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Introduction to “El Danger Zone’s” – Our Central America Bicycle Trip

Posted by on February 17, 2013

Flash back a year ago – I came up with the idea of bicycling across of El Salvador.  I knew it was a Central American country, I knew it was seemingly feasible, I knew nothing else about the country – and to be honest, today, I know a few sites here and there, but I still have loads to learn and experience.

Flash forward a few months, I book my flight to travel the world, a few months later, I quit my job, and one last flash to just over two months into my travels I arrive at El Gato Negro Hostel in Xela, Guatemala mid afternoon after a three hour Chicken Bus ride.  I was fresh out of a backpacking relationship heartbreak and really looking for a fresh start.  I was going to take Spanish classes, live in a home stay with a Guatemala family and after a few weeks of traveling full time with the aforementioned girl, I was really hoping to meet a really cool guy or two to travel with for awhile.

Enter Lennart, and five other guys the instance I walked into the hostel in Xela.  We all grabbed pizzas and beers that night – I was off to a great start.  That night, I stumbled across a tourism trolley, and the idea to rent it as a “Party Trolley” popped into my mind immediately from my previous experiences in Chicago. 
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The next night, Saturday, we were off on it cruising around Xela, partying and dancing the night away – the 7 of us guys, 4 girls from the hostel, and 3 Guatemalan guys who I invited to join us right off the street.  By the end of the night we’d picked up another group of 3 girls and it was an absolute riot of a night! Xela was off to a great start.

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Parque Central en Xela

Over the course of the weekend, Lennart and I realized we had very similar plans – 2 weeks of Spanish courses, and then making our way through Central America over the next 3+ months and we both shared the desire to bike across a country. His original goal was Costa Rica, having never thought about El Salvador, I mentioned the idea and he jumped on board immediately. We shared the similar feeling of going with the flow and a love for beach volleyball and shortly thereafter, “El Danger Zone” became the coined name for our future trip. 

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El Danger Zone Begins

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Sunrise on Volcan Tajumulco - The highest point in Central America

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Sunrise on Volcan Tajumulco

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Volcan San Pedro in the background - we hiked from this photo to the peak

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Lennart on top of Volcan San Pedro

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On top of Volcan San Pedro

After a few more weeks of traveling Guatemala, stops at Lake Atitlan, kayaking, hiking the highest peak in Central America, Volcan Tajumulco (4,220m and summiting it from 4,000m at sunrise after sleeping in a deep freeze) (another blog about this coming soon!), and the even more difficult Volcan San Pedro – we began our bike shopping….a simple feat in a first world country – not so much in Guatemala….

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Our bicycle adventure was just beginning.  El Danger Zone was going to have loads of challenges and we knew this was only the first hurdle, but no matter what was thrown at us, we had faith we’d succeed.

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One comment on “Introduction to “El Danger Zone’s” – Our Central America Bicycle Trip

  1. Chuck Menges on said:

    April 11, 2012
    I am having one of my periodic lunches with your dad today. I have also been following your adventures for some time. I think that your bicycle blogs and pictures came close to putting the reader into your trip with information and a lot of humor. You are succeeding, in my opinion, in building communicative credibility for the future. Such a wonderful skill you have built upon. I know that a goal of yours is to hone that skill to gain recognition in the travel world. Certainly, at your age, you will have a wide appeal to those people with whom you are sharing your current life or who are or will be having their own adventures in the future. I am looking forward, Kyle, to following your progress through a part of the world that I will never see. Chuck Menges

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