcanoes. Roel visited a dentist’s office who took him in right away and immediately repaired a damaged filling for 250Q (about USD 35). I enjoyed an “office day” in a hammock on the roof of Hostal Villa Esthela. And last, but certainly not least, Roel got a proper haircut. (He had taken his buzzer to his hair while we were in Atitlan, and let’s just say it didn’t go so well.)

My day at the "office"

$4 haircut... excited to see how this turns out!!

Not a great photo, but taken from the roof of our hostel in Antigua - we were pretty happy with it

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