Zacapa - Christmas - Central America - CycleBlaze

December 25, 2022

Zacapa - Christmas

Merry Christmas!

My last day in Zacapa, and in Guatemala.  The edge of the big storm I escaped is still around.  No real rain, but just really windy still.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the last day of it.  The fact that this is my second day of no riding probably ends up as the same result than if I had been laid up earlier in the heart of the storm.  Not a lot to do in these small towns anyway over Christmas Eve and Christmas.  I have been going through emotional ups and downs on this trip, based on frustrations of riding, roads, communication, etc., and today and yesterday was especially bad.  I had a hard time finding some food yesterday, since the AirBNB I was at had their restaurant understandably closed for the holiday, so I made my ramen that I had been carrying since I got it the first day in Cancun.  The trouble is, I used tap water!  I didn't even think about it.  I did purposely drink water for the tap in Playa del Carmen and Tulum to see if I could handle it, and I did, but I got hit hard last night by Montezuma's Revenge.  Plus, there were fireworks well into the nigh, and then they really went off at midnight - it was like New Year's Eve!  

But things are turning around today though.  I asked the host at this AirBNB if they knew anyone who could take me to the border and I got that set up and confirmed today!  So, if that all goes well, I should have a short ~40 mile ride into Santa Ana tomorrow from the border at Frontera Anguiatu, El Salvador.  There are some neat sights there, and I hope I can do some decent shopping there for granola bars and such.  Then, the beach and hiking a volcano in the next couple of days, so, I'm motivated and looking forward to that.  Also, no storm, wind, or rain, and moderately cooler temps for the next 10 days!

No pics or videos today.  Mainly spent some time going through my e-mails and doing some work stuff.  I thought I would share a bit of my normal routine each day, for those who are interested:  

I usually wake up early - between 4 and 5, and then just stay in bed for a bit to contemplate the day and think about things I'm grateful for.  For some reason, I have not gotten the morning packing and getting ready to leave down to less than an hour yet.  Although, it depends on how much I do the night before and how tired I am I suppose.  I usually slam down a tortilla and some PB for protein, and then maybe an apple or banana if I have that.  I try to head out when it is light enough - around 7:00, so I don't have to use my lights, unless I just have a really long day.  Throughout the ride then, taking pics and videos along the way, I'll try to stop at roadside food stands to take in the local cuisine.  Then, when routing to my stay of choice, I'll check it out first to see how it looks on the outside, and sometimes switch.  But then, I'll struggle with language to get a room, and figure out how to get my bike and all my stuff in there.  First floor rooms ore often more expensive and have two beds, and it also costs more to have AC, but I really need that.  I try to take a shower immediately to wash off my butt including chamois cream (your butt and feet are critical to take care of), and then do laundry - jersey, shorts, and socks, usually just right in the shower, but sometimes in the sink.  Then, wring them out like crazy, roll them up in the towel (while I air dry off), and then hang them up to dry somewhere.  This is why its important to have a room with AC.  Sometimes they dry by morning, but sometimes not.  If not, I'll strap them to the bike rack, but I have found so far that does not get them dry because it is so humid, so I'll have two pairs out the next night hoping the set from before dries completely before the next morning, and just keep alternating then.  Then I'll go out to look around where I'm at for dinner and just see the local sights.  I usually try to get dinner to go so I can do my journal entry back in my room.  Then, charging the GoPro, camera, and phone, and maybe lights if I use them.  By that time, I may have 30 min or so to unwind in bed watching TV, and then it is off to sleep!

Thanks for all the views and comments - it really keeps me going!

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Comment on this entry Comment 2
Steve Miller/GrampiesWe have struggled also with the question of drinking water. It turns out that in Mexico/Central America even those born there buy purified water. It's so weird. They of course will be buying those large 5 gal jugs and reusing them. But a cyclist needs to buy small bottles, creating so much plastic waste! This time we are going to try the Sawyer squeeze filter. It may take a lot of time each evening, preparing 4+ litres of water, but we do hear good reports about these filters.
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1 month ago
Ken DyckmanThanks Steve! I brought a Sawyer squeeze filter with me, and even used in Mexico once, then just used water without filtering, just to test my gut. It was all fine, but those were bigger cities in Mexico. I suspect it is all hit and miss, but I'm not sure the Sawyer filters will kill the bacteria though. I did bring some chlorine too that my wife had, but that's just too much work and tastes nasty if there is bottled water nearby.
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3 weeks ago