Thursday, February 4, 2010


Yesterday we crossed Honduras and this morning we entred Nicaragua. We choose a remote border crossing on a rainy day, and it was a bit of a circus. a dozen 'helpers' came running at us as we passed the last of the dozens of big trucks parked on the hill leading to the border. The Helpers were all in business, trying to change monay, sell insurance ( required in Nicafagua), assist the immigration process for a fee, etc. We dedcided to forego the help this time and try our luck. Turned out to be the correct choice.

We exported our bikes out of Honduras, cleared Honduras exit immigration and Nicaraguan entry immigration, bought insurance, imported the bikes into Nicaragua, had the inspectors review the bikes and look in the luggage a bit. The whole thing took only two hours which is pretty good in these parts.

Nicaragua is the poorest of the four 'CA4' countries, which also include El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. At times the poverty is obvious, like the people we rode by that were carrying river water to their homes in buckets as they have no running water. Nicaragua is sparsely populated in the north but heavily populated in the south. We rode south from the border through beautiful mountains and valleys. The valleys were a workout, the winds were very strong and the bikes were in a serious lean the whole time. It was a bit of a work out. Good thing for all the pre -training. Ha.

We were warned several times that the police in Nicaragua are very corrupt and will make up any charge and expect payment on the spot, of course the payment goes only as far as their pocket. But we had heard the same about other places on the trip and, although we were pulled over at several check points, we were never really trteated poorly. There was that one impromptu frisking in Honduras, but he seemed nice afterwards.

As our day was winding down today we went through a small municipal police checkpoint and were asked to pull over. As Pete was lesading at the time he seemed to be the center of attention.
The said something in Spanish (more or less that he had passed on a solid line, which he had not done for quite some time before that moment). Pete just sort of said he didn't understand what they were saying. Our gameplan was to wait it out, so we settle in. Pete dug for documents as they requested and I sat on a rock wall and took pictures of local kids.

One of the Police came to me, I thought 'here goes' he wants to see my documents also. But he just shook my hand and walked away? Then they ( there were three cops) seemed to get a little bored with it all. We passed them Canada flag pins, they passed back Pete's documents. Then they wanted their picture taked. We parted the best of friends. We won't always be so lucky, and certainly not with the army checkpoints if they nab us for anything.

We lucked mout to find Granada, Nicaragua tonight. Quite a nice town on the edge of Laga de Nicaragua. Had a great fish supper for $4 US.

Costa Rica tomorrow, which means another border crossing. They get routine after a while so here's hoping for good things.

Fish for sale near a lake in Honduras. After stopping for the picture I felt I should buy a fish as the lady tending the stand thought she had a sale. But what was I to do with a raw fish ???

A Pretty typical pole wiring scene in Honduras. They use 2 wire for distribution and all the conductor is red inner with black outter jacket. The rates are paid as a flat fee, and they get a local electrician to tap on wherever the closest point might be.
Soreass 2010 gets an official welcome to Nicaragua. ( I balanced the camera on a guardrail post and set the photo timer)

A Nicaraguan Lady heading to the local town square where we stopped for lunch.

Nicaraguan Mountains. Mountains never turn out very impressive in photos, the mountains were inpressive and the photo is kinda not so much.

Kids hamming it up for my camera as we try to figure out what the cops plan to fine us.
When I say US I mean Pete. I was innocent even to these cops. ( That is how damn safe I ride my bike Mom)

The gang pose (*third cop took the picture) before saying good bye.

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