November 29th, 2002

Antigua Guatemala to Quito Ecuador

With Todd's bike suffering electrical problems we decided to stay in for another week which allowed me to continue trying to learn some Spanish. I also took the opportunity to hike up one of the local volcanoes . While the hike up the the volcano was pretty tough the hike down was completely insane as it was done in the dark and the first part consisted of knee deep loose volcanic dirt. This was kind of fun for a while as you just sort of skated down  but after a while I started falling down with increasing regularity and after a while I ended up tumbling head over heals for a ways. After we got through the loose stuff it wasn't so bad except for the rocks to stub your toes on, the gullies to twist your ankles in, and the roots to trip over. Todd got his bike running by the end of the week so on Saturday we headed to the Pacific beach town of Monte Rico for a couple of days. The following monday we loaded up the bikes and headed for Honduras.

Since we had spent longer in Antigua then originally planned and since we also intend to ride back through on our way back north we to cruise through the rest of Central America at a rapid pace. We  crossed into Honduras at a small border crossing near the ancient Mayan city of Copan so we spent a day walking through the ruins. The following day we decided to take the most direct route to Nicaragua instead of following the Pan-American highway. That's right we took a shortcut (haha). After our less then successful attempt to save time by taking back roads we got back on the Pan-American and crossed into Nicaragua the following day. We went straight through Nicaragua and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica the following night. Leaving San Jose we got caught in a rain storm in the mountains and the temperature dropped to the lower 40s. Once again my Aerostitch pants failed to keep me dry and it was an in credibly miserable ride through the mountains on pot hole filled roads in the fog. Once we got over the mountains however the weather cleared up and we entered Panama early in the evening. The following day we made excellent time and ended up in Panama City where we made arrangements to have our bikes and ourselves flown to Ecuador. We arrived in Ecuador last night but we're still waiting for the bikes to show up.

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