Our Chickenbus Experience
Our Everest

June 6,7, 2016

Despite the rain, we feed off the energy of another pair of cyclists and end up in a touristy surf-town.

What happened…

Andrew writes: It was really nice being too cold at some point in the night, and Amanda flicked off the air conditioning. Sometimes it’s the little things. We left Metalio before 0700hrs and of course everyone was already up and about in the small town, because for us getting up “early” is actually sleeping in here. Weird. It was mostly flat riding for the first hour or two, and after we made the turn at the junction for Puerto Acajutla, we pretty much had the whole road to ourselves. It began to rain lightly, and Amanda didn’t want a repeat of the other day, so we pulled over and started reading books and eating mangoes under the cover of a shelter at a soccer field. All of a sudden, Amanda shouted “Hey, look up!” and we saw two cyclists heading down the road in our direction.

Alastair and Lizzie hail from the U.K. and are the two we saw yesterday when we were on the bus. They looked a lot less stressed out than they had fighting through traffic and construction yesterday too. We invited them to share our shelter for awhile and we sat and talked for maybe half an hour. The rain abated and Amanda and I joined them and we all continued cycling east. Ali and I rode ahead while Amanda and Lizzie chatted behind us. The Brits have cycled Cairo to Cape Town with Tour d’Afrique (supported) and also a few weeks in SE Asia. It was great talking to them and sharing their experiences. They started this current tour in Cancun, Mexico and have five months to get to Ecuador. They have already spent more time and money in Guatemala than they had intended, but at least they learned how to speak Spanish and have had a good time! The rain started up again, but it’s the rainy season, so we have little choice whether to stay dry or not. This lasted for maybe 10-15km when a series of coastal hills started and Amanda got dropped like a bad habit. I paused to wait for Amanda while Ali and Liz cycled on. We saw them again at a clifftop restaurant near La Perla, where we had all talked about staying the night at a Warmshowers. After lunch though, Ali said they were going to push on to El Tunco, while Amanda and I were undecided.

We lost sight of them at the first hill, and I vowed to myself (and Amanda) that we would meet up with them again in El Tunco. It would mean a longer than usual day for us, but just being around other touring cyclists seems to invigorate me with energy and enthusiasm. As it turned out, we weren’t able to locate them in El Tunco. I think they either cut their day short, or kept riding towards La Libertad, or beyond. The time and distance that these two have been putting in seems to be a lot more than us. 145km yesterday, they were already at about 100km by lunchtime today, and they had wanted to rest in a town 200km away, so maybe they wanted to get there tomorrow. That’s too bad because they were really nice to ride with, even if it only was for an hour or two.

El Tunco is a pretty touristy place, and despite checking the prices at over a dozen hostels, hotels and posadas, the best fit for us is still $15USD a night for a room with a fan. This puts us right up near the ceiling for our daily budget, which might end up getting blown a bit here. I would like to stop and surf for a few days, maybe even take a lesson. We’ll see how it all turns out. Hopefully the sun comes out tomorrow so that all of our stuff dries out….again!

Post-Script June 7th: So as it turned out, my hopes and dreams of a surf paradise were short-lived. The weather was nice and Amanda and I enjoyed a bit of a lazy day full of coffee and what not. I went body-boarding in the morning and then again in the evening for a sunset session. I say sunset, except there was a storm rolling in, and the colours of the sky were different shades of orange, red, grey and black. I was out there with maybe half a dozen other guys, and one gal. We spent a lot of time sitting in the water, shooting the breeze, just enjoying our time. I would love for Amanda to be out here with me, and hopefully one day soon she will be. On the way in to shore, I took a bit of a spill. It’s hard walking around in scuba fins whilst knee deep in surf with waist high waves breaking. I got pushed over, and the next wave dragged me over some rocks. I dinged up my arm, shoulder and back a bit. It’ll hurt in the morning I”m sure. When I got back to the hostel, I finished listening to the Yankees baseball game on the internet radio and I also got an e-mail from Lizzie, the Brit from yesterday. Her and Ali had in fact stayed in El Tunco last night, and had left early this morning. They rode another 100+km and will be taking a few days off up ahead. Maybe we’ll catch up with them.

Amanda writes: It was really great to meet other touring cyclists. Even though I couldn’t keep up with them it was nice to chat with for the short time we did. As Andrew said I hope that we meet them again down the road. The surf community was a nice spot however it reminded me a bit of Sayulita in Mexico. To remind you of that community there is a river that empties into the ocean near the surf beach. This is the same river that sewage runs in. Based on my experience in Sayulita, combined with the rocky shore I wasn’t eager to jump in and surf. I miss riding the waves and playing with Andrew in thew water, but I’ll get there again; I’m sure.

Our hotel was pretty comfortable. On our first night we kept a window open to enjoy the nice cool breeze. While the breeze was nice apparently it left an opening for the hotels cat to invite himself in. I woke up in the night to find the cat snuggled between my legs. I think in years past I would have been upset, but it actually made me smile and laugh. It would appear that normally the cat sleeps in this room.

Today’s Photographs

Our Chickenbus Experience
Our Everest