Nicaragua, Oct 2009
October 22, 2009 GMT
One Legged Groove Machine

11.10.09 Rivas, Nicaragua

nic flag.JPG

Is that Shakira video (the one where she's wearing a mono-leg "jump"-suit, when she's not wearing a leotard that's precisely the same colour as her skin) making anyone else feel a bit "off" in the morality department? My guess, after close scrutiny, is that she's feeling a bit broody. In that event, I would count myself more than happy to "brood" her.

nic san juan harbour sunset.JPG

If you weren't a fan of the Wonder Stuff (and nobody round here's gonna hold that against you) you may be feeling bemused by the title of this entry. If so, thank your lucky stars I didn't go with Plan A, which (and you need to know that Nicaragua has a number of spectacular beaches to appreciate this 'un) was "Sandy Knees? Ta!". If you don't get that one either, I can't help you, but thanks for sticking around for the Mother-In-Law gag.

nic lake managua.JPG

So! Nicaragua. So far, there's a HUGE lake with two HUGE volcanoes sticking out of it. The border with Costa Rica is a bit tedious (shocker!) but, once again, I'm fumigated, insured, Visa-ed up and legal as a beagle. Excellent roads around the lake to Rivas, where I'm shown two $10 hotel rooms, either of which I'd be more than happy to commit suicide in, so, heh, no thanks, amigo. Hello, instead, to the cripplingly dear Nicarao hotel. I'm aware at reception that my motorcyclin' trousers have been washed only the once in a year (I know - but it's a terrific pain to get the armour out) but they let me in anyway, and it turns out at 7pm that their nice bar sells the local brew (Victoria - 4.9%) at a frighteningly reasonable one dollar, so really, who's counting?

nic victoria.JPG
Not so good, as it turns out


Note to fellow northbounders: They WILL NOT accept a shit copy of your driving licence at the Nic border, and if you can't lay your hands on the original, the fine's $100.

17.10.09 Leon, Nicaragua.

nic sandsurf.JPG

If you've ever nurtured a suspicion that, while George Dubbuhyah Bush was the Mother Of All Shits, Ronald Dubbuhyah Reagan was perhaps the Fuckhead That Passeth All Understanding, I urge you to spend a few minuted "boning" up on the history of Nicaragua. On the subject of total arseholes - how about that Jan Moir (a person, it must be said, about whom one would not necessarily choose to write home)? And how about a stint in chokey for the homophobic old bag? How about a crippling fine for the editor and publishers of Britain's most expensive and least hygienic toilet paper, the Daily Mail? You know what they say; better to not wipe your arse at all than wipe it with the Daily Mail. (If, for some reason, the link to Moir's piece stops working, like if it gets plungered down the u-bend of journalistic history, you can email me and I'll send you a copy.)

nic barb.JPG

There's nothing not to love about Nicaragua. I want to pick it up in my lovin' arms, clutch it to my pigeon chest and squeeze the Bejayzus out of it with the force of my somewhat unhealthy love. It has everything Costa Rica has, but it's half the price because it's not swamped with tourists. It's dirt poor - one of the poorest countries in Latin America - but the people smile and chat, and they're proud as fook of their fight against the (usually) horrific tossers who interfere from Washington (Jimmy Carter being an exception, as far as my pathetically limited understanding goes).

Leon is probably the most Sandinista-friendly town in Nicaragua, and it's a bloody gem. Let's get to it - beers are one dollar. Victoria is not so good, but Toņa may be one of Latin America's best. However, the surprise winner of 2009's glittering "Best Drink In Latin America" pageant is - Nicaraguan Iced Tea! It's literally impossible to have only the one. It's so dreamy I dream about it. You could - I imagine - add premium vodka to it without affecting the taste and actually improve it. Nicaragua mi amor! And smokes are less than a quid...

nic tona.JPG
Very good

nic leon cath.JPG

Leon's cathedral, the largest in Central America, is squat but lovely, in which sense it brings to mind TV's Lowri Turner .

nic gran belltower.JPG

"Don't you have anything better to do", squawks the Crow of Disapproval, which hangs around my neck by its feet like a Puritan necklace, "than sit around in Central American bars all day, watching football matches for which, in order to register even a crumb of interest, you need to have had a minimum of four Toņas; and either talking, or writing, sarcastic, poorly-judged rubbish?"
No! I reply. I do not! Do you? The question is rhetorical, and his brittle yellow* beak shatters into a hundred ugly splinters as I boot him into a handy storm-drain.

A right rattlin' read! Like Ian Fleming on, you know, drugs.


*re. crows with yellow beaks: what am I, Percy Edwards?

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at 10:55 PM GMT

Grant & Susan's Europe Ride 2014.

Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

The weather has finally turned, so Gear Up for your motorcycle travel adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - Gear Up! 2-DVD set until June 30 only. Gear Up! for your motorcycle travel adventure! Get all the info you need to hit the road!

Which bike, how to prepare it, what else to take, how to pack it all in! 6 hours!

"It's another great job, informative and entertaining."

"It's really professional and full of useful information, a must for any traveler."

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GEARUP' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!