Rolando called last week to let us know that his ATV has been fixed and he was ready to give it another try. Today was the only day we could commit to since we have two sets of B&B guests staying with us starting next weekend for the week. Then my daughter, Phoenix, and her boyfriend will be visiting for a week... by mid June, the rivers may be too high to cross. Today had to be the day if we wanted to do it before November.
We set out at 7 am to meet Rolando in Santa Maria at 7:30 am (Maritza couldn't join us this time). The sun was out... a great start to the day. Rolando lead us up roads between Santa Maria and San Marcos we hadn't been on. These roads by-passed having to drive through the town of San Marcos and brought us directly to the other side of town... it shaved several minutes off our journey, for sure. It's always nice to discover new ways of getting around the area.
As usual, Kevin drove. And I was happily perched behind him. There's something very liberating about being a passenger: I can take it all in or zone out.... kind of. Although I don't have to focus on the road and concentrate on the next move, I do have a certain amount of responsibility still. And for those who are under the impression riding an ATV is an 'passive' sport, think again. My whole body is engaged! First, my core has to be strong and tight... THE WHOLE TIME... to help me balance, but also to alleviate the strain on my neck from my helmet (approx 1.8 kg/4 lb). I suffered a neck injury many years ago and it doesn't take much to feel the stress, so by making sure my neck isn't swinging from side to side, my core has to compensate. It's not a bad thing, just something I'm acutely aware of when I'm riding on the back. Also, when we descend, the angle of the bike causes gravity to push me forward. I have to engage my leg muscles and dig my feet into the steel foot rest to avoid crashing the front of my helmet into the back of Kevin's. Not only is it unpleasant for Kevin to be whacked in the head suddenly, but it's such an amateur things to do. (If you've ridden any kind of motor vehicle that requires a helmet and you've been a passenger, you know this is so uncool... it does happen now and then, you can't anticipate every move the driver makes, but you should be on the ball most of the time and not slam into him.) Then there's the simple act of holding on. I usually grab onto the metal frame, but the vibration of the ATV rattling around can be hard on the nerves so I tend to wrap my fingers very loosely – barely touching – the metal bar. There's also a technique to riding... you have to lean into the turns, follow the driver, never lean the opposite direction... this could be very dangerous. So, yes, being a passenger has its perks, but it's not all 'la la' and daydreaming of daisies.
We stumbled across an amazing waterfall... we parked our ATVs and found a path that led to it. I captured it on video... this is my first time filming a video on my camera, so there's no sound. I forgot to narrate what was going on... but it's pretty self-explanatory... the waterfall was so tall!!
When we got home, I peeled off my wet clothes... expecting Kevin to do the same. He looked at me and said "I'm dry. If anything, I'm a little sweaty, but that's it." Apparently, his rain gear is much more waterproof than mine. I think I may have to invest in better gear! Oh, but how much fun would that be, really!
Hot shower, lovely cup of tea... and a bit of writing. Can life get any better!