(read the whole post here)
While riding from Flores to Carmelita, I chanced apon a decent bike store in the neighbouring settlement of San Benito. Lurking in the grungy workshop of Chily Wily’s, amongst the cheap and cheerful Guatemala-made parts, was a surprisingly eclectic choice of quality kit – a massive range of Selle Italia saddles, a couple of Deore derailleurs, SPD cleats, multitools. I even found a lightweight mini pump (just 4 dollars) to replace the weighty track pump I’ve been lumbering around with since Mexico.
I’ve also been trying to track down a new bottom bracket for some time – or centro, as it is called here. After digging around behind the scuffed glass counter, it was clear there was nothing new that would work. Guatemala is a resourceful land though, so we turned our attention to an oily spare parts box. There we found a cheap, unmarked Shimano unit that kind of fit – once we fashioned a shim from an old washer. In any case, it was better than the one I had before, which had begun to click and grind vociferously in its final death throws, with each increasingly wobbly pedal stroke.
The Need to Know Section
You can find Chily Wily in San Benito by heading out of Santa Elena in the direction of San Andres – it’s just before the fire station.
Big Belly’s is a good licuado parlour nearby with lakeside views. As a side note, owner Big Belly is quite a character too. When I asked him how he spoke such good English, he told me he’d previously worked as a guide. ‘I learned English at the School of Hunger,’ he said, laughing his big belly laugh. It’s a tough school: unless you learn quickly, you go hungry. He’d obviously been a good student.