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Jinotepe - 2 falls, 2 broken racks and 22km of hell

Written on: Sunday September 20th, 2009

A journal entry from: Cycle Mexico - Panama

September 19th -

From Pochomil we set off fairly early in high spirits hoping for some nice country roads along the Pacific coast. We planned to find somewhere along the coast to camp, and had our camp food ready. We knew that there were about 15km to 20km of dirt road before the road joined up with a bigger road. However we werenīt prepared for the state of this small road. It ranged between being ok, and cycleable, to being practically impassible. We only saw a couple of 4 wheel drive trucks on the route and they struggled at times. Still, the scenery was beautiful and we had really looked forward to cycling away from the main road and in the countryside for a long time. Cycling in a quiet and clean environment is something we have been missing since Sian Kaan in Mexico, so we were enjoying ourselves even though it was hard work. There were several rivers to ford, but even that was fun.

However disaster struck when the front rack on Toby collapsed and threw Andy to the ground. Andy was fine but the rack was unrepairable. We had to split the bags between us and carry on. Toby felt very unsteady after that with all the weight on the rear rack. The road was very tough, lots of uphill and we had to push the bikes for much of the way. It was also very hot as usual.

We had some company for a part of the way with some farmers cycling home from work. They were nice and we chatted while cycling along. They even helped us push our bikes up the steepest hill (as we had so much weight and they didnīt). Unfortunately disaster struck again when Yasmin fell down a steep hill, on the gravel road. Yasmin was ok, but had a badly scratched elbow. Luckily the long cycling shorts and gloves prevented further injury. There was an audience of some of the farmers, and a family living nearby. They were all concerned and the family were very nice and brought us water, cotton wool, antiseptic liquid and some snacks!

Shaun hadnīt fared so well and his front rack was badly damaged. Again we had to split the load between our rear racks. We only had a couple of km left to the nearest vilage but it was unbelievably hard with so much weight on the back and none on the front. It was also very hilly and the road was terrible. It had taken us about 6 hours to struggle through 22km and we were shattered.

We decided that one of us should stay with the bags and the other should go to the village and try to organise a lift to a town where we could get a hotel. Camping was now out of the question since the bikes were almost unrideable and we didnīt manage to go even a third of what we had planned. We simply had to get to the nearest big town to try and get Shaun and Toby back on the road.

Of course the village was too small to have a taxi, but with a lot of pointing, gesturing, reinacting of bike accidents and a smattering of Spanish a lift was organised. We were very grateful for this and happily paid 600 cordobas ($25) for the lift to a town called Jinotepe where we are now.

Currently our bikes are at a mechanics just out of town, who said he could fix them up. We will see how they look when we pick them up tomorrow. It is disappointing to be unable to ride along the coast road and do some camping as planned. Hopefully we can get to the beach town called San Juan Del Sur tomorrow, where we will stay for a few days.

Km cycled = 22

Total km = 825.4


From Jen on Sep 21st, 2009

What a shame about the bikes- hope you managed to get them repaired. And hope your elbow gets better quickly, Yasmin. Andy - how did you get on in the Mister Barcelo competition then? Mum showed me the pictures of the place you are going to rent in Costa Rica - looks amazing! xx

From Giggi on Sep 27th, 2009

Hej! Vad bra att ni klarade er utan större skråmor. Lycka till med cyklarna. Jag har börja cykla till jobbet nu, ca 2 km och då tänkte jag på er. Ni är verkligen duktiga som klarar av er långa resa på cykel. Kram

From Dan on Sep 28th, 2009

Well that section was a right bugger; you are owed a bit of luck now. Sweet. Youre both doing a BRILLIANT job here. Gagging for a bit of that action. All is plodding on here- end of wedding season including Matt Porter - and Joss n Helen where you were remembered fondly. All good stuff and you may know Will is now kidded-up with a lovely little girl. Cor it reminds me how time is ticking on- Now Im a student I have mucho time free so will try and come and hang out for a couple of weeks - one of the student holidays? Let me know where you plan to be as and when you know - still hope to go to Venezuela in New year? Cheap windsurfing and relax in beautiful economical island with tuna steaks every day? Much much love to you both. You are heroes.

From Andy & Yasmin on Sep 28th, 2009

Hi Jen, yes we managed to get them repaired and will try them out properly tomorrow. The elbow is almost completely healed now thanks. It healed amazingly quickly. As for the Mr Barcelo competition well unfortunately we had to leave just before it started so I never got the chance to enter. I am sure I would have done great otherwise, considering all the practice I had been doing :)

From Andy & Yasmin on Sep 28th, 2009

Hej Giggi! Vad roligt att du ocksa ar cykelburen numera! Vi ar sa glada over att vi ar en san inspirationskalla... :-) Kramar fran oss och halsa Dafne och Emanuel

From Andy & Yasmin on Sep 28th, 2009

Hi Dan, Thanks for the comments and glad you still reading :) Wonderful news about Will and Beth's daughter - great that you can tell us about these things, get no news over here otherwise! Pleased to hear about the weddings, hope you had a good time and say hi to Joss & Helen and the others if you get a chance. It would be fantastic to meet up, a bit difficult to know where we will be and when. At New Year we will probably have just left Chile, heading north so won't be in Venezuela for a couple of months or so after that. Anyway we'll keep you posted, and really hope we can meet up! Thanks for the morale boost as well :)