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Old 01-29-2013, 07:55 PM   #16
brecchi OP
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OK, so I left Matagalpa and rode from the central highlands to the Pacific coast. My buddy has a small hotel right on a secluded beach called Playa Majagual about 12 miles down a dirt road right before you enter the big tourist beach town of San Juan del Sur. The 200cc Yumbo held its own at a steady 45 mph and 6 hours later I was there. I was supposed to only be there about 3 days but between breezy secluded beaches, snorkeling, spearfishing, old and new friends, good food and drink and of course, friendly girls in bikinis - I ended up staying for 8 days.
Again, I lost a bunch of pics so not too much bike stuff - a lot more actual bike/traveling shots in the second half of this report, I promise.

Playa Majagual:











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Old 01-29-2013, 08:02 PM   #17
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A 20 mile ride 2 up down a horrible dirt road led to Playa del Coco, a really beautiful white sandy beach with almost no people:













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Old 01-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #18
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I hope to hear more on this one. I too a panga down the river to the castillo but I'd love to see the "road" to Bluefields!
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:16 PM   #19
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Bluefields

Hi Brecchi,
Very curious to hear how your ride from El Rama to Bluefields works out. I'm thinking you'll wait till the beginning of the dry season, since that's coastal rain forest with swampy sections no doubt.

I can't remember just when the (rather short) dry season starts. End of March? I spent 10 months in Nicaragua in '89 working on housing projects. Last 3 months were in Bluefields starting a project after Hurricane Joan had levelled the place and the rainforest too. I remember the annual rainfall there is 4.5 to 6 meters a year. That's right, meters! There was a track on the map heading for Rama back then, but everyone said it wasn't passable... There was a total of 15 km of roads around Bluefields, everything else moved by boat.

If you can time things to take in the Mayo Ya festival (in May) it's cool.
Staying tuned.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:15 AM   #20
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I lived in Chichigalpa, near Chinandega, for about 6 months working with a non-profit in the sugar cane communities. One of my best friends lives there. Been about 8 times since '07. Got friends in Matagalpa, Leon, Granada, etc. Wanna ride down some day. I've never been out to blue fields, heard you could only get there by plane....will be following this RR.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #21
brecchi OP
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Man......totally been slacking on this report. I'm at the airport in Managua right now returning to the States form another trip and a bit more riding. I promise this report will be finished!
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:55 AM   #22
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Headed east (finally)

Headed out of Playa Majagual in the afternoon after 8 days and took a back unpaved dirt road called El Chocolate about 20 miles back to the city of Rivas. Rode back up the main highway north until I hit the T-jucntion at San Benito. Took a right and headed west towards the Atlantic. It was getting dark however, and I gingerly made my way towards the next major town, Boaco. With my sunglasses removed and tons of bugs hitting me in the face and eyes (the 'helmet" I was given had no visor) I turned left after 30 chilly miles and made my way up a steep and winding, although well paved road for 30 minutes and entered Boaco.

Boaco is a cowboy town, set pretty high up and in 2 distinct parts. The lower section is newer section and up a very steep road to a second level is the old town. I found a nice hotel with a really nice bilingual girl working there names Ana who gave me a great deal on a clean and private room with a bathroom attached for about 10 bucks for the night. The view from the balcony was pretty amazing and I spent the rest of the night wandering around and excited to be back on the bike again after the beach-break.










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Old 03-24-2013, 10:52 PM   #23
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Boaco - El Rama

Woke up with the intention of making it to El Rama, the traditional end of the road for those heading to the Atlantic coast. Its about a 4-5 hour ride ( longer on a 200cc Chinese dirt bike) from Boaco. From El Rama, one traditionally needs to take a panga (big-ass canoe with a big ass Yamaha outboard motor) down the river for a couple of hours before hitting the port town of Bluefield, the only major city on the southern Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. However, I would be inquiring as to the supposed new road that was now available to get to Bluefields, circumventing my need to take a boat and allowing me to have my bike there.

Passed through the city of Juigalpa, the center of cattle production in Nicaragua. The scenery began to get more lush and tropical. Well -paved highway with both long straight sections and gentle sweepers, mixed in with slow, small-town riding every so often was making for some great riding. Mountains, farms, etc. After a few hours, about 15 minutes from El Rama, the bike began to sputter. Yup, ran out of gas.

I was right beside a really busted up village - more like just a corner store and a few shacks. A kid on a bike got off to help me. The store had no gas, but they pointed me to a house. I said hello over the gate and a woman came out who looked like she was in the middle of just another day doing whatever manual labor survival required out here. There didn't seem to be anyone else around. She had a few gallons of pink gas and poured me out a gallon or so, and I gladly paid her a good bit over market value. She didn't even ask for anything, which I though was really nice. Poured in the gas and fired the bike back up, hit a gas station and topped off on the outskirts of El Rama. Went into the middle of town, through the main market and bus station. It was everything you might imagine a Nicaraguan river town to be - hot, dirty, filled with people, cars, trucks - hustle and bustle everywhere. Tons of little crappy casinos too. I headed to the mayor's office/taxi stand to inquire about a highway to Bluefields....
























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Old 03-25-2013, 06:21 PM   #24
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I just did it the road from Blufield to New Guinea las week. To get to Blufield from El Rama I loaded the bikes on a barge. Feel free to ask for info. Please look at my report on the road on:

http://mototravellers.com/2013/03/21...oad-of-terror/
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #25
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Hey romafras, just got done reading your Nicaragua posts....cool stuff! Looks like there is at least one way to ride to Bluefields, getting off the highway before El Rama and going to New Guinea - basically the reverse of what you did, minus the boat ride. Wish I had known.....
Where in Italy are you from? I have a lot of family there. Good luck on the rest of the trip, Ill be following your progress!
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:57 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brecchi View Post
Hey romafras, just got done reading your Nicaragua posts....cool stuff! Looks like there is at least one way to ride to Bluefields, getting off the highway before El Rama and going to New Guinea - basically the reverse of what you did, minus the boat ride. Wish I had known.....
Where in Italy are you from? I have a lot of family there. Good luck on the rest of the trip, Ill be following your progress!
Thanks Brecchi. I am from Tuscany.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:01 AM   #27
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Great photos... like being there.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:44 PM   #28
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Some pictures and short video of the road to blue fields







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Old 04-04-2013, 07:23 PM   #29
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No Road?

So I ended up at the mayors office asking a bunch of people who work there, as well as taxi drivers outside about a road to Bluefields. They all insisted there was none to be found. I know now through Romafras that there is a way to get to the coast by land if you take a detour about 40 miles before El Rama, head south to Nueva Guinea, and then make your way east through some very difficult "roads".

Everyone was telling me that the only road to the coast was a really bad gravel and dirt highway to Lagunas Perlas, which is north of Bluefields on the coast. I believe Salcar came through in reverse on his circumnavigation of Nicaragua a few years back. So I decided to park my bike, go to Bluefields for a day or 2 by water taxi, and then return and go to Lagunas Perlas with the bike. I found a nice safe hotel and paid a couple of bucks to park it and my gear for the night, and headed to the dock to catch the last water taxi at 4 in the afternoon for the 1.5 hour ride to Bluefields. Paid 10 bucks or so for a ticket and queued up in line, got a seat and enjoyed a nice ride to the Atlantic coast. Those water taxis go pretty fast!



















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Old 05-21-2013, 11:47 AM   #30
brecchi OP
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So now I'm in Bluefields. Its pretty much exactly what I expected - a sort of interesting for a day or so place, humid, a lot of English and creole being spoken, seafood, run down, and ready to bail after a day. I checked into the Hotel Oasis which was decent, and headed to an internet cafe. I downloaded a few pictures off of my memory card and left the card in the computer. Yeah, it was gone when I returned to get it. We will call this Mistake Number 1. I lost some nice pictures of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Vanderbilt Mansion tha I had on there, but I had the rest backed up in my laptop. You can probably see where this is going....

I spent the next half day taking in the sights and booked a ticket for the last boat back to El Rama. A walk in the park, some churches, and I was ready to hit the road. I did have a really nice encounter with a family working one of the food stalls in the dark, dank Mercado Municipal which was really cool. Back at the dock I book a ticket and wait to get on a boat. There is a lady there wh will not move to accomodate me and the driver doesn't seem to care, and the boat takes off. This is why I dont like islands very much - being at the mercy of things out of your control to come and go as you please. Which is ironic because I live in Brooklyn, which is technically on Long Island, which people forget. Luckily Im squeezed onto the next and last boat and make my way back to El Rama. I spend the night in the decent hotel where I stored my bike and make plans to take the road to Lagunas Perlas, which many people are discouraging me from doing. Should I have taken their advice?.....
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