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meeting kelly and kurt (or a honduran photo story)

I can’t remember when Kelly first wrote to me but by the time it looks like we will finally meet an extensive correspondence between us already exists. When I leave my friend Lindsey in El Salvador it is to meet Kelly, who is travelling with her partner, Kurt. I set off with around five days to make it into the middle of Honduras over anonymous gravel backroad criss-crossing nowhere in particular.

I didn’t really take any notes on this part of my travels so what remains are hazy memories and a fragmented series of images.

Can't get away from it. Road side trash in Honduras.

I choose the mountain roads.

They are as steep...

... and rough as any I've seem.

A convention of nattily dressed crickets.

...

Dry season in Honduras is dusty and smoky.

I caught up with Kelly and Kurt at Lake Yojoa one of Honduras’ more dubious tourist attractions and from there we decide to cycle to a nameless man-made hydroelectric lake which we hope to cross to set off in a north-easterly direction to Trujillo in order to embark on an off-road Moskitian adventure.

We pick up another cyclist on the way and arrive without much ado at the lake but getting to the other side proves a little more involved than we had hoped.

The dam wall. The road leads to nowhere. Nowhere, in this case appearing in the form of the highly secure hydro-electric doings of the lake and a fish farm.

After extensive negotiations we find space to camp on the fish farm with a promise of a ride across the lake in the morning.

A new day dawns over the lanchas on the lake...

... but it is well after midday, and a series of broken promises and failed attempts, that we manage to get our bikes...

... and belongings...

...loaded onto a lancha and underway.

Once we find ourselves on the other side our first thought is food. A fish that succeeded in escaping the fish farm tanks...

...did not successfully evade our pan.

Honduras is cattle country. Cows...

... and cowboy...

... style are ubiquitous.

We choose the smallest lines on the map which leads us...

... through hilly terrain.

Kelly doing a do-it-yourself day spa hot rock treatment on a roadside river bank.

Kelly and Kurt are cyclists after my own heart. Gravel roads and quirky camp sites make us all happy.

Kurt's birthday lunch in production:...

...salsa...

... devilled eggs, carrot sticks...

... followed by more mountain roads. Life is good.

Kurt is an excellent bike mechanic and a master of roadside repairs of all kinds.

Shared cooking is one of the joys of group travel. Kelly cooks up mean camp food.

I'm always on the look out for kitsch bike bling. I like the blue anodised aluminium details here.

Honduras burning: dry season is the time to set fire to things it seems. Constant smoke and dust had my throat so sore I couldn't speak for some days.

The road never ends...

... but the day always does.

A rainy morning and goblins under the bridge. Kurt has a long history of sleeping rough and does it well.

Both Kelly and Kurt succumb to intestinal trouble and spend a day and a half totally incapacitated. I while away the time taking dips in the creek in between trying to make sure they keep hydrated enough to survive.

More smoke, more dust.

Must watch television.

As we approach the Caribbean, cattle country gives way to other crops.

Palm nuts seem to be the main one...

... and everybody has some to deliver to the distribution points.

The names of the farmers are printed directly on the goods at a road side stall.

Tropical weather makes for constant works with every wet season washing...

...bridges away. A collection of BIG machines are working hard to put things right...

... and a ricketty ferry assists in the meantime.

Random road kill.

When we finally make Trujillo the first mission is an attempt to work out what is going on with our intestinal flora. The bikes parked outside the public hospital where we go for some laboratory tests.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Sarah | May 17, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Those Honduran roads were impossibly steep – in retrospect, the toughest of the entire trip. You will find the South American gradients a lot more biker friendly – they actually believe in switchbacks there! Sarah

  2. Ellie | May 17, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    What awesome photos. I have more than a few of those ‘intestinal trouble’ photos and Kelly and Kurt pulled off the look a lot better than me…

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