24 August, 2012

Day 51, 115km: Guatemala City

Woke up feeling much better than the day before. I'm thinking I should be carrying some rum so I can make myself a grog next time I get a cold.

A nice and sunny day!
I decided that I had enough of slippery tires so I called BMW's dealership in Guatemala. There were very nice and helpful and luckily had a variety of tires in stock. Made an appointment for the afternoon and I was on my way around 11am.
Plus I also have a light bulb to replace now...

Took a different route to come back to the east
I've been through Guatemala City's suburb yesterday so the shortest route was to take the same as yesterday. I decided to go for another one, that looked like fun (lots and lots of curves) on the GPS. And fun it was, a great road (Road 1 from Panajachel to Patzica via Patzun for those interested). The road conditions vary however, so be attentive!

Really cool driving across these hills
There weren't many villages along that 50km road. Neither were there many cars. So I basically had the road for myself and had a lot of fun. The day was dry so I thought I would try to remove what rubber was left on my tires.

Haha! Finally a river crossing!
At some point the road came to an end, as the bridge that used to stand there had been washed away. There was a track to the side and a river crossing. It wasn't bad, really. Probably a foot deep only.
I was lucky to be there while it was sunny, I imagine the thing gets pretty rough on a rainy day.

Around 2pm I was at the dealership. Cool thing is that they are located right in the city center, next to the hotels and restaurants. (Zona 10 si senor es muy bien)

Look at this!
I was very surprised to see this here. Max I'm sure you'll remember coming across these while we were visiting the Tiger motorcycle factory in Bangkok. This bike was actually made it in Thailand! (Or probably, assuming they have one factory only)
I tried explaining that in my broken Spanish to the guys at the dealership but they repeated it was from China. I got tired after a while. Maybe it does come from China after all, but some are assembled in Thailand I'm sure!

Spent some time there to make sure that we both understood what was to be done on the bike (service, new tires, few bits and pieces to replace and also trying to unbent my pannier frame who suffered -slightly- when I fell back in Canada).

Then I headed to my hotel and was very pleasantly by Guatemala City (at least the city center). It's very nice! Reminded me of Bangkok's Wireless and Langsuan roads. Large avenues lined with hotels, embassies and restaurants.

The view isn't bad either
Now the difference with Bangkok is maybe that there's a guard with a shotgun every 100 meters (seriously). So I guess the relative safety of the district comes with a price. Since I had a lot of free time today, I did a session of hotel room laundry and headed out to see the neighborhood.

Look at this beauty
So of course I did what any respectable man would do and started looking for a nice toaster shop. I found this beauty. 4 slices, independent manual ejection, dual temperature control. Three temperature presets and one custom preset which you can set to the temperature you like (that is a killer feature, even Dualit toasters don't have it). Oh and black chrome finishing.
It's been two months since I toasted bread. I miss it.

The advertising in the area was surprising
Beretta, they're everywhere ;) I have never been in a gun shop so I thought that was my chance. No pictures inside, so all I got was what you see below. I'm not sure the answer to street violence is selling weapons, but that's not a debate I want to have.

Sightseeing in Guatemala City
Walked around the district, 20% of it was taken by the USA embassy. They actually blocked all roads nearing the embassy building. And no photos. Seriously in every country the USA embassy is basically Fort Knox. Although they apparently have good reasons to be worried.

Shopped for some clothes there
So Guatemala City's Zona 10 is very nice and safe. It felt as if Bangkok's Siam, Langsuan and Thonglor were crammed into a square kilometer. Not bad I guess, for a city of 1 million people (4 for the metro area).
So from what I've seen so far of the city, I would give a rating of 4 toaster slices! (On a scale from banana to pineapple)

Estoy casando,


  1. i hope you managed to explain the terrible quality of this tiger bike to the owner. How come they managed to even shipped one abroad... amazing thailand I believe.
    nice toaster by the way!
    saludos amigo

    1. I wonder! Can't find information online to confirm whether they're made in Thailand. They seem popular though, a guy came in the garage on this shame of a bike while I was waiting.

    2. Y'en a aussi à Mexico :)
      Je savais pas qu'elle était si spéciale cette moto, je la voyais juste un peu moche..

  2. Hola el Guigui! Ta commande au resto me rappelle mon 1e resto en Thailande ... et les tetes de poissons (oui oui, que les tetes) qui etaient arrivees sur la table ! :)
    Continue de nous faire rever, amigo. Mes toasts de ce matin te sont dedicacees ! Besitos

    1. Gracias senorita! Merci pour la dedicace et attention a ne pas mettre les tetes de poissons dans le toaster