1 January 2018 – Good Morning New Year. Let’s hope the world will be a better place this year. I woke about 4:30 a.m. I laid in bed wondering how I am going to get out of here so early with this hotel all locked down. I got everything packed up by 6:00 a.m. I heard the hotel unlocking doors. I grabbed my first load of stuff and headed toward my motorcycle. Three trips later and my motorcycle was loaded and ready to go. I said goodbye to Mario and prepared myself for the ride around Managua.
Much to my surprise it was an uneventful ride. The program I built to get around the city worked flawlessly. I couldn’t have been prouder of Blanche. It was some of her finest navigating she has ever done for me. Most of the riding was on rural blacktop roads, passing by cities of Masaya and Granada. The roads were mostly straight and in excellent condition. Most of my rural driving was at 50 to 62 Mph / 80 to 100 Kph. It was a short day of riding and I stopped for the night in Rivas, Nicaragua 14 Miles / 24 Kilometers from the Nicaragua / Costa Rican Border.
I needed to get my paperwork prepared for the border crossing. It is said that Nicaragua is the most difficult border crossing of all the Central American countries. So preparation is the key to keep your stress level low and getting through the border as quickly as possible. I drove through town looking for the hotel Blanche selected for me to stay at. I didn’t find it, but I found my second choice and it turns out to be an Auto Hotel which you pay by the hour. I pulled in, looked at the joint, said “no”, and left.
I drove back into town and located a hotel and restaurant which worked just great for me. I checked in for $15 Dollars a night. I didn’t purchase a room with air conditioning because the nights were like 68 degrees / 20 Celsius. I asked the receptionist if I could park my motorcycle in front of the reception door. They said sure no problem. I rode my bike up and they were shocked by the size. They moved their table so I could get backed into my parking spot. Initially they were thinking my motorcycle was a 125cc motorcycle which you see driven all over these Central American countries.
Something I found out with these lower price hotels is that they try to mask the smell of mold with air fresheners. The room I was in was solid concrete with no ventilation, not even for the shower. That moisture wouldn’t leave the room even with the fan running constantly. You had to leave the door open and suck in fresh air. I can’t complain, I got what I paid for.
That night I went outside to work on my route planning and bumped into John from Alberta, Canada. A colorful sort of chap. He was the most negative individual I’ve met in a long time. He’s retired and just travels. He said his luggage was stolen by the police in Mexico, his car was stolen in Mexico, and he went to jail 7 times in Mexico. He went back to England and was put in jail before he even got into the country. They deported him back to Canada and told him not to come back. He was hugely prejudicial toward Hispanics. I mean hugely. While he was telling me this, off course, he is the most kind-hearted, lovely individual there is on the face of the earth. I finally had to excuse myself because I couldn’t take any more of the negativity. John was originally born in Scotland and I asked him if that had any influence on his negativity and he said it sure did. In a nutshell, the whole world was against this guy. Well, all of that talk cut into my route and border planning and by then I just wanted to go to bed. I knew I would be staying another day. I just can’t walk blindly into a border crossing without knowing exactly what I’m getting myself into.