NICARAGUA

 

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DISTANCE 61KM RIDE TIME 3H21

This morning the Pardre handed me a coffee and then he was gone. I discovered he had gone over to the church to conduct morning mass. I felt like I couldn’t leave before saying a proper good bye and to thank him for his kind hospility. So after I had some breakfest I went over to watch a bit of the service before saying a propper goodbye.

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There are five Active Volcanos in Nicarauga and this morning I cycled passed one of them Volcan San Cristabal. But there wasn’t much action. It got supper hot this morning, When I arrived In Chinandego in was over 40 degrees. Even tho it was only 12 o’clock it was deffintly a good time to be stopping. I did my usuall trick of heading straight to the Bomberios. It was right in the middle of town and opened up on to a busy street. They were a bit cold when I arrived and wern’t very welcoming. After the un helpful first contact I went into the station and asked for the Comendante. I had better luck with him and he got a guy to show me around. So after a welcomed cold shower I headed straight out. The station wasn’t a nice place to be hanging around. I had a walk around the town. I was plesently surprised with the price of goods. Drinks and street food were a reasonible price.

DAY 475 CHINANDEGO- LEON

START 6:00 FINISH 11:00 (21/06/16)

DISTANCE 42KM RIDE TIME 2H48

It wasn’t much fun been back in the tent last night. It was hot and sticky. I had to open the tent door to get some fresh air and I ended up getting eatten alive. I woke up and my ankles and back were itching. The Bomberios were moving around at 4:30 in the morning. I got up at 5:15am Packed up and pretty much left straight away.

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As soon as I got out of town I could see the Volcano again. It was slightly smoking today. When I got to Leon it was pretty easy to cycle into the centre. I found the bomberios ok. Due to lack of space they surgested I try the police station On my way I started to see a few hostels and was thinking I should just stay in the centre insread of heading back out. I found a $6 dorm room in a clean and tidy hostel. Which wasn’t to bad. In fact it also had a small swimming pool.

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Leon is probaly the secound biggest city in Nicarauga. It wasn’t really that big and was easy to get around. On the way into town I got a puncher only 20km out from Leon. I didn’t want to change it, so I was forced to stop and pump it up about every 5km. I still wasn’t keen to fix it when I arrived in Leon. So I took the wheal off and went out to find somewhere to get it repaired. I normally see the small bicyicle shops all over the place. On this occasion I had no luck and had to go back to the hostel and do it myself. Still wasn’t keen to fix it, so I just throw out tye old tube and replaced it with a new one. At 4pm we had a heavy afternoon show…………The closest shp for me to dive into was a womens cloth shop.

They were very welcoming. The wind and rain got so strong they had to close the doors to the shop and I was tempory locked in.

DAY 476 LEON REST DAY

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I headed out the door at 7;30am to be able to take some photos while the light was good and also to beat the heat of the day. The main atractions in Leon are its Churchers and Colenial buildings.

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Its gem is the Catherdial. For $3 you can climb onto the roof. You have to go bare foot.The roof is completely white and is made up of many domes. From the roof you can also get a great view over the city and of some distance volcanos.

 

DAY 477 LEON – CLUDAD SANDINO

START 6:30 FINISH 13:00 (23/06/16)

DISTANCE 83KM RIDE TIME 4H47

Nicarauga reminds me of Eastern Europe becouse there is so many horse and carts on the road. In Leon tthere were dozens parked up at the market.

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I had a emergeny stop today when a snake slithered out in front of me. By the time I had reacted and come to a complete stop I was just about on top of it. My first instint was to stop and get the camerra out. Wasn’t quick enough and the Snake slithered just quickly back to where it had come from.

More Volcanos today. This time I passed by Lake Nicarauga Cocibolca and out in the middle is Volcano Concepcion. It is active and was puffing a little.

I stopped just short of Manarga to stay with the Bomberios and thus enabling us to get into the capital city with hopefully out not to much trouble.

DAY 478 CLUDAD SANDINO – MANAGUA

START 7:30 FINISH 9:30 (24/06/16)

DISTANCE 17KM RIDE TIME 1H30

When I left Cludad Managua I was straight away cycling in peak hour traffic on my way into Managua. Manauga is the Capital of Nicaragua. With a population of 2 million people it is the 3rd largest city in Central America. In 1972 Managua was struck by a devastating earthquake that destroyed all of the old town.

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Now only 44 years later are they starting to restore the old cathedral that was left in ruins from the quake. Managa is a strange city. After searching around I soon learnt there was no real centre…….so I searched out the Bomberios. In a huge city I was glad they turned out to be close. By 10:30am I had cheeked in with the Bomberios. They gave me the gym to camp for the night. After arriving so early I don’t like to hang around and bother them , So I headed out on a bit of a 6 hour walk about.

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Managua was fill of monuments for the revolution.

All around town are also art works related to the revalution.

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I found my self back on the lake edge. They have tried to rejervernate the area. They have build a minture village, museums along the Melecon.

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the idea of the Presidents wife has been to build hundreds of large fake metal trees that are aluminised by thousands of lights all around the city.

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DAY 479 & 480 MANAGUA REST DAYS

This morning I relocated from the Bomberios to my Warm showers host for the next two nights Stijn & Loes. I was very lucky to be there first guest. They treated me very well.They have only recently moved to Manauga from Belgium, coming out to work for a NGO.

Saturday evening Stijn & Loes took us out for dinner and a few drinks and we got to meet some of there nice friends that are locals and also expat Spanish.

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What are Sundays for a bit of relaxing. We watched Belgium play Hungary in the Euro 2016 and it was a good result will Belgium winning 4-0

 

 

My initial plan was to visit the volcano Masaya on the way south tomorrow. Stijn and Loes recommended it would be a lot nicer to see the Volcano at night and there pictures convinced me. I was very luckey they made it very easy for me by droping me off at the Visitors centre. From here I was able to hitch a lift up to the Crater with a couple from Scotland and there friends were from New Zealand. The Volcano didn’t disapoint. As I aproched the crater edge I could see the red glow coming from Masaya.

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When I got to the Craters edge I could look down in to the volcano and see a river of Lava. It was completely awesome. It is the closest I have ever been to Lava in my life. You could feel a little of the heat and watching the lava move was facanating.

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DAY 481 MANAGUA – LAGUNA DE APOYO

START 8:00 FINISH 13:00 (27/06/16)

DISTANCE 40KM RIDE TIME 2H57

This morning it was all up hill to get out of Managua I cycled past the Volcano again. From the main road I couldnt see any action. The Lagona Masaya was close by and looked very pretty from the road. At the town of Masaya I did a bit of a d tour on a recommendation from another cyclist to go and visit the Lagona De Apoyo. Which I am told is very beutifual and a bit of a special place. It was a sharp decent from the And there is no kitchen for guests. I got around that by pulling my stove out.

 

I made sure I arrived at a good time so I could relax and enjoy the lake. Late afternoon I took out one of the free Kayaks for a bit of a paddle on he lagon.

The Lagon is pretty big and there was no trying to cross it.

DAY 482 LAGUNA DE APOYO – GRANADA

START 10:15 FINISH 12:45 (28/06/16)

DISTANCE 19KM RIDE TIME 1h30

I got up early to watch the sun rise over the lake and to make the most of my stay. It took me till 10am to finnaly motivate myself to start the steep climb out of the crater. It toom me an hour to get out with many stops along the way.At one stop I could hear the howler monkeys close by. After reaching the top it was a all down hill run into Granada.

 

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 Another real nice old colenial town. I stoped at the Bomberios. They wouldn’t host me. Instead directing me to the Red Cross. I found there base near the lake. Thet allowed me to camp for $3. After having a shower and setting up my tent I started by cheeking out the lake first. Lake Nicaragua is huge. There was a Whaff which had a old railway line. So goods must have been trasported by boat.

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After the lake I walked in to the centre of town admiring all the old colenial buildings

The streets wre mixed with streets with nicely restored building with nice shops. While the next street was rundown and inrepair, Where a guy with a old peddal Singer sewing machine would be making repairs from his little shop.

For a $1 I took the opertunity to climb the bell tower of the catherdal for a Panaramic view over the city and the hope of getting a sun set. While I was up there a guy came up and rang the bells.

 

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When I got back to the Red Cross another cyclist from Mexico had arrived. Reloph is on his way to Chile.

DAY 483 GRANADA REST DAY

This morning I moved to a hostel near the market. It use to be the home of an ex presadent of Honduras. For $8 I got my own room. All ways like to have a productive day so late morning I went out in serch of the the old Railway station. It is now a trades school. For a $1 I could have a look around.

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The old presdiants carrage was on display. I got back to the hostel before the rain came. It seams now it rains most afternoons. The storm must have effected the electicty becouse the power went out for a couple of hours.

 

DAY 484 GRANADA – RIVAS

START 7:00 FINISH 11:20 (30/06/16)

DISTANCE 70KM RIDE TIME 3H56

Secound to last day in Nicarauga. I cycled 70km to Rivas. The last big town just 30km from the border. The Bomberos was easy to find. They sais they had a place for me………..but I could’t put up my tent until after 8pm becoue my room was going to be used for a karate class. In the station they had a pig running around the fire engines. All the equiment had been donated by Kamlops in Canada. I went out to exploure the town. There a signs everywhere FSLN party which was the party that came to power after ousting the government in 1979 and is pretty much the only party in Nicarauga so there not much of a democarcy.

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