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Dec 5, 2012:

Trotting Along in Honduras

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.



On the road to Leon, we stop for breakfast.

Naca tamales are common in this area. Instead of corn husks, these tamales are wrapped in plantain leaves. They come with a homemade tortilla.

We find out that this road from Managua (capital of Nicaragua) to Leon is the old highway. It's nice because it's quiet, but soon after we encounter tons of potholes that make it visually challenging for us and damaging for the wheels.

But this is what makes the ride to Leon all worth it. Dave, Nathan, and Katie. We met up with them for dinner and drinks the night before they returned to Washington.

The heat in Leon gives Tauru the excuse to eat as many ice creams as he can find.

We make it to the Honduran border. Rickshaws swarm the road between Nicaragua and Honduras.

We should build a shade contraption over our bike to block the sun.

One overtakes us as we stroll across the border. It's difficult to search for the immigration office while riding, so we walk it.

Christi's choice. The heart did it for her.

Crossing the bridge that separates Nicaragua and Honduras.

A beautiful day, and view of Nicaragua.

The river that delineates the countries.

Yay!

Tauru waits in line to check into Honduras.

He's relieved that it's outdoors. Usually, they're indoors and that means darkness for him.

The road to Choluteca is filled with huecos (potholes), and that makes it really difficult for us.

Sometimes we see them, but often we don't. One hard bang ruptured the rear tube and dinged the rim.

Roadside repair requires hope and a little bit of "oh well."

Tauru may see the one on the right, and so he steeers left. Tunnel vision adds a little adventure to our ride.



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