Pristine beaches, misty rainforests and remote Mayan ruins: 45 years ago Central America was an adventure waiting to happen.

In October, 1976, I tracked down a few maps, packed up an old three-speed bicycle and flew to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. My plan was to ride south towards Panama and see what developed. I had a grand total of $850 cash and no return ticket.

And what a ride! I cycled 1500 kms to Roatan over rough terrain, hitch-hiked to Panama along the fabled Ruta Panamericana and crewed my way back to Key West on a 50’ yacht. I explored pre-Colombian temples, pirate fortresses and old colonial cities. Camped out in rainforests and on undiscovered beaches. Met colorful characters and lovely young women. Smoked legendary weed. And I kept a daily journal.

Bike, Thumb and Sail. October 1976 to May 1977. 10,000 kilometers.

The first entry into the journal was 12 October, 1976 outside of Spartanburg, South Carolina. But the story starts earlier, in 1972, when I was a 20-year-old long-haired dope-smoking proto-geographer hitch-hiking around America. Click Here to start the adventure.

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