Saturday afternoon and I am alone at Guatemalan Immigration and Customs offices. I am seventy-five years old and have ridden my Honda 125 from Mexico to Mexico via Tierra del Fuego, 46,000 kilometres – only mishap, an ankle broken by an Argentine truck, hence the crutches. I cross the border, dismount and kiss the road. Kindly Mexican Customs officers send out for a celebratory case of Corona beer.
Tapachula is the closest town to the border. It is more sedate than most border towns. I sit on the central plaza at a sidewalk café next to a pair of elderly chess players. A gentleman watching the chess players passes me a newspaper. We are joined by a dark-complexioned man who speaks passionately, no matter the subject. He is the leader of Oaxaca’s Association of small coffee producers and rails at those who make fortunes from coffee, instancing Nescafe and Starbucks. He is keen for members of his association to supplement their income with artisaneria made from coffee prunings.
“Beautiful,” I encourage and hide my scepticism behind one more cold Corona…
The full article by Simon Gandolfi featured in OVERLAND magazine Issue 2.