Finally Made it Across the Border
4:45 a.m., I'm wide awake! I think I only slept an hour or two. Two reasons why. First, the night before dave bought me a RAPTOR Energy drink, (which rocked my world). Second, There were ten million birds making squawking as soon as the sky showed the slightest signs light. I was so mad! Anyway, I got up, took my hammock down, and packed my bike up. By this time it was still only 5 am so I tightened my chain up, straightened my headlight, and did some other minor tune ups on my bike.
I took a shower out of a hose, went for a small hike, and by that time it was almost 6 am. I went and talked to the guards at the post. I asked if we were good to cross the bridge into Guatemala. He gave me a big smile and thumbs up and said we were good to go. So I went and rousted Dave and Nian out of their hammocks, they broke camp, I push started my bike, and we rode off.
Dave and I rode past the guards honking and saluting as we went past. As usual, Nian was a couple steps behind us. One ornery guard came out and put his hand up. Nian stopped. By this point I'm across the bridge, I'm seeing freedom and not turning back! Dave made it as well. We rolled up to the Guatemalan Customs office. I started my paperwork while Dave went and looked for Nian. By the time they calmed the guards back down and made it across the bridge again I had most of my paperwork all taken care of. We streamlined Dave and Nians paperwork and soon we were on the road in Guatemala. The Minute we crossed the river from El Salvador our surroundings went from Semi jungle sub tropical to Super Desert! At around 9 am we got some gas, oiled our chains, drank energy drinks, tested their plumbing, and hit the road! We rode to a small town called Cuiapa. There a guy told us that our best route was to head South again until we were on the Pan American Highway again. An awesome scenic ride through mountains and down curvy roads lead us straight back to our main road. We through a small town called Taxisco and the next leg of journey seemed to take forever! The scenery in Guatemala was amazing! Hot to cold, Desert to Jungle, Mountains to Plains, City to Farmland. We passed Escuintla and continued up the Pan American. Once we reached Mazatenango we could almost smell the Mexican border! Which meant we were in the last country we needed to get to before arriving in the States. We were all so focused on the journey that we didn't really pay much attention to much else. The road signs stated counting down the distance from the Mexican border. 90kms 75kms 60kms 50kms,,, Once we started getting somewhat close to Mexico, traffic slowed and a never ending line of semi trucks appeared. We all looked at each other like, "what the heck?" We seriously passed probably 25-30 kms of straight semis lined up all along the side of the road. Once we got closer to the front of the traffic jam the cars, trucks, busses, and people had the road completely packed. We bobbed and weaved our way to the front of the jam. BOOM!!! another wrench in our gears. HUMAN ROADBLOCK!
Dave and I trying to talk our way through the barricadeNo way across. Unless you go back and around which is more than 200km detour! I guess they were blocking the road to protest other countries doing business in Guatemala or something? They had been there since 8am that morning. I simply told them that we were Americans and that we were going to cross. I rode up to the line of people and was about to lift their rope and push my bike under when some dude that spoke broken English told me that it wasn't a good idea. So we waited for 20-30 mins with no progress. Being so close to Mexico made me super inpatient so I walked across their barricade and into the little village on the side of the road. I was looking for a trail or even somewhere I could cut a fence and we could sneak past. I walked up a road and down a long driveway. There was a huge gate open so I walked in. Inside the gate there was a big 5 story house surrounded by what looked like a fortress type wall. On the inside of the wall were like 40 garage looking things. First thing that came to my mind was, "hmm.. What a strange car detailing place." Inside all the garages there was a sign that said "Half price on your birthday." I was so confused. Some kid ran out of the big house, hopped on his little scooter, and headed my way. Then it hit me. It was a massive whore house! GROSE! He rode up to me so I stopped him. I asked him how to get around the Rode block and sure enough... he knew a way. He couldn't explain it but he said for a few bucks he would show us the way. He gave me a ride back to the crowd and we ditched his scooter, We pushed back through the crowd to Dave, Nian, and our bikes. Nain and I didn't have enough room for him on our bikes so Dave was nominated to give him a ride. He saddled up with Dave and the four of us rode 20 kms back up the super traffic jam road.
We then took a right which took us through some small creepy eerie little town. We went through the town, turned down some side road, went through a backyard, and then into the jungle. The whole time the kid was telling us to slow down and be quiet. Like we had to be super sneaky or something? I thought we were going to be like 10 mins on this little side road. Nope..
We drove almost 30 kms through dusty jungle roads! I parts of it were intense! I felt like I was riding trails in American Fork Canyon with my buds again! haha After like 45 mins of crazy trail rides through jungle, rivers, and rocky mountain trails we finally popped back out on asphalt. The whole time our new buddy was sitting on Daves backpack full of Caribbean giant sea shells. All Dave can say is, "that sucked! I could feel his nuts in my back the entire time!" hahaha We got a good laugh out of that! At one of the steeper parts of the trail the fatness of our buddy made Dave's sprocket slip and stripped it out pretty bad. We dropped our buddy on the side of the road and gave him $7. He was pumped and so were we. 30 mins later we were at the Mexican border. We went through the whole customs process again, I got searched for some reason, and we were soon on the road again!
Mexico.. our last obstacle between us and our beloved home country. For some strange reason the second we got into Mexico I got this feeling of Ride as fast as you can, don't stop for anything or anyone unless you absolutely have to! The Customs people told us we had to ride to the next city and buy a refundable permission to ride in Mexico for $400 each rider. haha NOPE! We just got the heck out of there! This feeling of caution didn't leave me until we needed to stop for gas and money. My cards were shut off, Dave had lost his wallet back in Colombia or Venezuela somewhere, and Nian didn't have very much money on his card. We sifted around Huixtla, Mexico until I found a payphone, called my bank collect and got my card reactivated, got some food, and got a game plan together. The only game plan we could come up with is keep riding until we cant ride anymore! So.. we did exactly that! We rode until we arrived at Arriaga at around 2 am. On the way there we were riding down the freeway and we passed a parked truck. Somehow some Idiot left a 20 foot pole sticking out of the back of the truck and into the road. I saw it in the nick of time, swerved!, and Ducked! Inches from ruining my trip! Dave and Nian weren't much farther away from the same tragedy! I said prayers of thankfulness to be alive until we found our next gas station. There we got some food, and decided that it was too cold and we were to tired to continue on. We made buddies with one of the pump managers and he said he would watch over us if we hung our hammocks under one of the carports behind the station. As soon as I got myself somewhat horizontal I was OUT! I still had a nervous feeling from Mexico so I hung my hammock up almost touching my bike. I knew that it was going to take a lot to wake me up so if someone was wanting to take my bike and bag they were going to have to get me out of the way first!