Perhaps this will be a “boring” post for my regular readers but it may be educational for some travelers that are trekking from Antigua, Guatemala City or Copan to Tikal. When we drove from Guatemala City to eastern-central Guatemala I didn’t have a chance to capture a lot of photos. But, on the drive from Tikal to Copan I did get quite a few photos that show the landscape change from Tikal and Finca Ixobel as we drove south from the jungled region to the semi-arid hills and countryside along the Honduran border. The photo above was just south of Finca Ixobel and you can see how lush the countryside is where it is not clear-cut for farmland.
Heading south on Hwy 5, within a few hours after passing the Rio Dulce River, the landscape quickly turns more arid and the plant life is more sparse. At the turnoff heading west towards Guatemala City we stopped to fill the truck up with gas and to buy a soda before heading south into some hill country along the Honduran border.
In south Guatemala we transitioned from Hwy 5 to Hwy 17 heading south towards Salama. Charlotta de-boarded for a bus heading back to her work in Antigua. We helped her to buy a bus ticket and made our farewells. Donja, a German girl who Jeff met at Finca Ixobel came along with us. She was on her way to the ruins at Copan and we were happy to split the gasoline bill and have a new travel companion.
Hwy 17 turned east towards the Honduran border and then at CA 10 we turned south towards Chiquimula. As we drove, the land quickly changed to a semi-arid desert landscape with rolling hills. At Chiquimula I tried to find a post office as I wanted to mail my last Guatemalan post cards – once we entered Honduras my Guatemalan stamps would be worthless.
I pulled up to the first Chiquimulan that I saw and said, in my broken Spanish, “Donde esta el correro?” (Where is the post office?). The Chiquimulan looked at me and said, “Correro? Que es?” “Post office, what’s that?” Say what? You’ve never heard of the post office? We drove around and around for close to 40 minutes and asked everyone in town where the post office was. Not only had most people never heard of a post office, when we finally found someone who had, they said that the nearest post office was in Salama.
I finally gave up and decided to mail my post cards from Honduras. The Guatemalan stamps were added to my travel journal next to so many other travel souvenirs (the kind that can fit in a small leather-bound journal).
Only a few miles from the Honduran border, I noticed some local people as they carried water and food on their heads. I shot the photo (below) of a woman carrying some maize or flour on her head heading from town to her home. The border crossing was not so bad, I paid my fee and my passport was stamped promptly without too much fanfare. I was surprised at how easy it was to process the paperwork for my truck. The paperwork was easy but the road permit was quite steep, perhaps 8x what I paid in Mexico and Guatemala. Surprisingly I would find that the Honduran roads were in the worst condition than any other country in Central America. Interesting how hat works, the country that has the highest road fees has the worst roads. I wonder who’s pocketing my road fees? Hmm…
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