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Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

  1. #51
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?


    The Jeep did not go up. Although when we arrived at the top, there was a suzuki sidekick up there! it's bumpers were completely worn through from hitting the oncoming corners.

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  2. #52
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    I'm holding out on the jealousy coefficient until I hear about the surf.

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  3. #53
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Day 4: we left Panajachel and completed our lap around the lake on our way to the pacific ocean. The riding was a blast and we had some fun dicing on the dirt roads in between rubber necking to see the stellar views. Jose offered to let me try his BMW GS800 for our descent to the beach. I said yes, and then he put Christina on the back. Ok, but when we hit dirt, she's going back in the jeep!

    The bike was comfy and handled the rough pavement like a Cadillac compared to the dirtbikes. It also was a fair bit easier to handle in the dirt than I expected. We descended the usual steep hairpins until the road went to dirt. Christina got in the jeep and we motored on into the increasing heat. The road was suddenly completely blocked by heavy machinery repairing a washout. The bucket guy made a nice repair for us to cross and they let us go through.

    We hit the flats and rode through a rubber farm, and then into countless acres of sugar cane. Temps nearing 90. We tried to find a way through the cane on dirt, but it was far too dangerous as cane harvesting was in process. The roads are private and the cane trucks were pulling up to 5 trailers heaped with cane 25 feet high! After a little poking around we hit the highway and burned some miles towards the beach. Many long wheelies later one of the WR250s expired with a pop. We loaded it on the hitch hauler on the jeep, and motored on.

    Highway turned to dirt and more cane fields. The surface turned to a talc powder consistency and we slithered like snakes at 50mph until we reached the surf camp. We pulled in and Jose pointed to the beach. The boys gassed it up over the dune and were gone! I swapped to a dirtbike, and headed out there myself. It was low tide and we could lay down some nice carves and drifts along the water's edge. This was like a scene from On Any Sunday. We couldn't get enough. After a good 20 minute romp we checked in to our rooms and took a look around.

    This camp was isolated. No village, no wifi, nothing but empty beach for miles. The surf was chest high but onshore. We got a round of beers and lined up some surfboards. It was the kind of place where young wanderers go to disappear, do drugs, have sex and surf. The owners were pretty cool and treated us well, but we instantly missed the mountains and the Guatemalan culture. After a sunset surf and a powow, we decided to surf dawn patrol and then head immediately back to Antigua. This proved to be a great call.








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  4. #54
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?






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    Last edited by Paul_E_D; 01-26-17 at 11:52 AM.
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  5. #55
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    SOOOO jealious. Love the Paul laugh! Want more!

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  6. #56
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    I'm going next time pls

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  7. #57
    Senior Member jerseygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    I'm going next time pls
    Take a number haha!

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    You can take the girl outta Jersey.....

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  8. #58
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Serious question: my ginger ass doesn't do too swell in the heat and especially humidity. Would I turn into a puddle on a journey like this??

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  9. #59
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
    Take a number haha!
    You're first in line, babe!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Serious question: my ginger ass doesn't do too swell in the heat and especially humidity. Would I turn into a puddle on a journey like this??
    The climate was perfect for a ginger ass like you. It ranged from 48-80 most days. Only the coastal plain was hot. It's sort of always spring in the mountains.

    Oh, and zero humidity. It was almost a desert.

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    Last edited by Paul_E_D; 01-26-17 at 04:00 PM.
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  10. #60
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
    Take a number haha!
    You can ride bitch pillion

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  11. #61
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    You can ride bitch pillion
    Duck and cover!!!!

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  12. #62
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Day 5: after two morning surfs, we packed up the show and headed back to Antigua. The city looked inviting and we wanted a chance to check it out. Also, there was a possibility of a really special final day activity and we wanted to be ready for it if it came. The ride home was a bit of a highway blast, and then we turned into the dirt roads skirting around the volcanos. This way had a bunch of river crossing, but it had been very dry and they were pretty tame. It also passed though some of the poorer villages we had seen. Non-indigenous poor that is. This way of life looked pretty tough, and dirty. If you haven't seen this before it can be hard to digest. Open sewers and trash heaps everywhere. This is the third world.








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  13. #63
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    hahaa, side saddle river crossing? i hope you went for two weeks, cause i needs moar story n' pics

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  14. #64
    Senior Member jerseygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    You can ride bitch pillion
    You won't show up prepared anyway. Crow Hill?

    Hehe

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  15. #65
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by typeone View Post
    hahaa, side saddle river crossing? i hope you went for two weeks, cause i needs moar story n' pics
    Only two days left, but I have a huge collection of pics and stories if you come out for some ice riding and dinner.

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  16. #66
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Ok, back tracking a day. trying to find our way in the cane fields and a cane hauler, 5 carts long!




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  17. #67

    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Wheelies like a boss!

    Sugar cane dirt track/field!!

    And are you switching off on bikes?

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  18. #68
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    We traded bikes most days as we had quite a range. A fairly fresh crf250x and two somewhat tired WR250s. These bikes were powerful, but geared short and had stiff suspensions for the jarring terrain and fitted with knobbies. Then we had 2 Honda Tornados. These bike had no power, but cushy (lower) seats and suspension plus a 6th gear. These bikes were probably the best suited to the ride we did. the on/off tires were way more confidence inspiring on the paved twisties. Our Guide had the GS800. I was the only one who rode that bike. I planned the trip, I got the privilege. haha.

    Tommy gun can wheelie anything anywhere as smooth as butter. Even the tornados, which seemed to have magnets in the front wheels that were drawn to the core of the earth.

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  19. #69
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    We got back to Antigua early and had a chance to take a good look around. This is a seriously gorgeous and fun tourist town. It is Spanish colonial in style. It was destroyed by a volcanic flood and abandoned. They revived by a foreigner, and now it has a distinct blend of travelers, mayans, ex-pats, and locals. It is considered very expensive by local standards. The nightlife is incredible but not too seedy as many tourist towns can be.






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  20. #70
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Day 6: We decided that after all these volcano views it was time to climb one. Well, we rode half and hiked half. On the way up we took a road that was the most technical enduro riding yet. No jeep or beemers followed. Our guide is a national enduro champ and was keen to challenge us a bit. This was similar to any hard rocky climb in NE, with the big difference being that the rocks were lava and as sharp as ice tires! I was on the 250x which is tall and I dropped it a few times just trying to get my footing. Once again, the Tornados proved up to the task. The low seat and soft boingers allowing a pretty easy platform for paddling through.

    Once hiking, things got weird... the guys stripped off their riding gear, and what they were wearing underneath was spectacular! lol. We climbed steeply with a guide (required) and were soon in the cloudveil. No views, but it was still interesting. Walked along some fairly recent lava rivers that had occasional vents where we roasted marshmallows. There was of course a tourist trap near the crater, but even this was cool. The guys there basically risk their lives everyday as they are predicting a high likelyhood of an event at that spot.










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  21. #71
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
    You won't show up prepared anyway. Crow Hill?

    Hehe
    I've got a lot of gear now! A whole closet's worth.. dirt bike gear is so cheeeep compared to road.

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  22. #72
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Day 7: Ok, To say that we were excited for our last day is an understatement. All week I had been chatting with Rodrigo (enduro champ guide) about roadracing, trackdays, 125gp bikes etc. He raced a 125 Aprilia for a few years. I was curious about their track and he said it is right near Antigua and maybe we could go check it out. in fact, his brother Luis is the Kawasaki rep for Guatemala, and perhaps he could get me a bike and some gear to do a few laps. Yes please! As the week progressed, the idea became more probable. Luis gave me a call to say there was a practice day on saturday, and that I could borrow his bike and leathers.

    Well, who am I to deny fate. Things were just falling into place too easy. We committed our last day to this adventure and it paid off bigtime. Our flight out was at 7:30PM, so we need to get to Guatemala City by 5. OK, alarms set early, we awoke to RAIN! What is this, Loudon??? DOH. Nevermind we got to the track by 9am. Just when the day's activities were getting under way. The track was damp, but drying and the clouds were threatening.

    The track was 1.5 miles, but tight, narrow, and bumpy. A motard would have been my first choice, but Luis' brand new (less than 100 miles) ZX-6 would have to do! We watched the lightweight bikes (<=300cc) rip a few sessions. They were full on battling out there and our excitement was spiraling higher. We met some of the local riders. They were definitely curious to see a bunch of gringos there, and were super friendly.

    I got the call to suit up for the first 600 session of the day. GO TIME. Luis' leathers were a perfect fit, but his boots and helmet were yuuuge on me. Oh well, now is not the time to be picky. I headed out swimming in the boots with the helmet falling down on my forehead. The track was still damp, so I cruised a few sighting laps. The stock 17 zx6 was surprisingly nimble, even in the first gear hairpin. Though narrow and rough, the pavement had good grip and the layout was fun to ride. All 2nd and third gear corners. A couple of double apexers, a tricky right that always caught me out, and 2 fast straights. Before I knew I was knee draggin everywhere and my 30 minute session was up.

    I watched the 300 class again, and caught an epic pit in mashup on my gopro. Oooph! OK, stay focused out there. Anything goes!

    Luis offered to let the other guys have a go. Shawn squeezed into the leathers next, then Tommy. Kris was clearly not going to get into the suit, but the guy in the garage next to us was pretty big, and he offered up his suit and bike. Boots were another problem, but Luis was a dealer and cracked open a brand new pair. Racers are the same everywhere. These guys rolled out the red carpet.

    All the boys got a session in and our clock was ticking. The track was now dry and I really wanted another go. We decided if I rode with the 1000s I could make it, and I suited up again. I asked for a tire gauge to check the tires, but he had forgotten his. We rolled to another pit and checked. 52/45!!! no wonder they felt a bit... hard out there! Ok, reset to 30/29 I felt better. I rolled out with the liter bike class. I never had the chance to follow a local, but I set about trying to learn the track a bit. It definitely had awkward corners, but was really fun to ride, even on the 600. A half hour passed way to quickly.

    I pulled in to the pits with the craziest grin on my face. Did this really happen? Did ALL of this really happen? Time to pack up the jeep and head for the airport.

    Guatemala will have a legendary spot in my heart. This is a seriously beautiful and fun country to travel in. I have to thank my a team: Kris Hopkins, Shawn Barron, and Tommy Welch for signing on and sharing this experience. You guys are ALL legends.












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    Last edited by Paul_E_D; 01-27-17 at 01:10 PM.
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  23. #73
    WMC original sdog30's Avatar
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Love it. Awesome trip, Paul. Great narrative, too.
    Glad you guys had fun.

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  24. #74
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    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    I've got a lot of gear now! A whole closet's worth.. dirt bike gear is so cheeeep compared to road.
    I can't find the picture for some reason. Did you have Russians hack my phone and delete it?

    Seriously funny...your ozzie ass getting turned away by the track marshal because you were trying to go out with shorts and a t shirt.

    Glad to hear you picked up some gear.

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  25. #75

    Re: Gettin dirty in Guatemala?

    Agreed, great narrative and pics!

    You will go back and read this thread in 5 years and be able to re-create the trip in your mind

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