The sweet acidic taste of Soda Caustica.

T – After waiting for just over a week for this package we were greeted this morning by, nothing. The package had failed to turn up and the tracking for Fedex showed that they hadn’t even loaded it onto a plane from the UK yet. So after we emailed RST, who were very apologetic and I suspect not terribly happy with their shipping agent, we changed the delivery address to one we have been given very kindly by a friend of a friend in Nicaragua. So you know what that meant?

We were out of there like a shot and it wasn’t very long before we were packed up and off to pick up the bikes! I was so damn excited. It was time to hit the road again. Properly this time too! We figured it would take us around a week to get to Leon in Nicaragua which should give the parcel plenty of time to arrive.

C – I felt terrible for the customer service rep at RST, this must be just as frustrating for her. Never mind, it was time to the hit the road and I was super, damn excited about that!! It feels like it has been so long since we have had any momentum and I have been aching to ride, ride, ride.

T – We bumped our way down the old cobbled streets of Antigua, passing cars on the left and the right and soon we were screaming out of the town and straight into a series of steep climbs. We had picked the town of Jalpatagua which is 20kms from the El Salvador border. We figured it would take us a while to get there and didn’t want to try to cross over the border too late in the afternoon. So that will be a job for tomorrow morning.

C – Neither of us were keen to enter Guatemala City, so picked a route that would send us veering around the outskirts, rather than diving head first into what I imagine is a very chaotic city centre.

T – We cruised into Zone 2 of Guatemala City and cut down some back alleys and roads before we were plonked out on the main highway. We were hoping Zone 2 wasn’t one of the bad areas we had heard about, but no one bothered us or gave us the slightest bit of attention.

The highway was like any other. Mostly dual lane and full of traffic. We dodged and ducked and weaved through the traffic jams, squeezing between buses and tuk tuks. It was a blast!

C – One particular town had a complete traffic jam at its major intersection. The poor policeman who was meant to be directing traffic looked like he had given up and was standing on the side looking at the traffic jam with a look of despair on his face. An impatient bus driver, who had been beeping his horn flat out for at least five minutes, decided he had enough and wanted to let his passengers off. So, he pulled onto the wrong side of the road and the proceeded to drive up and over a kerb, force his way across another road to block that one too, and promptly parked there. After laughing at this very obvious lack of respect for road rules and any other person on earth, we ducked around some cars and squeezed past a car which had decided to just park in the turning lane and then we were free!! Well, almost… the very slow traffic continued for a while and we noticed the pick up in front had white powdery stuff blowing into the air out of a large plastic tub. After getting closer, we saw the tub was clearly labelled ‘Soda Caustica’. We decided it was best if we passed him very quickly….

T – The ride was quite nice with some gorgeous views down into deep valleys. This part of the country seemed very dry though and it looked as though there was a heap of slash and burn tactics being used here for claiming farming land.

We eventually rolled into our destination and found a nice place to stay called the Hollywood Hotel. We were the only guests there so it was nice and quiet. The owner suggested a nice cheap place for us to go and eat and then organised a tuk tuk to take us there.

The food was incredible! We both had pasta with Chantelle having a more typical spag bog, yuk, and I had a chicken carbonara type deal. Both came with a big serve of garlic bread and a bowl of soup. The food was incredible and the serves were so large that we had to ask if we could take our leftovers away with us for dinner.

Then it was back to the room and time to research tomorrow’s border crossing. We are going to go along the coastal highway we think and cross into Honduras at the usual overlander crossing. A little different to our original plans but that’s why we don’t plan too far ahead!

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