Bangers and Mash
Lava Lovers

June 14, 2016

Today was one of those days that we need to have from time to time, just to break up the “monotony” of know, the kind where you travel around the world and see something new all the time, and experience such great wonderful things.

What happened…

Andrew writes: It was a pretty laid back affair packing up and saying “So long!” so Ali and Liz who were taking a day off to sight-see and run errands. We’re certain to bump into them again further down the road. There was even another pair of British cycle tourists at their hostel, but they were sleeping; maybe we’ll meet them too?? We were heading to the country capital of Managua, and we could see on the map that there was the main route along the Panamericana, and then another route that promised less traffic, and maybe even a scenic pedal along the shores of Lago Xolotlán. I mapped it all out on Google Maps, what could possibly go wrong!?

It all started innocently enough, as we made our way out of Leon on the “official” Ruta de Biciclettas. Maybe I’ll let my e-mail to Lizzie that I sent just before bed describe the ride.

”We took NN234 east out of town. In La Ceiba it splits into a Y and the pavement ends. We took the right fork and it quickly turned into sand. We backtracked and took the left fork and it quickly turned into sand too. We pushed through for a hundred meters or so and it turned back to rocky-earth-sand. This lasted for 5km. Where there were puddles the size of Lake Nicaragua, we used goat paths to get around. Then the road disappeared and a great chasm appeared in the form of a riverbed that we had to cross. Someone told us the passage of the river is fine on that right hand fork in La Ceiba, forewarned is forearmed I guess. Next we were back on the shitty rocky road for another 10km or I dunno how long until we got to La Paz Centro. We ate lunch at the zocalo and the boys vocabulary seems to contain only the words, “Whats up my nigga?”, and everyone of them made sure to ask quite loudly just what was up – it was very creepy. We rejoined the road, now Hwy 28 I believe, which was amazing. The shoulder isn’t very wide but it is all fresh new pavement the entire way to Managua. All of the hotels in Ciudad Sandina charge by the hour, and they wanted $40-60 for the night, and we couldn’t find a “regular” hotel even when we got into Managua proper. Eventually we just went to the bomberos and called it a day, literally as the sun had already set.“

The bomberos were super-friendly, and declared, “Mi casa es su casa!” and let me use a computer for internet, the kitchen for cooking, and the gym for sleeping in. I managed to convince Amanda not to setup the tent and hopefully we’ll get a little bit of a breeze or the lightning storm outside will turn into rain and cool everything down. The ride was right at our 6-hour limit, but it felt really long, especially with all of the time we spent running from one hotel to another trying to find somewhere to sleep. I think for the next big town we go into, we’ll try and book something online, just to relieve any stress.

Amanda writes:The day started with two Skype interviews for house sit opportunities. We’ve been on the bikes now without an extended break since February of this year and I’m looking forward to a bit of a break. It’s interesting because we set out on this journey we had heard about house sitting but never really considered it as being part of our lives. Now having had the pleasure of doing a couple of house sits it really does help to fuel our energy for travel and balance our minds. Traveling full time believe or not is tiring! Not knowing where you’re sleeping every night, always on the go, packing your bags every single day is a lot of work and when we have the opportunity to be in a house; it’s really nice. So both of our calls I think went really well and both are wonderful opportunities. It will be difficult to make a decision if we need to at some point but we’re not going to think about that until we have to. Maybe neither of them will like us and then it will be a non-issue. The first is a 2 month house-sit in a popular beach community in Costa Rica with a cat. The second is a 2 month house-sit in the Andes mountains in Ecuador with 3 dogs and a cat. We’ll see what the next couple of days brings.

I actually enjoyed the adventurous ride. It was nice to be away from the traffic and carrying our bikes and bags through the washed out river bed wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Andrew was none too pleased but we got through it. Maybe I’m positive about this part of the day because the end sucked. Running around trying to find a hotel in a larger city that is super hilly was a pain in the ass. Combined with the fact that no one seemed to rent rooms by the night and instead by the hour really caused us issues. In the end the bomberos was nice enough to take us in although it’s hot outside and I don’t know that we’re going to sleep well. I just need to remind myself that at the end of the day we’re safe and healthy; and that is most important.

Today’s Photographs

Bangers and Mash
Lava Lovers