Saturday, June 17, 2006

Trapped in Guate

Our normally frenetic pace of Central American exploration has ground to a halt of late. In part, we've seen everything that's easy to see on a two-day weekend trip. But return visits or slightly more ambitious expeditions have been stymied by harsh reminders that we are in the developing world. Most of the major roads out of town have suffered either derrumbes (landslides onto and blocking the road) or hundimientos (landslides out from under the road, often taking a good chunk of the road with it).

Tropical Storm Stan (also alternately known as Hurricane Stan, because it sounds better though it may or may not be technically accurate) caused many of these roads to wash out, and the Guatemalans responded with an aggressive chewing-gum-and-duct-tape campaign to patch the roads up. Being fair, there's just no money in the coffer to do much else. Be that as it may, it's not surprising that one month of the six-month-long rainy season has already washed away most of their jury-rigged repairs so much as it's surprising that the repairs lasted this long to begin with.

In any case, there is still plenty to be seen, we'll just have to refocus our efforts on the pleasures of the more immediate region.

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