We had had enough of steep hills and cold nights, so clambered onto a bus ar 4:30am to Coban. Good decision! The road was extreme. Hills, no tarmac, landslides. Only maniacs would drive it, let alone cycle it.
By 7am we were in a grimey, muddy bus terminal on the outskirts of the town that our borrowed guide book had decribed as pleasant and clean. it was dull. They had even built a 1970's (now disintegrating) concrete 'feature' in front of the main church in the square.
Had some great food at a street vendor's, then decided to take another bus north to the end of the mountains.
Shame to miss the cloud forests and the very special flora and fauna, but flatness and warm nights seemed more important.
At Los Pozas, we returned to our bikes for a 23km dirt track road (minor hills only) to see some Mayan ruins in the jungle. 3km before the site, the road became unpassable. After persuading a hapless local too look after our bikes, we squelched through mud and jungle to the ruins of Dos Pilas.
Fantastic. Partly excavated and only us and the howler monkeys there.
30 mins back to the track and a quick cycle at dusk to the next bigger village. Darkness stranded us at a shop showing tv to 20 or so youngsters. Realised that there was no electricity except the generator for the shop and lights fir close neighbours. No bus available, no guest house. Luckily a local invited us to stay at his home.j
Turned out well. Hosted by a large family with 9 kids, one daughter in law, a baby, the local school teacher and his friend. Spent a few hours chatting and being fed and watered before crashing on the floor of whay appeared to be a large barn full of beds (we rejected taking the bed offered. glad we did as don't know where the two young boys would have slept)
A truely unique experience and eye opener on the 80% of Guatemalans surviving on less than $2 per day.