Dec. 14 - 22, 2011, Day 65 - 73, NICARAGUA, 10,000km point








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DAY 65, Dec. 14, Nicaragua Border and Leon, Temp 19-30C, (450/10,345km)

Awoke from a chilly night, had a crap breakfast which was included and got out of Comayagua after a 5 minute tour.  Some construction first then we were welcomed by 50km of beautiful pavement!  C8R8T2/3V8, Climbing up and down the mountains to Tegucigalpa, Honduras which was the easiest big city to get through so far was a joy.  The road as we closed on the Border was good too, C7R7/8T3V7 through farming country side and foothills.

construction to start the day

Beautiful views in the distance
after leaving Comayagua

Amazing road and curves before
Tegucigalpa, Hond.


Reminded me of Canada on the way to Tegucigalpa, C8R8T2/3V8




10,000km ON THE TRIP!!!  (About 50km after Tegucigalpa)
More distant views on the way to the Nicaragua border



Awesome work kid!

Road close to Los Manos, Nicaragua Border  C7R7/8T3V7



At the Border we obtained the services of a Helper named Porqui (Porky) who guides you through the numerous counters and papers to fill.  At one point a tough dude from Nicaragua wanted to take over from Porqui meaning we would have to pay two helpers, but I told him to get lost in a nice way (he was a amateur boxer).  Porqui earned his $2 that day and we were in Nicaragua and on to the best roads in Central America.

Borders always have Trucks lined up.  So happy to
be on a Bike!


Fumigation of the bikes


Rip off change lady mostly
because we didn't have space to
think with all the helpers around.
Helper Porqui for only $1 per bike was well worth it. 














See stats page for Costs of crossing the border, etc.http://thelifeofbrad.blogspot.com/p/tlob-to-argentina-stats-page.html

Another excited Brad border video


Happy to know we were on the best roads in Central America for the rest of our 150km to Leon we dug in and ripped it up.  First section from the border was very nice in a canyon.  C8R8T2V7.  PanAm Estelli to San Isidro C7R8T3V7.  Took a lunch stop at Comedor Blanquitas which was very inexpensive and good.  Nice service too.

Great Nicaraguan roads just after the border


Love this Cowboy wrangling
his heard through the streets
on a bike.  Outstanding.

Tasty lunch on the side of the
Pan Am Hwy


May be a funeral, but not sure as we closed on Leon.

Dead straight roads on the Pacific
Coast, C1R7T2/3V7/8
Portion of the PanAm Hwy before the turn West to Leon.

Entering Leon after my GPS took us down a couple of turn around roads I wasn't super impressed.  Didn't look like much, but once we got settled at El Hostel Albergue we found tasty Sushi and I found some live music at Olla Quemada and good fun with American travellers (Props to Bigota Ryan a forest fire fighter out of Idaho).  Leon is pretty good in my opinion and Nicaragua even though it doesn't seem safe, is considered the safest of Central America.  We even left the bikes on the street for the night.


DAY 66, Dec. 15, 2011 Granada, Temp 28 to 31C (140/10,485km)

A quick tour of the Cathedral which is the biggest in Central America.  Unfortunately we didn't go the 20km out to the Pacific (Beach time later in Nic).  Coordinates in and it was off to Granada stopping on Lake Managua for lunch, but not before a couple police check points.  One successfully avoided and one not successfully avoided.

Morning in Leon...
Safe streets of Leon, in front of El Hostel


Pretty nice spot for $7 a night!
Blogging Brad in Leon
Wire braclet making.  The guys hands were rough, but he was making $25 a bracelet so worth it for him. 

Wire bracelet and/ or necklace
depending how much his hands
can take that day.


Cathedral of Leon





Largest Church in Central America, Leon Cathedral very quick tour

David hanging in the shade while
I run around the Cathedral



Leon local work truck

On the way out of town my GPS took us through a foot
path / town dump.  Lucky not to catch a nail.  Upon
exit the cops waved us over, but I kept going.  Probably
not supposed to ride on footpaths.

More big loads with the wife up top

Momotombo in the distance, Road to Granada along Lake
Managua = C2R7T4V5.


From our lunch on Lake Managua,
which was not cheap ($8), you can
see Vocano Momotombo

Impressed with myself catching
this insect on camera
Nabbed by the cops for an insurance check and a lecture
 on passing only when there is a dotted line.  I passed a car
while this bike cop was coming at me.  Used no spanish
which is the best way.  No bribes asked, no bribes paid.
Signs like this in Central America
make me think the place is very
westernised.
Most of the day was good except for the annoying bit through the Capital Managua which took the majority of our short day.  In to Granada around 4pm on Lake Nicaragua where you will find a big tourist vibe with a main strip of restaurants and bars well developed. The rest of it is a bit rougher where you could get mugged,but no dramas aside from driving around with a freshly released convict who was helping us find a hostel.  We found this out later and hopefully have learned from our mistakes.  So many people see gringos as money, which is sad, but true.  
David with the dodgy little fellow Pedro who was
hoping for money for helping us find a place.  David
paid a couple bucks, but not me.  
Hotel Posada del Sol.  A double
room with Kitchen and A/C for
$40 with a nice pool.  
New Riding Buddy - Guillaume out of Montreal.  We were
able to catch up to him as he unfortunately got sick.

Main square in Granada

Crowded street market
Granada pier, one of.





















































Sad Side Story: Gringos = money was emphasized when the local hotel owner we met early came by with her friend offering us a beer, which was the second time a local did this on my whole trip so far(didn't we learn from Vincent on Roatan?).  It was all good and we bought the second round of course.  I left David with them and went to meet our new riding buddy Guillaume for dinner.  Apparently in the end the girls didn't pay for another drink, but David and also asked him for more money to pay for their dinner they were going to have later.  Shame on you Valeria (owner of Hotel Valeria).  David told them to get lost.
DAY 67-73, Dec. 16-22, 2011, San Juan del Sur, Temp 26 to 29 (Night rain only) (100/10,585km)

Out of Granada around 11am with a short ride to San Juan we took our time stopping in San Jorge to check the ferry to Ometepe which was to be a one night trip some time during the week when the clouds had lifted.  Granada to San Jorge C2/3R7T2/3V6/7.

Cemetery just out of Granada
Had to take this shot of a bunch of cows getting stuck
in to it





Finally a pineapple!  Don't know why, but this was my
first pineapple of the trip.  We paid for it!  $2, she
saw my desperation.  Check the knife and the
fact that she is probably 12 years old.
Tasty


What is this guy into?
Not pineapple
More road side transportation

More over loading


In to San Juan del Sur around 3pm after a good relaxing ride day.  Took a look around for a spot and met a french girl named Silvie who directed us to the Cruise Inn which is a motorbike friendly stop and only 4 min walk to the main bar area.  Although no one goes in to the water or stays on the beach in San Juan it's got a good vibe and great restaurants.  Plus a great beach only 20 minutes away by bike.  Check out the Black Whale for a beer and some foosball, oh and heavy drinking with Aussies if you get there.  Damn, let's just say I had a couple hard nights including hanging with an AFLer from Adelaide and his wife (Clinton and Heidi) who introduced me to ball punching on the pool table (don't ask).

Side note: Dutch Jonny is the MAN!  Had a great afternoon hanging out with one of the local poker players from the Cruise Inn.  This 70 year old Dutch guy had seen a lot and I could have listen to his stories for weeks.  I do find it quite sad and difficult about travel, that you never really know when to pick your spot, but 6 days in San Juan was a good choice. 

Go to Henry's for a seafood soup, El Timon for 3 medium lobster tails for $12, and Maggies for anything chicken (it's called Pollo something?).  Big spend and absolutely amazing go to El Colibri! ($30 per person with lots of wine, starters and main).

Shop next door and this little mini kid that was pretty cool.

Great views from Henry's


Cruise Inn, not a visually stunning
place, but a good host Joel with
 a nice breaky and A/C for $15.
Make sure you pick your room
as some are better than others
 for the sameprice.
Shot of the bay by David

Aussie Dan's nose protector to
 avoid sun burn.

The team heading South.  Dan, David, Guy and me.
Dan will be meeting us later in Panama after he surfs
 the coast. 


Car trouble little buddy

Road to Maderas Beach

Not totally paved, but totally worth
it to get to Maderas Beach.  In the
 mud you can go sideways
for 3 seconds, which is not ideal.








Real Beach Volley Ball








Sunsets at Maderas with a VW bought in Mexico




Inspired by the corona commercials
Late night gate climb on a challenge from my Aussie drinking buddies


DAY 72, Dec. 21, 2011, Ometepe, Temp 26C  (50/10,635km)

One night out to Ometepe Island which was really good.  Definitely rustic with a cool new road that covers half the island (brick laying technology I saw in Europe a couple years back, see photos).  Thoughts of swimming in the fresh water waves were dashed when I saw the garbage floating near our water front hostel "Bueno Vista".  Boat and bike across to the island was only $7 so much better than Roatan, but of course a different style ferry going a heck of a lot slower.  Ometepe is must if you have time.

My Swiss drinking buddies returning from Ometepe
 ahead of me.  Angela, Philipp and Christian.


Tight fit on the ferry across.

Take a break buddy, it's an hour
to Ometepe

Docking procedure:  A crew member has to jump into the
water to secure the line.  Interesting, but how do
they choose who?


Streets of Moyogalpa the main
city on Ometepe Island
Volcano Concepcion

Working man



My new ride. Trade my bike plus $1000 for this bad boy.
Even holds my tank bag.

No dip for me in this fresh water.
May be alright, but Granada feeds
pollution into this so I'll pass.

 Attack birds just won't let you eat your lunch with 
out swooping at your head.

Hostel Bueno Vista

  
Check that brick road out.  Very sweet.
And when there no brick it's nasty.




Volcano Maderas

Exciting, feeding the island monkeys


Not quite to the standard I'm using

He only has to go from one end
of the island to the other so
it works.  I'm going a bit farther.

Frederico and I had a good
 chat as we waited for the
rain to stop.

Ferry Che Guevara

Rain stop under a tree on Ometepe


Elaborate tie down system



Back on the mainland


Next, Costa Rica...

Other Stuff

Common for Central American vehicles to have tint
all around.  Guess this guy needed a piece without
to see while driving.  Heart shaped.


Common to see begging kids at
Gas station and in the streets.  



Extremely Drunken Swiss Foosballer who could still put the
ball in the net.
More heavy loading

Awkward lifting