by: Shane Hutton
Where to begin. I think my last blog was in Baja some months ago. Oops I am taking a rest day in a beautiful little village here in Silvia, Colombia.
What a ride it's been. I don't want to write all the boring details as that would just be far too long so here are a few of the highlights.
I left Richelle in her fancy hotel in San Jose Del Cabo after 2 nights which was ample for me. I caught the bus back north to La Paz where I cycled my way out to the ferry terminal meeting back up with my good mate Jose ( Pepe )
We boarded the ferry with no real drama at all. We were directed to tie our bikes on the deck where I spotted a very large Surly long haul trucker and Robin & Richards motor bike.
We went into the main cabin and quickly spotted Mat the other bike tourer. We also met Stuart & Sebastiaan Who are touring on motor bikes.
The crossing was uneventful & to get a bit of sleep I went onto the top deck and laid in the fresh cool night air. We arrived in Mazatlan about an hour late after 16 hours.
After disembarking we all went and got ceviche. Ceviche is basically seafood cooked using lemon juice. The acid from the lemon is what cooks it. Holy shit this stuff was amazing.
Us 3 bike tourers set off together and eventually found a spot to camp. We were then taken into a large plot of land owned by a family practicing some holistic medicine & some retreat style accommodation. They let us use the toilet & kitchen :)
In the morning we were treated to breakfast and left quite late. We said goodbye to Pepe about 15km later.
Matt & I continued south stopping under a tree to eat a Guava and enjoy the shade. The scenery has changed immensely we are now surrounded by orchards and trees and green. There are flowing rivers and cropping everywhere. It's also very humid.
That afternoon we were pulled over by the police & escorted into a town called Escuinapa. They then put us in a hotel ( free of charge ) & later we were picked up by a civil relations group and shown around the town.
These people basically worship bicycles. Every home has around 5 bikes. We were treated like royalty and escorted for 60km the next morning to the next state line.
Matt & I continued together down to Puerto Vallarta where our paths went in different directions. He followed the coast whilst I cut inland to Guadalajara.
After 10 or so days with Matt & those few days with Pepe it was kinda sad to say goodbye as this would be the first time I was truly alone on this trip.
I cycled through mountains & a lot of farm land. With random acts of kindness coming up all of the time. Being taken into homes, fed meals given cold drinks by passing motorists having trucks wait at the bottom of big climbs until I was up them was all part of everyday life riding Mexico.
I quickly became used to cycling alone & stealth camping in sugar cane fields & random flat patches of ground anywhere I could find them.
As I was nearing Guadalajara I had been thinking about how I would tackle Mexico City and the 1,000 odd km around it to get to Oaxaca. I finally decided I would just bus it.
I spent 2 days wandering the streets of the city taking pictures of street art and trying to sort out my busted panniers to no avail.
I got my bus out of there changed buses in Mexico City which was mayhem as it was close to Christmas & arrived in Oaxaca at 6am the next morning.
I looked around at the city for a few hours and then rolled on out. It was nice enough but I felt I had seen the highlights.
I said goodbye to another bike tourer I had met the previous day Andrew a kiwi on a mission ( he would go on to ride 280km today )
Nothing amazing happening except the roads were super quiet it was fantastic. At the end of the day I asked if I could camp behind a small shop that had a huge grass area & I was turned down. The first time this entire trip.
So I put my headlamp on as it was now dark and rode another 10k to a ranch. I called over the gate & lucky for me the owner was there on 2 weeks holiday otherwise it would of been the care taker who spoke no English.
The ranch was a dairy and I offered to help out the following morning.
I got up at 4am packed my tent & stuff away & was waiting when the ranch hand and caretaker started at 4:30. I watched them milk & helped Jacob ( owner ) get numbers from the cattle.
Jacob & I left to pick up some workers at 6am. We got 5 guys & went to another part of the property where they were concreting another pad for milking.
We left the guys too it at 7:30 & went for breakfast. We went back after brekkie taking them smoko. I helped hand mix concrete with them and was continually told to slow down haha.
I was absolutely drenched in sweat. Jacob & I went for lunch again taking the guys back lunch & soft drink. We worked until 5 then returned to the main part of the farm where Jacob had a couple of horses saddled up.
He asked if I could ride I said not in 20 years. He laughed & said get on we will go slow. Hahahaha. We rounded up some cattle going through a river crossing & some interesting terrain.
We shifted the cattle right on dusk. It was beautiful. After returning to the ranch I had a cold bucket shower & Jacob with his family took me out for dinner.
What a fantastic day. One of the best days of the trip so far.
Entered Guatemala on the 29-12-15
it was straight up climbing......
I climbed the highest volcano in Central America on my 3rd day. Volcan Tajamulco.
Spent New Years in Xela but only made it to 11pm. Riding to Lake Atitlan the following day.
I arrived in Panajachel ( lake atitlan ) where I met Brendan, Liz & Cody the dog.
We had a beer and they offered me a place to stay. Turns out Brendan has been here for a year just riding trails and trying to create a mountain bike scene so I was invited for a ride tomorrow.
Liz is a pro MTB stage racer so it looks like I will have my work cut out for me. We left the lakeside and walked through the Main Street it was mayhem.
Brendan took me to his place and said its all mine he will stay at Liz's and they will get me at 9. I had a shower and was in bed by 10:30. So tired.
I had a nice lay in until 8 when I got up made porridge and got ready. The guys showed up just after 9 and I used Brendan's other bike.
First thing was a 6k climb hahaha. My legs. We rode through farmers fields and all along the single track Mayan trails. It was amazing some technical stuff with very steep ups and downs.
Some canyons and very tight trails. Volcano views and lake views at every turn. Spectacular. We did 50k over 7 hours.
We got back, bought some beers and made pasta for dinner. What an amazing day just brilliant. These 2 are absolutely amazing humans.
I crossed into El Salvador a few days later.
In El Salvador I found everybody to be super friendly & helpful. I stayed in a cheap as love hotel 1 night.
I stopped 1 day to check my map & was given a cold drink by a stranger & on the same day I was cycling a car drove up next to me & handed me a cold Gatorade.
I finally hit the pacific coastline again & it was beautiful. After spotting a beach to camp on as the sun was setting I was lead by a local villager to a Canadian ladies house instead.
Her & her partner are on warm showers & have a beautiful property on the beach with a pool which I jumped in. They fed me beers wine & dinner.
Wow fantastic how lucky I was. I had cycled 175km & it was hot. Then I get taken in by these guys. It has been getting progressively hotter as I am getting further down.
I rolled into Honduras on the 12-1-16
I stopped off at 11 and got some lunch. That was delicious and super cheap. Flour tortillas frijoles eggs chorizo and cheese. So good to have some flavour
Pretty much just kept riding. Stopped a number of times to buy a drink. It was hot. I stopped off for second lunch which was an amazing burrito.
I was getting tired but only had 10k till the border. I Stopped off to spend the last of my Honduran currency on another drink.
That's 135k of Honduras in 8 hours :) into Nicaragua I went.
As I entered I spotted another bike. Adam is from Canada & is also headed to Patagonia. We rode together to the nearest town & split a room.
We rode together for a couple of days to Leon where I continued on & He stayed for a day or 2. I left Leon in the morning but was not feeling great.
After a couple of hours riding I had to sit down in some shade. Really feeling like shit. After 2 flat tyres and another 100km I noticed I had a massive rash.
I stopped in the city 40km before Granada to get some cream or drugs. I figured it looks like chicken gunya. A virus contracted from mosquitos.
They told me to go to the hospital to get checked. I decided I would do it in Granada. I rode the last 40km making it 145k for the day :)
Went straight to the hospital where they did a blood test & confirmed the virus. They told me to rest 3-4 days drink lots & get a second testtomorrow.
I went to a hostel had a shower & went to bed it was already 9pm when I arrived. The next day my joints were hurting & I still felt terrible.
I went for a walk around the city & really didn't like it. So I rested in the afternoon packed my stuff & left the next morning.
I rode to the ferry terminal that takes you to Ometepe island. On the way I met 5 bike tourers haha. I didn't feel any worse so couldn't see the point in laying in bed in Granda.
Ometepe was nice enough just a few too many gringos. It seems I'm on the gringo trail again.
20th Jan 2016 Costa Rica.
After a peaceful nights camp in a very secluded spot well away from the road I headed off.
The day started well enough and after 30k I reached Liberia where I stopped for a second brekkie.
I had some bacon,eggs, rice with a grande coffee for 2.5mil so yesterday's 2 pieces of chicken for 3.5mil ( $7 USD) I worked out today was a ripoffffffffff.
Most of the day i had somewhat of a shoulder. It was pretty shitty road but bearable. I rode into a killer side/headwind all morning. Frequently being blown of the road.
I found a small town at lunch time and got a Coke and 2 very small Tortas. They were very different and came in 2 tortillas.
I headed off after a nice break out of the wind. The road deteriorated even further and I was left riding basically in the dirt on a steep drop off.
I was run off the road so many times & had some extremely close calls with trucks. Nobody here seems to give a shit or give you any space.
It must be because I am nearing a city & this place is very western. The scenery has been pretty nice just rolling hills, plenty of Rivers & Aqua ducts.
I'm about 19km from Punta Arenas & am camped on top of a high embankment right next to the road. There was nowhere to go & I had to stop before dark.
I was also just tired of being nearly killed. It's a terrible spot with a lot of air brakes & I am not hidden. I don't think anyone will look up here at all.
I won't be sleeping tonight. Tomorrow I will be catching back up to Matt.
Sat 23rd crossed the border to PANAMA
98km. So hot & humid. We had a guy stop us on the road and give us juice water sandwiches & $10 ea. this guy was sooooo excited it was fantastic.
We also stayed in a house last night, got fed dinner & brekkie.
We crossed the border into Panama at dusk 6pm & rolled another 12km looking for a camp in The dark. We found a spot eventually and had a pretty reasonable sleep
The grass was soooo wet again from the dew.
27th Jan camped in an abandoned hotel on the 5th floor at Playa Blanca. It was almost like being in the Middle East. Empty hotels everywhere with no access to the beach unless u were staying at a hotel.
28th Jan. Stopped 50km out from Panama City. Poor Matt was hit by a bus today. It just missed me & got him.
Luckily it hit his pannier first & that took most of the impact & only clipped his arm. We chased after the driver but he sped off dumping his passengers up the road and driving off.
Matt stopped a car, got them to chase him & get a photo of his number plate. So we went to the police station. 2 hours later with no real course of action we were back on the road.
We cycled into the dark as usual. We decided to eat at a restaurant instead of cooking as it was already dark & had been a big day. We managed to find a nice spot shortly up the road.
I walked through some shrubs looking for a flat patch of dirt & am covered in mites. I am going nuts trying to kill them. I'm looking forward to a shower tomorrow it's been a while. I am so dirty and smelly.
Well the mites continued until 11:30 when I got up & moved my tent. It was a lot better but still shit. Had no sleep at all. Got up at 5am.
We cycled into Panama City and over the canal. I found a hostel with all you can eat pancakes :) I am in heaven hahah.
WOW this is it I have cycled CENTRAL AMERICA words cannot explain the feeling I have. I have been going 6 months and some 13,000km.
It's a really weird feeling knowing my next stop is South America. I know this blog is somewhat all over the place but I hope it gives you a small insight into my life on the road.
I will try to blog a little more often and perhaps a little more detail. So many stories to tell, good & bad.
Get out there chase your dreams live life. You only get one.
I am an ultra runner, Mountain biker, Packrafter, Climber, Ironman, Endurance Athlete