Straight as an Arrow

June 10, 2016

Not short for terrible, although it was that kind of day in some regards. Terremoto is Spanish for earthquake, which hit pretty hard in the night.

What happened…

Andrew writes: Cock-a-doodle-do went the rooster bright and early this morning! I felt as though I hadn’t slept a wink. Usually an evening or nighttime rain shower brings a certain briskness to the air. Sadly, there was no rain last night and so I just lay in a pool of my own sweat inside the tent. We had put it in a vacant room under construction of Jose’s house. Maybe if we had a fan it would have been better. Oh well. I wasn’t in a good mood, I’ll tell you that much. Skipping breakfast, I just packed up and we left.

We rode towards Playa El Cuco to see what the Brits were up to. The ride up and over the hill was a bit harder than I thought it would be, but the downhill after was that much sweeter. Then it turns out that the hotel where the Brits were staying wasn’t in El Cuco proper, but down a rocky road a few kilometres away. Of course, when we finally got to the Tortuga Verde Hotel, the Brits had checked out that morning, bound for the border. Taking a look around I decided that I didn’t really want to stay the day/night here. Looking out towards the water, I didn’t see anyone surfing, or any surf really to speak of. Perhaps that is in a different part of this part of the world. So Amanda and I continued on the rocky road, going back up and over the hill except on cobbles and loose gravel instead of pavement as we were a bit further east now. We rejoined the highway about 5km east of Jose’s house and then started towards La Union.

The day got hot and we mismanaged our water, then we had trouble finding a tienda to buy more water from. This is strange because in Central America, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a store that sells chips and soda, and water…until today. So it ended up being a long, hot, sweaty afternoon in the sun and one of those days where it felt like we were always heading uphill. Maybe that is the case because when we got within 5km of La Union, there was a helluva downhill back to the ocean. It was really neat how the whole horizon from north to east was water, dotted with islands. We’ve considered taking a boat from La Union to Nicaragua, completely skipping Honduras, as it can be done in 2 hours for about $50. I couldn’t find where to take the boat from, and maybe it is a little bit out of our budget too, ahh well. We pulled into La Union around 1600hrs and started looking for a hotel.

La Union has two things going for it; a prison, and a port. I don’t know why, but the last port town we visited, Salina Cruz was a shithole, and La Union seemed to fit the mood also. We went to several hotels before finally settling on the Auto Hotel Mar y Cielo which is just near the edge of town. All of the hotels in centro were pretty bad actually, and while we could have had a room with a fan for $12, I had my heart set on air conditioning. I’m such a princess. We grabbed some pupusas to go from a pupuseria and watched a great big white cloud sail in over the blackened horizon, like a star destroyer chasing after the Millennium Falcon. It was a near miss, but we got sorted out at the hotel just as giant gusts of wind whipped around us, blinding us and the hotel clerk. We ran inside our garage, shut the door and the rain started to just pound down outside. It was so loud on the metal roof that we couldn’t hear anything on the TV…which is fine since it’s all in Spanish anyways.

Amanda writes: Clearly our bad mood didn’t wash away with some sleep. While we did try and talk a bit when we woke up to clear the air, it turned into more tensions. I tried to start with some talk about the earthquake I felt last night. It was one of the biggest ones I can remember feeling! Maybe it was because the building we were sleeping was under construction but not only could I feel it shake for what seemed like a long time, the hammock in the room was swinging by the end of it. Even talking about something new didn’t change the mood. Andrew declared he was leaving without breakfast and proceeded to head down the driveway. I asked him how that was going to work since we were supposed to be traveling together and he yelled back at me he needed a little space and would be 10 minutes ahead.

I realize some of our frustration right now is with the flat tire and lack of new tubes and it’s hot and; well excuses excuses. What scares me and makes me sad is at the first sign of trouble, rather than joining forces and being a team; we push each other away and Andrew takes off. This isn’t the first time and it breaks my heart to know it won’t be the last either. Sometimes I question our ability to do this long term because when the going gets tough, we make it worse by fighting and not being a team.

So after I put my bike together I went to try and catch Andrew. As I approached the road I just remember him saying he wanted to go to the beach and so headed in that direction. After riding for 10 minutes I didn’t see him. I pulled over and waited, maybe he went the other way. I waited, and waited and waited. Then a car pulled over right in front of me no more than 10 feet away. Two men climbed out of the car, one on either side; one armed with a machete. So this is how it ends? I’m either going to be attacked or robbed and where the fuck is Andrew?! Thankfully they were just headed to work and happened to be walking from this point. After my little scare, I thought screw this; clearly Andrew was really pissed and just kept riding so off I went in search of him.

About 1.5 hours later Andrew rolls up behind me. It turns out that he went the other way after deciding he didn’t want to go to the beach. This frustration didn’t help matters as I had just backtracked in the wrong direction what ended up being a circle route of about 20 kilometres and unnecessary climbing of over 400 meters. Add in another flat tire and I was in tears. Not only at the whole extra mileage and road side repairs but that my travel partner just takes off when he gets frustrated. I really hope we can work it out, but I’m not optimistic and Andrew doesn’t even want to talk about it. So we repaired the tire after my tears dried up and just rode today. We rode in silence as there isn’t much to say. I doubt we’ll ever talk about it as we can’t seem to with any resolution. It’s not ideal but not much else I can do. At least we’re safe and healthy at the end of the day.

Today’s Photographs

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Straight as an Arrow