Monday, 2 April 2012

Screaming Parrots

Ok, this time I'm beyond being behind.  Sorry for the grammar and typos in advance.  The next day after our lancha ride down the river, we headed out to find the Sima De Las Cotorraas.  Apparently we made one wrong turn. After Dan got some directions from a farmer, we were pointed in the right direction.  We had to make a small correction on little a tricky little sandy road and finally we connected back to the right trail.

To explain in the simplest words...Sima De Las Cotarros is a huge sink hole in the jungle and first thing in the morning, a cloud of green parrots ascend in a swirling mass and leave for the day.  

It's a bit off the beaten track, but the road isn't too bad.

 We finally found a sign when we got closer
The restaurant.  Stairs lead down to a viewing area from here.
We felt lazy and rented the accommodation for the night instead of pitching a tent.  Dan didn't like the mice too much and had bad dreams.
Pretty nice bedroom in the place though.
There's not much to do in the evening, but we were so tired we didn't care.

The edge of the abyss.
Dan trying to get some pics of the parrots.  I think it's next to impossible to get a good shot.

One of the placards at the restaurant.

We truly had a amazing experience there, but it's very hard to capture the experience on film.  This is something you're gonna have to see in person.

The day was starting out nice and the ride out seemed quite enjoyable.  That was until the incident occurred.  I debated whether or not to mention this, but I decided there was something 'wrong' with painting a completely rosy picture of everyone and everything we encounter during our travels.

Let me just say, I came across something on the road that day, that I will probably never forget.  I witnessed what was probably an honest attempt at a merciful animal euthanasia by a very young boy, but it was definitely less than acceptable by most first nation standards.  I will definitely spare you all the disturbing details.   I think there's many poor people out in the ural areas  and I try not to judge, and I know I can not change a country and realise this doesn't happen in the more developed parts of the country.  I felt sorry for myself that day, but then I thought about  the 9 or 10 year old boy that had to deal with something that awful,  and I seemed to forget about myself for a bit.  I had to move past this, or let myself be truly sadden or disturbed by it.

Trying to put the past well behind, we moved forward and headed south towards San Cristobal.

I've read  before that riding, the miles, the scenery and the landscape are actually healing and I have to say, I agree.  

Our plan was to find the amazing waterfalls of El Chifl√≥n.  It was just a little further than we thought, but we found it and there was a fair bit of tourists and a park attendant to watch our bikes for us.

The water is purely turquoise

Trails as along the river, the various falls and some really nice spots to go for a splash.

Some of the indiginos people in brightly colored clothing.  We read that some of the people really didn't like having there picture taken, but Dan aksed these folks first and they didn't seem to mind at all.
Very cute this girl!

When we were leaving I was politely asked by a group of teenagers.  I was  unprepared for the "photo shoot" that would follow!  I think everyone of these kids wanted pictures with me, in different group arrangements, by themselves etc.  Very nice kids and very polite.  I guess they just don't see many guys like us with bikes like these.

This photo is one of my personal favourites.
Before leaving we couldn't resist a quick splash in the river to cool off.  Nice, cool and beautiful.

After the falls, we headed further south towards San Cristobal.  I've heard so many this things about San Cristobal.  If we hadn't already spent several days in the area, I'm sure we would of stayed for a day or two.

Just as we entered the city, a gentlemen pulled us over to speak with us.  Turns out he is a fellow rider and just wanted to chat and offer any assistance we may need.  We took him up on his offer and had him lead us to a beautiful restaurant in town for lunch.  Great guy and I hope I get to visit San Cristobal on the way back.

This place was really high class.  Guess that's what happens when you ask a surgeon to take you to a nice restaurant.

You think this soup has enough chicken in it???
It was our last night in Mexico and Dan and I went shopping and decided to get some much needed hair cuts.  

The next day we rode and finally arrived at the border.  After clearing out of Mexico when proceeded through Guatemala customs.  It was pretty painless.

I'm not sure why but we didn't seem to get many pictures that day.  I think it was because of the rain, the border at Mexico / Guatemala was quite bustling and maybe even a little intimidating.  We met a  British guy named Andy and his girlfriend.  They told us then had been mud / rock slides out the of the town south and helped us find a safe and cheap hotel to spend the night.  We washed up and joined the couple for a nice dinner and to exchange stories.  Andy had rode from England, through Asia, Alaska, Canada and even been to my home town Sooke. Small world!

The next day we rode north heading towards Antigua.  At some point Dan and I got separated.  I rode into Antigua solo and straightt into a pre-Samana Santa procession.  As my luck would have it,  the bike was really starting to stall badly and it was less and fun having to constantly re-start the bike in wall to wall traffic.  After checking a couple hotels for vacancy, I decided it might be wise to b-line it for Guatemala City.

I located the Triumph dealer in Zona 10 and found a hotel near by.  Zona 10 is the wealthy district, but I still found a very nice hotel at $50 US per night and US currency is widely accepted in the city.  The city itself is large, with congrested traffic and many one way streets. 

The service manager at the Triumph dealer in Guatemala City.
Dan showed up the next day and we decided to take in some of the sites.  The plan was to get to the Palace so we jumped in to a cab.  First we took a look at the Cathedral.

Impressive paintings inside the cathedral.

Very large Crucifixion.

When we got to the palace just on the other side of the square, we were told it wouldn't open for a half hour.  We walked around and tried to find a store with a map, but we didn't have much luck.

The outside of the palace.

Dan with some of the security outside the palace.

The dog likes me.

Unfortunately we didn't get into the palace that day.  The power was out and for security, visitors wouldn't be allowed.  Something for next time I guess.

This lady and her child in a little wooden wagon
 at the centre square.

More interesting architecture, but I didn't catch the name.

Colourful clothing of more indigenous people.

The palace guards pack assault rifles.

Much more blogging to catch up on, but that's all for now folks.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Clax those are some great pics. Your favorite is a fairly good pic, I like it too. I am jealous of all the stuff you guys are seeing, hearing & experiencing. Keep on keeping on Jimbo.