On Monday, October 19th I left the too rainy Belize for my taste. At the border of the Belize I paid BZ$35 departure tax. At the entry in Guatemala I paid Q17 the depollution of my truck having passed in the tunnel without cleaning! The entry is free for people but I paid Q160 for the importacion temporario of my truck. The crossing of the two borders lasted at little an hour. I was in Guatemala at 13:30 on the way to find a bivouac at the edge of Lago Peten Itza at 33 km southwards from Tikal National Park.
On Tuesday, October 20th I left at daybreak to go to Tikal before the arrival of the horde of tourists. At the entrance of Park I paid Q160 as foreigner whereas the locals pay only Q25! I began my visit around 7:30 to finish after the two museums around 12:00. The site is very vast in full tropical forest which makes the difference with the other Maya sites in Mexico as well as Copan in Honduras. Its occupation is attested since 700 BC until the mysterious disappearance of the Maya empire in 900 AD. The trail is arrow but the discovery of the monuments in the jungle is not always obvious. Moreover number of them are still covered by trees. The entry of the two museums is Q30 for foreigners. They are worth neither the price nor the detour. The video makes panoramic of Gran Plaza with temples I and II.
The Wednesday the 21st I left very early to visit Flores on an island of Lago Peten Itza. Nothing remarkable. Houses are very coloured with blue dominant. I benefitted from it to take cash at a ATM then I found a supermarket. It seemed to me that the Visa card was generally accepted. I moved towards Lago de Izabal on the road CA 13 towards Guatemala-City. I lunched in Poptun at Finca Ixobel, it was a Hamburger of the McDo type! At a few kilometers before Modesto Mendes I was stopped around 14:00 by a long line of trucks and cars. I got information. The road was blocked by the villagers who claimed work for the government. Around 15:00 a police car came from the stopping. I intercepted it while presenting to me as French and by asking for explanations. A group of truck drivers was used to me as intermediary. The police officer says that the stopping would be raised around 16:00; I did not believe anything of it. In fact at 17:00 nothing. Around 18:00 another police car occurred, new interception, new discussion, new intermediary by truck drivers. The police officer says that one did not have anything to try. The villagers were very threatening. The night fell I prepared to spend one night of day before at the wheel of the truck. Surprised around 20:00 the vehicle file slowly get going by stop & go. In the black the rising and downward file in an infernal noise gave a Dantean vision. At the time of the passage in the village soldiers of the army helped circulation. I saw on the roadway of fumaroles attesting that it had been burnt. At my passage the police officers greeted me; I returned it to them. I had marked them. I followed the flood in front of me not knowing where I could bivouac in this night of ink. Finally I saw on the left a petrol station. With precaution I was on the point of crossing the roadway to engage on the left when the truck which followed me accelerated and passed me. I have a great fright. All the vehicles in the two directions stopped to let me operate. Phew! On the carpark two truck drivers witness of the scene courteously helped me to install my vehicle. The night was nightmarish.
On Thursday, October 22d was dedicated to the visit of the Quirigua site registered on the world heritage. Its specificity is the many steles telling the story of the prince. They are approximately 3 meters high and weigh in the 60 tons! The museum reads out hieroglyph of the steles. While passing on the road CA 13 I had noticed a road sign announcing Playa Dorada. I decided to go there to establish my bivouac on a paying ground at the edge of Lago de Izabal.
On Friday, October 23rd was a long connecting stage to bivouac in Coban into the Parque National Las Victorias. I traversed the few 270 km in 5:30 i.e. approximately 49 km/h. Indeed the CA-13 is the road from Guatemala-City to the border with Belize which is very attended by the trucks. The day was partially sunny. Coban is at the GPS altitude of 1367 meters. The temperature was fresh.
On Saturday, October 24th was still a long driving day. From Coban to Chichicastenango I traversed 180 km in 6 hours. Admittedly after San Christobal de Verapaz it was a dirt road with many pot-holes. Then the asphalted part also was very degraded until Santa Cruz del Quiché. I arrived at the edge of Lago de Atitlan at the hotel Bahia del Lago after 8 hours on road to make 218 km! I had plan to visit the market at Chichicastenango very coloured on Saturdays. Alas the quadrangular streets of the village were encumbered by vehicles it was almost impossible to station my truck. I continued my way in the mountains lunching tardily by overhanging the village. I bivouacked on the lawn of the hotel Bahia del Lago at the edge of the lake vis-a-vis the Zunil volcano in the fog. Altitude is of 1564 meters.
On Sunday October 25th I arrived around 10:30 in Antigua at the Proatur bivouac site where I have the surprise to see a motor home by Azalaï with Liliane & Alain. Of course we exchanged information and they invited me to lunch accompanied by Uruguayan woman who travelled in solo. Moreover I became acquainted with an American couple with a motor home on Sprinter by Mercedes-Benz. We planned to divide a container to ship our vehicles from Colon, Panama, to Cartagena, Colombia, to follow. The afternoon I visited the city with the step of race to publish my website in the evening at the Cafe Behème held by a French couple.
On Monday October 26th I left Guatemala, look at the border crossing on El Salvador page.