06/27 Worst day ever. Started off very early with heavy rain all night. Barely got any sleep (loud in tent). Next up were fire ants which chewed merrily on my feet while I was packing my gear in the rain. Finally on the road I hit a water-filled pothole and destroyed my front rack. Half an hour after that my rear tire went flat. Had it filled 90% of the way and it went flat again. Got a decent sunburn. Found a hotel in town, opened my toiletry bag and discovered that the tube of BenGay had ruptured and was all over everything. Jumped in the shower and was electrocuted by the shower head.
The funny thing about today was I had a feeling this morning that it would be a really bad day. I should have stayed put. This will be hard to believe but I didn’t swear or throw anything all day.
The front rack is a major, major problem. The bottom half bent under the weight of the pannier when I slammed down into the pothole. It’s actually a miracle that only one spoke was broken. Glad there are 35 more. I spent the next hour taking off the front fender and trying to straighten the rack back out. Of course bending metal that’s already damaged usually makes it more damaged. Now one of the weight-bearing bars is almost ripped right in half. Getting someone to weld it might work but I’m only going to try that as a last resort. The one bar isn’t the only one that’s damaged. I took almost everything out of the pannier and managed to make it here without it failing completely. There’s no way I can ride off-pavement and that’s another problem because the next part of my route after Coban tomorrow was supposed to be gravel. I’m also down a front fender which makes riding in the rain a mess.
I’m hoping that Coban has some sort of bike shop that could at least order me a new rack and fix the spoke. If it doesn’t I could probably fix the spoke but I’d have to order the rack from the States which would cost a fortune.
The flat tire sucked because now I’m down to 2 spare tubes and it’s harder than I thought to find ones with Presta valves. The one that went bad was the last from a batch of 3 I bought in Mazatlan. All three ended up wearing out at the inner seam.
Camped out last night in the back yard of the people that run the local restaurant. The lady spoke a little English which made things a little easier (even though I could have gotten through it in Spanish). She even offered to let me stay thanks to the weather but I set off to see how bad of a day I could have. It ended up not raining the rest of the day until literally 10 seconds after I got to the motel.
Mega hills today. One of them was the steepest I’ve ridden up on any major road. Traffic was light so I rode up it side-to-side and would have made it all the way except for one truck that messed it up for me.
Rode through some amazing scenery over the last 2 days. There are some beautiful national parks in Guatemala and I was lucky enough to pass through one of them–Ceibal. That place had the biggest trees and ferns I’ve ever seen. The mountain range called Sierra Chinaja was equally impressive. The mountains aren’t extremely high but they are entirely tree-covered and rise up from the jungle like huge pillars.
Pictures are here. Once again the site breaks when I try to include them in the post. Argh.
The start of many painful hills.
Run little piggies!
This one guy hopped from bucket to bucket to steer the ferry.
Waiting for the ferry.