Page 31: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
We really enjoy our stay at the Dolphin Guest House in Granada. The family that runs the guest house also lives there. What a cultural experience living with a Nicaraguan family for over a month. We share the same kitchen area, living room area and pool area. We have our own TV and patio in a second floor room which was really nice. Our room has big windows on three sides with a view of Lake Nicaragua and a huge volcano. There is also a deck on the third floor for star gazing or just hanging out. And of course the pool is fantastic, big enough for real swimming. Heidi and I enjoy setting up our little MP3 boom box pool side while swimming laps. The Dolphin is 2 miles outside of Granada. There are good walking and running roads and trails starting at our front door. Buses run by the main road going into town every ten minutes or so and cost 25 cents. Otherwise someone from the family runs into town every day and they are eager to give us a lift to anywhere. Or for $1.00 they will take you anywhere in town at any time. They would always tell us when they were going into town and asking if we wanted to go. The whole family is super friendly and nice and always offering to help anyone with anything. When Heidi and I went off to Leon on our bike they asked what our plans were and when we planned to return. When we got back they said they expected to come to Managua at midnight and rescue us after we got lost. Managua is reported as being one of the most difficult cities to navigate through in Central America. We did get lost coming back but for only an hour or so. Riding the bus to Managua several times prior to trying to ride through really helped. If you are planning to spend an extended period of time in Nicaragua in the Granada area and would enjoy diving into the culture of the area, the Dolphin Guest House is a good choice. ---> http://www.vacationinnicaragua.com/
A few pics of Granada: Central Park
Walking around town:
There are horse drawn carts everywhere here.
Traffic seem to be at a stand still.
Heidi buys some flip-flops, about $1.50
We like to buy fruit at the markets.
We had to watch where we stepped at times.
How does everything work here?
We hope you enjoyed our little tour of Granada, Nicaragua.
Back on the road:
OK, using Granada as a base camp to explore Nicaragua worked out well but being travelers we seem to always have an urge to 'move on' in the back of our minds.
We are up early and say goodbye to the family. There are two guard dogs at the hotel that both Heidi and I fell in love with. We are constantly told that we don't have room on the bike to take them along. We part with sadness but are glad to have enjoyed the time we spent with them.
That's Chacho kissing Heidi adios.
The bike is ready to go. I'm not sure if Heidi is……
Ok we are off, shooting for a small beach/fishing village on the pacific coast, San Juan del Sur.
For the first 20 miles the ride is through several small communities with a nice rural feel. The road is OK but we need to be on the lookout for constant pot holes and speed bumps. After awhile we met up to the main road heading toward the Costa Rica border and to San Juan del Sur. We ride into a small village that has a bridge crossing a river. On the other side of the bridge we get flagged over by a police officer. OK, we have been through this drill several times while in Nicaragua. I make sure to use my blinker to signal my intention to pull over (thanks Pete) It all went smooth, he asked for my license, my motorcycle permit and my insurance papers, one at a time. He looked them over briefly then handed them back all at once and wished us 'good travels'. Heidi and I think we have this procedure down now. Be as polite, helpful and as respectful as possible and hope for the best. This time it worked and we were on our way.
We turn off the main highway toward San Juan del Sur. This road is bad with a capital B. I guess 'riddled with pot holes' comes close to describing it but not quite. At least the pot holes are not super deep. Heidi is standing on the pegs almost the whole way. A good workout for her, good thing the road is only 18 miles long.
We are almost to the village when we meet up with an adventure rider along the road. We exchange website cards. He rode from the east coast with a buddy and had spent a week on the beach surfing. He and his buddy just split up. His buddy is heading back to the states and he is on his way to South America, How Cool. We hope to keep in touch and maybe meet up in the future. We enjoyed a nice talk along the road and received some good tips about the area.
San Juan del Sur. This is a quaint little fishing village trying hard to become a big surfing destination. We stop for breakfast on the beach before looking for a hotel. While eating breakfast I noticed what seemed like a large fire up the beach. IT WAS. Those palm roofed buildings sure go up fast.
After breakfast we look for a hotel. The hotel we had bookmarked didn't have parking for us so we ride around town to see what else we can find. The first place we find with good parking wants $56 a night. Way out of our budget, especially without having a pool. The next place we try is a score, great parking, a friendly staff, full breakfast included with unlimited coffee, $36 a night.
We're looking forward to enjoying life on the beach.
The Ride Continues……………………….
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