Thursday was our longest day so far, 123km. For the first time we had spent the night in our tent in El Tunco and as we started cycling we noticed that my tire had a puncture. We found that it was small so we kept pumping it up every now and then to fix it at our destination rather than en route. The hours were dragging, it was hot and sunny on the flat highway. It’s a nice change from the ups and downs and you then appreciate the hills more as well, but it does get rather boring.
As we arrived in Usulutan, Dan punctured his tire real bad, he ended up having to carry his bike to our accommodation. Whilst he was fixing our punctures and switched the front and back tires around, I tried to contact Jose, a Warmshowers host we wanted to stay with the next day.
Dan finished after the the sun had gone down. As we were lying in bed, our eyes fell onto Dan’s tire, which was yet again flat. This meant that the next morning started with repairing his tube. At this point we noticed that my tire had lost it’s air again too. At least we had a short day ahead of us.
Dan furious at the string of punctures
Turned out I had misunderstood the directions to Jose and we ended up in the wrong place. After a phone call he was so kind to drive the 10km to where we were to give us the right directions to his home. Jose is a saint for cycle tourists, and he told us that him and his family never go more than a few weeks without hosting someone. We were welcomed by his lovely family and Dan got a good workout carrying 100lbs bags of corn down a dodgy pathway.
Jose and his cute daughter
Jose told us about a camping spot by the beach just 10km away. We decided to check it out to potentially make it a short/rest day. It turned out to be an amazingly nice spot. As cyclists we could camp at La Tortuga Verde for only $1 each (consecutive nights cost $5 each). The village was very small, the locals friendly, the fish freshly fished. All in all a wonderful day at the beach.
Heat equals nap time
We organized a boat for the next morning to carry us across the estuary so we could continue cycling at the beach. The fella unfortunately didn’t turn up in the morning but some guys offered to take us across for free.
The guys getting the boat ready to launch to then push us across the estuary
Carrying my bike over a salt water stream
We rode 10km to Las Playas (lovely town, camping possible) where we got another boat to take us across the estuary before town for $5 (unfortunately we wouldn’t have been able to cross either by foot carrying the bikes, as the photo below shows).
Dan had to cross to try to find a boat to bring us across
We continued on the road to El Tamarindo, took a boat across the inlet and cycled to La Union, as we were hoping to get a boat to get us to Nicaragua, so we could avoid cycling 2 days on the highway through Honduras (exchanging money to exchange it again). We found a boat that leaves tomorrow morning for $70 (haggled down from $90). The captain offered us to spend the day/night at his house on an island.