Day 11 – February 18th, 2016 Punta Perula to Boca de Iguanas

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Today we learned how important it is to hydrate on our days off! We pushed it a good distance and were able to ride the entire day – another day of intense climbing but also some amazing descents! We made our way through beautiful hills to finally camp in Boca de Iguanas. Today was the first day we spent money on lodging, a steep fee of $20 to camp for the night, but the clean bathrooms and showers made it more than worth it. It seems especially hot and humid here, and the campground borders some incredibly beautiful swamps. We were told not to swim because there are crocodiles here, the first real danger we've encountered so far! We made camp, had some veggie tacos and passed out early after a long day of riding. Our bodies are doing extraordinarily well. We talk about how fascinating it is that the real test of this journey is conditioning the mind. We are adapting to change and learning to live on less. It occurs to us both that living on $5/day each is a profound experience coming from privilege, and we realize that life feels richer as we are deeply appreciating things we usually take for granted, like running water and a roof over our heads.

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Day 12 – February 19th, 2016 Boca de Iguanas to Melaque

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Today we enjoyed a short, mellow ride to Melaque. As we arrived, we were immediately taken by the charm of this quaint town, and the courtesy the drivers show to cyclists! Of the places we have been so far, Melaque seems the friendliest to cyclists and tourists. Locals and tourists mingle and laugh as music fills the streets. The beaches are lined with palapas. We found a camp site at the end of town after making a salad and having lunch on the plaza. The camp site is right along the beach under a large, old tree. We decide to wake up before sunrise tomorrow to get an early start to Manzanillo and avoid cycling in the heat of the day.

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Day 13 – February 20th, 2016 Melaque to Manzanillo

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What a day! We encountered so many friendly faces on our way into Manzanillo today. We stopped by the side of the road twice for fresh coconut water to keep us hydrated. It was an incredibly hot day. Erin is understanding more and more Spanish every day but is eager to be fluent. Patience is a big lesson on this trip. As of today, we have been on the road cycling for a week and a half and have traveled over 200 miles. On our way to Manzanillo, we saw a guy on a motorcycle with a flat tire and tried to help him but he needed a new one. While we tried to help, we noticed there were giant iguanas hanging out under a tree along the side of the road. So far we have seen lots of animals and insects  -- lizards, hawks, turtles, chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, spiders and now huge iguanas. We also keep seeing butterflies while we cycle – a symbol of transformation. It's true, a trip like this would transform anyone. We are feeling it, day by day, and welcome the exquisite feeling of living in the unknown.

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