January 23, 2019
From Choluteca, Honduras to Managua, Nicaragua
I learned a little late, however, there’s a trick to quickly getting through the Nicaraguan Immigration wait… I’ll get to that as I describe the border crossing.
Leaving the hotel and getting on the roads I noticed many animals grassing in the shoulder of the roads. That when I realized that I had not seen a single lawnmower cutting the grass on the sides of the highways. The animals are fed while the grass and shrubs are kept short. Smart, as long as the animals don’t get in the road.
Arriving at the border was a little entertaining. After dealing with the Honduran side of things, which only took about 30 minutes, I ventured off to the Nicaraguan side where I met a few adventure tourers. Carlos from Atlanta, who rode a 2006 R1150GS and Lionel from Argentina, who has been touring on his Honda adventure-style motorcycle for about a year, and was heading back home from Alaska. Carlos and Lionel had a two hour wait on the Honduras side and were now waiting for the Nicaraguan Immigration with me, During our wait, Corlas and I chatted about everything and nothing. We both said that when we bought our motorcycles, we had our current trips in mind. We were also n agreement that it is probably better to travel with an older motorcycle because it is bound to get several scratches and bumps during the journey.
A while later, we meet a Costa Rican man who was travelling back home after he rode his Vespa scooter to the USA. His Vespa was covered with stickers and he had extremely long dreadlock hair. He introduced himself s the travelling Rastaman. It was mind boggling to imaging a Vespa getting through the high hills, pot hole filled roads, and roads under construction. Carlos and I could hardly believe it.
After a while, I started chatting with a female Immigration Officer from Nicaragua. I answered all the required information for immigration purposes, and then we had a friendly conversation and got to know each other a bit. After about an hour of waiting, I approached the Immigration Officer and jokingly told her (or maybe not jokingly) that if I would have to wait much longer, I’d have to stay in town because it would be too late to travel and that she would have to let me take her out for a drink. Immediately after my comment, she said with a playful smile, “your next!” After getting through immigration, it took another half hour to get through the vehicle registration process and customs.
Carlos and Lionel only left five minutes before me. I saw them a few times along the road to Capital City of Managua.I thought the city was very busy and seemed to have a good vibe. Although it also had the western hotel chains found in most major North American cities, I thought it looked very different, as it managed to maintain it’s cultural identity.
While in Managua I grabbed a quick supper at a pub and then booked into a hotel. I spent the night sitting by a pool and considering the next ride.