7th March (Tela – La Ceiba) (100km + 15km)
Tela is a grotty coastal town that really has nothing to recommend it. On a rainy day when you are not feeling too good, it has even less. The next day I had a lovely cruise across the flat countryside to La Ceiba and then having over shot the centro I went for the ferry terminal only to miss the Atla Island ferry by a matter of minutes. Decided that it would be easier to board the ferry to another island (Roatan) rather than head back into town and wait until the next morning. Tonight therefore finds your correspondent in West End, diving central for the Bay Islands. Expensive little tourist locale with an odd collection of US and Canadian refugees and Caribbeans.
8th – 9th March (Isle of Roatan)
10th March (Isle of Roatan – South of La Ceiba) (15km+15km)
Thankfully back on the mainland heading south into the jungle. Omega Trekking is a pleasant little trekking company nestled up in the jungle verge of the national park. Sonny and the guys (mostly from NZ are very hospitable.
11th March (Omega Lodge south of La Ceiba – Olanchito) (60km)
Big ride today up through a national park on dirt road and then merely track to the mountain pass at 1,000 metres then careening down the track on the other side. A bit of pushing near the top on single track and a lot of effort for the 60km but worth it in terms of the beautiful scenery and cutting off a big detour of the main road which loops east then south.
12th March (Olanchito – La Union) (100km)
A pretty good dirt road with no traffic through a remote valley up to 1,100 metres. Big rise up through a beautiful valley next to a pretty river looping up to 1,100 metres twice more then cascading along the undulating corrugated dirt through the afternoon. La Union is a grubby dark sewer of a town. The fat slags at the L150 ($8) hotel have seemingly at some time used the mattress in my room and crushed the life out of it so it sadly sags.
13th March (La Union – Campamento) (85km)
Rolling up and down across the pretty countryside on rutted dirt roads again today. Small rises and falls takes the energy after a while as 50 metre climbs and rolls sap the spirit. L100 ($5.50) for a room has to be one of the cheapest rooms around. 66km of dirt and a puncture then out onto the main road and thankfully some tar then 20km to the pleasant town of Campamento.
14th March (Campamento – El Higarito) (110km)
Today was a pretty good ride…aside from the fact that I got run over by a steam roller. Yes dear reader, your long suffering correspondent was minding his own business waiting at a road construction delay when a steam roller driver decided to reverse without looking towards the queue of waiting traffic and then just kept on coming. At the very last minute before being crushed I lept out of the way dragging the bike with me but not in time to prevent the wheel of the roller from backing over the rear wheel of the bike and leaving me splayed in the dirt next to the roller. Amazingly the rear axle popped out of the frame when the roller went over it taking the pressure out and the dirt must have given a bit of cushioning because the wheel survived the ordeal mostly unscathed. The stream of invective rained down upon the driver has not been heard since the Las Pinos Hotel in Mexico. A scrum of road workers formed and against all expectations the bulk of the driver’s co-workers seemed to agree with my repeated assertion that the roller driver was in fact an “idiota, El stupido fuckin’ puta mother-fucker”. One even suggested [through a fist pounding gesture] that I should punch him in his stupid head.
As it turns out there would appear to be precious little, if anything that can harm the Co-motion/Buff3y combination. We have tested the bike by running it over with a frickin’ steam roller and even that could not stop it nor me.
15th March (El Higarito – Ocotal) (90km)
Another big climbing day but on tarmac at least after the last four days of dirt. The formalities crossing into Nicaragua archived without any problem and a roll down into the rough and ready border town of Ocotal.