QuickPeek: Nice downhill. Pan-American Traffic. Afternoon showers.
I was up at the stroke of 6 but lazed around because the cafe would open only at 6:30. After a while though, I climbed up the viewing gallery to look at the sunset which was clouded out. Well at least the rain which was pouring pretty much all night had ceased and the day was cool and crisp. After a quick coffee, I was ready to hit the long downhill!
It was nice to start the day with the chill in the wind and a pretty long downhill. Though I’d always prefer downhills in the evenings I suppose. The first 20 km to conception was pretty quick and I had got there before I realized it. I figured I could get some distance in before b’fast and targeted the town of David. It was a further 20 km and was mostly a gentle downhill. At conception, I had joined the Pan-American highway and there was reasonable traffic, the shoulder was ok, but once in a while some sucker would get pretty close. The traffic in David was a mess though.
There is a super Warmshowers host in David and I was carrying wishes from Alex, Julia, Elza and Keith for her. But I suppose she’s been an extremely popular host in Panama and probably decided to take a break for a while. So I didn’t find her on the hosts list and couldn’t meet her. Ah well. I wasn’t planning to stay in David, what it being just 9 am and the road beckoning me.
I had a quick b’fast at a cafe with wifi and updated the blog too. The route further on looked flattish with rolling hills, guess I’d be able to see for real how my body fares in this terrain. I got back on the road and immediately, the oft mentioned road construction began. They 4 lane super highway was being relaid and for most part of the day, I was able to use the freshly laid, but still unused lanes. Awesome. There would be occasional bits on gravel and mud, but for the most part, I was on separated, super smooth, fresh asphalt!
The day wore on gradually and it was cloudy, warm and sultry. I had a feeling that I was probably on a race with the weather and kept an eye out towards the mountains. Slowly, but surely, the rain started to approach the foothills and plains and was going to catch sooner rather than later.
I took a quick break for isotonic and learned that my next possible destination was San Lorenzo, about 20 km away. I might not have luck with a place to stay though and a more convenient option was San Felix a further 30 km away. Ouch. I figured I’d see how far I could get.
As I was approaching San Lorenzo, it started spitting and just as I got to the first gas station (since a town after David), it started to pour down buckets. This place was a truck stop and had a restaurant. I stopped for lunch and weather. The food was so so, I managed to ask them for fried rice, which they charged 6$ for. Ouch! But it was nice to stay out of the rain though.
The place was a truck stop and would not let me camp there, however a guy at the gas station suggested I talk to the Alcalde (village head) and see if I can camp any place. The feller’s place was nearby and after a little while, they decided to let me sleep in the Gymnasium. It was a huge basketball court and I was happy to have a roof over the head. It was a bit tricky getting my Hammock up, but after a quick look-see, I managed to find a decent hang. Off to sleep in the dry again! yay!
Route: Mirador after Volcan to San Lorenzo
Distance: 87.2 Km
Road: Good Descent to Conception. Pan-American was good till David. heavy construction after David, but that meant good 2 lane super highway fur cycling at the moment.
Traffic: Light on the downhill to Conception. Heavy to David. Construction zone afterward.
Services: Just a few along the way. Hard to find food.
Expenses: SG$ 17.66
Comments: The 3 Pm rain is getting a bit annoying really. It's nice and cool in the morning, but its a race against the clock the rest of the day.