The border crossing into Guatemala from Belize went smoothly. We have now got used to the way they work. However, our poor understanding of Spanish always adds a little more stress to these situations.
It was the usual procedure. Check out of Belize and Then check into Guatemala and get the Temporary Import Permits for the Truck and the Motorcycle. It's always a hot sweaty few hours but we were eventually spat out the other end successfully.
In 2006 the Central American Nations of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua ( Known as the C4 Countries ) all signed the Free Mobility Agreement that allowed their citizens to pass from each of the countries easily. This also means that once you enter one country the Visa clock starts to count down. We were granted a total of 90 days of entry to the C4, which meant that we had to get ourselves down to Panama and be back in and out of Guatemala before the 90 days expired. You can apply for an extension but in our case, it hopefully won't be required.
We headed for the Lago Peten Itza. It's the third largest lake in Guatemala, being about 100 square Kilometers in area.
Parking on the lakeside for a few days was exactly what we needed.
|Lago Peten Itza
Having tried a few garages we discovered a "Hino" Truck dealer called Codaca in Santa Elena near Flores and the two Mechanics Luis and Rember got stuck into it. As suspected, being 35 years old, it needed a little persuasion, which meant that we had to stay outside for the night. Santa Elena is not a place we would usually choose to stay in but we slept better knowing that we had an armed guard with a pump action shotgun watching us all night. We moved on the next day all sorted. Luckily we carry all these spare parts.
|All looks good for 35 years old
The Mayan empire spanned over 300,000 square km from Mexico to Honduras and included all of Guatemala. You could spend years visiting all the archaeological sites, so we had to be selective and the largely restored ruins at Tikal were our next destination.
The National Park of Tikal, which means "City of Voices," was created in 1955 and declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1979. It's one of Guatemala's largest and most popular excavations.
We set off into the park early as we knew the temperatures would be off the scale by lunchtime.
It was amazing but quite a hike around all the temples.
The Rio Dulce, Sweet River, runs for 43 Km between Lago De Izabal and the Carribean coast at Livingstone. For most of this distance, the River is very wide, so it actually feels like another lake.
Crossing the border into Honduras took forever. Checking out was delayed as the Immigration Officer when we entered Guatemala, had stamped Pat's entry stamp very faintly over another stamp. This caused lots of head scratching and discussion as they couldn't find it.
Lake Yojoa is the biggest lake in Honduras, being 285 square Km in area. All along the shoreline roads are dozens of small stall selling fish ( Tilapia I believe )that they are drying in the sun like decorative mobiles. I would imagine that the road dirt and diesel fumes in the air must be used to enhance their flavour.
Whilst trying to fix it I had to visit several truck breakers yards to try and locate a hose fitting.
|"Do you have any Hoses?"....... "Yes just a few"
|Or Maybe in there
|Long Hot Day