It took as a day to get to Guatemala City and then on to Santa Cruz, near Coban, then another day to get to our final destination, Frey Bartolomo De Las Casas, in north central Guatemala. While the distance was only about 90 miles, the winding roads and slow traffic meant an 8-hour drive from Coban. We stopped in Coban to get supplies, and that was the last modern-looking city on our trip until our return.
The constant for our trip was to be rain. Lots and lots of rain. North central Guatemala is a rain forest. December was supposed to be their dry time, but nobody told the weather about that statement. It rained every single night and rained most mornings and afternoons. The rain varied from a light steady drizzle to a jungle downpour. And rain means mud. Lots and lots of mud. It wasn’t deep mud like we get in north central Oklahoma or the bottomlands of eastern Arkansas – there was too much rock for that. But there was plenty of mud. It stuck to our shoes, our clothes, our trucks, our gear.
On our first night in Santa Cruz we stayed at a decent hotel with an actual gymnasium. I was able to run on a treadmill and lift weights early that morning, but that would be the last time for those activities until our return to the same hotel 2 weeks later.