October 26th and 27th, 2011
I had a certain, irrational, fear of Nicaragua. When I was growing up it was one of those countries that only had bad news attached to it. When I played video games they were the bad guys. I know, on a certain level, that Nicaragua isn’t like that anymore, but that didn’t get rid of the butterflies as I pulled away from the border.
Nicaragua was, is, beautiful.
Now, it might have just been the sunny skies, but I really did enjoy riding through. But I was still feeling off from the bike issues, and had some insane feeling that I had to keep moving so I didn’t really stop and look around as much as I should have.
I reached Managua, another Capitol, and spent some time looking for a hotel with secure parking. One thing that seems weird to me is how early the sun sets. It is dark by 6pm, and I didn’t want to try and ride in the dark. Of course, most of the bikes running around didn’t even have a headlight (they worry it will drain their battery) and they didn’t seem to mind it being night time, so maybe it’s just my silly American sensibilities.
So, it was getting dark, and the only place I had found with what looked like secure parking was the Best Western. Normally I would try a likely looking hotel and see if they would let me park in the lobby or something, but I was tired of luke-cold showers and lumpy pillows, and pulled into the Best Western (for $92 a night!)
It was a very nice place.
More like bungalows than rooms, and the water was hot. They also had people everywhere to open doors or answer questions. I felt like such a high roller.
In the morning I waited until The Shop Milwaukee opened and called to tell them to go ahead and order the parts, and work out how to get them to Panama Passage. At this point I should have relaxed and slowed down, but it would take a while for that to sink in.
I was back on the road and headed for the border to Costa Rica.
And still enjoying the weather. Reaching the border late in the day, I got a helper (this was pure laziness but it worked out really well) and found the two BMW riders from Reno, who I had met a few days earlier were already there and waiting to get out of Nicaragua. My helpers, moving like the wind, actually got me done before them, and then warned me to hurry to Costa Rica, as a bus of tourists was just about to clear and head there. One of them called ahead to have his friend waiting for me, which was good since I would have gone right past the Costa Rica customs building, and I was through while the Beemers from Reno were still trying to get their narcotics inspection done.
It not who you know, but who they know I guess.