Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Segment 25: Panajachel, Guatemala to Antigua, Guatemala (October 27- November 9, 2010)

back in Panajachel, we are relieved and ecstatic to get back to our bikes after what seems like forever (nearly a month)

climbing up to the rim of Lago Atitlán we had hazy views of the lake

heading back towards Antigua, these were the landscapes we cruised through...
Volcanoes Acatenango and Fuego appear as we get closer to Antigua

our campsite in a field near Patzicía... the huddled figures on the left are local farmers who have come to harvest beets at dawn. 

from Patzicía we headed towards San Andrés Itzapa on dirt roads, excellent riding.

asking directions

... approaching San Andrés...

Craig shows off mud he earned on a fall, guitar intact however

Arrived at Mayapedal, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sustainability of bicycles in the region, both for transport and for sustainable technology projects.  These include bike-blenders, bike washing machines, bike corn mills, etc..  We first learned about Mayapedal from our old friend Cass Gilbert, who volunteered here for a month or so in the months of July and August, 2010.

the mural outside Mayapedal

busy at work in the Mayapedal workshop

Mike sets to work helping Jeff and Craig with bike problems

Jeff replaces his front derailleur, which snapped in two near Panajachel a few days previous.

Jason begins to help build a bicycle for Sonia, no easy feat in this labyrinth of old and used bike parts from around the globe:
the first step is clearly to sort through the madness and select more-or-less quality parts

Here Jason and Bruce (a volunteer from New Zealand) are beginning to assemble the rudimentary parts of the bike: frame, fork, wheels, cranks, etc.

Sonia is clearly elated with the prospect of a soon-to-be functioning touring bike.  Jason models her panniers after his: cat food boxes.  The bike itself, according to Jason, was assembled with various parts and accessories from 36 different bikes!!!!!

epic.  we roll out of San Andrés as 5!

 roadside stop for elotes (fresh grilled corn on the cob) on our descent into Antigua.  Craig is particularly happy about his:

the elotes vendor

Within a couple of days we returned to Mayapedal to investigate the possibility of building bike blenders:

... above, volunteer Eric (NY, NY) models one style, while below, Sonia models another...

Jason in the early stages of bike-blender building

... and here is Mike with a nearly-finished product...
using primarily an old hub, and a round wheel cut from a tractor-trailer tire, the blender is powered by the spinning action of the back wheel.

Mike puts his blender into action in Antigua.  Our first of many blender-produced foods: blackberry vinaigrette salad dressing

at a birthday party with friends in Guatemala City

the beginning of the piñata beating.  This piñata is a likeness of Spiderman.

Guatemala City doesn`t win any awards for architecture or urban planning, this is for sure

... prepared to leave Antigua, we are featuring three guitars (from left to right, Jeff's, Jason's, and Craig's, purchased recently for $50 each in Quetzaltenango), and a prominent Swiss-German girl on a bicycle...

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