I also had to get a new spring fitted to my rear Ohlins shock as the bike sags by about 9cms fully loaded when it should only sag by around 4cm. After countles emails and phone calls, I finally got through to the right person in the BMW shop in Guatemala city. Resigned to a day of horrible riding through solid traffic again, I set off to find the shop in the heart of the city, well ok, Zona 4. Eventually I fought my way through the frankly bloody awful, solid traffic and found the right place. They were very helpful giving me several options and I opted for the 180 rated spring. The technician pointed out my rather bent lower bolt which connects the shock to the swing arm, apparently this would be caused by the shock bottoming out rather severely and having no where else to go- oops! A couple of hours later, I was heading back to Antigua with a new shock fitted and feeling about 5cms taller.
After Antigua, we headed off to Lake Atitlan and somehow got separated in leaving Antigua. I assumed Michelle had headed on towards the lake so I set off to catch up while she thought I was still somewhere in Antigua. When I arrived in Panajachel by the lake, I checked my emails only to discover Michelle was still in Antigua! I got checked in to the hotel and got some chores done by which time, Michelle eventually turned up. The following day, we decided to go on a tour of the lake, the boat stopping on three of the villages around the lake but to be honest, by the 2nd one, things were looking quite similar so with the thought of hanging around a 3rd village for another hour, we and the rest of the boats passengers jumped into the back of a pickup truck heading back to Panajachel.
Our last port of call in Guatmala was Tikal, the mayan ruins to the north of the country which meant a rather long days ride. The guy in the Beemer shop had given me a route and although he mentioned part of it was unpaved, I found that section pretty tough going, well it had been a while! Trying to overtake trucks in a cloud of dust on the narrow dirt road proved to be more than enough excitement, several times I nearly came acropper as I litteraly ran out of road to overtake. With much relief, we finally pulled in to Flores, the small island town in Lake something or other. I knew we`d need to be up early to get to the ruins before it got A. busy and B. ridiculously hot so it was a total joy when the alarm went at 5am. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the ruins, many of them are about 60m high and stick out from the trees like pre-columbian skyscrapers. Apparently, if you were a rather big cheese in the Mayan world, you got one of these bad boys plopped on top of you- respect!
We´d talked about doing our own thing for a while and Michelle wants to go and see Belize while I fancy getting on and in to Mexico, plus as she`s already backpacked around Mexico so it seems like a good place to commence our own mini adventures for a bit. So with a fond farewell, we headed off in our respective directions, Michelle towards the Belize border and me to a pretty obscure river crossing into Mexico. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?