Sunday, December 16, 2012

Can't sleep

It's 4am now and I have been awake since 1am! Sometimes when I wake up just a little too much, my mind starts up and I can't get it to shut off so that I can go back to sleep. So, I figured I would post about yesterday.

 We woke up and fired up the stove for some oatmeal and coffee. I think I made it a bit too strong as my dad was vibrating after just one cup! The ride today was through a much more arid and alpine environment than we are accustomed to lately. The hills were still green, only now it was a blanket of tall pine trees. We bypassed most of Tegucigalpa today and rode by about 100 Harleys. We cranked through the mileage all the way to the border of Nicaragua! The road was fast and nice, a big change from the secondary highway pothole fest.

We have been really surprised at how nice Honduras has been, after what we had heard about it along the way. We were told to be careful and that it was poor and dangerous, but we have found that the people are very nice and there seems to be plenty to go around, at least on the route that we took and the quick glance that we have had. When we stopped for lunch today a man went out of his way to help us order, as my Spanish was falling a little short, and he could speak English. He came over to us after we had eaten and talked about the trip. He gave us a great suggestion for a hotel which turned out awesome. After that, all the restaurant people came out for a photo shoot on the bikes. It was quite an event! The army guys even wanted in in the action! I put a picture of a couple of them in here. (Didn't take enough photos today, the only other one I have is of a statue in the town we are staying in called Danli, I promise I will take more tomorrow!)

We have never felt as though we were in danger here in any way. In fact, we have felt welcomed and safe. I think that people are all just scared of what they do not know. A man at the border between Mexico and Guatemala, who was Guatemalan, told us how much better and safer Guatemala was than Mexico, but we didn't have any trouble in Mexico either. Then men at the next border warned us about safety in Honduras and again it turned out peachy. Don't get me wrong, I am sure that bad things happen in these places, but as I just heard about the shooting in CT, it seems as though it might be safer here?

We took a stroll through the market this afternoon and I bought a Honduras soccer shirt and I wore it to dinner. It was quite a hit! Dinner was excellent as we stumbled upon a real gem around the corner from our hotel, we waited an hour for the grill master to finish fulfilling other orders but it was worth it. Carne asada, chorizo, arroz, frijoles... All grilled up to perfection. I sure won't take my refrigerator or grocery store for granted anymore when I get home!

We will be crossing the Nicaragua border at Los Manos today, so stay tuned for some info on that tomorrow!

A little on the technical side.....

Our BMW R1200 GS Adventures have been running great! They are the perfect bike for a trip like this, performing flawlessly in the dirt and the twisties. They have plenty of power for passing, which we do a ton of, and the range from the larger gas tank makes traveling worry free. They are comfortable for at least 8 hours in the saddle each day and the luggage holds everything we need! The adjustable windscreen makes for a quiet ride at highway speeds and the lower first gear makes tackling tricky off road stuff a breeze. The ground clearance has allowed for worry free speed bump travel and the crash bar protection came in handy when I forgot to put the kickstand down once. The tires are wearing nicely and we might be looking at some new rubber in Panama. There have been so many curves that the whole tire is wearing pretty evenly instead of the flat center that one sometimes gets in the states from all the highway driving. We are running Metzler Tourance tires and I think we will stick with them for the next set. Might look into knobbies for the southern part of the trip though, if anyone has a suggestion of a good time to put those on let me know. I would say that the only thing I would change about the bikes is the water cooling that they are coming out with this year, as gridlock traffic can be a pain when it's hot out. The Central America GPS files we got from the dealership in Guatemala City are working great, can't thank those guys enough! We are loving the Marmot tent and the hammock when we can find some well spaced trees! Our Exped Downmats are holding up great and they are quite comfy as are the Marmot down sleeping bags. The sleeping bag liners have been great too, keeping the bags clean and washing up really easy. The Omnifuel Primus stove is awesome! I wish I had spent more time loading songs into my phone before I left, but other that that I would say that we haven't noticed anything we should have brought but didn't. Might be whistling a different tune when it gets cold, but we'll see.

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