Bangers and Mash

June 12, 2016

Announcing that they live to serve, the firefighters (bomberos) come to the rescue.

What happened…

Andrew writes: I must admit a certain feeling of absolute power that I felt as I dozed in and out of sleep, and I had been left with a remote control for the air conditioner unit, so that I could manually adjust the desired temperature to my whim – sweet bliss.

We got on the road before 0900hrs, and within 15 minutes, Amanda had a flat tire. She tried in vain to just pump more air into her tire in the hopes that it would magically seal. We pulled off into the shade and while Amanda changed her tire, I just sort of stood around drinking my coffee while 3 little girls played all around us. They were a combination of very curious, and very energetic….and strangely annoying. All of a sudden two more people were added into the mix as Ali and Lizzie showed up.

They had already been at it since 0500hrs and were about 50km into their day. It was nice to be reunited, and Amanda finished up and the four of us set off towards Chinandega which lay about 60km away. The four of us cycled either in pairs or as a pack, and Amanda did a terrific job in keeping up. The terrain helped in that it was mostly flat, with some easy rolling hills made that much easier by our ability to draft the stronger British riders in front of us. Volcan San Cristobal dominated the skyline for most of the day until it became shrouded in dark black and grey clouds. The heavens opened up as we were about 10km from town and all of us were thoroughly drenched by the time we reached the city limits. Baseball seems really popular here, moreso than in other Latin American countries. We passed about two dozen young men who were walking home from the baseball diamond with bats and jerseys slung over their backs.

As fortune would have it, Liz pulled in under a tree to rest for a minute, and to escape the worst of the rain and we were talking about whether to search for a hotel ahead or behind when I saw fire trucks across the street. The firefighters aka “bomberos” motioned us over and it was really easy and straight-forward from there. We were put into a large auditorium which also held some pool tables, uniforms, drums, and other odds and ends. This gave us a bit of a home base also to explore the town a bit since it was early. We found a “Western” style restaurant where we enjoyed nachos, pizza and beer, and also a supermarket where we were able to restock our coffee. Believe it or not, finding good coffee has been hard despite being in countries that produce said coffee – weird.

It was early to bed and it will be early to rise tomorrow as everyone is heading into Leon to do some sight-seeing, although we aren’t sure whether or not we will press on from there. Amanda and I have a couple of house-sitting interviews that we want/need to conduct online, so stay tuned for news about these potentially great opportunities we have waiting for us!

Amanda writes:I’m getting tired of flat tires. I’m convinced that these tires we have simply don’t protect the tubes inside and we’ve had so many more flats that with our first set. We will need to try and figure out how to get new tires in the near future to avoid more frustrating days. The kids were actually pretty cute and were trying to practice the few English words they knew. Then after I engaged in their little game of words they got the courage to ask me how to say a few things in English and we practiced a few new words together while I changed my tube. I love seeing the genuine curiosity of learning a different language through the eyes of a child.

I was so determined to keep up to Lizzie and Ali today after we hooked up with them again. As Andrew said the terrain certainly made it easier but I felt so good! Yes it was hard and there was no way I could hold a conversation but I pushed harder than I normally do and the pace we were able to keep was awesome! We were traveling about 5 km/h faster than we typically do and I was so pleased. Not just being able to keep up, but we have a lot more gear than others and generally I have a few years on other cyclists we meet; so I’m giving myself a pat on the back for riding so hard today. Oh and a beer, I gave myself a beer … and nachos. Anyone who hung out with me in Canada knows that my go to meal (if you can call it a meal) is nachos. And so we enjoyed beer and nachos with some great peeps.

Today’s Photographs

Bangers and Mash