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Tegucigalpa, Nicaragua to Costa Rica border

May 14, 2008

Tegucigalpa, Nicaragua to Costa Rica border 4-28-08 thru 5-6-08

 

 

We had to do a big climb to get out of Tegucigalpa through air you could cut with a knife.  The pollution was so bad that when we looked back at the city  from near the top of the climb, all we could see was a gray/brown haze with faint silhouettes of the larger buildings. Lovely!  Our poor pink lungs!  We dropped into hot scrub-land where tomatoes and melons are grown on fincas (plantations), then through some hot badlands-type country to Danali, where we stayed at a great hotel near several bike shops full of workers and bikers who swarmed around our bikes wanting to know all about the components and about our trip.  There is a big downhill bike following here too.

 

We climbed through low mountains full of shade grown coffee fields (tucked under palm trees) up to the border, breezed through customs, then dropped down through more coffee fields to the hot dry scrub lands below.  We spent the next several days getting up way early, riding by 5:15 AM, biking through hot, dry, low rolling hills and flatlands making big miles by noon or 2 pm when we’d quit for the day.  One afternoon, after riding through rice fields (yes, rice fields in arid scrub land!) we came upon a small hotel/restaurant with a swimming pool.  Let me tell  you – a pool sure  sounds great after 75 miles of hot scrub land!  The pool was brand new and the water crystal clear and cold!  Fantastic!!!! All this for $11, cold beers for $1, dinners for $2, which they prepared for us and had ready before we even were done showering!!  HEAVEN!!!!

 

From here we rode another 75 mile day into  the town of Granada on Lake Nicaragua.  Granada is a very pretty colonial town with lots of brightly painted buildings (purple, oranges, yellows, vibrant greens)! We stayed at the hostel Oasis and met many travelers from all over the U.S.  We left Granada on a chicken bus to avoid a bad part of the road.  The driver took off rocketing down the road with Ralph on the roof still tying down the bikes, then climbing down the ladder and into the back door of the bus, also, you guessed it, while rocketing down the road!  Yikes!!!! 

 

From here we headed to the island of Ometepec by ferry which has two large volcanoes on it ( l active – just smoking!)  The ferry did not have a life vest in site and was packed to standing room only with baskets of bananas, bikes, bags, furniture, coolers and whatever anybody had to bring across.  The local men would load the ferry by 2men lifting heavy baskets high above their heads, then loading it onto another man’s head.  He would support everything with his head.  The load was so heavy he would be staggering across the 1 foot wide ramp to the boat, sweat pouring off him.  It was a process that continued for an hour.   Each time a ferry arrives  they do it all over again, day in and day out like it is no big deal!  (I bet if you gave them a 2 wheeled dolly they would not know what to do with it and would just chuck it overboard!)

 

After a long hot 1 hour ferry ride we arrived at the island of Ometepec, where we met another cyclist, Moon, from South Korea!  He has been riding for a year and is traveling all over the world for the next 5 years on his bicycle.  He started in New York last year and rode all around the US and determined the people of the US are very, very friendly and helpful!  He takes lots of  pictures and has published a book in Korea about traveling the US.  He will join us for the next few days of our trip since we are traveling to the same places.  We spent one night on the island.  The next day Ralph climbed the volcano, then we biked to the other side of the island to catch our next ferry, (all night – 14 hour ride!).  Again, there was the process of loading and unloading the ferry with more piles of bananas, palm leaves, and all the belongings of the passengers!  We quickly blew up our air mattresses and saved a spot to sack out on deck.  (It was easy falling asleep to a rocking boat and some dramamine!)

Many people planned ahead and brought hammocks to tie across the decks to sleep in.  That would have been handy for the water that eventually ran across the deck including onto our sleeping pads!  (so much for a dry night!)

 

In the morning we landed on the south side of Lake Nicaragua, where we boarded yet another boat with our bikes and enjoyed a 1 hour river ride past Howler Monkeys (they sounded just like lions roaring) swinging from the trees, crocodiles, birds, turtles and lush green trees and vines hanging over the riverbanks.  We arrived at Los Chilies, Costa Rica and had to go through customs again with no problems whatsoever. 

 

We are officially in Costa Rica now!! What a change! The first thing we noticed is that somebody got out the scrub bucket and trash can around here!!!  Costa Rica is heaven, it is the cleanest place since the U.S.!!  The people are friendlier, and the waitresses even smile!

 

Bikin’ On —–Ralph & Pat

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9 comments

  1. Love Costa Rica?

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  2. […] Tegucigalpa, Nicaragua to Costa Rica borderFrom here we rode another 75 mile day into the town of Granada on Lake Nicaragua. Granada is a very pretty colonial town with lots of brightly painted buildings (purple, oranges, yellows, vibrant greens)! We stayed at the hostel Oasis … […]


  3. loved it, keep em comming

    Diane


  4. Just sent your website name to Connie Baker, so she could follow along. Love it, too. We did 5 days on the Green River (Stillwater), actually pretty high water. Had a great time and I and one other guy saw a mountain lion on a rock about 100 yards away from our campsite.
    Betsy


  5. Costa Rica is the bomb. That’s why I live here and not the M-pyre.
    Pura Vida from The Oasis of The Toucans ( dot com0


  6. Could use a beer and some fod by the sea..arrived here in Ouray last night..the false ceiling in one half of the gallery collapsed, heavy flourescent fixtures and all, wires held only by nails, systema Mexicana! Cold and rainy here til today. Fixed ceiling now smelling fish tacos with mango salsa and lime…Havana daydreaming or some such yearning. Following each new blog of your once in not many lifetimes adventure with anticipation..beam me a cold cerveza!…Mark.


  7. […] Tegucigalpa, Nicaragua to Costa Rica borderFrom here we rode another 75 mile day into the town of Granada on Lake Nicaragua. Granada is a very pretty colonial town with lots of brightly painted buildings (purple, oranges, yellows, vibrant greens)! We stayed at the hostel Oasis … […]


  8. Ralph & Pat,
    I can’t thank-you enough for taking us along on your journey. What a ride!


  9. It was fantastic to have met you. You inspire all of us in the route. We’ll keep in touch.



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