"I feel like we really aren't getting on all that well" said Batman.
I felt the same way. As did Jayne. There were a variety of reasons for it from all sides I'm sure, but we indeed weren't "getting on". I know I for one wasn't being particularly agreeable. Funny thing though, as soon as Batman verbalized it, I felt we started to get on a little better in the last minutes before we went our separate ways. I appreciate Batman for coming out and saying it. Talking about how we weren't getting on helped fix the situation. Well how about that? It's something I think we all knew, but I'll be doing it a lot more from now on.
To the Soldadura (welders)! We left our Couchsurf with Ivan and Priscilla early, too early, but we had work to do. We hope to be back in Esteli to get to know them properly and meet their son and daughter. Batman's front crash bar was injured from some of his tumbles in El Salvador, so our morning mission was to find him a welder. We were successful, and I translated Batman's needs to the welder. The job was done an hour and 300 cords later (12$).
- Jayne found street piglets. They could not weld.
- Agustin just bought a KLR of his own. We talked bikes while waiting at the welding shop.
- Batmobile in for repairs.
It was after the welders that Batman and our paths split. Thank you Batman for stepping up and clearing the air. It made things better, and we wish you better luck and safe travels.
Our own travels continued towards Managua, but not without a short pit stop. With the Police.
We had been warned DO NOT pass in Nicaragua on a single solid line, so we didn't... but the police pulled us over anyways. Turned out he just wanted a chat about the bikes and a picture.
- Well that's a relief!
Onwards we arrived to a warm welcome at Salvador's (ADV Salcar) mom's place! We had a delightful chat with Reina for a while, then her worker Roberto took us for a quick tour of Managua before heading to the airport to pick up Kelly.
- On tour to the water's Edge with Roberto.
- So many colours! Thanks to the president's wife apparently.
- Kelly escapes from the baggage claim
- Micro and real-sized Kelly reunite! Twinsies!
Welcome Ms. Kelly to the crew! It had been an adventure to get here in time, but well worth it! With Kelly in tow, we had to reorganize the bikes a bit: Jayne carrying my gear bag in order for Kelly to fit.
- Cricket stacked high with bags.
- Two-up for two weeks
- Bike model showing off my new red "Pucca" bags.
I had been looking for a while for some backpacks to mount on my crash bars. Kelly's arrival made extra space urgent, conveniently the cheapest bags in town (4$) were also the most stylish. "Pucca" is a hit with the youth these days.
All three together, we hit the Masaya markets. While parking the bikes, as per usual, a gentleman came over and started chatting about the bikes. Roberto had a KLR of his own, a 250, that he kept over on Ometepe island. Next thing you know, Roberto is drawing a map in my book and we have a place to set up camp over on Ometepe!
- I love meeting folks when we're parking the bikes!
The touristy market had some pretty items, but we think the whole market might be a racket all owned by the same person. There was little flexibility for haggling, and workers were always running off or phoning someone to see if they could sell us things at slightly more reasonable prices. In the end Kelly bought a wallet.
- Jayne doesn't love these belt pockets, tries them on anyways.
- And what a wallet!
If you go to Masaya, there are other markets nearby. More fun, with more locals and cheaper food. They also have roofs, convenient for downpours of rain. Though you still get to walk through the mud afterwards.
- The "flip" part of flip-flops apparently applies to flipping up mud.
Back in Managua, we were treated to delicious meals and great hospitality by Reina. We were given another taste of the sudden downpours that remind us we are in rainy season.
- "The flowers will be happy" said mothers everywhere.
Fortunately Kelly brought me down a "onesie" rainsuit from by buddy Nate. I'll soon be putting it to use. Thanks Nate!