Central America Trip #74

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Sadly Mary is struggling with health issues. To see the latest about her situation, click here
To view past blogs, scroll to the bottom of this page and use the menu.
I’m currently in my 24th year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click here


The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails RV Resort in La Conner, Washington. I’ll depart here  September 3rd.




Today… A trip down memory lane!




2004 Central America trip…

This trip ended up being 343 days and 16,000+ miles through the back-country of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. 11 rigs started the trip, within a week we broke into three smaller groups for ease of traveling. Only myself and one other rig went the full, pre-planned route. All the others dropped out for various reasons. All returned safely to the United States. I’m planning to show these photos, more or less, 10 a day, whenever I’m not doing something else deserving a blog entry. FINALLY, it must be remembered these photos are prior to my switching to digital in 2006. The films were developed during our trip and the lack of quality control sometimes is plainly evident.


Today…Guatemala (north-bound) #13…






The motorhomes are parked in Panajchel along the shore of Lake Atitlan, which author Alex Huxley called “the most beautiful lake in the world.” We paid $6.25 a day to park here on the lakeshore and spent seven days at this beautiful place…


You can read all about Lake Atitlan, by clicking this link…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Atitl%C3%A1n






As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…







The below Google earth image shows Lake Atitlan, about 20 miles long and 10 miles wide. X marks our parking location…




Leaving Panajchel was quite the experience. The 11 mile road was so steep up, I knew the motorhome could not tow the Bronco up that grade. So instead, I hired Brett to drive the Bronco and follow behind me in the motorhome. He is from Australia had lived in Panajchel for seven years and was a regular patron at Becky’s Bar. He caught the chicken bus back to town. At the top of the horrendous grade, after hooking up the Bronco, up and up we went, and along the way crossed the highest point on the Inter-American Highway at an elevation of more than 12,000 feet! We were “in the clouds” for about an hour with a heavy mist in the air. What beautiful country! We drove on to Quetzaltenango, also know as Xela, the second largest city in Guatemala with a population of about 118,000 and at an elevation of 7,700 feet…



Another gaily painted bus…




Most Guatemala street markets are at ground level…




An unusually shaped church…




Bud and I took the Bronco to the Indian village of Zunil, at the bottom of a valley surrounded by very steep-sided mountains. It’s really incredible that they can live and farm on such steep slopes. The village is famous for its well-dressed idol…




According to our guidebook, “San Simon, aka Maximon, is worshiped in the town and is often dressed in different clothes at different times. For example, he might be wearing ski wear: hat, scarf, gloves and sun glasses or a black suit and a wide-brimmed hat, complete with cigar. He is moved from time to time to different houses. Here, at Zunil, he has firewater poured down his throat causing him to ‘pee’ in a basin below. Inquire locally for present location. A small charge is made for upkeep.”

As we asked for directions, everyone knew exactly where he was, and we finally found him in a small cement block building on a dirt alley. There he was, sitting in a small throne-like chair, and dressed in a black suit, looking like one of The Blues Brothers! Has he been standing instead of sitting, he would be about five feet tall. We were required to pay a $0.60 “entrance fee”, and then I was allowed to take two photos at $1.25 apiece! At first I thought this was a “tourist gimmick”, but while I was there I met a gal who was born nearby and now lives in Los Angeles. She was visiting her family on a one-week vacation. She assured me that this is the “real thing and people come from all over Guatemala, seeking Maximon’s blessings to grant their wishes.“…




There were about 100 candles burning near his feet, and while I was there a number of Indians came to pray for his favor. I was impressed by how sincere the people were, while praying, either kneeling on a dirt floor or standing alongside him with their arms over his shoulders talking to him like he was real, instead of a dummy dressed in a black suit…




Maximon replicas were available in a small gift shop. I didn’t buy one…




Outside of the building, his believers had a number of smoky fires going, which are supposed to remove all the “bad things” in your body and life…




It was a most interesting spectacle to behold! I wouldn’t want this guy’s job…






Here’s my trip website link…http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust


I hope you enjoyed the photos.




I hope you will enjoy the future blog postings.

Forecast for today is mostly sunny and 73 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of Washington. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…








Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


“Let me recommend the best medicine in the world: a long journey, a mild season, through a pleasant country, in easy stages.” –James Madison



“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” —Mark Twain


My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2019

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