If you come here looking for stories on the joys of bicycle riding then I’d suggest checking back a little later.
WanderWheels is in a sorry state of affairs.
- We woke up covered in dirt. The wind picked up last night and blew a layer of dirt through the mesh of the tent and all over us. I even have grit in my teeth.
- To add to this, we both must have brushed up against something poisonous because we’re developing patches of itchy bumps on our skin. Or maybe we caught something in any of the questionable rivers we’ve washed up in.
- Scott strained a muscle in his back, likely from maneuvering the bikes into a camp spot. We often have to hoist them over ditches and debris.
- We’re on the road early this morning. It’s Sunday so we expect traffic to be light and pleasant, as people will be headed to church. However, at 8am, a minibus passes and a passenger throws a half-full beer at us. Luckily he missed, but both of us are sprayed with beer. As we’ll learn, it’s not the worst thing we’ll be sprayed with today.
- We wanted a break from the Pan-American Highway and in an attempt to lift our spirits we tried to do some sightseeing of the coast. We saw a loop road on the GPS that appeared to go out to the coastline and then meet up with the highway a few miles down the road. However, when we arrived at the point where we thought we’d be riding along the coast, we found that the beach was private and large mansions with tall walls separated us from the coastal view. Discouraged, we headed back out to the highway.
- In our journey, we’ve navigated around all sorts of roadkill. At this point, I thought we’d seen it all. But today, while climbing a mountain, into a blasting headwind, amid constant traffic, as if to prove things can ALWAYS get worse, we had to steer around a large, hairy, foul smelling creature taking up the entire shoulder. It was a big, dead sloth. So sad, such a beautiful animal. If it was trying to cross the road, it didn’t stand a chance. Here, the Pan-American Highway is a four-lane road and the maximum speed of a sloth is about 2 meters (6.5 feet) per minute.
- After climbing the mountain we got into one of the aforementioned questionable rivers. It was getting to the end of the day and we were desperate. We still had yesterday’s and last night’s grit on us, combined with a new layer from today. We felt great afterwards, clean and refreshed. We got back on the bikes and not more than five minutes went by and a truck transporting fish speeds by and sprays us with fishy water. Clean does not last long out on the road.
Tonight we’re not taking any chances, we’re camping at a firestation. We’re only 40 miles outside Panama City, stealth camping would be difficult and we’re not having the best luck.