Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

After some research that said Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, was a university town where students frequented coffee shops, I decided to spend a few days there. It sounded relaxing! I like students, universities and coffee shops 🙂

Hotel Hamilton

I chose Hotel Hamilton because it was close to the main plaza, it was highly recommended, and it was below my budget! It turned out to be really nice. The room was basic but the TV had a couple of English channels.


The compound was very secure for my motorcycle.


The grounds had nice green grass and a roaming rabbit.


And there was a little outdoor lounge where I spent time on my computer and relaxing.


The Streets of Quetzaltenango

After walking around the city I really didn’t see it as a university town. It looked more like an industrial town to me with little pockets of peace.





Parque a Centro América

The main place of peace was the Parque a Centro América. It is the main plaza in the historic center of town.



Of course the church, Catedral Del Espiritu Santo, is the main building bordering the plaza.




But the whole plaza lacked some vibrancy. I think it was because there were no patios around the plaza where people could gather, eat and drink, and watch people. The closest to this was a bar where I had to look through a gate.


Just up from the plaza was another little refuge, the town theater.


Guatemalan Police

My big entertainment one afternoon is watching the police check a bunch of young people gathered in the center of the main plaza.



Coffee Shops

One of my rituals is to find a nice coffee shop in the morning for breakfast and to work on posts and answer emails. The only thing around the main plaza was Cafe Barista.


It is a chain coffee shop that attempts to mimic Starbucks. A poor mimic I might add 🙂 It was OK but I just didn’t feel comfortable there.

Tripadvisor recommended La Chatia Artesana. It was a bit of a walk from my hotel but I didn’t really mind. It was a good opportunity to explore the city more.

When I first walked in I thought huuuummmm …. not really my kind of place.


They didn’t have the chocolate croissant I wanted 🙁 So I ordered fruit and yogurt instead. Probably a better choice anyways.

When my fruit and yogurt came it was huge … and very delicious!


Now I was hooked ha ha. The staff turned out to be really nice and for the rest of my time in Quetzaltenango, this was my go to place for my morning ritual.


I really didn’t see any good restaurants for a single person in the city. For me that usually means there has to be a patio or good people watching or some sort of entertainment. I don’t like sitting in a closed in restaurant by myself with nothing to do.

There was street food, but I’m not much of a street food person. A bit of a cleanliness freak I guess ha ha.

So I decided to go cheap with fast food restaurants.

I saw something in Quetzaltenango that I haven’t seen since the US …..



The place was PACKED with locals. Hard to believe actually. But I guess they want to be part of western culture rather than take part in their own taco culture.

The other fast food joint that was packed was McDonalds. The one by the university was big and had the ordering kiosks. The place was filled with families, people in suits, gatherings …. very popular.

I hate there a couple of times too.


The longer I stayed the more Quetzaltenango grew on me … my morning coffee shop … the hotel … the roughness of the streets all ended up to be nice. When you spend a few days in one spot it starts to grow on you 🙂 You start to experience the rhythm of the town. But it was time to leave.

My Route to Quetzaltenango on May 17, 2017


My Location from May 18 to 21, 2017


Great River Road Iowa Illinois Missouri

YAY! Blue sky as I ride the Great River Road through Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.

It was SOOOOO nice to wake up to blue sky. I packed my bike anticipating a long day as it was just over 500 km to St. Louis from Davenport.

The Great River Road today was a mixture of freeway away from the Mississippi River and meandering asphalt along side it.


I didn’t really mind the freeway as I had time to make in a long day.


My first stop of the day was McDonald’s in Burlington, Iowa, for some breakfast.

As I went to get something to eat, three older gentleman (my age ha ha ha) struck up a conversation with me. When they found out I was off to Argentina, I got a question I get often – isn’t it dangerous “over there?” “What about the bandits in Mexico?”

The question came again when they learned that I had lived in Namibia and had traveled throughout Africa. “Aren’t you worried about the cannibal tribes?”

I have found that no matter where you go, the danger is always, “over there.” This is quite natural, I think, to fear the unknown or the other competing “tribe” from our ancestral days. I remember being in Africa and being asked about the danger in the United States due to all the guns.

From my experience living for a bit in Namibia and Macedonia, and traveling a lot through Africa and China, everyday people like you and I just want to fall in love, provide for their family, be productive, and enjoy some laughs with friends. We are more alike than dislike. We find this out when we get to know each other. It is only spoiled by some criminals and despot leaders.

I explained this and suggested I was in just as much danger from bandits in the bad parts of nearby St. Louis.

I have had stuff stolen in Calgary, Venice, Nairobi and Windhoek. Who knows if bandits will get me in St. Louis or Rio.

Anyways … we had a good conversation and I appreciated their support and enthusiasm for my adventure. They were even attempting to contact the local paper to do an article about me. A bit embarrassing since I really haven’t done anything.

On the way out a women approached me with the same questions. She also wanted to go for a ride as she has always enjoyed motorcycles. Sorry, my luggage takes up my passenger seat.

Taco Bell

My next stop was Taco Bell. Now, Meal Deal D at Taco Time is one of my staples ha ha ha. All this for $2.79! On a limited budget in the expensive United States, meals like this are a go to.


KOA St. Louis

After a long day I made it to the KOA.



Dinner at Denny’s for a better meal. A swim. Watch Rules of Engagement on my computer. Bed.

Route for August 21, 2016


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