Thursday, January 13, 2011

Segment 28: El Tunco, El Salvador to León, Nicaragua (December 19-25, 2010)

glad to be back on our bikes after a month break, and now heading away from El Tunco, we found relief from the heat in the form of coconuts...
she chopped up about 10 or more cocos for us

in Usulután, El Salvador, eating pupusas...
foreground: Jeff´s four rice pupusas smothered in onions and cabbage; background, Mike gets ready to dig in

this is how they do it (papusas, that is)

resting in Usulután's main plaza, on a hot day

Volcán de San Miguel, El Salvador

On the way to Playa El Cuco, we stopped for a rest after a 9 km climb in the coastal hills of El Salvador.  While resting, an earthquake happened that moved us laterally 6-8 inches, as if the entire covering of forest and plants was a tablecloth being tugged on and returned to its original position. 

from this spot we had a coasting-only race for a 5 km downhill ride.  Mike was to be the clear winner.

fish lunch in El Cuco

El Cuco is a prominent fishing village; here they are drying thousands of fish

...a late afternoon spectacular beach ride...

...on our way to a (stealth) beach camp so we can watch the predicted lunar eclipse

December 21st, 2010.  Winter Solstice, full moon (seen rising here), and later, the total lunar eclipse (not pictured here)... which we watched from our stellar campsite on the beach, and featured a nearly satanic moon, mysteriously red and ephemeral, at 2 AM

the following morning, local fishermen bring in their catch.  They had spent the entire night fishing on the ocean, watching the eclipse while working

local kids help out with the buying and selling of the catch

we bought some of their fish, Pacific mackerel...

... which we grilled up on the beach for breakfast...
...along with a couple of lobsters that the fishermen kicked us down

to see a video of grilling the fish on El Cuco, see the following You Tube link:

we continued along the beach, having to cross this estuary (El Esterón) in dugout canoe
the boatman

Mike and Sonia

on our way to Playa Icacal, beautiful afternoon light

heron seen in the estuary

...more beach riding on Playa Icacal... we discovered later that the whole beach is intended to be an endangered sea turtle sanctuary.  Problem is, we found that beach dogs had been digging up and eating ALL the many of thousands of ruined turtle eggs we saw!

...sunset, December 22, 2010...

sunrise the following morning

Craig and Jason, with the recently full moon still up, as we rolled the first 10 km of the day on Playa Icacal.

... we hit deeper sand...

... and came up against this barrier before Las Tunas

...a local fisherman offered to paddle us across the river for free, warning us of sting rays in the water...
this was a tight fit for 5 bikes and riders

now in Puerto La Union, El Salvador, where Mike starts looking for a boat to Nicaragua.  Here he is helping load a boat with sacks of sand.

Jeff on the other hand opted to cycle to Nicaragua through eastern El Salvador and southern Honduras: 
This was the pan-American highway near the El Salvador-Honduras border.  This image seems more appropriate to West Africa than to El Salvador, with the possible exception of the quality of the highway, and the makes of the cars, of course.

entering Honduras, a country Jeff was in for a little more than 100km and 24 hours

cooling off in a Honduras river on a hot afternoon

a Polish cyclist, Parys, who started his trip in Ushuaia, Argentina in January 2010.  He is only the second south-to-north cyclist we have encountered in this whole trip so far.

a dubious pharmaceutical advertisement seen in Honduras

...the terrain around the border of Honduras-Nicaragua.  It is clear that we are in the dry season now...

in Somotillo, Nicaragua, even water sold on the street is holy

Volcán San Cristobal at sunrise, active crater smoke catching lilac colors, on the way to León

it wasn't long before we saw the first image of Sandino in Nicaragua (on the left).  Augusto César Sandino was a revolutionary and anti-US militant who led rebel campaigns in the late 1920's and early '30's.  He was murdered in 1934, but  was to be the principal inspiration for the later Sandinista movement of the 1960's to present day.  He also influenced the Cuban revolution, mainly for his style of guerrilla warfare.

Volcán San Cristobal seen between Chinandega and León

1 comment:

anna said...

Sweet looking mountains!