Catching up with Herne Bay’s world traveller Josiah Skeats

CommunityAd feature an update from Herne Bay’s world traveller Josiah Skeats as he cycles through Mexico and Central America.

Josiah Skeats writes:

“It feels like I’m cycling into a hairdryer. I’ve drunk seven litres of water but my throat is dry and I’m no longer sweating.


“Or I am sweating but it immediately evaporates and leaves a white salty crust on my shirt. The thermometer reads 41 degrees. Herne Bay – home – is a long way away, and the challenge I’m just beginning terrifies me. It will certainly be uncomfortable, maybe it will be dangerous.


“Big adventures are my addiction. I’ve cycled from England to Australia, and sailed small boats across the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, but despite this, the thought of cycling across Mexico and Central America terrified me. I mean, these countries rarely get good publicity. Cycling down through Arizona, USA, everyone warned me how dangerous it was. When I eventually reached Nogales, a leafy town with an ugly metal wall cutting it in half, I felt like I was being fed to the lions. ‘Good luck. Stay safe out there’ an American border guard scoffed as shaky legs carried me across the frontier.


“Instantly, the world changed. The villages exploded with colour, spices sizzled from taco stands. Spanish conversations rang out and I realised I could no longer understand anyone around me. The mountains and cactus-skewered landscapes of Northern Mexico were unique and beautiful. Locals, shocked to see tourists, were fascinated by where we – my girlfriend and I – were from, refused to let us pay for our food, and invited us to camp in their gardens.


“Over the past two months, I’ve partied during the Day of the Dead festival, downed shots of tequila for breakfast, jumped on a horse with a cowboy, eaten more than 300 tacos, made countless new friends, and cycled 3,000 kilometres (though that’s not so important). As always, travel has reminded me that the world is a larger, more diverse, and kinder place than I realise.


Over the next five months, Josiah is continuing his journey across Central America and down to Argentina. You can follow his adventure on Facebook @josiahskeats.

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