Wild Ride

After a 7 day bought with stomach bug 2 I headed out into the Honduran mtns for the best bike touring ever. 5 days on rough dirt roads through Indeginous villages in the highland country with more stares then Pamela Anderson gets when her shirt falls off. One drunk nearly ran me off the road but my lucky penny from Canada is still holding its charm. In between the rides I hoofed it 8 hrs up into the cloudforests of Mtn Celaque and almost ended up staying. The forests were surreal as I saw dwarfs, peter pan and tinkerbell. I may have been hallucinating from lack of water and food but Im sure they were there as the place had a mystical aura. Monkeys, crazy raccoons and all sorts of birds were all over the place. Returning to basecamp in the colonial town of Gracias in the evening I prepared for a 7 hr 145 km ride to Copan Ruins the next day. The ride started out at 6:30 am with my panniers falling into my rear wheel as I hit a hard spot on the cobblestone streets leading out of town. Slightly dissapointed but I new this was coming as I had the pannier rack duck taped for the past 2 weeks as the metal kept breaking in different places. Finally the last piece broke and nearly took my rear wheel with it. Luckily I was close to my hotel so I went back and spent the next 1.5 hrs rearanging my luggage and finding a new system of carrying my supplies which involved wearing my backpack and tying my two pannier bags on top of the rack which no longer had its pannier supporting sides. Heading out for the second time I soon flatted 5 minutes down the road, fixed it, continued on for an hr then hit some glass and flatted again. Using my last tube and using my last two patches to fix the tire I fixed the problem but a new problem was arising as I had only gone 20 km and it was nearly 11 am. Knowing there was a dirt road shortcut across the mtns which would save 45 km I nervously opted for this option knowing if I flatted again I was walking. The shortcut started out smoothly as I road through forests and coffee plantations but soon it started to downpour and the road went to mud. Passing over the first mtn range I decended into the village of San Augustin and was soon getting an uneasy feeling as everyone and there chickens came out to look at me. I asked a man in government clothes where a place to eat was in town and pretty soon I was eating with 20 or so spectators watching my everybite and looking at my bike trying to figure out what planet it was from. When I finished eating one man came up to me and started yelling and waving his finger in my face. For the first time in the trip I was getting pretty sketched out as this guy was getting pretty worked up. Thankfully another local pulled the guy away and I was soon informed that I had been dealing with the towns character who was short a few sandwiches in his picnic basket. Riding away in the rain with the friendly locals waving there hats I headed up a 1 hr climb over the second mtn range. On top the problems started again as I was now cold for the first time in the trip, the fog and rain limited my visibility to 30ft and I came to a junction in the small dirt road. Both junctons looked equally used. I didn’t hesitate to take the left fork as I use to play left wing in hockey and had always been treated well with the left side. Soon decending down the steep mtn side into another valley I began to get worried as the road I had chosen was becoming more and more faint. After a long decent I came to the valley bottom and began criscrossing a creek multiple times which kept getting bigger and bigger as I went downvalley. It was getting late int he day and I was now up to my waste in rushing muddy water whenever I crossed the now river. I knew if I had to cross the raging muddy water again that I would probably have to turn around as it was getting dangerously high and I am sure I would never see my bike again if I lost my footing and went for a swim. Not to excited about the prospect of turning around and climbing back up over the mtn to see the crazy guy in San Augustin again I continued on. Thankfully I came to a small village another 5 km down the valley and after that the road was maintaned and had bridges. Riding another 20 km on mud roads I finally rolled out onto the highway and cruised in the touristy village of Copan Ruins about 20 minutes after dark and nearly 12 hrs after I had left my hotel early that morning. In hindsight the right junction was probably the better choice up on the mtn but this way I got a couple extra hours of training in. The last two days have been spent checking out old mayan ruins and preparing for the next part of the journey which will lead me into Guatemala. I will meet up with my friend Simon who is flying into Guatemala city on saturday for a couple weeks of training before we head out to Mexico for the TransMexicana race starting near the end of Feburary. As for now I am hobbling around as my legs are still trying to recover from the hike up Celaque. Apparantly being an alright biker doesn’t make you much of a hiker.

One Comment on “Wild Ride”

  • Ronald J February 6th, 2009 5:59 pm

    Waw Cory,!! many things, happened to you in last few days,, not good experience with that stupid boy in Honduras, I am glad that you are very close from Guatemala and is getting ready to Trans Mexicana

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