Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1708 – 1712: Guatemala, Acatenango, and Antigua!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jun - 24 - 2015

My prediction that my stay in Guatemala City would be something to remember certainly turned out to be true! First of all, just staying in Juan Carlos’ beautiful house was a pleasure in itself. My room was like a 5 star hotel room – very much the other end of the scale compared to the 5$ hotel rooms I often end up in. I might also have gained a few kilos during my stay – plenty of delicious local food was had.

Apart from a bit of relaxing, computer work, and radio time, Juan Carlos had put together a nice program for the visit. Together with Rafa we were joining the local Critical Mass group for an afternoon ride around downtown Guatemala. What an interesting group of people. Thanks for coming out for the ride – and what better way to see a city than by bike? ๐Ÿ™‚

Guatemala has 33 volcanoes, and several of them are visible from Guatemala City. I thought it would almost be a crime if I didn’t pay a last visit to a volcano before heading for lower grounds in Belize, Mexico and eventually the US and Canada.

Now, Rafa happens to have a cousin, Juan Carlos (yet another) who is in the world elite of mountain runners. The next morning I joined Juan Carlos and the rest of Team Lucianos heading for the summit of the Atacenango volcano at 3974 m above sea level. Apart from being super strong climbers, Team Luciano also happened to be made up of some very nice people. I had no chance to keep up with the fastest guys on the mountain, but after 3 hours of hiking (not so much running on my part) we all met at the summit of Acatenango.

Unfortunately the clouds were just closing in as I climbed the last meters in the thin air towards the summit. A bit of a shame since the view from Acatenango is supposed to be one of the most impressive views in Guatemala. I could mostly see clouds ๐Ÿ™‚

Even going downhill I had no chance to keep up with the fast guys. I guess after 36000 km of cycling there is not much hiking muscles left on my legs.

The next day I could hardly walk… Luckily enough an easy day was on the program. In the early morning I went with Juan Carlos to visit the beautiful old colonial capital city of Antigua. With it’s colorful old buildings and the location right next to the volcanoes this place is heaven for a photographer. I clicked away all morning!

Not only is Guatemala full of nice people – the history and nature is also absolutely first class. I suddenly understood why all the other travellers I had met loved Guatemala. This is a place I would love to come back to.

It was also during my days in Juan Carlos’ house that I decided on my route towards the States. I had thought about cycling through all of Mexico up towards Texas. Now, certain parts of northern Mexico are a bit sketchy at the moment. Furthermore I’m in a bit of a hurry to reach Canada before winter sets in, and finally I imagine that at least some of that original route through Mexico and Texas would be pretty boring. Hence, my new idea is to cycle to Belize and onwards to Cancun in Mexico and from there make it to Florida by plane. Not only would that put me on track to reach Canada by the end of September, the route would also be much more interesting.

I now have a flight ticket from Cancun to Florida on the 4th of July!

Categories: Guatemala
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8 Responses so far.

  1. Paul K9PG says:

    Why the big hurry to get to Canada? Take your time my frien

  2. Hehe yeah, but I’m not sure how much fun cycling in -30ยฐC up there in Newfoundland sounds to me ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. paul Fowler says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. There are some great people in some way out places. Great cycling in Canada in September. Stay safe and enjoy God’s beautiful creation.

  4. Allan says:

    Tikal National Park is worth seeing if you’re heading into Belize from Guatemala (It’s about 55 miles west of the border).

    This is the lost Mayan city that was buried in the Jungle until about 50 years ago.

  5. Hi Allan! My blog is about a week behind “real life”. In fact I visisted Tikal the other day. Very impressive, glad I made it! Now I just crossed the border into Belize.

  6. Hi Paul! Great to know you enjoy the updates. And yes, it is indeed a beautiful world with beautiful people out there ๐Ÿ™‚ Greetings from Belize! Thomas

  7. Marie says:

    Beautiful! And amazing photos, yet again!

  8. What a wonderful collection of photos!