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Xela to Lago Atitlan Hike, Days 2 & 3

Day 2

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My journal from day 2:

Up at 6am to church bells. Rice, beans +  “tortugas” for breakfast @ local family. Puppies. 10:16 up record hill (best client time). Shoe untied. Lunch nap. Stepped in poop. “Salem” – Israeli metal band. Beers in small town; store in courtyard. Sunset. Church karaoke. Don Pedro’s home w/ fire pit + christmas music lights. Shower. Dinner in hall w/ fat baby big cheese calendar. Don Pedro sang.

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France, Pt. 1

We’ve made it!

Highlights:

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All the ads in the Geneva airport were for watches. Not even joking.

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They also sold some large jars of nutella.

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Walking our bikes from the Swiss to the French side of the train station.

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Waiting hours for the train.

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Commandeering the cars.

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Chris being very nonplussed with all the traveling

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Riding 30 miles, unshowered and unseatbelted, in the back of an unventilated sprinter van.

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The view from our front porch the night we arrived.

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The view from our kitchen.

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The house

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Wine shopping

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Cheese shopping

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The haul

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Just the view from the grocery store parking lot. No big deal.

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The living room

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Challenging the mountains

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2 miles from the house

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French towns

 

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Me, losing my mind from the climbs.

Today’s ‘easy’ day of 32 miles took us up a mountain, through two mountain passes, and about 80%  as much climbing as the 115 mile ride I often do to Mount Wachusett back in Massachusetts.

The views are incredible, the descents are amazing, and the climbing is grueling.

Day one done.

Goodbye Egypt!

Egypt is over. Tomorrow morning I board a plane via Abu Dhabi to Bangkok. I have a few more things to post from here, but as far as travels go Egypt is now complete.

It will be sad saying bye to Karol but I’m ready to move on from the Middle East. There’s a lot to look forward to in Asia (better food, PADI certifications?, Cait!) and I’m definitely excited for the change!

Moving

Where I slept last night

Even at night it’s hot in Jordan.

It’s 6:45am. At 8:40 I catch a flight to Amman, and at 17:40 I’m off to Cairo to travel with Karol for the next 3 weeks. Pyramids and mummies and sphinxes oh my!

Wadi Moussa

We’ve made it to Wadi Moussa, the town at Petra.

We got a ride with Dror, an Israeli student and former soldier that was one of 8 Israelis to join our trip for 5 days, from his house on the northern end of Tel Aviv to the central bus station. The bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat was about 5 hours. We got falafel (for me) and shwarma (Amanda) in Eilat, then took a taxi to the weirdest border crossing I’ve ever experienced. From the border we took a 140kmh death taxi across the desert to a hostel just 15 minutes from Petra.

We’re in a dorm room with an American named Lisa from Staten Island, and the wife of the hostel owner is apparently making us bagged lunches to bring into the park tomorrow since the only other food there is from 5* hotels.

I’m a bit surprised but exceedingly happy that we made it this far today and without any issues.

Tomorrow in Petra!

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Lunch in Eilat

Border crossing no-man's-land

Our death taxi

Faisel, our driver and a very funny guy

Jordan

We’re leaving today for Petra. I’m traveling with a girl named Amanda from my Birthright trip. We were going to go with an Israeli friend, but it’s apparently considered dangerous for Israelis to enter Jordan right now, so she’s staying home.

Amanda and I are taking a bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat then hopefully crossing Eilat to Aqaba and staying the night, before going to Petra in the morning. Amanda will probably spend just the day in Petra and head back to Israel that night, but I figure I’ll stay Friday as well, and then fly out to Cairo from Aqaba.

lights aren’t super cheap, but the other option is either a taxi from Aqaba to the border, then a bus from Eilat to Taba, then another bus from Taba to Cairo (the last bus is 8-12 hours) or a ferry Aqaba to Egypt then another bus that doesn’t run on a fixed schedule and also takes about ~8 hours to Cairo. Flying also seems safer, and I avoid the hassle of trying to get an Egyptian visa which I can’t get at the border and can’t get Friday or Saturday because I want to spend more time in Petra and because it will be shabbat.

Here’s to jumping in feet first and seeing what happens!