Most of our friends and family are suffering from cabin fever as they endure the polar vortex of winter. So it is with caution that I gripe about the heat.
It’s sticky humid this morning. We’re dripping with sweat by the time we’ve packed up camp. We slather on sunscreen over yesterday’s dirt and the fresh layer of sweat. I already feel disgusting and I haven’t even been on the bike yet.
We make good time and cover 30 miles by mid morning. But as the day goes on it becomes blazing hot, the sun zapping the last bits of energy we have. It takes us the rest of the day to do the next 25 miles. We seem to be stopping every 5 miles, for cold drinks, snacks in the shade, ice-cream, roadside showers, anything to cool off. We could not resist the water coming out of the hillside on the side of the road. This is one time I’m thankful the traffic is speeding by. We strip down to our underwear and stand under the cool stream of water. It feels amazingly refreshing.
It’s been a long time since we’ve been on a trucking route. The traffic is constant and unnerving. We’re headed to Antigua, however Central America’s largest city stands in our way, Guatemala City. We are still over 100 miles away, but the traffic is already heavy. I’m already nervous about riding through Guatemala City.
Stealth camping has become more difficult with the increasing population density. Camping behind the gas station worked out well last night so we try it again. The gas station we stop at the end of the day does not have a grove of coconut trees like last night, but it does have showers. Well, the men’s room has showers. The women’s room is padlocked shut. Scott reports that the men’s shower has a good lock on it from the inside. Considering I was nearly naked on the side of the road earlier today, showering in the men’s room seems like an improvement. It is incredible how dirty we have become since our afternoon rinse. It is as if the sunscreen and sweat are magnets for the road filth and grime. I am way past what a few baby wipes can handle. I am desperate for a shower, so in I go, to the men’s room at a truck stop in Guatemala.