Follow the bikers of Going South on their adventures though the Americas.
We stupidly ignored the sound advice and arrived at the Nica / Costa Rica border at 5pm on Sunday Evening...right behind 3 coach loads of tourists and hundreds of locals returning to Costa Rica to work for the week...We queued into the night for our passports to be stamped and pedalled off into pitch darkness a few hours later. The first sign of light was at a gas station, where we promply set up our tents behind petrol pump number 4..an ideal first nights accomodation in beautiful Costa Rica.
What a contrast... Looking back at our first few blogs up in Alaska and now, 2 weeks and 850 odd km from the end of our trip, I can hardly start to process all that we have seen and experienced.
Saying a sad goodbye to our cycling companions Emy and Nicholas in Leon, Nicaragua we went off in search for Andrew and Jane Longley of Nuevas Esperanzas, a non for profit organisation working to help rural communities in remote parts of Nicaragua to become more self sufficient and sustainable.
Today we woke up in another beautiful place in the beautiful Patagonia. We decided to change to Argentina ten days or so ago, because we got lots of rain in the verdant rainforests of Chile. It paid dividends, since we enjoyed drier conditions in Argentina, but the situation has changed the last days.
Here everything is going fine. Meanwhile we have reached San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina and we have now officially entered Patagonia. We have just crossed the border from Chile to Argentina for the third time. There are a lot of rearing crystalline clear and icy cold rivers and impressive forests in Chile. The weather was very bad most of the time though with heavy clouds and rain preventing us from seeing and enjoying the white tipped Volcanoes that we had came for so unfortunately we spent much less time in the beautiful Araucanía then planned.
Since leaving the Film Crew in Antigua, things have accelerated dramatically, hopping from one country to another in a matter of days instead of weeks.
We continued south from El Salvador into Southern Honduras with Nicholas and Emi. Travelling with them had been such a pleasure in El Salvador that we found excuses for it to continue as long as possible. By now border crossings had become a bit of a routine. Starting with a stop a few kms before the border to film, followed by the hectic bombardments of requests to change money from street exchange vendors, some anxiety at the immigration, followed by a hassle free passport stamping and immense satisfaction of making it into another wonderful country to explore.
Thinking about what to bring on an 8000 km bike ride makes my mind boggle. Tents, sleeping bags, food, music, books, medical kits, bike repair kits, water filters and visas hastily fly around my cerebral cortex without so much as a touch-down. With all that folded, cramped and wrapped around a bike, I guess it’s rather unlikely there’s room for favorite outfits. Just a couple of socks, underwear, pants, t-shirts and sweaters will make sure that maximum baggage weight and space has been reached. But enter into that a Dutch production crew who hands you some cameras and external disks to document your adventures. How on earth are you going to make sure you and your gear are going to make it through unharmed?
True to my usual fashion, I am always one step behind Fin on the blogging front, except that this time, I am actually three counties behind. Yesterday we crossed into Nicaragua, a good 700km south of where these photos were taken. I was too busy getting pummeled by the waves in El Salvador, and our fleeting stint through Honduras was internet free... so here it is. Our trip up the Volcan de Pecaya...
Leaving Antigua Guatemala and heading for the coast of El Salvador meant one almighty downhill section where Alex and I reached our highest speed of the entire trip so far - 89km/h on one section and a massive 150km for the day. Certainly beat pushing our bikes uphill all day, the week before at 3km/h and 5 hours. The next day we crossed into El Salvador.
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