Nicaragua (II)

Nicaragua (II)

Tuesday January 12th
[Well, I just spent an hour on this post and realized I am repeating myself…I will leave it because it represents a LOT of work!]

Luckily this border crossing into Nicaragua was pretty straightforward.

I got pestered by the “helpers” at the gas station before the border, and they continued to follow me to the border. A couple of kids sitting next to where I parked my bike told me they’d “watch” it…and I told them everything was locked up so I didn’t need their help, thanks.

The picture is of the Nicaraguan side.

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Of course there is a picture of Che painted right on the wall at the border crossing.

The roads after the border were pretty flat…and the land was agricultural. Yes, folks, these are cows along the Pan American Highway.

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Then it started to get more interesting.SA_Trip_NICARAGUA 011

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I rolled through the mountain town of Esteli. I remembered being here a couple years ago on my “trial” Central American trip as a backpacker. Esteli is known for being the hub of the tobacco region in Northern Nicaragua.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estel%C3%AD

I stopped to take a picture of the mural on the wall of the bus station.

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I wear a lanyard around my neck and have attached my little point 7 shoot camera to it. I do not recommend taking pictures while riding, as I do. I have lots of practice (offroad this summer) and sometimes I think these pictrues are mor interesting than the “posed”  or “composed” ones. Here you see the type of traffic I get to pass. I never ceaase to be amazed at the number of people that pile into the backs of pickups.

I learned in Guatemala that there s a whole industry around it–people not wanting to pay the (already cheap) prices for the buses  stand roadside and flag down these pickups. When I first saw it in Mexico I kept thinking “wow, so many people just loitering”. But no, they are on their way somewhere. I guess that’s part of the reason for “Latin time”… how can you be on time if you don’t know when the bus or the pickup wil come by and collect you?

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Lunch! Enter my world of fried bananas…

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Out of the mountains again. Riding to the North side of Lago Nicaragua, trying to avoid managua.

Flat. hot.

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yes, a horse drawn cart of the Pan American Highway (Panamericana)

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Passing a chicken bus…

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Yes, a free range HORSE grazing on the panamericana

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Finally I reach Granada, and stop to collect myself, get a  drink, and look at the Lonely Planet Book to try and jog my memory about the town and look for a place t o stay.

This is the old hospital

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With my usual aplomb, I wend up in the center of the daily market yet again.

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An old church in Granada. For $2 you can climb up into the belfrey and get a pretty good look at the city. Two years ago Alex, Karina and I went up there (and we rand the bell 🙂 )

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