- it is still possible for me, even after 10,000km of practice, to cycle straight into a wall while riding along a footpath (granted I was staring at the pavement trying to work out how Russ, who was riding in front of me, had just managed to ride straight into the same wall!)
- the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico is not the most enjoyable place to cycle unless you enjoy being blown sideways off the road
We also managed to make it to San Cris in time for Lorely's birthday so we could celebrate with our birthday routine of coffee and pastries, Jules' special omelets for breaky and a feast of wine and cheese for dinner. We were staying with a wonderful warm showers host who was also owner of 'El Hostalito' a fantastic little hostel where we could relax and do all our necessary day-off jobs. We managed to give Norma and Betty a good clean and overhaul, and fix my busted front rack (a victim of one of those severe Mexican speedbumps) .
So after a few days rest we set off from San Cristobel in great spirits – we knew we had a lot of downhill to do (my favourite type of hill), and only a few more days until we were going to cross the border into Guatemala, and of course we were all excited to head into Central America. Unfortunately, the most well-laid plans go awry. I started feeling ill the first day out of San Cris and felt awful during the afternoon's ride. I was so happy to arrive at our destination, the town of Ocosingo, that I promptly jumped off the bike and threw up in someone's garden.
In the night it rained.. and it continued for the whole next day, which kind of ruined our pool plans, but we still managed to thoroughly enjoy our day at the ruins of Palenque. The weather added extra atmosphere to the already stunning ruins set deep in the jungle, with the mist rising off the trees behind.
The weather was less atmospheric when the rain continued the next few days and by the time we left Palenque a couple of days later everything we owned smelt like wet dog. We headed off in the pouring rain towards the Guatemalen border (170kms away) and I started feeling crook again, with bad stomach cramps which didn't add to the pleasantness of riding 170kms! However, the rain stopped part way into the day, the miles flew by pretty quickly and our day turned out to be quite exciting as we managed to see a crocodile, turtles, a howler monkey, toucans and a couple of other cycle tourists (our first on the road since Baja!),..a nice welcome to Central America.