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Cindie and I have now been on the road for about ten months. In all of this time we have not seen the ocean or beach. We plan on changing this fact on the Caribbean side of Honduras. Along the way, in Guatemala, we made a side trip to the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal, the birders paradise of Rio Dulce, and the funky town of Livingston. In many way this was a frustrating endeavor because Guatemala City stood in our way. Neither of us had any interest in riding in the crowded polluted capital. You will have to read on to find out how we got through but I will say that we have learned to appreciate the simple life on the bike.
In eastern Guatemala internet access has been very limited. This is a sparsely populated area. I have not been able to connect our laptop since I sent out our last newsletter several weeks ago. When I do have the opportunity to connect we will be sending 50 emails and receiving 200. As I sit in our tent writing this I still do not know when or where I will be able to connect. There is starting to be a several week turnaround in our email replies. Please be patient. I am always afraid that people will quit writing us because they do not receive replies in a reasonable amount of time. The web site is getting updated less often as well. As we head into the Honduran wilderness I expect internet access to be even less frequent. You can bet that every time you receive one of these newsletters that the site has been updated and we have a good connection. This is the best time to write us because I try to receive our email 24 hours after sending the newsletters.
Big news for us is that monthly traffic on our web site has reached over 13,000 unique visitors per month. A unique visitor means that each visitor can only be counted once every 24 hours. This is much more meaningful to me than "hits" which would be 5 to 10 times greater. This is exciting because Nov. and Dec. are notoriously slow months for the sites that I have maintained. This is much more than we had ever expected for a web site that is only a few months old. I still have not formatted our site to be attractive to search engines. Who knows when I can get to that but when I do there will certainly be a surge in traffic. Even without being indexed in the majority of search engines we are amazed that so many people are looking at our stuff. Most people report that they like the pictures and Cindie's journal the best.
With all of this growing traffic there has naturally been more people signing up for this newsletter. I just counted over 500 subscribers on our mailing list. I still maintain this list manually and read and enter each sign up form. There are several automated ways of maintaining an email list like this but I do not want to lose the personal contact with the people who take the time to write us. We really do know most of you out there from the forms that you sent in. The pace of new subscribers is proportional to the sites traffic volume so I expect this to increase as well. I am starting to feel like I am publishing a small newspaper. I have to admit that this comes as quite a surprise to me because I am the guy who flunked high school English. I am much more careful about grammar theses days.
I have used several brands of bicycle panniers and
highly recommend Ortlieb.
See Why I switched to Ortlieb waterproof Panniers?
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