My first stop in Nicaragua was a city called Leon.
Leon is an extremely important city in Nicaragua famed for its part in the initiation of revolutions and revolutionary leaders. It is a very politically orientated city.
The day I arrived happened to be a day of national celebration and commemoration. It was this day in 1959 when 4 students were shot dead in a protest for educational reform. This was a turning point in over throwing the repressive government.
The many walls of the city feature revolutionary murals, depicting rebel leaders and the massacre of 1959.
2 days I headed towards the capital city of Managua. It was a hot day and when I arrived there I asked several people “Donde esta el centro?” and each time got a funny look. “El centro de que?” came the resonse (The Centre of what?) “El centro de su cuidad” I responded getting frustrated by my third attempt. But nobody knew and didn’t seem too interested in helping me out either. I stopped, took out my little used guide book and read “Managua is a not a very tourist friendly city and lacks any sort of organisation”. Yes I can vouch for that. Thank you Lonely Planet, I should have read you before. Seemingly apart from being a pain in the ass to pack and being half a kilo of unwanted weight Lonely Planet seems to have some useful information.
The capital was levelled in an earthquake and what occurred after that was a haphazard poorly planned reconstruction ( by poorly planned, I mean unplanned, of course) meaning Managua has no central area that defines the place like the central park, cathedral and government builds as you normally see through Latin America.
Then I read a piece about Granada – A beautiful colonial city, tourist friendly, plenty of accommodation, nice restaurants and bars. I didn’t need to read twice I jumped back on my bike and headed for Granada.
In Granada I met up with my friends Argentinian friends again Paine and Aylen. By pure chance they walked past a restaurant I was sitting in with a few friends I had made in the hostel.
Next Stop was San Juan del Sur. Just as I arrived and realised I had a puncture. This was the first of a series due to a badly worn rear tyre. I stayed there for a few days and of course I bumped into my lovely Argentine friends again and we had a few nice evenings out.
This is where I lost my bank card..I believe .. Again… I blame the ATMS for being inconsistant. Most you just swipe and put your card back in your wallet. Some take your card and after you get your cash you still have to press a button to say you dont need anymore transactions. This was my downfall I believe, as I didn’t realise my card was missing for a few days.
Next it was to Costa Rica and Monte Verde. I didnt quite make it that far that evening as I took the wrong road a couple of times.
I knew it was going to be difficult gettting to Monte Verde. I had heard there were some serious hills involved and the road was not paved. But I figured I had tackled worse in the past so I went anyway. As I went I was met by some serious hills, I figured I must have been on the wrong road because the hills were just too steep and very little evidence of regular vehicle use. A quick look at my iPhone confirmed my mistake. But I continued on anyways as I was going in the general direction and figured I would end up somewhere very close.
With no thread left on my back tyre I couldnt make it up two of the hills and I had to get off and push the bike up. ’We’ had never been beaten by a hill and that wasnt going to happen today. But as i rounded a corner my jaw dropped. There was just no way I was getting up this one, pushing or not. It was far too steep and far too long and my back tyre was knackered. I surveyed it nonetheless but it was a push to far.
Dejected I headed back to the main road. And stayed in a cheap hotel in Juntas.
The next day I had a puncture and fixed it at the hotel amd bought some gass of a very small gold ‘refining’ operation.
Kaylor a guy who worked at the hotel helped me out in my quest to find a tyre but couldnt. So i brought him for lunch and a beer anyway for his troubles.
I arrived in Monte Verde the next day on the correct road. This was a pice of cake compared to what I had attempted the day before.
I met my friends Paine and Aylen again and we hiked in the Cloud forest. Famous for its biospehere and misty forest as a result of clouds generated from Arenal volcano some 50km as the crow flies. I spent a few days with the girls and shared many a maté with them. Like all most of Argentiana they are addicted to thier maté and bring their special tea and with them everywhere and have it at every opertunity.
The girls also loaned my $100 to help me with my financial woes. The $100 will be repaid once I reach Ush.
Next stop La Fortuna, where i took spin around Arenal and hiked a couple of trials.
As I headed for San jose the Capital of Costa Rica about 145 km from Monte Verde I got another flat..
Ok this is enough I have to find a new tyre..
Next a visit to Honda Costa Rica