Bike Trip Day 1: Antigua to El Paredon

Apart from circumnavigating in our own sail boat we are also keen land travellers and we have a kind of overland bucket list to use all the kinds of transport available. The one we have always had high on the list is doing a bike trip and the right opportunity presented itself in Antigua.

While exploring the town on foot, we came across MotoTours, a motorbike rental shop. After a chat with the owner, and discussing our budget options over a good cup of coffee and a pastry, we decided to take the opportunity and do an unguided (less expensive and more adventurous/exciting for us) trip to the Pacific coast, Lake Atitlán and then back to Antigua.

We packed very light (one small backpack for the two of us), some water, a few snacks, our minimal camera gear, our sailing windbreakers and a questionable hand drawn map from José, the owner of MotoTours. The first day was half off road/forest/rivers/rural village areas and the other half highway. Neither of us had ridden in a very long time, and for such an extended period, so we had to get used to having bruised bums and inner thighs all over again.

Apart from our battered backsides it was a brilliant day. We started off in the town square, in the middle of historical Antigua, and drove South via Siquinqlá to El Paredon on the Pacific Coast. We spent the night at Driftwood Surf Camp. As soon as we arrived we immediately changed from our hot sticky dusty riding clothes into our swim gear and made a beeline for the swimming pool and bar! Over a well-deserved ice cold beer we reunited with our friend Matthieu, whom we had met a few weeks earlier on the Rio while he was sailing with Nike of White Spot Pirates.

Rufus went for a surf and then played some beach volleyball with our fellow surf campers as the sun set over the sea.The rest of the evening was spent on the deck, the roof of the surf house, enjoying dinner and drinks with new friends, chatting and laughing together as a tropical thunderstorm threatened to wash us all away. Good memories.

our first bike trip together, since before we got married 8 years ago! our first bike trip together, since before we got married 8 years ago! about 2 hours into the trip, before the about 2 hours into the trip, before the “numb bum” set in… no more seats available? no problem, just jump on the back! no more seats available? no problem, just jump on the back! sharing the trail with hundreds of butterflies sharing the trail with hundreds of butterflies happy dance happy dance

we cleared 7 (small) rivers in total on day 1 we cleared 7 (small) rivers in total on day 1 back in back in “civilization”, after most of the off-road section – so.much.dust.and.bug.guts.on.my.face… pacific coast beach pacific coast beach

waves on offer at the surf camp waves on offer at the surf camp sunset volley ball challenge with our fellow surf campers sunset volley ball challenge with our fellow surf campers morning moves with the local stray pup and his bright orange crab companion (can you see him?) morning moves with the local stray pup and his bright orange crab companion (can you see him?) pool with the bar hiding behind the bush on the left pool with the bar hiding behind the bush on the left Rufus recording the route and trip's details before we set off on the second day of the trip Rufus recording the route and trip’s details before we set off on the second day of the trip

hand drawn (seriously off scale) map from the bike rental owner hand drawn (seriously off scale) map from the bike rental owner surf camp cat surf camp cat my favourite spot: boat swing/hammock my favourite spot: boat swing/hammock neighbouring plot of land for sale - you too can share in this surfing paradise! neighbouring plot of land for sale – you too can share in this surfing paradise!

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