Welcome to the tropical countries of the Quetzal, the national currency with reference to the sacred bird that the Maya used the tail feathers as a luxury item. Go a little culture it not hurt. It's always better to know what the symbols mean on the banknotes to know that only 11 of 477 are paved runways (Wikipedia eh)!
Happy to have changed atmosphere, we find a smile on Flores an old town of a peninsula a few hours drive from the Belize border. Adequate stop before discovering the pyramids of the Mayan civilization of Tikal National Park. Yet the pyramids in Mexico is not what is missing, but in Tikal surprised many by its authenticity and elegance.
Our trip to Guatemala will not be the classic route of a good well trained thanks to its tourist guide. Admitting having missed a highlight of western Guatemala (the Atitlán lake), we did not regret our hook in Livingston! A small village accessible only 2 hours lanchas (motorboat) through the jungle. The single journey is worth the trip. There, in a rasta black Garifuna live atmosphere, distant descendants of slaves. Small culturally: Garifuna means "cassava eaters". We hardly believe the Caribbean in Guatemala. The premises are friendly and the only hippies tourists seem accustomed to the natural herbs clearly not too difficult to find in the area. Waterfalls and small streams rushing into the jungle surroundings make us easily spend more than once the entire day to discover that Livingston has to offer. We spend our evenings at "Ubafu" a typical bar where the songs and sounds of drums, maracas and turtle shells combine to express the result of a sparkling cultural miscegenation between African, Amerindian and European.
We find the car at the port after 2 hours of jigger and Daniel welcome going back to Mexico to catch his flight to Canada (we will miss this one with her expressions calisses). Now 3 Musketeers in the jalopy, steering the Honduran border. The song is already known and is already preparing for the worst. The borders of Central America is far from a simple toll. First, it is a real treasure hunt as you have to find in record time if you do not want to spend the night between two countries, the only official wooden shack that delivers real insurance or travel permit in the country. And since everyone want to rip you off, so it takes hours for a real valid info!
Although the heat does not spare us and makes the sometimes tiring driving (especially in a sardine box painted black), no major mechanical problem so far ... A MIRACLE. However, small minor problems start to multiply:
- Now, the power windows are refitted by hand by pulling them upwards. Slightly annoying rainy season period ...
- Do not rely on the effectiveness of the wipers, which are likely to soar if the drives.
- To ignore the huge crack running through the top-down windshield.
- Do not attempt to operate aeration and even less conditioned air.
- The dashboard tremble more and prevents the needles to operate properly (at least for those that still work). This has earned us a night of gasoline of fuel returning from Tikal ... Fortunately our mission "is made of Guatemala overnight stop to go get a can of gasoline to the nearest station" took place without any worries! And we have also been surprised by the speed at which we were given a lift Valerian and me while Thibaud and Daniel watched the Devil!
- Ignoring the warning light constantly indicating an engine problem.
- At night, the flashing light that more roads fires themselves ...
- Pray on every boot, which every day becomes more and more laborious.
- Excessive heat forces us to put coolant every day.
- Re-inflate the left front tire every 3 days.
- Inefficient 4 suspensions requires us to reduce speed to 15 km / h to each donkey if you do not want to lose a piece that could be important.
- Close the car from the inside through the passenger door.
- Scoop up the water in the back of the car after each flood
- Appearing most docile possible with the colony of stinging ants that live with us decreed to Costa Rica.
The kilometers of sight of banana fields that we skirt the edge of the border impress us at first ... but especially us understand that we will eat bananas all the sauces in the coming weeks.