|Receiving my postcard/ certificate at the end of my week at the Spanish school with my lovely teacher Jacqui|
Church by night at main square in Xela.
|Looking back down into the valley with Xela in the background|
|Bike having a rest after the climb out of the valley|
|The round widing sharply ahead of me down to Lago Atitlan|
|Rubbish dumped over the cliff|
|It's not all dumped though, some plastic containers being recycled|
|It was a very pleasant surprise to get a full Irish in San Pedro, I had to have a bite before I took the photo.|
|Church on the main square in Panajachel|
|The market at Panajachel|
The cycle out of Panajachel was another beautiful, grueling Guatemalan day on the bike. The roads up out of the lake were steep and windy. It took me five hours to cycle the first thirty kilometers. It was one of those days on the bike that I will remember for a long time due to the difficult climb, the incredible natural beauty and some of the interesting things I passed that day.
|Old man carrying a tree on his back!|
|What looked like very make shift mines. It looked like very tough work for the men who were scrambling in and out of these passages.|
|Beautiful natural landscape|
|Some significant potholes on the road|
|Landslide blocking one lane of the road|
|The river had washed the road away but thankfully I got to cross before the rain season started properly|
|I met Guillermo from Colombia who was cycling north. He had spent a good few months cycling through Central America and gave me a few suggestions for getting from Panama to Colombia.|
I was tired when I finally wheeled into the cobble stoned town of Antigua, Guatemala, the former capital of the country. Antigua is a beautiful well preserved old colonial town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua ceased being the capital after it was devastated by an earthquake in 1773. The town receives an abundance of tourists due to its charming beauty. Having already witnessed a good deal of poverty in Guatemala some of the days cycling on the open road and during the Trocaire visits it was strange to be in a place so full of wealthy tourists frequenting cafes, bars and expensive restaurants that you wouldn’t see as much in other towns. Time for an overpriced latte.
|Many of the churchs are still shells never having been fully restored after the earthquake that devastated the city|
|Cobblestone streets and the main Arch in Antigua|