We made our crossing into Guatemala on Christmas Eve, arriving at the border at Ciudad Cuautemoc. When we were within several hundred feet of the crossing we thought that this was going to be one of those troublesome crossings. We had come to a roadblock with a detour sign, and the roadway ahead of us was filled with atraveling carnival. But the police at the barricade let us go around and we wormed our way between the carousels and tilt-o-whirls until we got to Mexican Customs. We told them we were coming back into Mexico, probably by way of Chetumal, so they allowed us to leave without canceling our vehicle permits. Hopefully this should save us some trouble on the way back in. The Guatemala entry was equally easy except for the fact that they made the assumption that Karen was riding the Tiger, and so all the paperwork had to be redone. The ride along the interamerican highway remided me of driving through Uttar Pradesh. Since it is one of the main thoroughfares for the whole country small villages are built up for its entire length. And the low grade diesel fuel doesn't make matters any better. With constant population comes constant speed bumps, and trucks billowing black smoke as they try to get up to speed before the next one. Huehuetenango is a gritty bustling town, but everything had closed at noon on Christmas Eve and wasn't scheduled to open until 2:00 pm Christmas day. We were lucky to find a pastry shop that was open and got some ham and cheese croisants.  Another thing that struck us as odd was the heavy military presence in the town's tiny plaza in front of the church..

Nothing quite says "Peace on earth--good will towards men" like a belt-fed machine gun. We spoke to one cluster of soldiers with their AR 15s who appeared to be at least 16 years old, and they said they were there for protection. Of whom and from what was not defined.

With little else to do on Christmas morn we walked around to snap a few pictures while we waited for the stores to open. This cemetary was also closed, but we snapped this picture through the gate. It reminded me of Recoletta in Buenos Aires.

This was another amusing scene--pay toilets with motrcycle parking. We had already decided that we would be getting out of Huehue as soon as we had taken care of the business of getting phones. It isn't that there was anything unpleasant about the town, it was more a matter of bad timing. Besides, we had visited before and we knew that there are two Guatemalas, and you will see shortly just what we mean.