Rules of the Road: Guatemalan Edition


I’m an idea man. No, really. I’ve been on the road for a couple of years and every now and then I come up with a good one. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions that might make the world just a tiny bit easier to deal with.

If you and I happen to cross paths on a remote jungle trail and you’re carrying a machete, please don’t run towards me with a big smile on your face. I know that you were just excited to point out that lovely bird in the tree and it’s very nice of you but now I have to change my pants.

Hey guys, Axe body spray is the patchouli of our time — just say no. That stuff doesn’t work anyways — I’ve guzzled gallons of it without getting laid once. I know the commercials suggest otherwise but they also claim I can maintain an erection while driving a race car and that’s never happened either.

If you’re going to charge me $20 or more to visit your park or archaeological site, I should at least get a free map. That’s twice what I’m paying for the hotel — having to kick down another $3 for a map is a bit much. Hell, even the black market kidney I just bought came with an owner’s manual and a warranty card.

Parks are a free fart zone. When out in nature, surrounded by trees and all of that fresh oxygen, a man has every right to proudly rip one, so quit looking at me like that. Instead, maybe you should teach your kid not to stand so close to strangers.

Antigua is a lovely place but I think your strict development regulations are strangling innovation. Yes, it’s nice that the town looks just like it did a hundred years ago but last time I was there tourism was way down. What you need is a Hooters-themed water park. Think about it.

I just saw a sign in Tikal that said “Templo 4” and, directly underneath, “Temple 4”. I love bilingual signs, really I do, but if the only difference is a single letter, save the paint. I can probably sound that one out.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian January 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Very funny. We’re in Antigua now, and left Tikal not that long ago. I “love” the tourist prices. Entrance to Tikal 25Q for Nacionales; 150Q for Extranjeros. Quite a mark up.


wes January 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

yeah, they really soak you for everything they can. It’s Tikal — you’re gonna pay it :)


Kevin - The Mad Traveler January 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Maps are for sissies. And people who want to make it out alive before sunset. Did the howlers keep you awake? Those are for free.


wes January 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

The howlers are INSANE. You expect a hoot or a RAWR, but no… these sound like you’ve dropped acid in Hell. Wow!


Kevin - The Mad Traveler January 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I liken them to Star Wars tie fighters in a cinema with the latest THX thundering sound system. Insane indeed.


Andi of My Beautiful Adventures January 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Haha this was such an awesome post! I almost spit my coffee out when I read the bilingual sign one.


wes January 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Thanks, Andi! Those signs cracked me up. The others led to “Grupo C” — still pretty easy to figure out…


DKR January 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

hahaha, good stuff! Crazy enough, I received Axe for Christmas. I don’t know if they are trying to say something, or are out of touch. I haven’t gotten the gumption to open the package yet.


wes January 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I’ve known you for what, 15? 20? years, so let me say this: They’re trying to tell you something ;)


Rev Littlejohn January 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm



April Neylan January 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Haha love it :)


Christ January 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Ditto…one cannot exaggerate!


Wftristan January 25, 2012 at 3:13 am

This definitely brightened up my morning



Christy @ Technosyncratic January 25, 2012 at 6:42 am

Parks are totally fart-free zones. Everyone knows that….. right? Right??


wes January 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

I thought so! Maybe some people didn’t get the memo.


Stephanie - The Travel Chica January 25, 2012 at 8:09 am

The Axe body spray is terrible!


Lisa @chickybus January 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm

This is hilarious! Do you think that if you’re wearing Axe and farting that somehow the combo gives you (not ‘you’ specifically, but the indefinite you–LOL) a more manly scent (in an Irish Spring soap kind of way)? Or does one then simply need Irish Spring? (Or a drink?)


wes January 26, 2012 at 7:58 am

Ha! That comment made my head hurt ;)


Marco January 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

If it’s hooters you want you can find that in any town in LA. You go to Antigua to enjoy culture, and and historic structures.


wes January 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm

You’re absolutely right, Marco. Antigua is fine as it is. It was a joke :)


Marco January 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

LOL. Gotcha.


New Forest Cottage Holidays February 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Such a shame that you trip will not take you to England :( We’ve got some great countryside and fantastic historical cities, along with some awesome coastlines.

However I can see the attraction of the route you have chosen. Enjoy the rest of your trip!


wes February 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Thanks! I’ll make it there eventually :)


Normand Boulanger February 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hahaha, Park are without a doubt a fart-free zone. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are wrong, no matter where you are. haha. I love the post very funny.


Ella McDaniel March 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm

When I lived in Ireland, some of the bilingual signs for places with names already as gaeilge just repeated the same word in italics… I have a friend who traveled in Italy with a machete, I believe in the city. Not the biggest guy in the world, but pretty darned capable. I do not envy the guy who tried to mug him!


Wrabbit007 March 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Watch out for those machete wielding locals! My husband got mixed up with one in Tijuana! (Read here:

I, for one, am only a fan of knives that are used to cut up cakes and brownies.


Atticus September 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

I just got back from Antigua and it’s funny because a lot of the points you touched on I actually experienced for myself. Antigua was great though – very picturesque and had a lot of character. Too bad we didn’t cross paths at Cafe No Se’ or something. Could have been a great conversation.


Pauline January 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I live near Tikal and read a post last year that reported only 200 visitors per day. That is how many official tickets they sell. The entry was Q50 until they shot Survivors at nearby Yaxhá and decided to triple the price. I always go with my best Guatemalan accent and pay local price, but I’d say they pocket at least 100 unofficial entries in any given day. They make more than the custom official pretending you have to pay a fee to get in and out of the country. I wouldn’t mind paying Q150 if there was infrastructure like in Mexico, a well kept park, an interesting museum… but this is too much!