Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nicaragua Beaches

It looks like the full moon might be in a couple of days. I watched the moon while I was standing in the ocean in Southern Nicaragua. I’m in a little touristy town that has a nice beach and many English speaking people. Today was the first time on a beach for this trip. It was very nice to greet the ocean and feel the rhythms and pulls of its power.

I left the capital of Honduras at 6 am and finished with the Border crossing by around 9 or 9:30. The officials were all very helpful and friendly and the border crossing went smoothly. This time, however, there were many children asking to be paid to “guard” the bike. There were also people who wanted to help for a fee. I’d heard about this form other people’s reports, but this was the first that I’ve seen. I just said no thanks and did the routine. One thing that was different for Nicaragua is that I needed to buy 30 days worth of insurance to enter the country.

It’s strange for me to be sharing a hostel with a number of young and hip surfer types. The energy is difficult for me to be around. I have thoroughly enjoyed most of my encounters with the local people. I feel quite safe and at home pulling off on some street corner and asking a Nicaraguan or Honduran for directions. I’ve seen many honest eyes, polite manners and warm hearts.

For example, I stopped outside of a metal fabrication / auto repair shop and the guys there helped me with directions. We were laughing and smiling. I told them about my trip and they told me about a neat shortcut through a narrow set of streets. It was heartwarming has been the typical interaction with the local people.

Nicaragua has been very windy. I asked a local if this was normal and he said it was. It’s strange to be going straight and have the bike leaned over to counteract the wind. It’s even stranger to be taking a right turn but be upright or even leaning slightly left. I’ve heard that the Patagonian winds, (S tip of S. America), are fierce. Imagine riding through the 50 mph winds that one regularly encounters on Mt. Washington. I guess today was a warm up.

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