Guates Up?!?!?

Xela also known as Quetzaltenango is a cool town in the Guatemalan highlands. With an elevation of about 2,330 meters (7,655) it gets pretty cold at night! We were constantly layering up in the evenings to deal with the chill. The centro of Xela is really interesting, the architecture has a very European feel to it. We went out one night to the local pub for the Quetzaltrekkers Winter Benefit Bash! Quetzaltrekkers is a non profit trekking company and the proceeds from the party go to help the local children’s education! The dance party was rockin when we all got there. It was nice to get out of the cold streets and burn up the dance floor. There was also a foosball tournament going on, so naturally we entered it, and of course, won it.

Quetzaltrekkers non-profit. All proceeds go to help local street children

Quetzaltrekkers non-profit. All proceeds go to help local street children

The next day everyone from the hostel went up to the local hot springs. Fuentes Georginas. A 30 minute bus ride up into the mountains enabled us to get to the springs. There was recently a landslide in the area which opened up new vents making the springs the hottest they had ever been! It was nice to get a soak up in the highlands. The springs were on a mountainside in the jungle. Clouds rolled by the high peaks as we enjoyed the thermal baths. Hen had a splinter deep in his foot that just popped out after soaking in the therapeutic water of the fuentes.

Fuentes Georginas super hot spraaangsss!

Fuentes Georginas
super hot spraaangsss!

After chillin hard in mountain town of Xela for a few days we made the natural migration to Lago de Atitlan. Tommy and Ike headed out a day earlier, Bradie and his girlfriend Diana took a bus and Hen rode the 80 km solo to Lago where he would meet up with everyone.

Hen ridin solo Xela to Lago, feeling the elevation climbing out of the valley, foto by Karl a cyclist I met on the way

Hen ridin solo Xela to Lago, feeling the elevation climbing out of the valley, foto by Karl a cyclist I met on the way

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Footy game on the way to Atitlan

Hen’s ride out of Xela was cool. It was kind of cold in the morning and climbing out of the valley was steep! People we talked to in Mexico weren’t joking when they said the mountains in Guatemala go STRAIGHT UP! The climb reminded Hen of climbing Rabbit Ears pass out of Steamboat in Colorado. The road cuts right up the mountainside and traverses it for a while without switchbacking. Once the summit of 3670 meters  (12,040ft!)(the highest section of the PanAm in Centro) was attained it was time to chill and dig the altitude, and get psyched for the downhill. 60km +  downhill brakes out passing cars on the PanAmerica highway as you drop out of the sky but your still SO HIGH!

view from the climb. a few km from the summit which had an elevation of  3,670m (12,040 ft) The highest section of the PanAm in Centro

View from the climb. a few km from the summit which had an elevation of 3,670m (12,040 ft) The highest section of the PanAm in Centro

Hen took the exit towards Lago and was feeling pretty knackered. Climbing another straight up hill this Guatemalan dude yelled “Man what the fuck chu doing!? Come here and sit down!” So Henry went and kicked it on the side of the hill with Jose. He had lived in Houston Texas for 20 years and wanted to speak English. Hen chilled with him for about 20 minutes talking about life in the USA and life in Guate. After talking and hangin out for a bit Jose said jump in the truck I’ll take you to the top. Catching a ride up  the short but steep hill was pretty nice. Going down the other side was a whole nother adventure! Since the mountains in Guatemala go STRAIGHT UP! They also go STRAIGHT DOWN!!! This was the steepest road we had ever ridden. Brakes in the whole time trying not to lose control! hundreds of steep switchbacks on the craziest road ever! The whole time being spoiled with amazing views of Lago. Descending into the madness Hen caught another ride over to San Pedro with Antonio. This was the craziest ride of his life. Antonio drives like a MANIAC passing every car on the road. Hen was in the back of the pickup holding on for dear life, second guessing every bump and turn. We got to Antonio’s house in San Juan in one piece and thanked him for the ride. Hen pedaled the remainder of the trip into San Pedro de Laguna. San Pedro is a laidback gypsie town on the side of the lake. Eventually he navigated the tight alleyways and located the rest of the crew at YO MAMA’s House which is the hostel where everyone was staying.

droppin into lago

Droppin into lago

Tommy and Ike had quite the adventure as well. They rode out of Xela and ran into some amazing farms such as Santo’s where he was growing corn and using the hay he had grown for carbon on his plants as well as an insulator to his outhouse! Permaculture at its finest!

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Santos corn drying next to his cozy out house!

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Road side lunch with a side of killer views!

Turning onto the smaller road to the lake we saw an inviting sign saying; “Parque Ecologico Cascada de Domingo.” We turned down this crazy road and came to a large pine forest with crazy natural tetter totters, monkey bars, tree houses and jungle swings  that swung out into the pine canopy! All built with natural material from the forest. It was a paradise for kids, and also acted as our playground for the day!

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Chilling in the natural playground

descending into LAGO ATITLAN

Descending into LAGO ATITLAN

 When arriving to Lago Atitlan, we entered the village of San Pedro which rests below the volcano also named San Pedro. This was a great spot, but was cluttered with an abundance of backpackers. We stayed here for a few nights where we met some cool folks at the hostel “Yo Mama’s Casa” that had a nice vibe and free coffee!  San Pedro was very chill, with secret alleyway type streets make it easy to get lost. The night before Hen arrived we went out and saw some live music which was really cool! After relaxing in San Pedro, we decided to head to the other side of the lake, San Marcos,  via lancha “10 passenger boat.”

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Heading to San Marcos via water taxi!

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Houses submerged as the lake has gradually risen over the past few years from erosion along with other reasons

Getting into San Marcos we realized that it was more of a spiritual village with djembe gypsies and yoga pants galore! Riding the bikes thru the narrow paths we were yet again on the search for a free place to stay. As we followed the lake side cobble stone road we heard a man running after us yelling “Wait! Hold On!” We quickly harshed the brakes as this man stopped and tried to regain his breathe. After meeting Rick, he told us he was from Seattle and that his girlfriend from Guatemala and him ran a hotel next to the dock. He quickly posed the question of us camping out on the land that was part of the hotel. Ike ran back with Rick to scope the camp spot and decided it was the best way to go as  it was lake front with a private dock! There was an abandoned building  with a nice grassy spot to set up camp, and Rick ended up buying us dinner from the hotel both of the nights that we stayed! San Marcos was a very tranquil place with small gardens and herb spirals hiding behind bamboo fences.

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Herb spiral!

private dock camping by an abandoned building!

Private dock camping by an abandoned building!

Tommy, Hen and Ike had heard about the Cacao shaman and were interested to take part in a ceremony. The cacao, which is the base of chocolate, has many amending and spiritual properties that can heal people mentally and sometimes physically as well. Being chocolate enthusiasts and sugar fiends, we decided to see what it was all about. The ceremony consisted of about 20 people chillin on the shamans porch and everyone got their own cacao drink that could be sipped as long as you wanted. We stayed for about 4 hours and concentrated as the guru talked us thru the experience. We all enjoyed the ceremony but found it hard to concentrate as the shaman talked non stop. It was cool to try something crazy such as cacao ceremony, just another experience along the way.

gettin all spiritually on some cacao

Gettin all spiritually on chocolate

We also got to go cliff jumping at this sweet nature park within walking distance from our camp! It was awesome place to practice our aerial maneuvers from about a 7m jumping platform. After the disappointment of not being able to jump in Acapulco, this was a major morale boost for the cliff jumping aspect of tour.

hen flyin into lago

Hen flyin into lago

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View from our lake side camp spot!

We left  San Marcos  the next day and headed towards Panajachel, the north eastern village on the lake. We were able to get a cheap room in the busy Pana streets and enjoyed one last night with our friend Warren who we met in Mexico. Hen went with Warren and the other brits to go play Fifa at the Xbox lounge. He ended up losing to Warren and Old Bones, both games… His Fifa record on this trip has been terrible.. 0-4, one day he will win!!

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See ya in the future Warren!

The next day we had to exit the large crater that we had been stuck in for so long with vertical roads and chicken buses always by your side. The chicken buses are nuts! They are basically souped up school buses with big racks on top that carry anything from vegetables to tires to pigs and of course CHICKENS! Some days we try to eat lunch on tight corners just to watch these huge diesel machines squeal around the turns, waiting for one to flip.

chickenbus!!

Chickenbus!!

Climbing out of the lake was special experience. Once again challenging the roads that go STRAIGHT UP we pedaled about 2 hours and made it 7km. The climb was awesome with massive views of the lake and  its surrounding volcanoes. There were sections it was so steep we were almost puking! In fact Tommy actually Puked!

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Exiting the crater

Tommy wasn’t feelin so hot and decided to take a chill day with B Koz, so Ike and Hen started for Antigua. It was getting late with weather rolling in so we searched for a place to camp. We came to Santiago’s farm where he told us we could stay on his land. As the rain started coming down, Bartolo (Santiago’s brother) came over and told us we could stay in his vegetable shed. We packed up our bags and rode into the cement shed, filled with veggies! We made beds out of the veggies crates and also built a wind block out of the lego like crates. Bartolo gifted us a plethora of vegetables including potatoes, celery, radishes, giant carrots, and a head of cabbage! We cooked up a soup to beat the cold followed by hot cocoa after dinner and then hit the sack in the veg shed! At one O’clock in the morning we awoke to a crew of guys loading all of our vegetable insulation into a truck. Although it was a little distracting, it was neat to see first hand how the Guatemalans work!
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Hen chillin in the veg shed

For breakfast the next day we ate some carrots and bread which was ok.

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Ehhh, Whats up Doc?!

It was a chilly morning as we were still pretty high in the mountains. Climbing up the hill was a nice warmup but you have to manage the layers you are wearing so your not sweating then getting the chills. Cycling on the PanAmerican highway through the Guatemalan highlands is amazing. The road is 2 lanes on both sides with huge shoulders. Riding through rock walled canyons and on the ridge lines of mountains with clouds scraping the summits it feels like you are touching the sky!

super high on the PanAm

Super high on the PanAm

We descended out of the high elevation mountains into more temperate terrain. Leaving the PanAm towards the town of Antigua Guatemala we stopped to play footy with some locals. It was a fun game with goals flying in at both ends. After the match it was that time again, time to find somewhere to spend the night. Hen saw a trail into a field with a farmer cutting down corn stalks. He went and asked him if we could spend the night on the farm. Fermin, the farmer said it was cool to stay, so we bought him a beer! He showed a place to sleep under an avocado tree and gifted us a few camotes (purple sweet potato).

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Avocado tree camp[ spot

We cooked up dinner and shared it with Fermin and his children! These camotes are different from your average potato as an average potato grows new potatoes from the eyes located on the potato itself, whereas the camote grows vines above ground. These vines have eyes of their own that you cut and plant each piece of vine instead of pieces of the fruit.

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Scientific camote diagram

Fermin taught us a lot about farming in the climate that we were in and we had fun listening to him teach us ways of the land.

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Ike stayin hydrated on the PanAm

We were about 10 km from Antigua and we rolled into the outskirts of town. There was a cool church we checked out and then ended up playin footy with some kids in the square. The backdrop was cool as we kicked it under the Volcan de Agua. We met a couchsurfer from Norway named Morton who played with us as well.

playin footy under volcan de agua

Playin footy under volcan de agua

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Reusing 2 liter bottles for crazy succulent planters!!

Once we got into town we were searching for a bike shop so Henry could get a new rim, having cracked his on the crazy descent into Lago. We asked a local and he said it would be better to try mañana since it was sunday and most shops were closed. We saw a bunch of people in the streets with green shirts on, we saw a truck full of people partying and asked where they were going? They said, “TO THE MATCH,YOU GOTTA COME!” Antigua’s football club was playing Coban Imperial. We stashed our bikes in the Terrace Hostel, and caught a ride to the game. Everyone was drinking beers in the streets outside the stadium. It was 25$Quetzales (about $3 usd) to get into the match! Naturally we were seated in with the Antigua Ultras. Banging drums, waving flags, setting off fire crackers, this was the party zone! At halftime everyone flooded out of the stadium to refuel on beer and snacks!

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Ike as the Avacado Mascot at the Antigua x Coban Imperial footy match

Partying in the streets and meeting people Hen talked to some gringos (Mike & Chris) who live in Antigua and they said we could stay at there house that evening! Awesome! Back to the football match. The game ended up being a 0-0 draw, which was a fair result. Both teams had chances but didn’t take them. After the game we all mobbed back to the Terrace for drinks! Chillin on the Terrace which is the 3rd floor of the hostel with a radical bar overlooking the town. This turned out to be a SUPER SICK SUNDAY!!!

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Community do-it-yourself laundromat on the way to Antigua!! Great idea Guate!

We stayed at Mike & Chris’s house in Antigua for a few days! There house is really nice, and they had a spare bedroom with two beds in it! Perfect accommodation! Mike is from Montreal and works at the hostel, and Chris is from Austin TX and works as freelance down here in Antigua! They are both super chill dudes and its been awesome staying with them. They have a nice kitchen where we have been whipping up delicious meals left & right, as well as a rooster who eats the leftover scraps!

Heinrich and Michael chillin. The bbq is made out of an old rim

Heinrich and Michael chillin. The bbq is made out of an old rim

Our plan is to head south out of Antigua and into El Salvador in the next few days for more adventures!!

We believe that sometimes the “real world” everyday job actually relates to the “fake world.” Exploring this amazing planet should be more of a “real world” job don’t ya think?

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Real World

-Ike & Hen

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Mexico Pacifico

Highlights from our voyage down the Mexican PAcific coast

Warm showers, jungle vibez and the end of Mexico…

Since Salina Cruz the wind has minimalized and the riding has changed from aggressive forward leans to relaxing laid back 100 km days.

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Filling up at the pump

Matt, the english teacher from Minnesota who also is on bike tour, took us to an amazing little mountain pueblo called Costa Rica. We told him we were big into cliff jumping so he took us to a local spot. It was here where we learned the bottle surf which consists of a 2 liter bottle that acts as a sled as you slide down the natural waterslide.

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Waltzing thru Costa Rica, Mexico

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Coffee drying

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Drying beans on top the roof

In this blog we would like to do a debriefing on our experience of the trip thus far. We have had the opportunity to explore some amazing places and do some crazy things that has lead us to where we are now. There are many reasons why our time here has been so unforgettable. The people, food, landscapes and vibes have all played an enormous part on our exposure of the country.

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Homemade bike stand at a bike shop close to Salina Cruz made of old tire tubes!

The people of Mexico have made our trip much easier and try to help whenever possible. We have learned that there is one question that shouldnt be asked in Mexico; “How many kilometers to the next town?” When asking this question you need to realize that the mexican population does not pay attention to distances…ever. There were many times when our stokeage levels  decreased as the 10 km push turns into a 50 km push. Knowing this is very important when calculatung distances for our trip and is good to know as a bike tourist. Becides this minor dillemma the people of Mexico have been very inviting. We have stopped at many ranches and restaurants looking for a place to sleep and almost always are welcomed to set up camp on their land.

We experienced a wide range of different foods, but I think we all would agree that the fish tacos in baja were top notch! Buying a 10 peso  fish taco each and covering it with assorted salads and salsas from the salsa bar was a good sized snack for this hungry bunch. The pan dulce (sweet bread) was also a classic treat which was very cheap and a good source of energy before a long day on the bikes! Our typical lunch was a bag of beans, an onion, tomato, a can of tuna and a 1/2 kilo of torts. This was an easy, fast and very economical way to get the calories that we needed for the rest of the day.

It is amazing to see the difference in topography throughout the different states of the Mexican promiseland. Although the borders are only imaginary lines in the dirt, there definitely is a different vibe and look to the 10 states that we visited. With steep coastal roads in the Michoacan to safari looking meadows of Oaxaca and farm lands of Chiapas, each one had an interesting twist of the shape of the land.

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Many of the bikes have arrow bars like this fresh yellow whip in the windy city of Salina Cruz. As the elements change, so do the bikes…

We felt like we really got to enjoy the culture and feel of Mexico that most backpackers and other travelers don´t get to experience. Being on bikes has made us realize how large the country of Mexico is as we still have much to see and would have liked to check out more of the mayan culture towards the Yucutan. With all this said we are super stoked to be in Guatemala, starting with a clean slate and a new type of street meat- the papoosa.

We didn´t believe them when they said it, but our friends and recent aquantances were right when they told us the mountains go straight up as you step foot in the new Guate territory. Before entering the border we started riding with a man who was also named Heinrich from Deutchland and could only speak german. We had met him on the road the day before when Hen started speaking german with him. After Hen translated what Heinrich was saying, we realized that he was an epic bicycle tour professional and had been all around the world on buke. One of his trips consisted of riding 18,000 km in Australia in 100 days! What a nut! Heinrich ended up letting us stay in the hotel room he purchased which was nice to have a place to regroup before going into Guate. Following the border crossing Tommy was dealing with his fourth flat of the day and Hen was feeling fatigued and sick and needed a day to rest.  They both decided to hop the bus to Quetzaltenango.Ike felt fine and decided to continue riding thru the epic landscapes with Heinrich.  Although Ike did not speak german and Heinrich ONLY spoke german, they worked well with hand signals and definitely learned much from eachother. They stopped and stayed in a families backyard that had a small pool nice for a quick rinse! Ike made dinner on his stove as the entire family watched, amazed at how we live life on the road.

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Heinrich and our Guatemalan family for the night!

The next morning we packed up and started the most mountainous day of the tour yet! This consisted of many steep switchbacks with amazing views of Volcan Tajumulco, the tallest point in Central America!

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Volcán Tajumulco

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Cacao plants terraced on the steep terrain

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Heinrich ascending the Guate mountains

After the everlasting uphill climb we finally got a break cruzing into the valley of San Marcos. Here Heinrich and Ike purchased a 9 quetzal (less than $1.00) plate of rice and slop consisting of cow tongue, intestine and liver. Surprisingly delicouis! Getting out of the San Marcos market was difficult as we ducked thru the make shift tarp maze, trying not to make eye contact with the relentless street vendors.

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Heinrich confused on how to get out of the insane market

Finally out of the town we started the next uphill ascent. Riding thru firework blockades in the middle of the street, we pushed till the rain started. We took a short break, drinking 3 cups of tea and layering up as Ike and Heinrich had already talked about riding into the night to make the push to Quetzaltenango. Overheating on the uphill till they reached the peak of the climb. This was followed by a 40 km full moon downhill into the indigenous city of Xela aka Quetzaltenango.

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Getting into Xela with sock hands!

This 95 km, 14 hr day finally came to an end as a local drove in front of us to bring us to the Black Cat hostel, where Tommy, Hen, Ike, Bradie and Bradies girlfriend, Diana all met up. We all went to the fuentes Georginas which is a hot springs in the mountains

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Farm country on the way to the hot springs!

 

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Fuentes Georginas hot springs

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Diana and Bradie cheezin

Being back with the team has been great and Bradie is more than excited to get back on the bikes after a great vacation.

Sometimes the uphillin gets you down, other times the straight chillin picks you up, but no matter what keep your seat below your butt!

Ike ~

Hen has been working on the Mexico vid. Stay tuned ~

New Years, Backpackers, and some more windy daze

After a relaxing Christmas we loaded up the mobile homes  and continued our journey south and into the state of Oaxaca. It was noticeably different immediately as all the jungle greens turned into grasslands of golden brown. Through the safari looking landscapes we arrived in a small mexican town called Pinotepa Nacional where we picked up some supplies and witnessed some crazy street markets selling loads of what we would call “crap.” It was interesting to walk through the market and marvel at all of the stuff that was for sale. DvDs, plastic toys, cheap jewelry, comic books, snacks, etc.

Leaving Pinotepa we downhilled into a canyon that was cut by a magnificent river. It was getting late and we decided to that this location would suffice. Exiting the main road onto the river side road we followed it around the bend down to the shoreline. A massive waterfall feeding into the river greeted us  to this amazing location. There was a Mexican family finishing up a picnic when we got there. We started talking to them and they offered us a beer! Naturally, we accepted. A perfect way to end the day. It is always nice to swim in “agua dulce” (fresh water) rather than the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean. After a well earned swim we set up camp under a Palapa that had been built recently. One thing that we noticed is the average Mexican is a bit shorter than us and we had to duck down more than once to avoid hitting our heads!!

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Shortest palapa we have yet to sleep under!

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camped by the river, waterfall, and palapa; bad light for fotos..

The river was great! The next day we came to a traffic jam in the middle of the Oaxaca jungle. Not knowing the cause of the siege, we  rode through the line of stalled cars and locals sitting up next to their useless automobiles. We got to the epicenter of the jam and came to 2 large trucks parked perpendicular to the road with locals holding large sticks and machetes, intimidating the stopped civilians. They were protesting with a large painted sign explaining how the president of the state has screwed them out of their rights and how the people of Oaxaca needed to know the truth. We interviewed a local about the situation and found out that they had been waiting at the blockade for 5 hours! We stealthly got back on the bikes and pedaled around the trucks to the other side where there were just as many buses, cars and motos parked unaware of the situation ahead. Its times like these where the bicycle excels over all types of road transporters! It was unfortunate that the people were upset but we were excited to see the protest first hand! Unfortunately all photos from this uprise did not come out but it was quite the sight to see!

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“Today we fight for the land- Tomorrow for the  power!”

We pushed to our New Years destination, Puerto Escondido (the hidden port). Puerto is an international travel hotspot. Lots of backpackers from all over the world flock to Escondido for its amazing beaches, stellar surfing, and raging nightlife! Puerto is home to MexPipe. (Mexico’s equivalent to Hawaii’s Pipeline surf break) Unfortunately the waves weren’t cranking while we were there or we might have gotten to watch some more big wave riders, and maybe have done some surfing ourselves. As a christmas gift, Hen’s parents sponsored us to stay at the “Hostel Tower Bridge.”  for the New Years holiday period. Tower Bridge is a party hostel run by a crazy old British expat named Steve. Footy posters and Beatles memorabilia lined the walls of the hostel which made for a pretty tranquillo atmosphere. The hostel has a nice common area, pool table, swimming pool, pingpong table, a kitchen, dormitories, and private rooms. There was multiple locations inside the compound to hangout and socialize with fellow travelers, including palapas, muskoka chairs, hammocks, and sofas; which we made sure to chill hard at all of them!!

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Hanging in Puerto Escondido at the hostel “Tower Bridge”

It was nice to relax and have access to a kitchen. Tommy who is a mexican chef at heart took over the kitchen and was whipping up tacos, quesadillas, and nachos left and right! The backpackers were awed by our culinary exploits. We had to explain to them that for us to have a kitchen is a real treat! Not only is it extremely delicious but its very economic as well to cook our own food. For example; we can spend 100 pesos (7$US) on food for the day (3 meals and snacks for 3 people!) whereas  eating out is about 50 pesos a person!

We met a lot of cool people from all over the world at the hostel. It was neat to exchange stories with backpackers to see where they’ve been and where they were going. Once thing we noticed about bike tour is that our experiences are way diferent than that of the average backpacker. We travel through the country at such a slow pace it actually allows us to smell, feel, taste, etc. the areas that we are visiting and interact with the people. Whereas the backpacker’s main mode of transit is the bus or taxi where they plug into their headphones and attempt to sleep the duration of the trip as the countryside whizzes by uninterestingly. On the other-hand the benefit of bus travel is that they can zip around the country and check out different destinations on a shorter time frame. Lots of the travelers were coming from or going to the Yucatan Peninsula which is one place we aren’t going to get to visit on the Tour de Mexico. Oh well we are living the Pacific Dream right now!

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Talking to our new friend Carlos! He thought Ike was a Mexican!

New Years was a blast! We had a great big dinner of steak taco’s and mixed drink cocktails! After dinner we got cleaned up and all of the party people naturally congregated at the hostel bar! Once we were en masse we all made moves towards the Zicatela, which is the main beach with the bar scene. We spent the countdown to 2014 out on the beach partying and once the New Year had started everyone gravitated towards a big dance party on the beach. Lights, a dance floor, and thumping electronic music greeted us as we let loose! It ended up being a wild night for everyone with the details better left untold…

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Oaxaca countryside

After the run at Puerto Escondido we rode to a small beach called Zipolite which is a small pueblo on the beach smashed between some very steep jungle hills. Zipolite was really hippie town with gypsies selling their artwork in the street in the evening. Theres a small Italian community there and it was funky listening to the Italian/Spanish. We met this crazy dready dude named Santiago who was from Oregon, he had bike toured all over Centro America and told us where we could camp. We spent the night in this little Italian ladies yard who runs a small camp ground. Zipolite is also known for having the only nude beach in Mexico so we decided to do as the locals do and take part!

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We camped next to a sweet river after a night in Zipolite. Great swimming hole and a nice spot to do laundry!

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Here is a great idea of a flower pot made from an old log. The wood chips hold water and are a good nutrient for the plant and it also looks super chido! (mexican slang for chill) We saw this at one of the aborrotes (convenience shops) along the way.

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Aborrote along the way

We left for Salina Cruz going up what seemed like the never ending ascend. vWe reached the top (pic below) and the wind started to rage. We had to put all of our weight into the wind, riding in a sideways battle against the harsh breeze. Ike was blown off the road but remained on his bike as Hen was not so lucky… He was blown off the road by the wind and into the dirt. Laughing he uprighted his bike and continued to battle the heinous winds  as we rolled on to Salina Cruz. Chicago might be the windy city of the USA, but Salina Cruz takes the cake in Mexico! Blowing left and right we finally arrived in the oil rich city. Entering Salina Cruz there was TUNNEL! Wow! Luckily it had a wide shoulder and was extremely well lit. The wind was at our back as we entered the tunnel. It was like we were the bullets in a barrel of a gun as we were rocketed into Salina Cruz! Town was poppin off when we go there. It was the celebration of the 3 Kings or something.  The streets were covered with men in orange jump suits from the Pemex oil refinery (one of the only gas station companies in Mexico) and kids skateboarding in the centro. We spent the night camped in front of the Police Station which was very safe hehe.

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Salina Cruz from the top of the hill. Windy descent into the valley.

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Hombre sharpening Tommy’s machete with hand made bike sharpener!!

The next day was  spent taking a rest day in the Zocalo (plaza) just hanging out taking it easy, talking to locals. Salina Cruz isn’t in the “Lonely Planet” so no tourists ever go there, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out! We walked around town and got supplies, and used the interweb cafe. Hen went to the Xbox lounge on the third floor of the interweb cafe and played FIFA with some highschoolers. He played two games and lost both of them! They were close but he was rusty and no match for the well tuned teenagers!

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The bikes hangin centro. Notice the wind in the trees

Trying to stay healthy we are very excited to get to Guatemala in the next week or so after we cross throughout the state of Chiapas! It looks like a massive wind corridor and hopefully the wind will be from behind. But like our friend Michael Kirkpatrick from the Holler says,”When the winds in your face its a long hard race but don’t you ever curse the day, When the winds at your back, thank circumstance and hope it keeps blowing your way!”

We have also heard the rumors and seen the maps of how the mountains go straight up once we hit Guate, but were stoked to see it for ourselves!

Always stay on the winds side and keep the rubber on the road.

-Ike and Hen