Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its SO hot my skin is on fire!

Some handicrafts at a local shop along the Pan American

Somoto-Chuluteca 60k

This Day goes out to my my buddy Dom. He wanted to make a dedication to his mom, Patty. Dom is also a biker, hopefully he can find a bit of time before he moves back up to the bay to meet me somewhere along the road. Dom..thanks for the donation buddy it really means a lot!

Getting back on the bike felt great. I was in the North of Nicaragua and the road to Chuluteca was flat for the most part with a big down hill section. I was a bit nervous about getting into Honduras because of what all the people were saying. "Its not safe....the people drive crazy" or whatever those people say. Crossing the border was a breeze and here I was in Honduras.

The plan was to hit Choluteca which is a bigger city in Honduras. It was about 80ks away. After a nice flat section and after crossing the border I was treated to a winding down hill section. Off in the distance there were red and yellow colored mountains. It was dry and hot as hell out but the scenery was beautiful. It was a great moment flying down the hill. It was another one of those moments where you realize how lucky you are and how far away from home you are. The T factor was totally kicking in. It was also nice to be in another country. I felt like I was making some progress...finally. Even thought I pretty much cheated Nicaragua because I rode a bit on a crazy bus and also with Horacio I felt like I was getting things done. It was great to be back on the bike...and my legs felt rested.

It was getting to be some where around 1 in the afternoon and I hadn't found a place to eat in a bit. I climbed this pretty big mountain and saw a cool restaurant and bar. Before heading down the hill I turned in to check it out. The place was super chill. Hammocks everywere, picnic tables and an amazing view of the mountains in Honduras and Nicaragua. After lunch the owner of the spot, Roberto from Honduras who studied at Texas A&M told me that from that view point you could see three volcanoes. 2 in Nicaragua and 1 in Honduras. The volcano in Honduras was even smoking. Even though no one was there it was a chill spot. Roberto finally convinced me to stay the night. Roberto and his friend, a Honduran woman who lived in Los Angeles for 20 years told me that Choluteca was hot as hell. The woman who was dressed nicely and sporting a phat gold watch said it was like Vegas in August. Ok...Ok...Ill take a room.

After a bit of reading, napping and writing I decided to make it a early Friday night and get some sleep. It seemed to already be a long day.

HOME!!!! Wait not really...

Hey Mayor Newsome if this tiny town in Honduras can get bike lanes I'm sure we can to...Ill write him a letter!

Some kids selling coconut slices with cold water. Kinda gross actually!

Choluteca - El Amatillo 120k

I dedicate this day...the longest day of the ride so far to my good buddy Eric Jones. He wanted to make the dedication to his parents. He loves them very much, and he says that his parents are truly an inspiration to him. Eric is also a big cyclist. He's done a few different long distance rides and has helped with with getting this fundraiser together. On top of that hes helping to spread the good word about the blog itself. Hopefully with his help well be able to hit our goal and I'll be able to get back to San Francisco safely!

So here I was at this cool mountain top hotel about 20ks from Choluteca. Today I wanted to make it to El Salvador if possible. Possibly even cross the Honduran and El Salvadorian border and bike another 20ks to a city called La Union on the coast. Maybe this place has a beach. For some reason I thought that from this village to La Union was about 90 kilometers, maybe 100 tops. On top of that Roberto was taking FOREVER with breakfast. I was itching to get on the road and the breakfast took about an hour to get out. Damn that central American time! All in all the information I had was a bit wrong and I was late!

So I made my way out. I already felt like I was a bit behind because I wanted to start off in Choluteca but that was another 25 kilometers away. Oh well...now worries. The hotel just so happened to be at the top of the mountain and it was a 20 kilometer down hill ride. The scenery along the switch backs through the Honduran mountains was absolutely amazing. It felt great to be alive. Cesar was running great and having a great time. The mountains kept coming in and out of view and the hill seemed to last forever. It was also super cool at the top of the mountain and for the first time I was even riding with a sweater on. It was another T factor moment. I was thinking about the kids in Nicaragua, I was thinking about family and friends back home and I was happy to be in the moment.

Well, the hill finally ended and I quickly realized that I didn't need that sweater anymore. The temperature probably changed by about 20 degrees instantly. It was cool and breezy before and now I found myself at the bottom of a valley with no wind. The sun was super intense. It was damn hot. I finally made it to Choluteca and after getting a bit lost I realized that it was already around 10 in the morning. on top of that I saw a sign that told me it was another 100ks to El Amatillo, the border. I chuckled to myself and finally realized that this was going to be the biggest day of the ride so far.

Sometime after Choluteca A local guy caught up to me. We chatted a bit about the usual stuff. Where you from, where you going, are you crazy, stuff like that. He was a teacher, a 3rd grade teacher in a cool little town off the Pan American in Honduras. He had about 25 students in a small school near the main church. i could see the church towers off in the distance, the town actually looked kida cool. It was nice to chat and ride with a local for a bit. But sooner rather than later I was truckin through the Honduran countryside alone.

I was making ok time. The scenery was flat and dry and it was getting to be an overwhelming feeling because the sun was so intense. by around 2 in the afternoon I realized that I still had some kilometers to make up. I already drank at least 5 liters of water. Right around 3 in the afternoon I started to get pissed. There was a strong headwind and I still had some kilometers to make up. I finally realized that on big days like this I usually get a bit cranky around that time. I had been on the bike for at least 6 hours and it was time to get off.

Eventually I made it to El Amatillo...the frontier. And just like that I rode through Honduras. El Amatillo is a very unpleasant place. Nothing but truckers and the people who service them. With 10 minutes of checking in I saw three large women picking there nose. They were wrist deep! Damn Girl!!!! Go get it I thought! Maybe it was a Honduran welcome sign or something...hahaha! Anyway..of to El Salvador!

Check out this dude carrying the wood. And I thought my bags made me unbalanced!

The scenery down the hill from the cool mountain top village to Choluteca was amazing!

Another shot of the view. Look how dry it is!

A typical Honduran advertisment along the route.

The long hot road!


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