Some say the heart is just like a wheel, once you bend it you can’t mend it!?!

After cycling 7 months and passing through just 3 countries the US, Canada and Mexico we now plan to cycle around 2 months and pass through 7 countries, which feels funny and very exciting. We had a few rest days in Flores when we first arrived into Guatemala. Where we swam in the lake,drank in the coffee shops and visited the ruins of Tikal.

The colourful houses of Flores made wandering around even more enjoyable.

View of the grand plaza, Tikal.

Looking out over the jungle of Tikal.

A sunset swim.

We found the leaf cutter ants almost as fascinating as the ruins themselves.

Flores, Guatemala.

Cleaning the bikes and checking Russ’ wheel which for a month now has been starting to bulge. When two spokes broke on the way into Guatemala we decided to check out the rim and discovered it had cracked around some of the eyelets. With a visit to’ Chilly Willy’ bike shop in Flores and a change of spokes we had our fingers crossed it would last till Costa Rica where Lorely’s brother is bringing out a new rim.

The view from our tent of Lago de Izabal in Rio Dulce. A hot and busily town but with a cool breeze from the lake it made a good place to stay.

Good veggie burgers at the Sundog cafe, Rio Dulce.

Sunrise, Rio Dulce.

Fresh Pineapples a new road side favourite.

What we were hoping would last 6 weeks lasted 3 days! so a whirlwind 20 minutes of a ride in a cattle truck, a visit to the local welders and the bike shop. We soon found ourselves on the way to Guatemala city.

Flying along in the back of the cattle truck. The guys were so helpful taking us everywhere to try to sort out the wheel.

Graffiti in Guatemala city. Although most of the time was spent searching for bike shops it was fun to spend some time in the capital. We got to see the volcanoes on the way in and out, great veggie food in zona 1 and randomly meeting an old travel friend that we originally met in Mongolia. So I guess some things do happen for a reason.

Back out on the road with the wheel fixed, thanks to the helpful guys at Euro Bikes, we headed to the border of El Salvador .

Running from the gangs of money changers, we crossed the border and headed up the hill.

Apaneca, in the heart of coffee country. Riding along the Ruta de las Flores.

Antique shop, Juayua, El Salvador.

Rolling on a river.

We made it to Guatemala, a little bit later than we expected, as we all got sick and had to spend 5 days recovering in the small town of  Ocosingo. As we entered the Chiapas region of Mexico both the people and the scenery changed. The  tiny villages we passed through were friendly and the people wore more traditional clothing, the landscape really became jungly as we headed towards Palenque.

The morning as we left San Cristobal.

Having both left our towels back in the hostel in San Cristobal, Russ had to hitch hike back. It gave me chance to wonder and take  pictures of the epiphytes while we waited for him.

With Chiapas being the center of the Zapatista rebellion, many villages have signs in support of the left-wing movement which fights for indigenous rights in Chiapas.

Morning mist over the mountains.

Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional.

Our first day cycling in the rain since mid October. Even after all that time without rain a rainy day is still a rainy day!!

The water falls of Agua Azul.

Cascadas Misol-Ha.

There was a great walk that passed behind the waterfall. A good way to cool off.

Beer o´clock?

Looking out over the Palenque ruins. Even with the wet weather it was lovely here. With the clouds hanging in the forest and the howler monkeys in the trees, it was very atmospheric.

Palenque.

Climbing all the steps was tough on tried cycling legs but well worth it.

“evidently chicken town”

Feeling the strain of the 170 km ride from Palenque to the border town of Frontera Corozal. With the over cast day it made cycling a little easier. We weren’t sure of places to stay along this road but for other cyclists coming this way there were hotels at around Km65 and Km72 and lots of friendly villages to camp.

Crossing the river to Guatemala and the border town of Bethal. After a little cycle around to find the tiny immigration office, getting the visas was very straight forward and we were soon on our way.

Our first road in Guatemala, 60km of bad gravel!!

One of our favorite roadside snacks, Spongys!

Lago Peten Itza, Flores, Guatemala.