DAY 11


Julio met me at 7am and I said my goodbyes to this wonderful family and we rode off. It was a steep descent down about 4500 feet, I had to ride my brakes and the vehicles were going 10 - 13 mph through the steep switchbacks and sharp curves. We did pass a row of big trucks on one small stretch of a straightaway and I got up to 33.5 mph giong downhill. The bike did well on the smooth road, there did not seem to be any wobble today. I had rearranged some of my gear and tried to keep all the heaviest stuff on back.


The view from the road

I saw a lot of these signs along the way, I have no idea what they mean

Before reaching Espinal I started having knee pain. I have not had knee pain since the end of my last bicycle ride 12 years ago. My left knee was the worst of the two and after finding a hotel to check in to, I spent the afternoon icing it.

I know that joint pain is not good and it is never a good idea to push through joint pain. I can deal with muscle pain or muslce fatigue and push through if needed, but joint pain is trauma. I will see how it goes but if there continues to be this amount of knee pain I may have to mix things up and add some bus rides on this journey otherwise I will be needing knee surgery. this is disappointing to me, but I also have to realize that many things happen for a reason and sometimes it is because I am guided to another direction.

When I was not icing my knee, I laid in bed watching the ceiling fan and listening to the cars go by and all the honking outside. The ceiling fans serve two purposes, not only is it hot here and tehy do not have air conditioning, but the breeze helps keep the mosquitoes away. Although I did end up getting three bites, the first since arriving in South America.

Late in the evening I went downstairs to the lobby of the hotel so I can get a good wi fi signal and updated this website and chatted with my friend Willow for a little while. The young man who checked me in is apparantly part of the family here. He was still checking on me at 11pm while I was sitting in the lobby and we used google translate to communicate, it gets the concept across about 50% of the time. Sometimes we have to reword a sentence. I have been dropping out all kinds of words to keep the sentences very simple because many words do not translate well due to mulitple meanings. So instead of saying "what do you have for dinner, can I see a menu?" I just say "me eat". I can't wait to see how I am talking when I return.

I neglected to put any cycling data down previously, although I doubt this will be like the other journey. Last time I cycled the whole way and tracked all the miles. I cycled the without having to push my bicycle anywhere, not even the steep Canadian rockies. I never even accepted a ride from a passing pickup truck when it had been offered on several occasions One of the times it was a heavy downpour with cold rain, but I told the guy I had to cycle the whole way and could not "cheat". He made a joke about a church up ahead and I could ask for forgiveness or something like that. The last ride I think I had to prove something to myself as well as others, that I could do it. Now I do not feel that same kind of pressure to achieve something, especially here where no one really cares if you "win or lose", it is about the trying. When playing games, the loser gets as much attention and congrats for the effort as the winner. I get the idea it is more about living and enjoying life here, not winning at it but merely participating and enjoying it. At least that is my personal experience so far.

miles up to today = 92.61
top speed today = 33.5 mph

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