Like Pisgah, if it was in Egypt: Pedaling through Peten, Guatemala
From Dangriga, Belize to Flores, Guatemala… the hills begin!
After our 7 day break on Caye Caulker, we decided to add 2 more to our lazy Caribbean vacation in Dangriga, Belize. We did another fun-filled snorkeling excursion to Tobacco Caye with a gent named Captain Doggy.
The first day back on the pedals, we ventured across the beautiful and at times steep, Hummingbird Highway through the heart of Belize. And I do say it was a fantastic ride. The farmland, hilly jungle and following a beautiful river kept it interesting. That night we made camp at the Blue Hole national park visitor center and spent a good chunk of the night spotlighting tarantulas that were lurking in holes around the campsite.
The next morning we proceeded to ride and made it to San Ignacio, a charming little hill town in Western Belize. We were almost immediately approached and greeted by Father Juan and his wife Maria who invited us in for drinks and a chat. It turns out that they have a son living in Charlotte, NC… small world indeed.
Day 3 was a short one as we crossed into Guatemala and decided to stay at a comfy guesthouse on Rio Mopan and take the day to plan our advance into a new country. Of course we also needed to discover what new junk foods and ice cream novelties awaited us in Guatemala. The next morning we started towards El Remate situated on the tranquil East side of Lago Petén near Tikal National Park.
Leaving El Remate is where it got interesting. We had heard tales of Guatemala roads and the Guatemalans’ lack of grading skills, but we are in Petén, the ‘flat’ area, so we didn’t expect big climbs so soon. We decided to take the dirt track on the north side of the lake which turned out to have some pretty rough sections of rutted and rocky climbs that were steeper than anything we had ridden to date. Not to mention the fact that it was near 100 degrees made it a challenging ride to say the least. With burly climbs through the forest, it reminded me a little bit of Pisgah (my favorite mountain biking wonderland) and I mentioned that to Mike. He quickly replied, ‘Yeah, if Pisgah was in Egypt!!’