We had the bikes packed and ready before the sun was up. We’re only about 75km from the Nicaraguan border at Paso Canoa and we’re not sure what we’ll face in terms of delay so we want to get there early.
There was a group of Howler Monkeys waking up in the trees above the hotel. They make a pretty hideous noise – more of a shriek than a howl. It was too dark to get a decent picture, so I borrowed this one from the internet.Checking out of Costa Rica was easy, but getting in to Nicaragua was a different story. There is no signage to be seen anywhere. so getting to the right place at the right time is a question of luck and intuition. Of course there’s plenty of “helpers” around offering unsolicited advice and looking for a handout.On the way in, we were required to have the bikes fumigated.
I stood guard over the bikes and gear while Petra managed the migraciones and aduana processes. A lot of travellers introduced themselves as I waited, including an American from San Diego who’s riding to Ushuaia and then Buenos Aires, and on to Africa! We exchanged intel on the roads ahead in each direction, and then he gave me a couple of decent cigars before heading south! I enjoyed one of the cigars while talking to other Canadians from Alberta, a Swiss couple, and a guy from Chicago – all the while as poor Petra struggled with the paperwork. (I guess I earned that riding her bike through the worst Bolivia had to offer us!)
Outside of Paso Canoa, we rode briefly along the shores of Lago Nicaragua before heading towards Managua. There seemed to have been a recent hatch of insects in the area.Outside of Managua we took the road towards Leon, hoping to avoid the worst of the city. The first 40km of the Leon road were in bad shape, with long sections of deteriorated or non-existent pavement. Petra picked-up a nail in here rear tire, but fortunately no puncture of the tube. Lucky for me, because I would not have enjoyed swapping a tube out in 42 degree heat!
We finally reached Chinandega and checked into a beautiful hotel for the night, where a number of colourful paintings by local artists were on display.