The night was a pain! I was camping on the lawn of a hotel in Panajachel and a crowd of street dogs were barking at me from litterally a meter next to my tent all night. I was definitly considering making use of my bear spray... On top of that, I could kick myself since the Swiss guys from yesterday also offered me to camp in their yard in Jabalito - a much nicer, small village than Pana... But well, at least I get an early start and am back on the rode by 7AM.

Today's stage will bring me to Antigua - the former capital of Guatemala and apparently the most beautiful city of the country. I am not so much into cities and tourists, as you might already know, but it is on my way and also the starting point for another side adventure, which I am very excited about. For that you gotta wait until tomorrow.

To be honest, I am writing these lines just 3 days later but I can´t remember a whole lot... Fairly uneventful day apparently. The day starts with the usual 1600m climb up, today up from the lake back into the Alti Plano. Guatemala is an exciting country so far, but the riding... I don´t know. It is probably a good warm up for the Andes with the clear distinction that many cyclists told me that the Andes are actually quite well rideable. Climbs will be long, but fairly well graded. Guatemala instead is just insanity. Today, I even find myself pushing up on pavement for the very first time on the trip. The grades are well above the the 20% marker. By noon my computer tells me 25 kilometers accomplished and 1400m of elevation done. At least temperatures are pleasent again once I am up.

After lunch it is nice and fast downhill riding to Antigua. Not super eventful, quick intermezzo on the bustling PanAm, quick stop in Pastores to see the famous local leather shops and then into Antigua. The capital of Guatemala was moved to Guatemala City after an heavy earthquake which left Antigua destroyed. A lot was rebuild but a lot was also left in ruins which makes for an interesting scenery. It is also the first time that I see a "typical" Spanish-influenced town in Guatemala with its colorful houses. After Mexico it is not necesserily a revelation but its pleasent. The cobble stone roads are less pleasent, though.

After a quick ride through town I arrive at the place of Thomas, my warmshowers host during my stay in town. He is a nice guy from Germany who got "stuck" in Antigua after a 6 year long bike trip. With fellow guests and cyclists Nicki and Barry from Canada/Hungary we enjoy a nice evening with good food and good talks. Nicki and Barry are pretty knackered, though, as they just came back from the little side adventure I am planning to do as well. I told you! You gotta wait until tomorrow! Good night!