CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bike Challenge from Guatemala to Honduras conquered!

We made it; 210km, 5 days, two countries, 14 Challengers, 4 Old Town Outfitter guides, 82 flat tyres, tears, cuts and bruises, though most important of all, fantastic fundraising for our GVI Phoenix projects in Guatemala and Honduras.

Day 1 saw us head out early from Antigua in the loaded vans to the other side of Guatemala City, where we geared up, mounted the steads and set off along the old railroad which traverses the country, over some pretty spectacular bridges.

A nasty climb before lunch took its toll as temperatures neared 40 degrees, though thankfully the afternoon was downhill trail as we camped just before dusk in the gardens of a finca on the railside - 47kms down.

Day 2, we rose early, packed up and continued along the line, reaching a monster bridge which needed to be traversed on foot. Not for the faint-hearted or those scared of heights. More of these were to follow through the day as the trail descended further into the valley.

All safely across, we skirted around Sanarate, on trail and a bit of road which climbed into Cabañas, where we pitched tents after dark on the banks of the Montagua river - another 48km down with the first milestone in sight.

Day 3, at dawn, after a fine breakfast, we stocked up on water for the day ahead, a gruelling trek across the desert, though not before passing the 100km mark, skirting the Montagua and a great lunch at the old railstation in El Rancho.

As the day wore on, the sun beat down and the temperatures soared over 40 degrees. Dried carcasses of cows littered the roadside, the vultures satiated, though we continued at pace, reaching our goal of the campsite past Zacapa, and more kms to our names!

Day 4, canyon day, and some of the most remarkable scenery in Central America. After breaking camp, we headed through deep canyons, with the river idling by, tempting us to jump in!

At times, the trail had been washed away, so we had to carry our bikes and traverse the sides; at others, the trail was so narrow that it either had to be walked, or biked very slowly!

Twice, we had to cross the river, bikes in hands, though this minor distraction was welcomed by all as it meant a break and water-down from the relentless heat, as the few pockets of locals watched on, bemused; this isn't on the tourist trail!

After eating ice-pops in the only village in the region, we climbed out of the canyons and headed out once again along the lines and bridges, past Chiquimula and to a lush campsite in farmland and a rather randy bull! 200kms and the border in sight!

Day 5, the final slog, the hills...oh the hills! After breaking camp we set out on the final leg - the border with the Honduras, which was also the 200km mark, and then on into Honduras where arrived, mid-afternoon, exhausted though elated that we had made it, finishing on a high at Asados Copan for a meat feast.

I would like to thank everyone for taking part, not just the Challengers and the guides from Old Town Outfitters, though also to all the people who kindly donated to such a great cause. Though most of all, I would like to thank all the kids and the communities in which we work. Cheers and well done everyone.


Gill said...

Well done to everyone who took part it must have been very gruelling!! Photos are great, scenery scarey in parts but views must have been wonderful, if you had the time to look.....

bridget said...

contratulations good work¡¡¡¡¡

How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects