This morning I headed out to Honduras via San Miguel, the second largest city in El Salvador. I've been using Google for charting out routes and then for dealing with city driving I use Waze, but I think this morning Waze didn't have his coffee and it had Tigger and me riding all over San Salvador trying to find out way out of the city. On a plus side of things, I did get a chance to ride through the new express lane that crosses the entire city. It's pretty fantastic, at least on an early Sunday morning. It felt quite a bit as being on 95 around Miami, this wide 6 to 8 lane highway that cuts across the entire city, smooth concrete and only a handful of cars out and about.
As the morning got going the temperature started to rise, and by about noon I got to the Amatillo, the border with Honduras.
Being in full riding gear, as soon as I stopped I started sweating profusely. I asked what the temperature was and it was around 39C (97F). Also, just for the experience, on the Honduras side, I decided to get an "expediter" to help me out with the paperwork. They were all excited about the big bike and of course wanted to know all the standard questions... where was I going, how fast does it go, how much was it, etc? I waited in a little airconditioned fried chicken shack while the two lads ran around in the scorching heat making the rounds.
For some reason Honduras continues to be the most difficult border crossing in all of Central America, even when you have plates from the region. Once we were done, I walked over to a little shop and bought a SIM Card and a large bottle of water to refill my Camelback. By this time I had already downed about 80 of the 100 oz the thing holds. So, I get all my paperwork back and start to get on the bike, and so the boys now want to get paid... and the price starts at $15 as they had to do about 20 minutes of running around. I didn't have the cash on me as I had waited to go to an ATM and get lempiras and so I gave them all the cash I had between Quetzales, Lempiras, and USD, about $9 and walked to the back of the bike and pulled out a box of granola bars. I think they were happy with the trade.
For the next two hours I rode through what has to be the most inhospitable place on the planet I have ever been. The temperature go to above 41C (106F). From what I could determine the heat had destroyed what I assume was once smooth asphalt as it was all cracked and you could hear and feel through the bike the roar of the road through the tires as they rolled on.
I usually travel with my visor down with just a small 1/4 inch crack to let a little air in. It was so hot that the air that was coming in was burning my nostrils. Oddly, something that has never happened to me before, when I closed the visor and the helmets air-vents I actually felt that my breath was cooler than the air outside. Talk about being your own personal airconditioning.
Then, about after about two hours of this torturous terrain I started to clim and could feel the temperature cool a little. I then made it into Tegucigalpa where I stopped at the iconic Yip supermarket to say hello to my friend Carlos' family, they own/operate the store and to ring Joaquin to meet up and go get me out of my wetsuit.
Joaquin arrived on his roaring Harley with his son onboard, whom I then followed with much anticipation in the direction of a cold shower and fresh clothes. After my transformation back to being a human being, we headed out for a bite to eat. Mind you, up until that time, around 2:30, all I had was a granola bar and about 150oz of water, warrior needed food, badly. We then went out to eat a bit of steak at Hacienda Real - if you haven't been to one of these, I highly recommend the Lomito Perez -*succulent*juicy tender steak - it did the trick.
After "linner" we headed back to the house around 6:30 and the household started to wrap up the weekend and get ready for Monday. Kids started bathing, eating supper, and slowly the house grew silent. Joaquin and I hung out on his dinning room table chatting a bit as we both worked away - me on my ride report and he was putting some final touches on a proposal his team would be presenting later this week.
Note, I'm a few days behind on the posting, so tomorrow I'm actually going into Costa Rica.