Nebaj, State of Quiche, Guatemala–
I travel to hike. Today´s trek was up the road/trail/postrainstorm running creek leading up from Nebaj toward the village of Cocop. I didn´t make the village, some 2000 feet above the already 6500 or so foot town. I didn´t make it, and had four or five classic bips coming down the clay soil trail made 40W oil slick with the rains. I´m covered with dying mud, have a punctured hand, a near punctured gut from landing on a small tree stump and smell like some of the pigs, sheep and chickens I saw along the path.
What a great hike!
Not everybody travels to hike, and I´ve finally noticed that I´m not easy to vacation with. It only took me 45 years to figure out that not everybody wants a punctured gut and drying mud covering their legs. I figured this out while sitting alone under a tree in the rain looking down and around the quite beautiful Cuchumantanes. Now everybody would pretty much agree that the Cuchumantanes are beautiful, but getting others to willfully hike up (and more importantly down) superslick trail at grades of 25-35 percent is difficult.
And that gets me to my other realization made while looking around at the beautiful Cuchumantanes. I like it this way. I really like traveling alone. In fact, there are so few people that I really like traveling with (my wife tops this very short list, but she has to finish a book and isn´t on this trip) that the odds are definitely better for me to just hike my crazy solo hikes, lay solo alongside wet, slick trails determining if my latest wild-ass fall led to any broken bones or life-threatening gashes, and catch my breath among the pigs, cows and cornrows.
Now it´s off to meet up with traveling companions on this trip (two fellow teachers unfortunate enough to have me for a trek companion). I wonder what they did today? I wonder if they will look at the dried mud on my legs, the clay-encased hiking boots and say ¨Wow, must have been a great hike!¨