We are sitting on the deck at Henry’s Iguana Bar enjoying drinks and watching the sunset. What’s more amazing than this scene is something bigger. Just over a year ago we sat on this very deck having drinks and talking about how amazing it would be to ride motorcycles here. We had seen bikes parked here and there throughout our travels in Nicaragua in 2013 and envied their freedom and their adventurous spirits. To have dreamed a goal like this and then realized it, plants something in your soul that is the stuff you carry to your grave. To share an experience like this with someone you love is icing on the cake.
So how did we get here? Speaking of only the last few days and not the past year, our ride through Honduras was okay. Rick fell in love with the highway from Puerto Cortes to Tegucicalpa because it was perfectly paved, had double lanes and perfect S-Curves through a mountainous terrain. He was is riding heaven. I thought it was nice, but didn’t get the same rise he did. More importantly, we both didn’t get much of a welcomed feeling in Honduras. Overall, people were friendly, it just missed something that the other countries had.
Once we’d gotten to Teguciculpa we took the periferico (perimeter highway, a term used lightly) around the city to avoid the traffic. This was a good call but what it did show us was the barrios with all the impoverished people. The city is nestled in the valley, spreading up into the mountains and at one point Rick spotted a bunch of ‘suburban’ homes that appeared to have been destroyed by earthquake and just left – as is. It wasn’t all bad though. Once away from the city, Rick spotted a place for some lunch on the side of the highway. He likes to think he rewards people for doing something different, in this case, a nicely landscaped pizzeria complete with a children’s playground and armed guard. The food was fantastic, but where were the customers? We packed up and readied ourselves for the last 60kms to the border for more fun!
You’d think would have learned our lesson from the day before, but we found ourselves out of cash yet again trying to cross into Nicaragua. This time we paid for Rick’s fee and he sped off to two towns over to withdraw some Cordobas (Nicaraguan currency) to come back and essentially bail me $8 out of border no man’s land. It took about 40 minutes, lots of speeding, and then he finally made it back and we were both free! We sped off with a race against sunset to Ocotal 20km away. We found a nice little hotel and a comedor (kitchen) across the street and enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal and some Tonas. As our new clock as been set, we were in bed and dead asleep by 9:30pm.
Up bright and early again this morning, we set our sights on getting to San Juan Del Sur. We rode the PanAmerican Highway most of the way, but avoided the city of Managua and journeyed around the currently active (and blowing smoke) volcano, Masaya. There were a lot of trucks on our route, but they were pretty slow and easy to pass. By 2pm we pulled in and within minutes we were sucking back ice cold chiladas (beer and lime juice). Or as Rick puts it, “all the risks, all the rewards.”
We are taking a few days off here to enjoy some sun, fishing, and apres surf before we head to Costa Rica. Mark my words, we’ll be more that adequately prepared with money for that damned crossing!
Sarah and Rick