My legs still felt tired in the morning, and it was hard to decide if I should continue my trip, or stay another night to get fully restored. The rain didn’t help to motivate me.
But after relaxing up until noon, and the sky getting blue again, I decided to get going after all. 77 kilometers should be doable before sunset despite starting late!
This distance starts with 15 kilometers of very long straight road with not much elevation, and no civilization either. But after reaching the village Buenos Aires, the road gets more hilly and varied, with small houses and stores spread out along the road.
After that, the road gets frustratingly bad, and since I’m still paranoid about getting another flat tire, I biked very slowly. Adding to that, all the passing trucks make the air very dusty. My eyes hurt and I felt sand between my teeth. Worst experience so far!
Can you see that cloud of dust? It wasn’t nice.
After a few kilometers it changes to a super nice and newly paved road, but it’s also constantly uphill… I was no longer sure which one was better.
It doesn’t look like it, but this is the start of a very long uphill section.
After a lot of sweat and suffering, I reached the top of the hill, and bought a bag of freshly diced pineapples (only 3 Quetzales!) from one of the many pineapple sellers hanging there. I wish I had taken a photo, but I was too tired to think about that!
After that, it was steep downhill again, and it was a lot of fun! It almost ended too soon, as I reached the end off the road.
Here, you can turn right to go south towards Guatemala City (there are supposedly some impressive ruins along that road, but I felt like I had seen enough), or left, which goes north towards the Honduran border, and Puerto Barrios.
There’s a Texaco gas station in this area, but their meals were around 35-45 Quetzales each, so instead I stopped at a small local eatery and had a tortilla with beans (they’re quite common in this area, tastes a bit like Swedish pancakes) and a delicious melon shake for a total of 20 Quetzales.
I rested for an hour (watching the Disney Channel with the owner’s kids, or whoever the kids were), and then I was ready for the final 47 kilometers!
This entire last distance is quite pleasant, some ups and downs, but nothing too demanding. A light rainfall cooled me down just the right amount, and the hours and kilometers flew by
As I passed the road that goes to Honduras, I felt bad. Though it’s only an additional 15 kilometers (well, 30 kilometers since I have to go the same way back tomorrow), it felt like a waste to go in the wrong direction!
I kept my eyes open for cheap hotels along the road, but no such luck. I asked a bunch of old women by the road, and they said that I can stay at the nearby church for only 10 Quetzales! But when I went to ask the church, they said no, it’s not a hostel! I wonder what the deal was with that…
I finally arrived at Puerto Barrios, and it felt like the end of the world, where all the trucks go, and then turn back again.
It’s definitely not a touristic place, as I couldn’t find any hostels in the area on the internet. I did read that there are some if you ask around though, so that was my plan.
Just as I entered the city, I saw the sign “hospedaje” on a building, and stopped to check it out. There was a whole bunch of people sitting there, hanging out, and they said that they have a private room for 50 Quetzales! No WiFi though, but I could borrow from them in their house. I’m part of their family now, they said!
“Sounds good,” I answered, and told them that I’d be back later.
I wanted to see the city while there was still sunlight, and also see what other hostels were available.
The city turned out to be a real city though, and felt endless to bike through! The roads are huge, and the smaller market streets were busy even as the sun was going down.
I reached the water, part of the small Caribbean coastline that Guatemala is in possession of, just as the sun was setting.
It got dark quickly, and I stopped at a few hotels and asked for their prices. They were around 65-75 Quetzales, which is not bad, but none of them had WiFi! I decided to bike back to my new family and stay at their place.
When I returned, they had no rooms left! But, since they were impressed by my biking trip, they said that I could stay in their house! It turns out that they were having a family gathering, and that’s why it was so busy there by the entrance.
I felt quite odd, standing in front of all these strangers, telling about my trip, and then coming back from my room now and then to ask for the WiFi password, the bathroom, a blanket, etc! But it was an experience! I don’t think they’re used to non-Guatemalans, and they were very curious.
Now I’m gonna get some sleep, because I will continue across the Honduran border tomorrow! I know I’m traveling at a very fast pace these days, but I have a new friend in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, that I want to arrive to as soon as possible, so I can rest a few days there!
Let’s hope this border crossing will go well.