Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Spirits were running a bit low as we wandered the streets of Coban, our 'home' for Christmas.
The few restaurants that were listed in the Lonely Planet were either closed for the festive season or totally closed down. We finally found one which looked ok but decided a little trip to the supermarket to buy beer and nibbles would only be right, well it's not truly Christmas if you haven't queued up in a supermarket is it?

We'd arrived in Coban in a mini bus. The cycling guide we'd found on the net described the 70 odd km road as steep and rough so there was no way we were going to take that on. It was a good decision. The 4 hour journey was pretty nice, us and the other 20 people in the 12 seater mini bus loved every minute of it! Plenty more room on top

Hilux porn

The scenery was beautiful - lush jungle and huge mountains, it all looked a bit Jurassic Park. We bumped our way through some little villages. It was real subsistence living out there. A basic shack to call home, a few scrawny chickens pecking around and the odd halve starved dog. 
It really made me think about what we as westerners have got and despite all we have the fact that many of us just want more and more. I imagined the excess of food soon to be eaten over the festive season and the amount of money that would have been spent buying 'stuff'. Out here (and so many other places like it) there are so many people with virtually nothing. I know we've all thought it and said it before but seeing it especially at this time of year really brought the feeling of how mixed up this world is home to me.
Anyway, want to see Coban? Here ya go

Ain't no one gonna be stealing the presents from under this tree


Be afraid, be very afraid

We've got a nice hotel and had just settled down to drinkies on the veranda when Santa brought us a little present in the form of Jerry. Jerry is a Californian dude who's cruising around Guatemala on a rented motorbike with his Aussie mate Scott. We'd seen the 2 motorbikes around in various towns we'd been in as our paths had crossed but we'd not yet met the riders. Scott, who was suffering with dodgy guts turned up a bit later and we had a lovely little evening drinking local rum, beers and eating crisps. 

Christmas morning started with a thumping headache, pancakes and fruit and the departure of the biker boys.  They'd been fun and really helped our party along.

Kate and Mel are currently doing some clothes washing and I'm busy nursing my hangover and typing this. I guess we'll make it down to that restaurant for lunch then back to the hotel to possibly watch a film on Mel's iPhone if the dodgy wifi can handle it....


  1. Great descriptive account as always bud. Love the pictures and love the fact you have a hangover!!
    I was sat eating our Xmas dinner, thinking about the 'stuff' we've bought. Although we've become more conservative and thoughtful in recent years, I'm still resenting the whole situation. Perhaps it's an age thing, perhaps it's the company I prefer to keep these days, whatever it is it makes me really uncomfortable and it has to change. It's really difficult when you have a child who's friends ostracise her for not having the latest Xbox or smartphone, to be able to say 'no'. It's our own fault for succumbing to that peer pressure early on instead of raising Megan to not give a flying f*** what the others think or say! Now we face the challenge of influencing her mindset as she goes into teenage years and the only way I see us being able to do that successfully is to show her the real value of 'stuff' through experiencing reality outside the comfort she's become accustomed to. She has a new bike, she wants to travel - keep glancing over your shoulders ;)

    Love, L, H&M x

  2. Yep, tough call Lee but when you come to places like this it's so easy to see that she'd get it pretty quickly....
    Cheers mate

  3. Happy Christmas to you all. Yes, we have been abroad for Christmas too. Peru was similar to where you are now it seems. We watched , on Christmas eve in a restaurant, people bringing in their empty plates to collect their Christmas roasts which had been cooked by the restaurant for them as they had no ovens at all or ones that were not big enough. My father then let me know that that was what happened here in Norfolk, England, about 50 years ago. The very same scene. Thus in 50 years Guatemala will be like us now....what I wonder will have happened to us by then. How can we have even more excess? Or will we have gone backwards?
    I have cooked lots of food these last few days but will not need to cook or go shopping for another week so all in all it will have equalled out.
    Happy New Year

  4. Well your all looking pretty happy and healthy, good to see Mel has recovered. My Christmas present from John, Total Spanish, a box of several cd's that promise effortless learning! We'll

  5. Us healthy? On this food, don't think so...