Tuesday 2 February 2016


This is a mini stage of my grand plan to cycle round the world one pedal at a time. Having 'done' North America and Europe this is central America, Nicaragua,Costa Rica and Panama. The flight was lengthy-about 24 hours door to door. The stopover at Houston was lengthy but entertainment was to be had via with the finger print machine which defied logic in the way it operated, having failed to correctly position my fingers I then attempted the selfie part of the ritual, however failed again as I was to short and it just took the top of my head.  So eventually computer says 'no' and spits out a bit of paper with a big X. Somewhat concerned now that the whimsical nature of border officials throughout the world may provide further  entertainment when I produced my big X I proceeded with some trepidation.  However the patient official explained the precise method of applying fingers to reader and all proceeded well.
The first day in Nicaragua was a warm up on the hire bikes and adjustments and swaps. They are fine but slightly wishing I had brought my beautiful Oxford bike.
The afternoon was a trip to the first  active volcano - Masaya. It wasn't exactly bubbling but at least it was letting off some steam to please its' admirers,

The next day we left Granada and headed for Omtepe Island. The ride down to the ferry was mainly downhill on rough tracks so was relatively easy and fun. Our lovely guide Chris had made several calls to make sure the ferry was running and we were in luck. ( The luck did not hold for the return trip). The scene at the dockside was busy with brightly coloured flags fluttering noisily in the breeze.

The breeze provided a rather windy crossing with a degree of nausea experience by some. On the island the ride to the hotel was a little more challenging with one hill being about 5 k which was hard work on a hot day.  The hotel was next to the beach with hammocks on the veranda so was very pleasant.
The next day was an optional 45k ride on rough roads around the volcano which only one of the group did. Several of us opted for sea kayaking although the island is in the middle of a very large lake so not actual sea but it felt like it.  The middle of the trip was up a small estuary to see the local wildlife. We saw a variety of birds, a turtle, a mini alligator and a snake skeleton. It was a really good trip and with a10k ride there and back a good workout.
Moving onto Costa Rica the next day provided some new border excitement previously unparalled in my border crossing experience, except possibly for Argentina into Chile in Patagonia where it is ok to import your sandwiches once you have eaten them but not uneaten in your butty bag.

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