Monday, March 2, 2009


There is me, Ray Auxillou in my 72 gringo year, huffing and puffing up and down those hill streets. COBAN is about 75,000 people and roughly 6 miles wide in a bowl shaped valley in the middle level mountains. Here they grow tropical and temperate crops.
Coban street. It is cold in Coban, you need a shirt, sweater and jacket in the night, morning and evening. Days are okay with just a shirt. 4400 feet elevation. Indian center of the Department of Alto Verapaz. The farmers around are very comfortable. Most drive pickup trucks or trail bikes. Or take a mini-van collectivo. All the farm Indian kids have cell phones and pet horses in very good shape. Nothing poor about the rural indian population.
Shoe shine boy at Central Park in Coban, Q2 or .25 cents USA for the shoe shine. We tipped him double and got a great smile.
Hospedaje Familiar across the street from the Hostel in central COBAN.
We ate supper at the Hostel Restaurant but actually stayed cheaper across the street at a Hospedaje for working class people from the country. Bit dirtier, but safe and okay.
Hostel Casablanca, central COBAN near plaza
This image photo is of the crossing of the Rio Pasion at Xayache. Our main goals on this trip were to check the climate and the roads and real estate from BELIZE to COBAN, Guatemala. We traveled from the border frontier of Belize/Guatemala at Melchor de Menchos to Coban in 8 hours. Using four changes of mini-van buses. They run around 2 hours each section at Quetzal 25 per person. The rate of exchange was Q8 per US $1 on that week. Our goal was to check out the state of the roads. They were fabulous throughout Guatemala, paved modern two lane highways all over the place. With yellow lines down the middle and white lines bordering the two shoulders. Next time we will drive our own pickup truck. It had been forty years since I last traveled back country on the Eastern side of the mountain ranges and back then they were mud mostly and mule trains. VERY MODERN today. Better roads than in Belize where we live.

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