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Entry 20: Lake Yojoa, Honduras – Leon, Nicaragua

HONDURAS | Friday, 9 May 2014 | Views [1244]

With the extra-large goblet of Jesus week flowing over and covering most all of Antigua, I split town with a feeling of having been in a relationship past its expiration date. Antigua is a beautiful place but, being a chico del campo, I was peopled out & tired of seeing the Son paraded around town. Gracias y Adios!

With a half-assed plan of heading towards the border of Honduras near Copan, I traveled west towards Guatemala City and became immediately turned around in the hustle and bustle of mucho trafico and the poorly signed streets of the City; I pulled off to the side of the road to do some figuring. I was like a puppy at an ill-fated four lane highway crossing until a local cat on a chromed out Harley read my body language and pulled over to lend some navigational guidance. After explaining my intended destination he (like the moto cop in Mexicali, MX) gave the “follow me” signal and we rolled through the heart of G – Town. After fifteen minutes of lefts and rights and dodging drivers hell-bent on something, we emerged like Jesus from the cave on Sunday and into the proverbial light on the other side of the City. With a handshake and a friendly adios wave from Harley man – I was back on track and rolling towards my stopover point for the night – Chiquimula.

Chiquimula is only 45 minutes from the Honduran border and apart from rapping with a local who had lived in US for a spell and seeing a nightwalker that looked like Halle Berry in a party suit (just looky, no touchy), my stay was uneventful.

The border crossing from Guatemala to Honduras was not quite as bad as I had prepared myself for but it did take about 2.5 hours. Those traveling by moto should be prepared for some evasive maneuvers as they approach/leave the border or suffer the fate of a taco’d rim from one of many jumbo sized potholes that tend to congregate around the frontier zone. That said, once one reaches CA4 near La Entrada the road turns silky. Having arrived at the border fairly early, I was able to travel for an additional four hours and find digs well before night fall & south of San Pedro Sula in the town of Villanueva. I had planned on throttling through Honduras in two days but I had a change of heart and decided to check out Lake Yojoa. The D&D brewery, restaurant and hostel was a wise choice in lodging on Lake Yojoa. I didn’t realized it before arrival but I’d been needing a solid chill out session from travel in a tranquil, natural environment with good peeps and with no agenda. Yep, I stayed four nights.

Rested and ready for something, I decided to make a push for the border town of Danli. About 30 minutes from Danli my clutch cable broke as I pulled into a gas station – Balls! I had feared this since reading of the same happening to another traveler on their CA journey and had searched for a spare in several places since leaving the Pacific coast of Mexico. With a little disassembly and cable rerouting, I was able to rig up a vice-clamp, clutch engagement apparatus that worked but wasn’t pretty and offered little confidence for lasting more than a day or two of use. As luck would have it, the third building that I saw in Danli was the Supercross motorcycle shop and they had replacement cables in stock – I bought two.

The next day I spent the better part of three hours going through the gringo shakedown at the Las Manos border crossing in Nicaragua. A couple hours after the border and while exploring a rocky sidetrack near Somoto Canyon, I viewed blue sky surrounding my front wheel which had responded to a large rock encounter by taking up the posture of a horse in double front hoof attack mode. End result of the rocky road horse shuffle was a bent right pannier rack. With the newly customized pannier slant, I righted the bike and heading back to pavement and easier terrain. Once back on the pavement I headed an hour south to Esteli.

Esteli seemed pretty cool until I found myself on the downwind side of some anti-gringo shit talking by three different locals, at three different locations, at three different times and all during the daylight hours. No big deal but I decided not to stray too far from the hotel at night. Sometimes you feel a place and sometimes you don’t. Adios shit-talkers!

Leon was a different story all together – no smack talking, cheap digs at the Sonati Hostel and new friends. The sole detractor came in the form of the 90 degree temperatures that increased thirst, sweat, lethargy and swimming hole daydreams. Despite the heat, I ended up staying in Leon for a full week. Highlights: Cerro Negro Volcano boarding, salsa dancing, beach swimming, revolutionary war museum touring with a guide that was in the war, pannier rack fixing, friend making and beer drinking.

Next stop – Laguna Apoyo…

 

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Colorado: 1995 & 2013

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