B & Elan were in Granada until late Tuesday before going to the capital to take a plane to the Corn Islands to go scuba diving. That meant we spent the day hanging out, a lot of it trying to avoid the horrible heat by chilling in their hostel. The same weather that I can ride through on my bike is much worse when walking round due to the lack of a breeze.
Instead of hanging out for another night in Granada, I set out to ride 25km to the next town to make the ride shorter the next day. It was a pleasant ride over a gentle hill where I rode and spoke with a bunch of locals on their way home after a day of work.
I had a quick dinner of tajadas and cheese on the main road before arriving in Nandaime. Being dark I definitely didn’t want to keep riding down the main road as even with lights on people were driving far too closely to me. I found the police station and did my normal routine o asking for permission to camp. The officer standing outside seemed very confused and like he didn’t want to have to deal with the situation so suggested I go to the fire station round the corner. I tried but there was no-one there so went back to the police. He pointed me inside and I met a really nice guy at the main desk. His boss was out so we spent about 30 minutes chatting waiting for her. When she got back, he explained my situation to her and I was astonished to hear that I couldn’t stay. It was the first time I’d been rejected by the police. They said I should go and wait outside the fire station as someone had to turn up at some stage. As it looked like it would rain before not too long I wasn’t really thrilled with that idea, but wandered off frustrated.
I went past the fire station again and there was still no-one there. The doors were all locked and no lights were on. I considered going back to the police and asking them to call the fire station to find out what was happening, but decided to check out the city hall first. I knocked on the door and the security guy opened up. I explained my situation and he let me know that he’d never done such a thing before. I told him about how the police had rejected me and after saying that just wanted a place to crash and I’d be gone by 6am he wandered off to talk to someone else. He came back a bit later and after chatting a bit more, he waved me in and I had a place to stay!
The guard said that there were no mosquitoes so I just needed to put my mat down. He pointed me to the shower before going back to watching TV. I set my mat up and was reading my book when the heavens opened and I had to move. I took cover in the nearby room and blew my mat up again as it had developed a slow leak. I didn’t have the best nights sleep as there definitely were mosquitoes and without my tent they enjoyed chomping on me throughout the night.
I was up at 5:20 and out within 20 minutes later on the way to El Gigante, a surfers beach where a guy on Warmshowers has his own hotel and restaurant. Everything as far as food was closed so I was happy to see a few trucks parked on the side of the road about 20km south of town. I got a plate of eggs and while reading my Spanish kids books a trucker came up to me. He had locked his keys in the cab of his truck and was wandering if my arms would possibly be long enough to get them out. His window was open just enough that I could reach down to the handle and open the window, the advantage of not having buttons!
I stopped by the main town of Rivas, the turn off to either San Jorge to go across to Ometepe or El Gigante, and enjoyed a delightful nap after eating copious amounts at a bakery. They had been working on the road and so of 30km between me and the Pacific, only the last 9.5km were unpaved. The recent rain made some parts ridiculous as parts of the road were flooded out, but being so close to getting to the beach and relaxing all was good.
I made it to John, my host’s, place and spent the next few hours relaxing in a hammock. Hammocks are just dangerous, if I had one I’m not sure I’d get anywhere. They’re such wonderful places to relax and do nothing more than sleep and read a book, especialy with the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the beach almost in touching distance.
Being off the main path, things here are definitely more expensive. Groceries probably cost about double as in other parts of Nicaragua, and there are no cheap places to buy prepared food. Having said that, I’ll stay here for a couple of days to enjoy relaxing before I keep going to San Jose, where I have to arrive before my friend Jamie turns up on the 14th.