Saturday, January 17, 2009
adventuras en antigua
There are tons and tons of footpaths/singletrack in and around Antigua. For now there are no "no trespassing" signs. These paths are used by everyone(well not the cityfolk) for walking to and fro the fields. They are also used to gather firewood. People carry firewood on their heads and backs here. The strength of these little people is amazing. Yesterday, we saw a guy with a portable sawmill on his back with 2 eight foot boards. He got out of the way for us. And that has been the pattern. Its humbling. I've bad a couple of days when we would start out the day on our bikes and inevitably the ride always starts with a stiff uphill. I'm whining in my head about the pitch, the hike a bike or the state of my fitness or leg. Then we pass a 12 year old boy with a head full of firewood or a bunch of women at the pillar washing clothes and I realize the ass that I am being. What a priveledge it is to be able to have so much free time and money that I can ride here.
We had a day off the bicycle nursing an illegal mescal hangover. Its really not illegal, but that is the name for it and its very, very high alcohol. It tastes like fine, smokey whisky. Its really good. I bet Chipper would love it. But the woozy feeling made it a good day to go for a motorcycle ride. Tim and I borrowed Quincy's BMW 650 and Matt rode his. I was gripped and nervous getting out of the hectic streets of Antigua, but once we got out in the country it was so cool. We got up to a high point and could see the volcanoes at Lake Attilan hours from here.
We stayed the night at the Earth Lodge high above Anitgua. It is a small eco lodge that has great veggie food, small cottages, sustainable practices and a working avocado farm. The lodge gives money to the community school and encourages people to do the same. The view from our tree cabin was breathtaking. We could see where the bottom slopes of the volcano crossed and the pacific ocean in the distance. We then started our ride from there. We finished the ride with the coolest downhill so far, that ended right in Antigua.
Tomorrow we cheer Luisa on for the first mtb race in the Guatemalan national series.