Sunday, July 25, 2010

Antigua to Monterrico. 105 miles

After much deliberation, we have decided to by-pass Guatemala City and head straight to Monterrico, which is on the southwest coast of Guatemala and on the map looks to be the last coastal town accessable by road prior to heading into El Salvador. Also, because we now know the road situation, we will do it in two stages. Our first stop will be outside of Guatemala City at one of the few RV parks in Central America. After leaving Mexico, by far one of the biggest challenges to motorhome travel is lack of full hookup RV Parks. Usually wherever we park, we can run a long extension cord to get power and as a fall back we have a generator and water is available everywhere even gas stations. But...the sewer! Dumping not just the grey but black tank is a challenge. There are various methods, none of which are appealing especially to Tom who will have to carry out the "dirty" deed. This is one place where we can dump and clean out our tanks, I will keep everyone informed as to the next dumping. The park is also a huge water slide facility with 9 pools and a variety of slides. It was fun as we swam and after the park closed allowed Winston to run in all the grassy areas. We stayed two days and Wednesday started the drive to Monterrico. We had decided to come via Puerto Quetzal and thank God we did. By road is a misnomer. You can get to Monterrico either via a toll bridge through Puerto Quetzal or a barge across the mangrove swamps. This gives isolation a new dimension and we wonder how in the world an American couple from Colorado could wind up here. After asking directions in town to Casa de Gringo Mike with the big bigote (mustache) and getting lost several times, a very nice man from Italy who runs 36 kms every day to train for the Miami marathon, curtailed his regular route in leiu of running ahead of the RV for the last 4 km and, after turning into a narrow driveway from the road (we would never have found it), showed us the house of Mike. Mike and his young houseguest Alex, came out and after introductions, pressed a welcoming cold beer into our hands and showed us around. Mike is adding an upper addition to his house, an open air, palapa-style room where hammocks will sway and look directly onto the black sand beach and Pacific Ocean. Oh, yes, Mike's house is right on the beach. From his deck you walk onto the sand and into the water. For now, a cold beer and a hammock on the deck work for us and we relax after another day of driving.

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