Monthly archive November, 2014
Veinte mil

Veinte mil

When Will pulled into the Guatemalan town of Huehuetenango a month ago, his eyes met those of a tall, lanky man who’d just stepped out of a minibus. The man was wearing a giant rucksack, which led Will to assume that he was a backpacker. However, when he immediately pointed to Will’s panniers, acknowledging with...
Roads to ruins

Roads to ruins

In every bike tour, whether two weeks or (like this one) two years, there comes a point when the cyclist realises that the best riding is behind them. It’s not that there aren’t stretches of splendid cycling ahead, because there often are; and it’s not that the countries themselves don’t hold plenty of off-bike appeal,...
Say what?

Say what?

On New Year’s Day in 1994, a group of masked, armed men entered San Cristóbal de las Casas, the capital of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, and seized control of the city. Similar attacks followed in other nearby towns, plunging Chiapas into chaos. Initially caught off guard, the Mexican army eventually pushed the rebels...
Month 16

Month 16

10 October – 9 November 2014 Countries El Salvador, Guatemala & Mexico (both of us), plus Nicaragua & Honduras (just Ruth; total 16) Distance 1,404.50km (total 19,103.84km) Climb 14,647m (total 185,653m) Longest day 152.92km, Chablé to Francisco Escárcega in Mexico (longest so far: 160.11km) Top speed 64.6kmh (fastest so far: 67.4kmh) Punctures 3 (total 28;...
Dancing in the dark - Mexico's Day of the Dead

Dancing in the dark – Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Just as we’re aware of the different lives through which we pass on the road, so we’ve become sensitised to the different attitudes to death we encounter. The recent histories of many of the countries we’ve visited – and the present-day lives of a few – are punctuated by civil war, genocide, torture and plain old...
Snaps - October 2014

Snaps – October 2014

One month, five countries, 16 point-and-click snapshots. Past entries in this monthly series can be found by clicking here.     The visitors’ centre at the Masaya Volcano National Park is a joy, lined with lovely, hand-painted dioramas and displays that attempt to explain how Nicaragua’s array of volcanoes came into being. Further inside the...