Distance to Date: 13,040 km, 8,085 mi
Central America continues to be hot. As we head north the humidity seems to lessen, but with temperatures in the 90's, it's hard to not feel the heat. The only way to survive a day in the saddle is to constantly drink refrescos (cold drinks) sold along the road as we pass through small establishments.
In Leon, we met up with Dave, Nathan and Katie from the Seattle, Washington area. Tauru had climbed with Dave and two other climbers (Steve and Taylor) back in 2009. The four of them sailed from Seattle to Alaska to climb Mt. St. Elias. Unfortunately, they had to turn back at 13,000 ft because of avalanche danger. Dave, Nathan and Katie were traveling in Nicaragua and we were able to meet up with them.
We then continued to the Honduran border. What was meant to be a 60 km day in the heat turned into an 114 km day and a major lesson was learned - it is possible that when a local says 20 km, he might really mean 40 km. About 100 km into our day, the sun began to wane when a band of refresco vendors took us under their wings. On their bicycles heading home from a day's work selling cold drinks to passing vehicles, the four of them rode in front of us with coolers strapped to their rear racks. They live in Somotillo, 5 km from the Hoduran border, and bike to Villa Viejo 7 km away every day. We rode as one, a group united by two-wheeled transportation, and we became part of their pack.
As we approached Somotillo, the light faded and Tauru could no longer follow the pack. One of them, Señor Refresco, noticed that we had stopped to walk the bike. For Tauru, it was pitch black due to his Retinitis Pigmentosa. Señor Refresco waited for us and walked with us. When he learned of our visual challenges, he was amazed and vowed to help us in any way he could. We walked the last 2 km together and found a cheap hotel in the outskirts of Somotillo.
People are good, period! Yes, there are loonies out there, but the great majority of humankind is good, if not great.
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