Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Does that come with the Playboy channel?

About to get out of El Amatillo and Honduras!

Here is a picture I took of a beautiful sunset..somehwere along the journey. Todays ride is dedicated to my good friend Simone. Simone was travelling with her best friend Christina. I met the two of them in Santiago de Chile a few months back. We all went to the same Spanish school. After school I went my way and they went theres but luckily we kept in touch and did some more travelling together. We were lucky enough to go to Bolivia before heading to Peru. On top of that we all spent Christmas and New Years together. During this time I talked their heads off about this fundraising idea. The girls in many ways helped me form my thoughts and ideas about the event itself. Truly without them I would have lacked some serious direction. Thank you for the donation and dedication Simone. This photo is for you! I was thinking about you and your dedication along the route.

Simone wrote me an amazing email a little while back and I would like to share it with everyone. We both feel that inspiration lies around every corner.... Miss you Simone!

......So to my dedication, I`ve given it a lot of thought and as you
probably expected I can`t put it in one or two sentences. I`m going to
need to explain it in a broader sense :-). I`ve been thinking since I
am also travelling I wanted to dedicate it to something that has
become important to me through the trip and has changed my way of

When travelling through the world you get face to face with so much
poverty and hunger and pain and it really got to me. You see people
living in such basic conditions, who don`t have much and struggle to
survive. They work in order to get food and maybe a tiny place to
live. But still they are not resentful or depressed, they try to make
the best of the little they have and are content and often happier
than us coming from such rich countries. So my dedication is about
contentment and appreciation of what we have. Our mind often is so
occupied with unimportant things, eg looks, matrialistic things,
struggles that compared to what other people have to go through are
nothing. We are so rich, we get to travel (most people here not even
have enough money to travel around their country), we can explore the
world, we live in different countries, it`s all more or less easy for
us. Our lives are so centered around ourselves that we forget about
what the live of others is like that aren`t as lucky as we are. On one
hand when I saw all the poverty I felt so helpless but it also made me
feel ashamed of myself and how depressed and sad I often am and how
little I appreciate how well I`m off. So my dedication is to be more
content and happier but also not to forget about what I`ve seen when
travelling and actually sharing with others and helping others improve
their lives. What you are doing Aaron, gives people the opportunity to
help changing the world a little.

El Amatillo - Usulutan 95 kilometers

The plan was to get up early and get the hell out of this dumpy city. So I packed my stuff and got on the road as soon as possible. It was a Sunday and already it was hot as hell out. Luckily...because it was a Sunday not many cars were out on the road. So here I was...Honduras was gone in the blink of the eye and I'm in El Salvador. The plan was to go along the Pan American for a bit hitting towns like La Union and taking a more coastal route and get to Usultan. Again...for whatever reason my kilometers were off a bit. I wanted to do around 80 and I think I made a mistake on the highways and ended up doing at least 95.

The first half the day nothing exciting happened. Just riding. Pretty flat. But the sun was so incredibly intense. I was sweating like a freaking pig. I wasn't even going up any hills but still my pannier bags were covered in sweat.

Sometime later in the afternoon I met a few other bikers on the road. It was nice biking with some other people especially ones who looked like they knew what they were doing. On top of that from what the PEOPLE say El Salvador is the MOST dangerous country in the world. Yes, every security guard had at least 2 guns on them but it felt no different than the rest of Central America.

So the hot afternoon started to sink in. I lost my friends and decided to take a break at a bus stop and grab a powerade. The bikers came out of nowhere and again our group was back together. They told me that I had another 10 kilometer mountain to climb before hitting Usulutan. Damn! I was getting super tired. Ok...Ok...10 more kilometers no worries. The mountain was massive and it was probably 40 degrees C out. Damn Hot! Finally made the top and it was a beautiful ride down. Well worth the climb. On top of that there was another impressive volcano in the distance. The breeze felt amazing...It was great to be alive. El Salvador was starting to grow on me.

The people along the road were super nice and friendly. Kids would scream and yell and giggle as they saw me pass. All the farmers, cowboys and truckers would also waive as they went by. Life was good. I got to the bottom of the hill. It was at least 3 in the afternoon. It was going to be nice to get off the road. The other bikers already made it down and we all shared a celebration drink. They got a big kick when they tried to pick up my bike and realized and crazy heavy it was. Then they said that I had another 30 kilometers to Ulsultan! WHAT THE HELL! Another 30k. This was turning into a bad situation. I was out of water, it would get dark in about an hour and a half, my legs were almost dead tired, I had another 30k, it was getting dark and I was in the MOST dangerous country in the world outside of a few in the Middle East or whatever.

Ok...ok...head down. Find the pace and get to work.

I saw a sign...yup 32 kilometers.

The road was supposed to be flat. It was in parts but in others it was a slight uphill...I hate those uphills.

Then the biggest downer hit...the afternoon wind starting to RIP down the road. This was going to be impossible. I was hurting all over. Here we go Caesar I shouted to my Bike.

After about an hour I started to get super frustrated. I started yelling at Caesar...COME ON! Everytime I changed a gear it seemed to skip two. This was turning into a nightmare. I started cussing Caesar out. Some kids looked on and probably thought I was crazy! COME ON CAESAR! The wind was so bad I felt like I wasn't even moving.

Finally after about an hour of hell I found a hotel about 10 ks outside Ulsulutan. I pulled in. I noticed something weired. All the rooms had a garage. This would allow anyone to go get a room without anyone watching who was in the car. IT WAS A LOVE HOTEL! My only option was a damn love hotel along routa 2. This sucked. I can only imagine what the rooms looked like. The owner of the hotel slitherd my way. How much for 1 day, I asked? He was appalled by my horrible Spanish and I was pissed that he had such a bad look on his face. This wasn't getting off on the right foot. How much MAN... COME ON DUDE THE SUN IS GOING DOWN! I said in Spanish. He finally understood me. $15 for the day. What The HELL! No way was I paying that much for the pan americano love shack. Or...he said looking to the right and then the left...$3 per hour. Look buddy....Caesar and I just got into a fight but theres no way I'm making love to my bike. He looked a bit confused. Ok...Ok...look man...does it at least come with the playboy channel...after all it is Valentines Day? He obviously had no idea what I was talking about. I laughed at my ridiculousness and got the hell out of there. That cheered me up a bit.

I finally got off the road!

The main church at Zacatecaluca.
On the way to Zacatecaluca I came across a massive truck that tipped over.

A beautiful church along the way.

My biking buddies taking a secong to catch their breath after a huge hill.

Usultan - Zacatecaluca 55 kilometers

I saw a stop light today. Strange thing.

I was in an absolute horrible mood. I had been doing some serious kilometers the past few days and Im dead tired. Just plain pissed off I guess.

My spanish sucks. Some kids tried to talk to me on this day and I literally lost everything. Im so freakin tired. the route has been broing. I ended up staying at a love hotel by myself on valentines day. that sucked. I was lonely. Nothing was going my way.

Zacatecaluca is a wild town. Its place that has a lot of people and NO tourists. Im pretty sure it was a rough place during the war in the 80´s and 90´s. A bit scary walking around the town atr night looking for an internet shop. I kida hid in my room. I just want this day to end.

Im looking forward to the beachs on Coasta Del Sol. I tried to keep that in mind as I drifted off to sleep.

Dry and Hot!

Some farmers waiving me on!


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