Sunday, 20 January 2008

Sun sand and.....SURF!!

Time can be so deceiving, over a week has gone since leaving Utila and it feels like forever. Well now, I'm on the opposite coast in Nicaragua, near San Juan del Sur. The beach I've found is the surf dudes hangout, is has the best surfing in this area. There is no development as such, a beach bar and cafe; where you can also camp or rent a very basic room. I've been camping since Thursday, today I move up in the world and rent a bed; yeah, what luxury! I guess that also seems like I've decided to stay for a while longer before continuing. There isn´t exactly a time limit to be home for, unless I include the sale of my house!

After a night waiting in La Ceiba I managed to set off gone mid-day, not an impressively early start. I wanted to go off road most of the way down to the border with Nicaragua, but warnings of no bridges and river crossings I bottled out. I took an initial loop, south east, round to Saba; then almost doubled back south west and took a dirt road through the mountains. I passed through La Union, actually stayed the night in a very grotty hotel, then continued south missing the highway loop through Terrigulpa (or something like that!; I dropped down south again to meat the main highway to Las Manos, the border town.

The dirt roads were brilliant; loose, dusty, cratered, slimy/muddy, but brilliant! I started riding very reserved, only up to 30mph, though this didn´t last too long. I was actually surprised to glance down at one stage, the speedo was reading around the 70mph mark. I was given a slight shock to slow me down though, and I did, for a short while on day two! I'd slowed down for a bend and lost the rear end in gravel, for a lifetime I fought to gain some form of control over the bike. I was managing to get it slowly pointing in the required direction, the rough nature of the ground was causing a decrease in speed, and just before the engine stalled I popped in the clutch and came to a nice stop. The words flashed through my mind, "..and he makes it, Yaaahooooo!!

No damage to bike, me, or my pride. I was well chuffed, surprised, but chuffed; I really thought I was about to come off. It was only a matter of time though, the horrendous steep dirt hill leading onto the beach saw me spat off the beast. It´s nice on a well frequented track, I could just hang around, wait till someone came along and they helped me lift the bike. Not that they had any choice if they wanted to pass! Its also nice to have it confirmed you are on the right track. I've not had a map of Nicaragua, so I've been navigating blind. I took a list of town names I needed to pass through and that's all I've had. It worked really well!

Riding through the mountains of Honduras was lovely, there are very active, even busy, communities spread throughout them. They may be dusty and far off the beaten track, but the people are well dressed, happy and amazed to see me thrash past on the bike. They are more than happy to wave, smile and even cheer me along. Especially if I'm up on the pegs, throttle wide, with the exhaust blaring. The best response is as I go past other vehicles like that, it always brings hoots of encouragement. One guy I passed, on a Yamaha XT250, paid a great compliment. He meet me later, as I was resting at the highway intersection, but done little more than praise the bike and shook my hand for my riding. And yes, I am vain enough to get a kick out of that.

So, about this surfing thing! I found it so mellow sitting and watching the surfers out playing, it gradually slipped under my defences and the next thing I knew I booked a lesson. That was two days ago, I surfed all day yesterday, and would have done again today, had I not run out of money! It would be an awful shame to start and leave without getting a feel for the basics. And Of course, that would be a bit of a waste; I'd better stay for a few more days and make the lesson worthwhile, eh? If I could just stay on my feet for a little bit longer, then I would have time to steer it! Just a little more practice, I'm sure that will be enough then. The beaches here are the best since leaving the Baja Peninsula, and the hot season is just starting.

1 comment:

Rosaleen said...

There are still a few of us following your amazing journey. Good to see you enjoying the sun especially when we are freezing up here in Hudson's Hope where it is -34c !!
If you have an idea where you'll be for St David's Day I'll send you some welshcakes :)