2.6.06

To Antigua

Tactic to Antigua: 225 KM
Tactic to Antigua yesterday: 5 Hours, 14 minutes
Thats 43 km/hr.

Before leaving, I changed a flat and bought a new tire at the pinchazo in San Julian. Listened to some Ron Sexsmith, Arcade Fire, and a mix CD from Salomé.



I passed some trucks in the passing lane of oncoming traffic (there was no one on the road - at the same time someone passed me in the furthest lane to the left - that was a new experience for me.



At one point this white bus ahead of us appeared to be on fire.



Blaise is a little traveling champion.

Then we met up with Cosme, a Guatemalan baby being adopted by a couple from New Mexico. We met him and his new mom last weekend when we were waiting for my mom's luggage to show up (Continental Airlines).

6 comments:

Sirdar said...

Sounds like your trip was an adventure. What differences are there between driving in Canada and Guatemala?

Zaak said...

It's always an adventure.

Here are some differences:

-No insurance is required on your vehicle (so it's cheap).
-Your car does not need an inspection.
-There are no emission laws that are enforced.
-There are two ways to get a drivers licence - pay for one and pay for one after taking the test.
-If you want to turn left, put your right turn signal on and pull over to the right, let all the vehicles behind you and in front of you pass by, then complete your turn. Otherwise, you'll get hit by the guy passing you from behind.
-If you are a slower vehicle and you can see that it's clear for the agitated driver behind you to pass, turn on your left turn signal so he can pass with ease of mind.
-If you want to merge in traffic, hang your arm or the passenger's arm out the window of your vehicle on the side you want to merge on - this is because your signal lights don't mean anything.
-If you are in a left passing lane, be very very cautious as you go over hills and around sharp corners - this lane is often used by oncoming traffic.
-If you are in any lane whatsoever, be very very cautious as you go over hills and around sharp corners - this lane is often used by oncoming traffic.
-It is illegal to ride in the back of a pick-up truck, but this is not enforced as one may witness taxi pick-up trucks full of passengers in the box and as it is the main form of transportation for police officers.
-If you breakdown, just run back a hundred metres or so, chop down a branch or two and put them on the road to help others know there is an obstruction ahead.
-If you see a branch on the road, ahead there is one of the following: broken down vehicle, a landslide, a large dead mammal, construction workers, someone working on his house and all his cement blocks are stacked in your lane, nothing at all because the obstruction was moved days ago.
-Steep hills and switchbacks are very rarely a deterrent for passing vehicles.
-Stop signs, traffic lights, solid double yellow lines, speed limit signs, one-way signs, and no passing signs are merely suggestions, not to be taken seriously.

I'm not exaggerating here. It might look like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.

Sirdar said...

That is hilarious!! I couldn't imagine it like that but one part of me thinks I can imagine it like that. I've seen documentaries where the driving is something like you describe but you saying it makes it more human because of where you came from. It must have been a while before you got used to the 'rules of the road'.

Mind you we have a few of those rules here too.

- Signal lights are to be used by idiots who want to follow the rules and warn actual drivers that they are turning. I often say (to myself of course) when waiting for the car coming to me and then he turns without signalling that next time he should at least visualize using his/her signal lights so I have an idea he/she might be turning.
- Speed limits are for the most part suggestions...but I like that one :-)

littledeb_04@yahoo.ca said...

Trust me he isn't exagerating.
Zaak is an awsome driver and I should know because I have superpowers (thanks for your sweet comments about me, Zaak) I felt very confident and trusted him completely.I did let out one shreik of profanity during a ride...but it had nothing to do with Zaak's driving abilities...it had to do with the passing lane ending and we were going to be caught between a chicken bus and an oncoming vehicle.
Blaise is an amazing traveller...very little complaining...and when he does there were 3 of us to start trying to entertain him...Zaak has made up a very funny song that seems to amuse Blaise to no end.

Sirdar said...

I believe you when you say Zaak is an awesome driver. I can't colaborate but I will take your word for it :-)

He has to be a good driver to be able to drive there.

Zaak said...

It's survival skills. Just survival skills.

Plus it's fun to drive it like a video game.