Tuesday, April 28, 2009

day 100 - day off

panama city - day off
the boat is probably going to leave one day later....
so, one more day on which i have to watch that i don´t grow together with the couch in the hostel. (sometimes i feel like a stranded whale)
i got asked "how is panama city?"
hard to tell! so far not as big and bad as people tell you.
full of contrasts. US-style shopping malls in one district, indigenous people selling handcraft in the old district, lost souls living on the streets, fish market, yacht harbour, a chinese restaurant between mac d and burger k, hot&humid,..
doing a little walking tour and getting somehow to the park in town.
in the evening meeting graham and christine. (graham on his tour from alaska to argentina and christine from baltimore to argentina)

day 099 - day off

panama city - day off
another sweating off in the hot and humid panama city
walking around town....
lottery is quite popular around here, so there are flying lottery dealer or in the big places stationary sales-booths.

Monday, April 27, 2009

day 098 - day off

panama city - day off
walking around town, looking for a map from columbia (but i failed!)
allready looking forward to get back on the bike.... i am just not "built" for walking around in cities. ;-)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

day 097 - day off

panama city - day off
walking tour in the old district and the fish market.
(some serious extreme couching after that)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

day 096 - km 8011

sajalices - panama city
67,77km 681 alti meter
just a early morning ride to panama city. the traffic was not bad, probably because its saturday. riding in panama city is not to bad, just a little tricky with all those one way streets.

day 095 - km 7943

auguadulce - sajalices
131,07km 739 alti meter
not much to see along the road.
just hot, humid, headwinds and rolling hills.
at least that "gives" some time to think about the further route...

day 094 - km 7812

el juan - aguadulce
105,39km 525 alti meter
some more heat and headwinds as the roadsurface gets worse.
a flat tire on the trailer brought some changes to a not so eventfull cycling day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

day 093 - km 7706

san lorenzo - el juan
103,67km 1454 alti meter
this heat&humid weather is killer!
elections are coming up, so political meetings even in the remote villages.

day 092 - km 7603

cafe isabel @ km68 - san lorenzo
105,46km 1776 alti meter
first i thought i have to take it easy, so i wouldn't be to soon in panama city.
(i might can catch a boat ride leaving at the 01.05 to cartagena)
but there is no need to ride extra slow, as this nasty steep climbs and the heavy rain slow me down not really on a relaxing way.

day 091 - km 7497

almirante - cafe isabel @km 68
90,21km 1663 alti meter
scenic aerea but hard to enjoy on this nasty little climbs at 17%.
(elections coming up....)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

day 090 - km 7407

puerto limon - almirante (panama)
134,98km 694 alti meter
nice riding in the morning along the beach and forest.
at the border to panama again a border(line) magic trick!?
i didn´t have proper documents which would proof that the bike is mine,
so this "sherif" told me that it would be ok if i give him 10US$.
i asked if he takes colon as well, he said yes and made my 10.000 colon (about 20US$) disappear.... i didn´t argue with them, because i was not in the mood to unpack all my bags and declare all the stuff i carry with me. (i am kind of flexible with my principles at 45°C at a foreign border)
kind of difficult to balance a heavy loaded bike/trailer over this old train bridges.

Friday, April 17, 2009

day 089 - km 7272

cartago - puerto limon
155,39km 1661 alti meter
from the vulcano mountains to the caribic ocean beach.

day 088 - day off

cartago - day off
bus & hiking tour to the volcano irazu.
(little mini tornados at the mountain top)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

day 087 - km 7117

zapote - cartago
112,09km 2058 alti meter
nice mountainroad climbing in the morning, real scenic after the fog cleared.
later some mindbreaking rolling hills (50m up/down is not much fun for me!)
lunchbreak in san jose (pizza hut, because of the free internet). trying to find a good bookstore in town and later get out off the big city and maybe make it to cartago.
arrived in cartago and checked in at the casa aura. (a B&B run by a biker for bikers. really nice guy! great service!) tomorrow i´ll check out the volcano... (probably by buss as my legs feel the climbing off the last 2 days. 4.300m!?)

day 086 - km 7004

los chiles - zapote
113,27km 2258 alti meter
the day started smooth and flat, turned to rolling hills and some awesome climbing at the end!? (no doubt! costa rica have the steepest climbs so far)
passing farmland, wood mills and sugar cane factories...

day 085 - km 6891

san carlos - los chiles (costa rica)
3,18km 53 alti meter
after all night and the morning on a boat i wanted to get on my bike as soon as possible, but i met yoshi (www.on-the-pla.net) on the boat so i changed my mind and stayed with him in los chiles.
here some infos about the boat rides (as far as i can remember them)
rivas - moyogalpa (ometepe)
i think i paid for 2 persons aprox. 80C leaves every hour
altagracia - san charlos aprox 9hours leaves twice a week
140C (the 55C 2nd class was sold out) plus 85C for the bike
san charlos - los chiles aprox 1hour ride leaves twice daily
170C plus 100C for the bike.
on ometepe (in moyogalpa) is a ATM which works at least with VISA card

Monday, April 13, 2009

day 084 - km 6887

altagracia - san carlos
waiting for the boat to san carlos....
(walking around town, updating the blog....)
and it might sound funny, but i was searching for the harbour for almost half an hour this morning!?)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

day 083 - km 6877

unnamed place - rivas - moyogalpa - altagracia
71,96km 348 alti meter
hot, humid and headwinds made this half riding day feel like a very long one!?
i rode around the volcano, but i don´t think that i will climb it tomorrw (just to hot&humid for 9 hour hiking)
at some ATM´s in nicaragua you can get either cordoba or us $

Saturday, April 11, 2009

day 082 - km 6730

ciudad dario - unnamed restaurant in a unnamed village
145,69km 745 alti meter
another holiday in nicaragua as it seems, as all shops and most restaurants have closed. i had an early start again (05.30) and got 70km done before 08.00 which is kind of nice. so i ride some more and then try to find some shade for a nap. ;-)
so some more heat & headwinds...
granada is a really nice town, with old buildings and good restaurants...

day 081 - km 6660

ocotal - ciudad dario
137,4km 1358 alti meter
i couldn´t get a map for nicaragua at all so far, but the traffic is not to bad and the way is scenic on this easter weekend.

day 080 - km 6522

soccerfield km 32 - ocotal (nicaragua)
116,10km 1608 alti meter
the road surface got a little rough after the intersection to morocelli until 8km before danli and the shoulder disappeared. the road gets quite mountainous but it gets more scenic with less traffic. from el paraiso to the border a nice 12km climb.
besides the usual couple US$ here and there at borders they did this magic trick on me.
without a magic spell or a nice assistant they managed to make 100 Limpiras and 100 Cordobas disappear!?
some suggestions for honduras cyclers:
(out of my very limited experience and therefor very subjective!)
if you don´t have already get a good map for honduras.
(order via internet and have it sent to a "warm shower", "couchsurfer" or "hospitality" address)
most villages and towns don´t have sign, directions.....
but there are some sideroads you could take to get around tegucigalpa for example.
(i had to do allot climbing in a not very scenic area besides bad traffic)
((check out other blogs, people did it and i think it´s worth it))
a general suggestion in this area is:
have a decent amount of US$ cash on you in small bills.
(for the border "gringo" fees and food/drinks... in the areas close to borders)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

day 079 - km 6360

comedor "el rodeo" - a soccerfield at aprox. km32
95,04km 1669 alti meter
the park aurora (camping option) is aprox. 35km before tegucigalpa (aprox. 47km after comayagua)
this is after the first big climb which goes up to 1440 meters and before the secound climb which goes up to 1370 meters (950 meter valley in between)

day 078 - km 6311

lago de yojoa - comedor "el rodeo"
112km 1592 alti meter
alot traffic and a rough or no shoulder...
at least its less humid in the mountains which makes the climbing much nicer.
(no pics today as the heavy rain emptied the camera battery)

Monday, April 6, 2009

day 077 - km 6199

san pedro sula - lago de yojoa
90,26km 1034 alti meter
still "sauna"-conditions around here, which makes the cycling harder.
(when you sweat more, then you are able to drink!?)
the scenery is nice and on the side road not much traffic.
sometimes it is hard to navigate as most towns/villages don´t have signs/names
and if you look an the map you get a completely different picture of where you should be!?
so here some stats for those who might be in this area...
km 46,5 turn right towards rio lindo / pulhapazak
km 57,5 village rio lindo
km 59,5 waterfalls pulhapazak (a 2km / 200 altimeter climb from the village)
the road to/from pulhapazak is about 1-1,5km long under construction off the main road.
after that some more climbing - the lake is at about 650meter.
(i wasn´t in for much more climbing so i choose the east coast route back to the CA5.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

day 076 - day off

san pedro sula - day off
trying to find soem informations about the further route and realxing.

day 075 - km 6108

puerto barrios - san pedro sula
165,31km 592 alti meter
a long hot day on the road. the first stretch to puerto cortes was a really nice ride. great scenery and not much trafic. puerto cortes is a one way city so an extra 10km to get in/out of downtown. (i tried to get some cash there and a map of honduras... at least i got some money at the 3rd bank!?) hopefully san pedro sula improves my picture of hondurain cities (but i think it is easter weekend, so that might be difficult)

day 074 - km 5943

poptun - livingston - puerto barrios
108,02km 788 alti meter
"the carebean guatemala/honduras detour"
here some facts for those who are thinking about taking the same route:
boat from rio dulce to livingston leave at 9.30 and 13.30 costs 125Q per person 25Q per bike. (duration aprox. 1,5h)
boat from livingston to puerto barrios costs 30Q per person 10Q per bike. (duration aprox. 0,5h)
the road from puerto barrios to puerto cortes is paved all the way with a nice shoulder. there is one little hill (aprox. 50 meters) between puerto barrios and entre rios and a even smaller one 9km after the border, later some rolling hills.
km 4 puerto barrios - intersection sto. tomas / guatemala
(turn left towards guatemala)
km 13 turn left in entre rios at intersection to honduras
(some little "stores" along the road)
km 18 guatemala imigration (get your stamp leaving guatemala for free)
km 38 border honduras (get your stamp for honduras 30Q or 3 US$)
possible to change money on the "road"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

day 073 - km 5835

flores - poptun
107,56km 832
again a early start (5.30 on the bike). relaxing at the finca ixobel, swimming in the pond (and getting ready to do some serious damage to the "all you can eat dinner buffet"!!!

day 072 - km 5728

tikal - flores
66,68km 547 alti meter
after a sunrise hike in / on the ruines a short riding day to flores.

day 071 - km 5661

san ignazio - tikal (guatemala)
105,39 km 1105 alti meter
hot ride on 20km gravel road and some hiking in tikal.