Guatemala city was hard to leave. Not because i had grown emotionaly attached to the city., but because it was physically hard to leave. A massive city. The roads are in easy block formations on the inside, but as the city has grown outwards, different formations have evolved around it, making it confusing to the innocent. Also they had decided to throw sporadic street parties, which looked fun, with kids laughing and families smiling, but i wanted out quick again. I am developing a phobia to these magnifcant cities. The roads being closed all over, had actually speeded up the traffic. people wanted to get their destinations quicker and madder than usual, im sure. Being interupted out of their usual ways of going...... I was definatly feeling vulnerable. witnessing to tragaties the day before coming into the city had left me a bit soft. A kind of shock was hanging around. The city doesnt care. It seemed to take moons to get back into the greenhills, moisture and mist , so familiar in central america. A complete contrast to the great city. 150 miles north easterly on caraterra CA9 to stay in the border town chuquimula. it didnt take long to feel myself again and shake off the shock. riding through the scenery, new faces smiling, car horns sounding with thumbs up and wonder, always fills out a dented spirit with quick ease. rolling into chuquimula my steering went stiff and didnt flow from side to side. "oh me gawd, is this a blown head baring ?". as it happens a macdonalds turns up and after a big mac meal had sucked me in and thoughts of what now, i found the radiator cover had somehow bent out, sticking out forwards catching the high front mudguard. nothing a few cable ties couldnt sort out. with relief i rolled into chuquimula to more street festivities. people all over the roads and pavements. cars at a standstill. multicoloured , small doors to the pavement terraced buildings. simple wooden window shutters all open. i cant help being nosy. Im lost riding around the town for an hour. forgetting i need a room. loving the atmosphere of this colourful town. A kind man finds me, in typical gutemala style and leads me to a hotel. no vancancies. so i find one i had just seen. Hotel posada don adan. a room, a shower, air con, and a locked gate to stash the bike behind. all for 5 pounds equivilant. If you are ever heading across that border at el florido - copan ruinas, you must stay at the place. near the main plaza. ask someone. the town is perfect as the sun goes down behind the local hills.
sitting here now in panama after a few more border crossings, i have almost got used to them. now its getting comical. the same process, but all unique. guat to honduras was easy, no need for help. a stamp for me and the bike, to leave then the same to enter. immagracion then aduana , customs..... honduras was a sinuous perfection of no pot holes roads. through the mountains. all seems reserved though. gone have the car horns and thumbs up. just inquisitive eyes. alls calm. into nicaragua, where the horns and thumbs are back. people bending over backwards to help out even when ya dont need any help. ride past lake managua "de donde va" everyone shouts at me and i shout something back in my shattered mockney spanish. we all smile and laugh. another kind chap finds me lost and leads me out of managua onto the CA1. I get lost again. i find 3 people with a mini bike. i stay with them an hour. they are facinated and facinating. San marcos is their town. more beautiful peeling paintwork in pastal multi colours. Next stop a costa rica beach. most speak english. it easier explaining why im there and what im doing. a man places a link on his global web site to the fxp. Costa rica is very much the paradise you see in films. bizare sounds through the night. heavy rains for an hour. sunsets amazing.mind you there is always a limit to a mans listening to reggae. So then. im in panama. just met TJ and his wife precila. they live here and like what i am doing. their daughter works with autistic kids. we shall contact each other. i need a new back tyre. this ones finally left after 10500 miles. a boat or plane to colombia also. im not sure of the best option yet. next stop south america.