Honduras.

image Honduran route. The map page is currently updated through Nicaragua.

Bananas and variants everywhere. Fresh ones eaten roadside. Fried plantains for breakfast, or sliced thin and fried and served with a meal instead of French* fries. Banana bread too a great snack, and easy to find in most tiny grocery stores.

image *Note: if traveling with a Belgian companion, refrain from calling them “French” fries.

image Headed into Honduras along the Caribbean coast. First stop: Omoa, jump into the Caribbean straight off the pier.

image Head farther down the coast to La Ceiba, Honduras’ party city. Ended up hoping up here for Easter week while Sebastiaan went to the nearby island of Utila to do a dive course.

image One of the busiest weeks of the year, and still one of the quietest beaches I’ve ever seen. Honduras is underrated.

image All recent camping has been urban camping. Generally this means asking whatever little restaurant we eat dinner at if we can camp there overnight. Usually we’re given a place under shelter, and just set the tents up for bug protection.

image Or we might ask at a police station. This station had a room and mattresses for people to sleep off a hard night out, which they immediately offered us. “To serve and to protect- this is our motto, this is our job”, one policeman told us proudly.

image Third option: church camping. The closer you hang your hammock to the altar, the better your night’s sleep.

image From the Caribbean coast, we turned back inland over the mountains.

image Nighttime looming.

image Dirt roads: found.

image One of the best parts of climbing mountains: pine forests always appear, so far all down the Americas. A little reminder of home.

image One evening, following a long day of near continuous tire punctures (bad glue? Bad patches? Too hot weather? Cause still unknown), we were asking around in a small village about possible places to eat and sleep. José and his sister offered us a place. On a beautiful farm, full of fruits, they gave us mattresses and a cabin for the night, used to sheltering people that their pastor father brings around. A fun meet-the-family evening.

image With some bike testing included. No one here worries much whether a bike is the right size for them; if the frame is too big, just pedal sitting on the top tube instead of the saddle.

image Memorable food moments: this “restaurant” in the side of a tire repair shop. Rice and beans and fried steak, with fresh salsa and fried plantains. $2. Because of food like this, Sebastiaan and I haven’t been using the camp stove all that much.

image Also roadside watermelon stops.

image Good places to make friends.

image Spotted just before leaving: hammocks are everywhere, and truckers know how to hang in a guaranteed shady spot.

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Guatemala.

imageBit of a catch up post, Guatemala is now over and done. Left San Cristobal and Mexico with Sebastiaan, from Belgium, backpacking the last 6 months down from New York, now giving biking a try. Pretty sweet to be riding with company again.

image Sebastiaan.

image Relinquishing the relative coolness of the mountain heights of San Cristobal, descending to the jungle below.

image Where waterfalls make the perfect afternoon rest stop. The road from San Cristobal to the Mayan ruins at Palenque boasts two huge falls, where everyone goes. The road from Palenque along the Guatemalan border also hosts several waterfalls, a little smaller, but much less crowded and great places to relax.

image 7am river crossing to Guatemala.

image Where we’re welcomed and escorted through the village.

image The first two days across the border are spent crushing a hardpacked dirt road to Flores. Great riding, if a tad dusty.

image Ever present heat = frequent drink stops.

image At Flores, meet up with Stanford friends Anne and Kamil to explore the Mayan ruins of Tikal. Great choice for spring break, guys! Thanks for visiting!

image Tikal temple.

image Looming high, steps to the sky.

image Photo credit to Anne/Kamil.

image Credit again to Anne.

image After a few days rest, back on the road, heading into the mountains to Semuc Champey. First on asphalt…

image Then onto 24hrs of loose and rocky climbing, up, down, breathless, recover, struggle another few hundred meters, repeat. Practicing for the Andes again.

image Up high, at the end of the steepest section, Jorge and his family offer us a place to sleep for the night.

image Setting out the next day, after a few hours a forced rest stop waiting for the road to clear.

image And finally, the start of the descent.

image To the Semuc Champey pools. Time to swim!

image A short rest first.

image Water park playground.

image

image From Semuc, we head back east to the Caribbean coast and into Honduras. The last stretch of road to the border is lined by some of the banana and pineapple plantation remnants of United Fruit Company and Standard Fruit Company. Proximity to which ensures plenty of cheap roadside fruit vendors.

image Next up: Honduras, country #5.