Page 25: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
staged just miles from the Nicaraguan border ready to cross early tomorrow morning, Again Heidi has been feeling sick for the last few days and it seems she is getting worse. Nothing makes sense because we are both drinking and eating the same things. My only guess is that she never got over her scurvy from drinking all that tainted ice in El Progreso Honduras. She has been back on the antibiotic Cipro for a few days but it hasn't seemed to help at all, and that's a big concern. The back of my mind says that she has some type of parasites that's holding on to her. I don't like this, it doesn’t feel right, crossing a border is stressful enough and Heidi has not been able to eat anything in days, she has to be weak. I take a hard stance and demand we stay in El Pariso Honduras at least one more day to see if the antibiotic will bring her back to life. Heidi wants to go-now but she has to agree, staying put another night makes since, besides, small Honduran villages like this are great!
The motel in El Pariso is small but nice, especially for the price, $11 a night with secure parking and cable TV, not bad. First making sure Heidi has lots of water and yogurt and stuff I head out to explore the town. At an internet café on some side street checking my emails I received a note from an advRider.com inmate who lives in Veracruz Mexico. He read my report about Heidi getting sick on the tainted ice. He tells me what he and his wife take in Mexico for stomach bacterial problems and parasites. Wow, it is like an email from God. When we lived in the Dominican Republic we took medicine for parasites on a regular bases but I wasn't sure it was called or how to get the correct medication here. Anyway, my advRider friend suggested Cipro for Bacteria and Amoebriz for parasites. He says he and his wife take Amoebriz periodically thorough the year as a precautionary measure against parasites. After doing my own research on line I practically leap out of my chair and run to the nearest pharmacy and pick up 2 doses of Amoebriz, one for Heidi and one for me. In my mind I am doing cartwheels through the courtyard of our motel. I exclaim through the window to Heidi that I have her cure in hand. One day later she is almost back to her old self and can eat again, thank God. I have said it before but I have to say it again, the help we have been getting through the internet and advRider.com has been super, people writing helpful suggestions, offering to bring us parts or mail us stuff. This is so unreal, I can't thank everyone enough.
Nicaragua Border Crossing:
OK! On the road by 6:30 AM shooting for Nicaragua, it's only 5 miles away. The process to un-declaring the motorcycle at the Honduras Aduana (Customs) takes all of 2 or 3 minutes, done, no exit stamps required on our passports for Honduras. It seems weird but we are riding across the border gate into Nicaragua.
There were no people running out after us demanding us to stop. We ride up to the Nicaragua immigration / customs office. One guy with a tablet in his hands walks up to sell us the mandatory liability vehicle insurance. This guy was laid back and mellow. He wrote 400.00 in the upper left hand corner of the insurance form, the part that gets torn away and said this is what I have to pay him, about $21.00 US. I look the form over and point to the spot on the bottom of the form that says $12.00. I say "doce dolares?" He says "Si" I walk over to the bike and get 12 one dollar bills and hand them to him. All is cool, I’m sure he was hoping I didn’t know the exchange rate, all normal. He next walks me over to the customs office to wait in line behind 6 truckers. thurty minutes pass before a bus pulls up with 8 customs office workers. Inside the office a woman hammers out my motorcycle customs form on an old typewriter. A few questions and 5 minutes later we are done. I am ready with 2 copies of every document but none are needed, sweeeet. Next the insurance guy directs me to the police station. The police officer looks at my papers, gives them a couple of stamps and says “done” I hand the insurance guy 6 dollars worth of Limperas, he thanks me and Heidi and I go rolling into Nicaragua with big smiles.
Time to stop and look at the map. The first city we have highlighted is really close and we don’t feel like stopping quite yet, so we push on, riding deeper into Nicaragua………..
Esteli: This is a nice city in the heart of a big agricultural area that has good hiking and several scenic spots to check out. We cruise through town to check out a few hotels that are recommended in our guidebook and park the bike in the central park. I go off solo on foot to check out the motels but they are either no longer hotels or don’t have parking. On the way back to the bike I walk in and check out another hotel that has parking right in the heart of town. $16 a night, I pay for three nights, we are set.
Heidi and I like to explore new cities on foot. Here we go, enjoy…..
Esteli was one of the biggest strongholds of the Sandinista movement back in the 70's, 80's and 90's. And there still is a lot of evidence of it today.
A map we have of the city shows a market area. We don't have the map with us so we just wing it. We are having trouble finding the market. We then see a chicken bus loaded on top with a lot of wears that looks like the kind of stuff people would sell at a market. I see a guy walking behind us with a pile of stuff and tell Heidi to stop and wait for the guy to pass. I say "Lets follow him, I'm sure he will lead us to the market"
We are right.
There is a real cowboy feel here. There are a lot of beef and dairy farms in the area.
The street leading away from the market is lined with saddle shops and cowboy stuff.
Lunch at central park, 50 cents for both. I Like Nicaragua :)
The next day I decide to take a ride up into the hills and look for the Miraflor cloud forest reserve. This place is said to have some of the best hiking in the country. It took me 3 attempts to find the road leading into the hills toward the reserve but I did find it.
The road started out super bumpy with a lot of medium sized rocks. I was alone and the bike was emptied out. I feel like I am riding a light dirt machine. I'll never forget how big and heavy the Sportster felt when I first rode it, comparing it to my Yamaha 650. Now after riding the 1200 fully loaded 2-up I have a whole new perspective. Funny, everything is relative.
The road started getting worse. And steeper. I think I made a wrong turn…….
The Milaflor is a huge reserve starting with dry savannas.
I get to the top of a big lookout and decide to call it quits. I start the ride late. I calculate that if I turn back now I should make it back to Heidi with about an hour to spare before it gets dark.
Next time, Heidi and I will take off on foot and try to catch a chicken bus in route to the Miraflor cloud forest hiking trails.
Some rain was starting to move into the area.
I head back down. What a nice ride…….
The next day we take off on foot looking for a waterfall that is suppose to have a deep pool at the bottom that is good for swimming.
We could have ridden the bike here but we felt the need to suck some air and work our muscles.
We are getting close, 4KM to go. It's nice how Nicaragua has all the nature attractions posted with similar signs and markings.
Well, I guess I'm glad we didn't take the bike. I tell Heidi "We could have made it!"
It was a little cold at first but we got use to it soon enough. Yes……
It took us over 2 hours to get to the falls. By the time we got back we were tweaked. Out feet, our legs, Heidi's bum :) are really felling it, all a good indication that we had a good day.
Tomorrow we head off on the bike up into the mountains to NW Nicaragua, it is said to be the best ride in the country. We will see……
The Ride Continues……………………….
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