Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Linking two worlds

This is an epic unsupported ride that connects two different Guatemalan states, Mayan cultural groups and mountain chains together. Not to mention is a monster ride.

An early morning leave from the friendly confines of el Unicornio Azul takes us across altiplano cowboy country.

The views are big, the valleys deep and the singletrack, well pretty world class.

At the top of the "horseshoe", the connector piece of technical trail drops us from the state of Huehuetenango to that of Quiche.

After getting beaten up of this rocky descent we stop in for a much needed siesta along the rio palop for lunch.

At last after a couple mega valley descent/ ascents we arrive at the "Hacienda San Antonio", home to Guate's best cheese and a rowdy herd of blue heelers.

Morning in Acul, at the cheese farm

Little Switzerland in Guatemala.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Traverse to Todos Santos Cuchumantan

There's a long grinder of a climb from the Huehuetenango valley up to the top of the plateau know as the Cuchumantanes.

These are Central America's largest non volcanic mountains. Just so happens that they are also criss crossed in mountain bike trails.

On the ridge the views are 360 huge panoramas and the trail winds it's way up to "el paso de La Ventosa" or windy pass.

From the pass the trail rolls down passing age old communities where life seemingly hasn't changed much over the past hundred or so years.

This trail was the old super highway connecting farmer to farm and merchant to market.

There's a paved road into town these days leaving this trail to the mountain bikers.

Pure bliss

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Atitlan slickrock

The Lake Atitlan basin is home to some of our favorite trail. The Atitlan Slickrock is one of them.

We packed up the old town team bus and shuttled high into the mountains above the lake. The first part of the ride is a ridge ride at 2600 mts.

After a couple steep technical drops the trail turns to rock and steadily climbs its way to the top of the mountains at 2800 mts.

Once at the top it's a whole mess of singletrack down to the bottom of the madre vieja river valley.

The trail turns to the sky once more for the last time before pointing back down to the lake and our digs at la Casa del Mundo.

There's gold in them thar hills that's for sure....and we found 30 kms of it!
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Antigua to Atitlan II

Heading out from Tecpan the ride crosses a number of deep ravines

And pushes across river valleys on its way out to atitlan.

There's plenty of technical trail to keep you on your toes.

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Antigua to atitlan part I

Our ride from Antigua to lake Atitlan is a three day single track love fest that starts out climbing high into the hills above Antigua.

The trail traverses the "Cielo Grande" ridge that separates Antigua from the western side of the mountains.

It's a super rural area full Mayan culture, color, beautiful singletrack and high views.

Van supported lunch from Welber "Don Fish" Jiminez on our way to the base of the Parramos climb.

On one of the FEW flat plains in Guatemala riding west towards volcanoes Acatenango and Fuego in the distance. The flats end soon enough and the trail steadily starts its way upward to the Western Highlands.

One of the many pieces of pine forest singletrack making out way to Tecpan, the original Spanish colony in Guatemala.

Up and down through plenty of ravines the trail finally drops us down the last section of twisty technical trail to the hotel.

A beautifully restored flour mill from the early 1900's to cozy B&B.
Part II Tecpan to Pana starts tomorrow. Stay tuned!
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