approximate route: Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, San Cristobal, Flores (Guatemala), El Remate, Coban, Lanquin, Copan Ruinas (Honduras), Gracias, D&D Brewery
Sunday 2011feb12 329p
When I went to the pharmacy in Salina Cruz to buy Liper... I could only say lmodium which isn't a name familiar in Mexico. He made a fist in one hand and hit it into the other. I said yep.
(I have no idea where I was getting the dates from on my previous posts, as they are wrong. This one is correct.)
These entries are skipping around a bit, but the ride into SC was good. I decided to take the cuota after leaving Tuxtla because the day was getting late and sunlight was getting scarce. The road was a constant climb. The DR didn't like 5th gear toward the end maybe b/c the altitude. Low clouds were dropping in over the bright green mountains and cliffs which made for spectacular viewing.
My stomach problems continued in San Cristobal. I had two nights of very shitty sleep at Posada Mexico due to stomach problems, which turned into asshole problems. I have ideas but can't say the exact reasons, but my butthole started hurting so bad that I couldn't even sleep. It felt like a tear of some sort but was causing all sorts of hell for me. I finally woke up and researched Guardia, a waterborne bug, which a doctor that'd I'd met thought that it was. I bought the medicine for it and got better the same day (better enough for wrastling).
Thursday morning, I got on the road at a decent hour and after filling up my spare fuel, headed for El Ceibo. There was one military check just after the right hand turn to El Ceibo and another very close to the border. All of the officials were kind and some even spoke English. No problems at and not even a hint of bribes. I turned off just before the border at the Mexican side and checked the bike out and then me out then stopped a few yards away at the Guat side and got myself checked in then got started on the bike. Very smooth positive experience and only GQ40. I got suited up thinking that I was ready to go, but then had to stop and pay another MP20 for "fumigation". I then finally took off in Guatemala. A little dear ran out in the road a bit up the road and I came dangerously close to hitting. Just smooth sailing after that. I stopped at a little store along the way to get a coke and snacks run by a family. I goofed off in Flores for a while hoping that she would have beaten me there so that I wouldn't have to pick the hotel, so then left again to hit an atm and get on the net, then came back and saw a good looking hotel so just got a room there and went to eat and while sitting on the patio, someone yelled real loud from a moving bus my name. She came running around the corner shortly after and we all got situated. Guat's been good so far.
I think I'll change out my rear tire in a bit.
I did successfully change the rear tire on the DR, only to find it flat a few hours later. I got a little upset about that, as is usual for me. A local guy watched and helped with me changing it, so I gave him the old tire. The days were overcast and rainy in Flores, so mostly some lazy days were spent there, though not wasted. The night before V's birthday, we went to a locals pub and saw a local band performing, just as you would picture a local Guatemalan band. We headed out of Flores the next day but in no hurry and after pulled the rear off of the DR and patched the tube. Her and her friend went on the bus and I left a bit later on the DR and found the place without much trouble, a nice little place with a little odd French fellow named Santiago running it, Mon Ami. We did some eating and drinking and talking for the rest of the day before bed.
I forgot to mention our hike into Cerro Cahui on the first day and the wonderful monkey spotting.
After getting everything figured out for my agenda all while thinking about Penny and getting sad, I departed for Coban at about 10a. The roads were mostly good except for some minor areas but the signage sucks as to be expected. I finally figured that I was headed in the correct direction and caught the ferry across alkñdjfñld then continued south, all while passing poor areas with villagers crammed on chicken trucks or walking along the road carrying loads or pedalling bicycles loaded with wood or water. No one in prosperous countries realizes what benefits they have simply because of the country that they are in. Maybe only travellers or immigrants know this. I came to a T in the road with no signage directing me to Coban, so took a right and asked an old man walking along the road and he said that I choose the correct path. The road began climbing throught mountains and green hills and got curvy and rain started to fall like a son of a bitch. I kept on along with the poor villagers and finally reached Coban, after hours of rain and hunger. I drove around town trying to get my bearings then turned on a road that I was sure wasn't correct but found the hotel that I was looking for and stopped for the night. I went for a quick dinner and the waiter was interested in where I was from and some English.
I'm still mad about the dump, but I'm over it. I'm already getting used to the "bent" bars, so I'll take my time finding a replacement bolt. Still shouldn't have happened though. Everything else seems fine.
A weird ride today. I took the eastern way out of Lanquin, which is all dirt to El Estor, about 60miles, even though there is a decent population along the route. First I came up to this area along some houses or stores where a bunch of people and vehicles were gathered around. I could barely get through it was so crowded. After sitting there a bit, I noticed a boy about 13 and a woman about 40 holding what seemed like a lifeless one year old flailing and crying in the road. I think they were morning the young child's death with the other villagers looking on. Very scary and sad. About another 10km up the road, there was a truck on its side a little ways down the edge. A huge gathering was there and everybody from both directions was making their way toward it. Never would have expected to see either today. The baby death in particular was very chilling and really makes you thing how different our lives are.
After lots of riding, I finally made it into Rio Dulce and the first place I found was Backpackers. A little rough, but I got a private room, good enough, sesenta quetzales. I got into a somber mood again, not knowing what I was doing. Just thinking, I had three options: stay put for a bit, keep riding, or go home. To continue riding sounds the best, as I have no idea what I'd do with the other two. I have no idea what I'm going to do when I get home.
Got a not particularly early start out of Chiqui... to head for the border at El Florido. I pulled up to the border and the Guatemalan official was helpful on what I needed to do. I got the vehicle permit canceled then headed to immigration to get checked out, which had a decent line from a bunch of other tourists on buses. Not much problem there, then got on the bike and rode over to the Honduras aduana station, which apparently hadn't yet moved into the brand new building but was still in the shacks on the northern side of the road. The official for the bike was a youngish woman, who charged usd35 for the bike. So I think that I paid 25quetzales either to exit Guat or to enter Honduras, plus usd35 for the bike, which is inline for what I hear that it should cost. I even got six copies for free, gratis. I continued on the road for a short ride to Copan Ruinas and stopped at my first choice hostel, which was booked so I went to the owner's recommendation. He was an American, from NYC, who's been living there for about fifteen years. I shacked up where he said, then walked over to the ruins. Cool. The ceiba trees were almost the most impressive thing there. I found a cool bar with wifi and talked with Penny for a bit after that. Good talking with her. Not sure if I'll stay here another day or move on...
I got into another of my lousy moods. I'm 28 and have no idea what I want to do. Fuck. Tel vez I should just go with the flow. I'm not a big fan to going back to a typical job.
I decided to get the hell out of Copan Ruinas and rode to Gracias, just a couple hours away. I went through two or three police checkpoints, damn. The terrain and viewing was beautiful. I'm going to stay in Gracias for two nights. Today, I lazed around and checked out the fort on the hill and the town, and tomorrow I'll hike around the national park a little and maybe find the initial point of my planned route direct from Gracias to Santa Barbara, which I hear from a woman in the bar is to head back toward Santa Rosa de Copan and take a right toward Lapaera(?). I'll check it out tomorrow.
I'm again getting fits with internet connectivity, which may in fact piss me off more than anything can. "Windows, why are you ruining my life? Other than picture viewing and very minor word editting, your absolute sole purpose is to connect to the internet. Don't fuck with the wireless adapter. You are a machine, given the same inputs, why in the fuck don't you produce the same outputs?" I can't express how upset I get over this, maybe for no reason since my internet purposes are mostly only of a personal need, but why computer programming can't be as exact as mechanical things. FFFUUUUUCKCCCKKKKK.
Pretty good day today. I started by exploring the western side of the lake, originally looking for Las Marias, but I kept ending up on the far side of the ridge, but kept riding anyway. I wore shorts and got a tan line on my legs, just like in my summer cycling days. I rode just a little short of 50 miles, then went back to Pena Blanca and got some cheap, quick, fried chicken then back to D&D Brewery for internet. I headed back out, now that I found the turnoff for Las Marias, and rode down to the water. Two young boys, who I later found out were 10 and 13, stopped by with to talk and look at the bike and me. I talked with them a bit, in Spanish, and had fun and was a little proud of myself. I had a huge bass dinner and watched some guys pull start an outboard at least 100 times, while they were fighting the wind, before if finally cranked. I watched some real young kids play, then headed out. I think that Las Marias may be a highlight of the trip, I really enjoyed it.
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