Off the beaten track through Nicaragua
As we try to avoid the Panamerican Highway as much as we can we decided to take a route around the Eastern side of Lago Nicaragua down to Costa Rica. This decision was against Ometepe, the little Volcano island in Lago de Nicaragua, against the beautiful beaches at the Pacific but for a route with a very different beauty. A beauty of loneliness, rawness and realness. Dusty roads through kilometers of rice fields neither shown on our maps nor on the GPS, the real friendliness of the poor, children being so happy to see us strange cyclists that they followed us for kilometers with their little bicis. We camped in between the rice fields next to the workers’ shacks, being bothered by millions of moscitos and in beautiful seemingly endless hilly landscapes.
We welcomed every day with the sunrise (got up at 5.30 am!!!) and a coffee in front of the tent, being so happy about our decision to realize this trip, just to go and enjoy every single day of our great lifes! Thanks to our friend Aaron even Hardy gets up for the sunrise now! We are so proud of him, nearly every morning :-) !
The route first took us to Managua where we had to stay for a night. We met the English touring cyclist Dr. Steve Fabes and had a nice chat on the street exchanging information. We also had an interesting stop at an (in our eyes) oldschool brickworks. This guy produces 200 bricks in one day by his own hands! But there is not one single reason why a cyclist should go to Managua, it is ugly and dangerous and does not look like a capital at all. So we just tried to get out as soon as we could the next morning. After a few days on back roads at the Northern end of the lake we turned onto the brandnew road from Juigalpa to San Carlos. Again, it was the friendliness of the people that made it such a beautiful experience, we met huge families, the poorest of the poor, proud gauchos and learned about horse harness traditions. We had very little traffic, perfect asphalt, beautiful untouched nature as far as we could see, but a strong headwind! For days!
After a tough day of 116 hilly kilometers we finally arrived in San Carlos, it rained and we took a rest for two days, saw Niko again and got prepared to leave Nicaragua by boat on Rio Frio to Los Chiles in Costa Rica – one of the most relaxed border crossings… up to the moment when a fat Tica guy wanted to fumigate our bikes and Aaron got into such an agressive discussion with him that finally Police showed up… Well, just a question of power…