Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
The map of our route
Here you see us leaving Lake Atitlan, going
through Los Encuentros, then to Quetzaltenango and on to the border town of
Tecun Uman (not marked on this map) but is the town in Guatemala that touches
Ciudad Hildalgo across the border in Mexico.
We could have done this trip via chicken
buses (which would have involved several bus changes) or perhaps a private 15
seater van with other tourists, but we preferred to hire our own trusty driver.
We paid him 970Quetzales (about $128USD) for
the 4+ hour drive.
Traffic is stopped on our side of the road
We easily made our way up the mountain from
Lake Atitlan through the neighboring city of
then onto the Pan American Highway heading to Xela (Quetzaltenango).
Then unexpectedly, traffic was stopped -
completely stopped. We debated among us what the issue might be as traffic was
flowing in the other direction. We waited some more, until Billy decided to go
out on the street to find out what the hold up was.
A load of cement has slipped off this
A tractor trailer carrying bags of cement
tipped and there was cement and broken bags everywhere.
A big mess.
See all the cement dust swirling through the
There was a tow truck hitched to the tractor
and many workers cleaning the street so progress was being made. After a total
wait of about 40 minutes, we were once again moving along the road.
Workers cleaning up broken cement bags
Workers were stuffing broken cement bags into
wheel barrows and onto the backs of small pick up trucks to get the load off the
road so traffic could pass. There was a lot of this fine dust blowing around in
the air as you can see from these photos. We closed our windows when the wind
kicked up so our vehicle wasn't inundated with this powder.
Back on the road again, with wide vistas
It seemed unusual to have this hold up to our
travel plans. But before too long, we were back on the road, winding our way to
Our trusty driver,
We have utilized Moises'
services many times to take us to the airport in Guatemala City, or to have
medical procedures done in the capitol city. He is very dependable, always shows
up and doesn't take unnecessary chances on the road.
For medical services in the
capitol, Moises will drive us to the medical facility, wait for us while
services are performed, then drive us back to Panajachel. this usually takes
about 10 hours to and from.
A Peddle cab takes us from Tecun Uman,
Guatemala to Hildalgo, Mexico
Getting out of our van we are swarmed by
peddle cab drivers who want our business. We must get stamped out of
in one location and then go to another location about a kilometer away to get
stamped in to Mexico.
These drivers will take you and your luggage
from place to place, get you checked out of one country and into another. Bags
must be unzipped and personally scanned by border agents.
We are crossing the bridge over the
As you can see, it's a bit of a distance, and
having a peddle cab take you from place to place is a blessing. Here you see
another peddle cab taking a load of firewood from Mexico to Guatemala.
Coincidentally, this border crossing is the
main border point between Guatemala and Mexico, and it is a porous border.
Circulation across the Suchiate River is practically free and open, but there is
tighter security on the highways and roads further into Mexico. Still, Illegal
immigration remains high since it is the gateway to North America for
Salvadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans and other Central Americans.
Across the Suchitate River and into Mexico
We are nearing the immigration office on the
inside border of Mexico here. Our peddle cab drivers will take us to the
building to get stamped into Mexico and then to the officers who will search our
bags. From here the drivers will take us to the taxi stand in Hidalgo where we
will commission another taxi to take us on into Tapachula, a city of over
300,000 and which has an airport.
After a day or so, we'll fly from Tapachula
into the Capitol of Mexico, Mexico City.
Riding in the small town of Hidalgo
All stamped out of Guatemala and into Mexico,
we ride in our peddlecabs through the small town of Hidalgo to the taxi stands.
Turquoise and green
taxis all lined up
It was here in Hidalgo that
we hit our second (and third) glitch of the travel day. Our peddle cab drivers
quoted us one price for their services, only to tell us another price when they
dropped us off. It was double the price quoted to us in the beginning!
Back and forth we went for
some very uncomfortable minutes until finally, holding our ground, the peddle
cab drivers realized they could not pull one over on us and left.
Speaking to the taxi
drivers, they tell us that the highway is blocked due to protestors angry about
the price of gasoline. The Mexican government has decided to allow the price to
float and have the markets decide what the cost will be. Previously, gasoline
had been subsidized by the government and had remained stable and low for quite
Taxi drivers said they
couldn't get through the blockades and perhaps we would want to stay the night
in a local hotel? have a meal? continue to wait?
Four hours later the
drivers all decide they can get through the highway now and everyone who was
waiting jumped into respective taxis. Earlier we asked a local what the cost was
for a ride to Tapachula and we were told 50Pesos.
This taxi driver told us
400Pesos to get us to Tapachula... We had to decide to take that price or spend
the same amount of money in town at a hotel (with no hot water) and a restaurant
and then take our chances the following morning that the drivers were moving.
So we simply decided to
continue forward instead of spending more time here. As we rode the highway, we noticed
that there was no backed up traffic, no trash from protestors, no signs claiming
their protests. In fact there was no indication that there had been a protest at
We think the taxi drivers
were just on strike for the day to make a point. Who knows?
We arrived in Tapachula at
7:30pm, instead of the 2 or 3 pm we had planned, got ourselves a room and
nestled in for the night.
What would tomorrow bring?
For more photos and stories
of Mexico, click here
About the Authors
information about financial independence and travel, visit our
and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.
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