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of the streets were so steep that I was afraid to attempt going down them for fear that El Toro’s front and only brake might cause me to skid and fall. There were brown water- falls spewing over the curbs and down the cement block streets leading to the market below. Even the scraggly market mutts had temporarily disappeared to avoid this pounding rainstorm. I pretended like my raincoat and pants were protecting me as I dumped a bit of water out of my shoe and removed my sock to squeeze out as much water as I could. We riders huddled together under


the overhang of an abandoned store- front with a peeling red door. My com- panion told me that the road I was riding on was going to get very bad soon and to go through town and take the other road out. He described how to get out of town, but I forgot most of his directions and while riding through the sodden town (looking for a bus or truck to guide me out) was relieved that I only went down one one-way street the wrong way. Later, breathing in the thick black fumes of success, I passed the bus that


guided me out of town. Half an hour or an hour later I didn’t


even care, nor did I notice, that the rains had been letting up. I arrived in a large, muddy town around 5 p.m. Hungry, tired and slightly disappointed that my shortcut didn’t take me closer to the cloud forest


The young man by the market conferred


with his older companion and told me there were no hotels in this town. I couldn’t believe it! It looked like such a big town on the map. He assured me that in El Chol there were hotels. He also said this road will go to El Chol, but pero no hay paso – you can t drive through. Both bridges are out. Motorcycles can get through, but you can’t take the road. I was wet, tired, hungry and now confused. I thought if the bridges were out, how could a motorcycle get through? Just then three riders went by and he said, “I know them – they’re going to Chol.” Since I couldn't stay there, I chased after them. Riding fast downhill through the


cloud forest, the front tire only skidded a few times. The rear brake slowed me more psychologically than physically, a gentle reminder to slow down. I couldn't lose these guys, nor could I


town of Coban, I found the market. Know- ing that in about an hour it would be dark, I was looking forward to eating, drying off and a good sleep in a cheap hotel.


see them. Spying a motorcycle out of the corner of my eye, parked by a house, it occurred to me that they could have stopped somewhere for a minute.


80


BMW OWNERS NEWS June 2016


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