Quick peek: Lots of hills. Big day. Great hospitality. Bookended by Bomberos!
I was up first at 4:30 and then later at 5:30 but decided to laze and got out at 6 eventually. I spotted the sun coming up and figured I was in for a hot day and decided to get on the road as quickly as possible. I skipped B’fast, hoping to find some along the way and hit the road running.
As it would turn out, I got out of town and all the services seem to have died a sudden death. There weren’t even Pulperias (Small shops) en route and the couple of shops I did find were not ready to serve b’fast. Bummer. Luckily I wasn’t feeling hungry yet but when the climb started, I figured I need to resupply energy quickly. I spotted a small shop and looked in and he had some bread. I figured I might be able to gulp them down with coffee, but he (obviously) didn’t have any. However, he suggested I ask the neighbour for some and when I approached the lady she gladly heated up some water in a recycled tin can. Awesome. I waited for the water to boil, made my fresh coffee, ate some bread and my b’fast was a mere 13 Lempiras. Score!
The hill up was a super gentle gradient, most of the time at 4-5% and peaking at 7-8%. Perfect climbs as far as I am concerned. I enjoyed my ride and the mild drizzle did great to keep me cooled down. It was a warm and extremely humid day and I was sweating buckets and had to keep hydrated. Around noon, with 50 km in the bag, I decided to stop for some resupply, noting the next big hill coming up. The roads after lunch was a bit broken, but it didn’t last too long. it got to being awesome pretty soon. I rode up and down and for a while at 700m it was rolling hills before climbing up to 900m and became rolling hills again.
I am not sure why, but it was an awesome day in office. I was grinning all day long and was feeling extremely friendly with everyone, even the young punks shouting at me thro the cars for no reason. I felt really strong too, I guess attitude matters a lot to make the day great. I was debating if I could make it to the town of Talanga which was quite a ways away (80km after lunch) and was constantly calculating the probability of me making it before dark. Every tiny uphill or a roll up-down would get me recalculating the odds of making it to town.
I made a quick hydration stop at a store and the lovely ladies were so taken in by my story of the ride that eventually they refused to take payment for my drink and offered to give me some food too. I skipped on that, thanked them and hit the road running. By this time, I was starting to feel I might be able to make it to town before dark. heh. The last 40 km or so was a mad rush to beat the clock and I rode hard up or down to make sure I got to shouting distance before the sun set. It was awesome riding at a good pace to be honest.
I have to mention also that there was a spectacular tail wind all day long and I was able to use that to get some speed on the flats. I tend not to acknowledge tailwinds most of the times because I rarely notice them. But they are awesome to have and makes the day so much more easy to ride. The route was very interesting too. It was wonderful pine plantations all along the way and I thought I could easily find a hiding spot to camp at. The road climbed up a hill in the morning, picked a ridge and stayed on the ridge most of the day. That made the scenery really wonderful as I would be spotting the top of the hill on either side all day long.
I eventually got to the town 5 mins after sunset and as luck would have it, I spotted the Bomberos at the edge of town even before entering. Awesomeness. I asked for a place to rest and lo and behold I was offered a great place to sleep in. Bomberos never seem to fail me and I am digging the opportunity to find these fellers and hang out. I even got a nice shower and chatted with the fellers for a long while before calling it a day. It’s been a long one and surprisingly I felt really good after that!
Route: Juticalpa to Talanga
Distance: 121 km
Road: Stunning, well paved roads at a great gradient for climbing. A few K’s of broken roads after Limones. Great Shoulders.
Traffic: Very light.
Services: Sparse. Many long stretches without any stores or restaurants.
Expenses: SG$ 8.58
Comments: Long day but with the head in the right place, the world looked perfect!