Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ride Day 180 Managua to Granada Nicaragua

I was convinced to ride a bus through El Salvador and Honduras to Nicaragua due to meeting some people that got robbed of everything they had. That is a weak explanation of something that I spent a lot of time thinking about but I just do not want to delve into the whys, basically I decided and it is already done. The bus ride was 11 hours long which killed me physically but I made it safely to Nicaragua. Going through El Salvador they made us keep dark curtains pulled over all the windows. I tried peeking out at one point and several passengers and the steward on the bus all immediately told me to close the window tightly again, for my own security. I hope it is not that bad there but apparently it is or at least people think it is. I was glad when we got to Nicaragua.

I checked into a hotel in Managua near the bus station because we got in at midnight and Managua is not a safe city at night. I slept well even though my pain was high and in the morning after a nice hot shower I checked my bike over for loose or damagesd things from being on the bus then packed up my bike and headed for Granada.

The ride to Granada was difficult physically because there was a lot of climbing though never anything steep but the difficulty came from the 25-30 mph headwinds blowing in my face all the way. I would rather climb up a big mountain than ride with a headwind, today I had both at the same time. I was sweating profusely to say the least. It did feel good to be riding again.

About an hour into the ride my rear bike rack fell apart with a big crash behind me. I had to lug the bike and my bags off the highway and over to the side of the road under a tree to try to reassemble the rack. I had checked the rack only an hour earlier but when I looked it over and figured out why it fell apart I realized that I had missed checking the two screws under the rack that tie the rack to the frame. They will now be checked for tightness every morning before I ride. I was lucky that I had planed ahead and brought some extra screws with me so that I could repair the rack. It took the last of my extra screws to get the bike back on the road. I saw a small bike repair shop a few minutes after I was riding again so I stopped to see if I could get some more screws to have for spares. The owner of the little shop was delighted that I stopped so we talked for a while. He peppered me with questions and gave me lots of information about the roads and safety etc. I enjoyed talking with him as much as he enjoyed my visit. He was digging around in his spare parts boxes and found me about five screw with washers that he gave me and refused to accept any payment for. I thanked him and was off again.

I stopped for lunch at a restaurant overlooking a crater lake at Masaya about the halfway point on the way to Granada. There was a nice view of the lake and the surrounding volcanoes from the restaurant. I had a good fish dinner and spent about an hour talking with a mother and daughter. The mom was from Nicaragua and the daughter lives in the US but visits her mom regularly down here. They made the lunch stop very entertaining for me.

The rest of the ride to Granada was easier with a chunk of it riding back down the other side of the mountains that I had climbed up. I did keep my speed down as I rode down because I hit a pothole pretty hard right near the top. The pothole was in the shade with the sun out at its mid day strongest brightest light so due to the contrast I did not see the big hole until too late to avoid it. I jumped my front wheel over it but my back wheel slammed into the hole. I stopped to look for damage but did not find any that was visible. The problem with hard hits like this is that it starts the sidewalls of the wheel to slowly crack. I do hope my wheel is not going to crack on me now. All I can do is ride on and check it regularly. When or if it does crack my ride will probably end.

In Granada I checked into a hostal for a couple of nights. The hostal is full of young travelers mostly under 25 from around the world. I am the old man. We had a good time talking about where everyone had traveled and where they were going. It was entertaining. I went out to the local Irish pub for a couple of beers. When I got back to the hostal I went swimming in the pool to cool down then showered and went to bed. Not a good night of sleep due to pain but such is the life of an old man.

No comments:

Post a Comment