Nicaragua to Panama
Happy Birthday Maggie.
Early start to get to the border of Honduras. The moment we drive in we get hassled by mouls ( people trying to help you with all the formalities for money)The place looks very hectic so we do decide to get some help. Hand over all the paperwork and wait for 2.5-3 hours, pay a fee here and another one there and we are good to go.
The road is not to bad so our ride to the Nicaragua border takes only 2 hours. Getting out of Honduras is a breeze and on the Nicaragua side the lady from the insurance office points us in the right direction so we are done in no time at all. The road condition from the border onwards is great and we make it to Leon in just over one hour. Maggie has been feeling bad all day with a flew so as soon as we get to a Hostel she goes to lie down while the rest of us go to town for a bite to eat and a cool beer.
Maggie is still feeling bad so we stay another day to give her some rest. Nick and I go up into town for a haircut and a shave, for 6.- dollars we get the full treatment, cut,shave,eyebrows,ears and nose. How good is that. After our treat we go shopping at the local markets where you can buy everything from meat to fish to Iguanas. We settle for Prawns, Fish, fresh Tomato’s and some Spaghetti for dinner, Kerman brings cake’s from the French Patisserie. What a great night.
Of to Managua the capital of Nicaragua this morning where we will meet with some friends of Ivanka. The town itself is nothing spectacular but Ivankas friends Neville and Leon take us to a local bar and later to a restaurant with some really nice local food.
Just a short drive to Granada this morning. On our way we stopped at the Volcano National Park where you can drive right up to the rim of the still smoking Masaya Volcano. In Granada we met up with everybody that’s on the way south. It’s great to meet up again and again.
Neville from Managua came to pick us up this morning to go to Lago de Apoyo, a volcano creator lake. What a amazing experience.
Down the coast to San Juan del Sur for a great seafood lunch. Staying the night, leving for the Costa Rica border in the morning.
Arrived at the border around 10am, getting out of Nicaragua is straight forward no problem whereas coming into Costa Rica is a pain in the ass. Get a stamp here, go by insurance half a km back, get photocopy and go to a window to find out you need another copy, go back to get it, come to the window again and get it all checked now on to the next window half a km the other way, wait and be patient all in all around a 2 ˝ to 3 hour tour of the border. The scenery changes straight away coming in to Costa , the cars are nicer and the businesses are more American style. After a quick lunch at a Burger King we head west to the coast down towards San Juanillo where Karin and her family live. The skies open up and the road turns into a river. After a few wrong turns and asking for directions we finally make it to Karins just before dark.
Another day in san Juanillo, after a huge breakfast with homemade bread we go down the beach for a swim. In the afternoon the rain comes back and we all just hang around waiting for diner to happen.
Today we are on our way to Tamatindo where Tim and Adrian are staying. It’s just a short drive and we get to enjoy the beach in the afternoon. Maggie makes some Spaghetti Bolognaise and Adrian bakes a Bacon and Egg Pie for dinner, yumm………….
Of to San Jose today where Nick has his bike booked into BMW for a service and front fork seal repair.
Friday- Monday 7.11
Checking out town and looking for a suitcase so Maggie can repack and get ready for her flight to Switzerland on Monday. André and Glenn met up with us too. San Jose is not a place you have to come to as there is not much to see. On Monday morning I take Maggie to the airport and wish her fair well after nearly 3 years and 100’000 km she called it a day and is on her way home.
After the airport André and I make our way across the mountains to the Caribbean Coast and down to Cahuita where Nick and Ivanka are having some Hammock time.
Today we all go for a walk through the National Park one of the best Rainforest walks ever. On our 4 hour walk we see Monkeys, Lizards, Sloth’s, Snakes and lots of Birds, just great. André opens a few fresh Coconuts for refreshments and then it’s of to the beach for a swim.
Crossing into Panama this morning over a very old railway bridge. The crossing is straight forward and easy, as far as crossings go. We then make our way to Almirante to find out when the ferry runs to the Bocas del Toro Islands. As we missed todays ferry we go back to Changuinola to find a hotel for the night.
6am start in a tropical rainstorm, great start to the day. On to the Ferry at 8am and a 1 ˝ hour trip brings us to the Islands. We are staying at the Hansi Hostel in the middle of town a great little place and very comfy. The rain is on and off all day. The island has a very Caribbean feel to it with Reggae music playing everywhere.
The sun is out and the place is looking great so we get our things and hit for a secluded beach on the western end of the island. Tough live, and a Coconut curry for dinner.
Rain, rain and more rain. Oh well just another lazy day on a Island
Posted by Mark Allenspach at 10:32 PM