La Crucecita to Kilometer Post 295 (near the town of San Pablo Ayutla) 49 km Trip Alt 710Avg Climb 4%Max Climb 15%Max Temp 35C
We opted for the beach resort loop which added a few km but promised to be more scenic cycling, passing along the resort hotels and golf courses. After 16 km, we emerged back on highway 200. We were waved through another army/police check point. We stopped for breakfast at the town by the crossroads on the Copalita river.
Today was another roller coaster ride with more ups than downs and I began wishing for flat riding . . like in Holland. The road has been shoulder-less and windy and, between 11AM & 3PM, heavy with traffic, the worst are the buses. It can be frightening on blind corners. Lizards and iguanas scurry away when we pass by. Florescent dragonflies and sea green and brown butterflies seem to accompany us for short distances. I watched as one of those long tail blue jay flew a meter above Dave's head and followed him for about 100 meters.
Highway 200 stays from 2km to 10 km away from the ocean and only occasionally do we get a glimpse of it. In the early afternoon, near km post 285, we were delighted to find a little comida (kitchen). Usually the menu is limited at these small places and this was not different. We had a choice of shrimp or fried fish. We chose the shrimp and a pitcher of fresh orange agua (OJ with ice water).
As we waited for our meal, a lone cyclist was riding up the hill. We rushed out to the road and greeted him. Juan, from northern Spain, has been cycling for 1 year and 10 days. He started in Argentina. We compared routes and gave each other info about the routes ahead. Juan lost everything (his bike, panniers, camping equipment, passport, etc.) when he was camping on a Chilean beach when THE earthquake hit in February. He grabbed only his handlebar bag and ran to safety. When he returned, he discovered all was lost. After his story was printed in the local newspaper, good Samaritans gave him a bike and panniers and he bought a secondhand trailer. Although the bike frame is a bit small for his tall stature, he is grateful that he is able to continue his journey. He has until the snow falls to reach the most northern port in Alaska (perhaps late August or September). He has a website: http://www.panamerikana.org (in Spanish)
We bid each other 'viaje bien' and then finished our meal in the restaurant’s shade. We relaxed there until after 3PM. We rode another 10 km and found a stealth camping spot near KM post 295.
We picked a spot directly beneath a bridge that spans a wide river bed. We congratulated each other for finding a great "stealth" spot invisible from the highway traffic. A family of 10+ then pulled up in their truck, jumped out and began frolicking in the river in front of us. (So much for stealth) As the rest played baseball on the river bank, one of the men came over and asked where we were from. He was impressed that we had come so far. With only about 45 minutes of daylight left, we pitched our tent. The man seemed to indicate it would be safe to camp there. The wind picked up which made it a challenge to pitch the tent. That wind saved us from the pesky sandflies and mosquitoes. We did not bother to put up the rain fly and we could see the bright stars thought the mesh ceiling of our tent. Soon we were lulled to sleep by the gurgling river. The occasional truck barreling across the bridge overhead did not disturb our slumber.