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46ml. After leaving hostel Azul and the long uphill out of Granada I arrive at Rivas and do a little food shopping before going to San Jorge and catching the ferry to Ometepe island which is dominated by 2 volcanoes, active concepción in the islands north and Maderas volcano in the south of the island. It’s a beautiful place and I stay for 4 nights on the island. I ride around to Santa Cruz after my 1st nights stay at Hostel Caballo and stay at another hostel Los Coco’s on the shore of the ride lake. Then I ride to Altagracia then Moyogalpa. I book in abuelos hostel for 2 nights and I really enjoyed my stay here. After here I will be in Costa Rica within one days ride. Nicaragua was a very nice country although I didn’t see enough of it and I will hope to return again to see more and hopefully hook up with Barry again.

A nice view of the cloud covered Conceptión volcano

Beautiful small church on route around the island

Volcano Conceptión

Island morning life

Arriving at Moyogalpa with volcano Conceptión in the background

Catching the ferry to Ometepe

 

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30ml. A steady day to Granada, a beautiful place that sits on Lake Nicaragua. It’s the oldest town in Nicaragua and home to multiple Spanish landmarks that survived repeated Spanish invasions. I book in at Hostel Azul for 2 nights and have a look around the beautiful town. The next day Barry comes and takes me to see the beautiful lake and up in the hills to his Christian school, he has 2, and introduces me to his lovely Korean wife Suzanna. They then take me to a great viewing spot at Catarina for some photos then it’s back for a meal to Granada. After a nice meal they drop me back at the hostel and it’s goodbye. Was really nice to see him after all these years.

 

Barry and Suzanna

 

View from Catarina viewing spot

Granada cathedral

 

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58ml. I decided to not have a day off and head to Managua and meet Barry Davies, a man from Padiham where I grew up. He was free today so I set off and it was very windy and making it slow going. I turned onto R28 and ran alongside Lake Xolotlán. While I stopped for a break at the lake Barry arrived in his pickup truck which was really handy as I now didn’t have to fight the wind for the last 20mls. Barry took me for the best steak I’ve ever had and we chatted about how his life changed when he was in his 20’s. I haven’t seen him for 40years. It’s an interesting story and it fascinated me. After the meal he took me to town and found me a cheap hotel for the night. I never saw any tourists when I went for a walk and there was armed soldiers on the main streets. There was a student uprising here a while back and not many tourists arrive here now so all the hostels have gone out of buisiness.

 

 

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43ml. Very hot day again but nice sscenery since the border with volcanoes in view along the way. I got to Leon and Marco, the Italian cyclist I met in la Paz was here so I stayed at the Mango’s hostel where he was at. Leon was a very nice town with a big town square and lots of people. I might stay another day and have a good look around.

The beautiful Leon

Active volcano on route

On the road to Leon

 

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56ml. Well after leaving my hotel, it wasn’t too long before I reach the border of Nicaragua. 1.5hrs later and I’m through riding on pretty quiet roads and I was hoping to make it to Chinandega. After realising it would be too late and get dark before getting there I looked for a place to camp. I asked a family who were sitting outside their home if they knew a good spot and they said I could camp in the garden next to the house. We talked using Google translate and they were very poor but seemed really happy as they always do. 4 kids, brother and his wife and grandmother all stayed in the same house. After packing my tent in the morning I was given some breakfast and coffee which was really kind of them and said farewell.

Some of the very kind family

Beautiful scenery and quiet route after the border

At the border.

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301ml. This was done over 7days riding. Day 1- 66ml. Well after camping in the garden and repairing the puncture last night I ride to Cuyamel but the ATM didn’t accept my card so I got to Omoa and the petrol station had a ATM that worked with my card so I celebrated with a coffee and milky way. Not a good highway to San Pedro Sula but I find a cheap hotel in the center and decide to have a day off. It’s supposed to be a dodgy place to stay with a high crime rate but it was ok. I didn’t go out at night and it was an ok city, but all the shops had armed guards which is a familiar sight now and one cafe I went in had a sign on the door which was scary.

Day 2. 43ml. To Santa Cruz de Yojoa. After my day off the rain was falling but I put on my waterproofs and hit the road. Another puncture with the thin wire from truck tyres. I eventually reach a hotel and decide to call it a day but after checking in, he comes back with the TV remote and asks why I’m leaving at 6.30pm. Its only a love hotel, so I pack my gear and leave as you have to pay by the hour which makes it really expensive. I have to head off the highway to the next town. After a climb up I again get a hotel which cost too much. Just before I get to the town and I come to estacion bomberos. I ask if I can stay and they gladly say yes and let me sleep in the fire station canteen. Great guys and really friendly. The rain is relentless all night and the next day so I stay another night.

Day 3. 45ml to Siguatepeque. After saying goodbye I head back to the highway and it’s a bit chilly and grey to start but then after dinner it got hot again. It’s uphill most of the way and great views along lake Yojoa. I arrive at a nice town and check into a nice hotel San Carlos.

Day 4. 34ml to Villa de San Antonio. Lot of climbing again today but arrive at a warm shower host, Tulio, a great guy who speaks good English. I meet him in the central park, which is a beautiful little spot and locals are singing and playing music. Great little town and the nicest town square I’ve seen for a while.

Day 5. 45ml to Conception de Oriente. More climbing today along the beautiful and quiet Canal Seco route. Very hot and I call into a village called Caridad but after the municipality trying to find someone to let me stay there was no joy so I headed to the next town Aramecina. On the way a saw a sign se vende cuarto, which I thought meant room, but it said cuajada, which means we sell cheese. Anyway after my broken Spanish he gave me a room to sleep in for £2.20 and the family let me shower and fed me. Really overwhelmed.

Day 6. 40ml to Jicaro galan. Steady day mostly flat today. After leaving the Canal Seco route and hitting the highway where it splits for El Salvador, I stop and change my chain as I’ve plenty of time. I’m heading to another warm shower host tonight but he’s not home till 4pm. I soon have a crowd gathered to watch me replace the chain but they’re all nice and ask many questions and I answer best I can with my shit Spanish. I meet a french cyclist coming the other way just before getting to Juan’s house and he’s also staying there but thinks it’s in the next town as the location is wrong on the warm shower app. Anyway we arrive and receive a warm welcome from Juan who speaks good English. A nice and kind host and we sleep outside in the garage area but was a bad nights sleep due to the ants and mozzies.

Day 7. 28ml. To Choluteca. After goodbye to Kevin the young french cyclist and Juan, I head to the Nicaraguan border. It’s really hot again and due to the intense heat and possibly no where to stay near the border l find a cheap hotel and have an easy day. Honduras was nice and again was full of nice people. I would like to come back and see more one day.

Caridad town square

Along Canal Seco

Canal Seco

The local musicians and singers in San Antonio square

The beautiful church in the town of villa de San Antonio

Great views following lake Yojoa

Staying with the bomberos at Santa Cruz de Yojoa

Sign on cafe door at San Pedro

The beautiful green Honduras