Thursday, March 24, 2011

Third time lucky.

My time in San Padro hadn't been quite as 'chilled' as Jill's. While she was able to immerse herself in Spanish School I was sending off emails trying to find out what had happened to our parcel. It got help in England for 18 days before it started moving, with no explanation as to why it was held or why it started moving, but once on the move it took 5 days, including a weekend, to reach Antigua. It wasn't however going to give itself up that easily. Tracking it on the DHL website it said that it was ready for pick up on payment of duty, so I brought myself a return ticket to Antigua on the tourist shuttle and boarding the bus at 0820, bounced my way to Antigua where I arrived at about 1215. Volcan Agua still dominated the horizon. A short walk round to the DHL office where I was told that the parcel wasn't there. It was in the back of a van making it's way there, but it wasn't there. It would however be there by 1600 said the smiling lady behind the desk. Explaining that my return bus to San Pedro left at 1400 (I think that's what I said as my Spanish still isn't very good) she volunteered to ring the driver and find out what was happening. 'Come back in an hour, it should be here by then' the smiling lady said, which would still give me 15 minutes to catch the bus, so off I went for lunch. Since we were here last they had covered the 'ladies of life giving sustenance' with flowers which help the digestion. Arriving back at the given time the van pulled in with said parcel, Q125 was paid in duty and I was the proud holder of a brown box. 10 hours after leaving I was back in San Pedro attending Jill's birthday party a bit worse for wear but very relieved.
The next morning the 'bean can' was fitted and by 1000 I had seconded Mike and Jason, who were perfecting the art of hammock swinging, to help with manhandling Nancy out of my bedroom. The battery was flat however and not being able to time the ignition without the bike running, Nancy was duly pushed up and down the road while the 'bean can' was adjusted to try and get the timing right so she would run. A steep hill finally did it and I drove round to a garage where I had found a timing light kept in a fridge at the back of their office! Before you could count to 501 Nancy was timed and running like her old self and I retreated back to my residence to carry out the rebuilding of the rear brake oil seals that had been leaking oil over the rear drum making the brake rather useless.
We had decided to travel with Mike and Jason to Semuc Champey and then go on to Copan so we got all packed, said goodbye to the view from my window and waving Joanna my hostess goodbye joined up with the dynamic duo and rode out of town. Stopped for out final farewell of Lake Atitlan at the top and a closer view of San Pedro on the right nestled under Volcan San Pedro with San Pablo in the foreground. The ride was uneventful by Guatemalan standards until we got to Cunen where they had decided to renew the road to the hotel Santa Maria.
The next day started with breakfast in the garage followed by a beautiful ride through the Guatemalan hills on smooth tarmac before the road ran out and 'full throttle' Mike lost the rear end of his bike. The sub frame just couldn't take the strain. So in sportster mode, with Jason carrying the sub frame and me offering shade to anybody that needed it, they set off back to the nearest town to get it all welded together, leaving us to look after the luggage at the side of the road. Jason returned and we decided that it would be best if he went on to the next town and secured us a hotel, where he would leave his luggage, then ride back to pick up Mike's stuff. Jason got back just in time to share our lunch before he packet all Mike's stuff onto his bike and headed off to find Mike while we travelled towards the hotel. Minutes later a rebuilt Mike had appeared slightly heavier but stronger than ever before having had some angle iron and solid rod welded into place. We travelled on while Mike and Jason sorted out the luggage until we came to the end of the road due to a mountain slide. Taking the temporary road around the devastation we travelled on to the San Sebastian Hotel.

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