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Old 04-09-2015, 05:18 PM   #1
whizzerwheel OP
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Nicaragua: Seven days of the Sandinista

Why Nicaragua you might say....why not?

Many of you that are of my vintage probably have memories of Oliver North, Somoza's, FSLN, Daniel Ortega, Iran Contra...and so on. Well, things have calmed down a lot since the 70's and 80's and Mr. Ortega's still alive and well and in control.

My bucket list goal of riding the landmass of North, Central and South America from top to bottom before I die, can't be completed without a trip through Nicaragua. I don't have the money, or time to do it in one fell swoop, so I do it in pieces, sorta like a jig-saw puzzle.

I'm not one of those guys that likes the risk of solo travel in exotic lands, so I managed to coerce a couple of my local riding buddies into buying into the scam. When I asked them, we were already deep into a record ballbuster of a winter in the Northeast, so I suspect they were a bit deranged in their decision making. But I told them it would be a week of beer, beaches, hot chicks, rice and beans.

At least two of those things would come true.

By utilizing the amazing function of this forum, I was able to come up with a reliable motorcycle rental company in Managua. www.nicamotoadv.com[/URL] is owned by fellow inmate salcar and managed or co-owned by the very capable, helpful and reliable Gabriel Tapia:





A little about the bike rentals...I've learned from previous trips south of the border, the smaller the bike you can manage, the better...for several reasons. But even if you're riding a 175 or 200cc bike, you're still riding a much larger bike than almost everyone around you. Originally my wife was going to ride with me two-up on this trip, so I reserved a DR650 and the guys reserved AG200's. My wife ended up not going, but by the time we knew that she wasn't going, there were no more AG's available.
So I had a "big" bike, but anyone that has ridden a DR knows, it's a "big little bike". It really is a good RTW bike in my opinion because it can work on the trails and on the highways. Turns out, it was a good choice for what we did.


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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:33 PM   #2
BillUA
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In, want to hear of your experience with this as I am interested in doing it..
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:00 PM   #3
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In! I love Nicaragua! Been there 4 times over the past 8 years. After you get the heck out of Managua I think you will really love it. Looking forward to your report!
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:05 AM   #4
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That's us by the way...me on the left, Ed or Eduardo in the middle, and Aaron or A-bone as he's known here, on the right.

By January we have the plane reservations with Copa, the motorcycle reservations with Gabriel, and mentally we're ready to go. I get an e-mail from Copa some time in February saying we're leaving a day earlier, and have a 24hr. layover in Panama. At first I was a little ticked off but after thinking about it a bit... this seems like a great opportunity to visit the Panama Canal....none of us has ever been there.

I looked at Google and it seems like the airport is right next to the canal...this couldn't be any easier.
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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:34 PM   #5
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The day finally arrives...





We notice a kerfuffle with media types bustling about around the gate area...




It's Boston Celtics Cheerleaders and Jo Jo White doing some sort of promotional gig with Copa Airlines. I didn't take a picture of Jo Jo, just the goods. With the "hot chick" part of the promise completed, we boarded the plane.
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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:11 PM   #6
poolman
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This is going to be good

Please, no broken bones this time



Cheers,

.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:27 PM   #7
mondrage
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Glad you guys liked it. I live here!


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Old 04-12-2015, 06:02 AM   #8
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The skyline of Panama City is very impressive as we approach...



...




...


There were dozens of ships queing up to enter the canal...





...


courtesy of Ed


We get on the ground, do the customs and immigration thing, and go looking for a taxi to the hotel. You know, the one next to the canal, right near the airport. Sixty bucks...usd, that when we find out the airport we flew into is not the airport you can see next to the canal when you look on Google.

That's ok, just part of the learning curve, and we get a stress free ride through the city.


courtesy of Ed in the front seat


...





...





The pictures from the taxi don't begin to do it justice but...

you get the point. Architecture runs wild here with tall skinny skyscrapers. Not your typical Central American City. Maybe 4 million dollars a day in canal revenues explains it...

Our first glimpse of something associated with the canal...


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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821

whizzerwheel screwed with this post 04-13-2015 at 06:41 PM
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:07 AM   #9
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Oh, and by the way...thanks for the kind words of support poolman, mondrage, flei, BillUA and others, while I write this RR. I'm gonna need it, the weather just turned nice finally.
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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:15 PM   #10
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So we stayed at the Holiday Inn right across the street from the Miraflores Lock. Our intention was to have dinner at the restaurant overlooking the lock, but it turns out the restaurant was closed.

We noticed two or three restaurant/bars nearby, so we walked on over and had dinner at one of them, and so as not to discriminate, had drinks at the other one.




I got a chuckle out of the drink menu...





I shoulda tried the Dengue Fever, but the travelers clinic told me to avoid it and use 100% deet.


The plan for tomorrow was to have breakfast, then get a taxi over to the Musee at the lock, spend a couple of hours there, and then get back to the airport in time for our flight to Managua at around 3:30 or so.





...





This shows the first lock with a ship just coming into it.





The lock doors opening to let the ship into the second lock.





Here's a container ship leaving the third lock.


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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:19 AM   #11
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This picture shows the height differential between the locks...If I remember correctly it was about 80 feet.



24 hours a day, seven days a week. Going on for over a hundred years...

Thousands of workers died while building it. Mostly workers from the West Indies. Imagine the conditions back in the 1800's here. There is an awesome museum and a 3D movie in the viewing building that we were in. We spent a bunch of time going through it, but we could have spent the day. Highly recommend taking this in if you find yourself in the vicinity...

A-bone wanted to keep the glasses...


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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821

whizzerwheel screwed with this post 04-16-2015 at 09:40 AM
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:28 PM   #12
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:38 AM   #13
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So, back to the airport for a short flight to San Jose Costa Rica where oddly, they get us off the plane and put us through metal detectors and dog sniffers again even though Panama just did that. Must be one of those government "make work" programs like we have here in the states...

Meanwhile Eduardo catches up on his Spanish lessons...




Eventually Managua comes into view...

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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:28 AM   #14
lostinthemarket
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I was just there for a similar trip last year. The guys at nicamoto are great, you may even be riding my DR. If you can, get up into coffee country. That's where I finally found some of the Contra remnants. Blown up tanks and farmers with AKs. Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:27 AM   #15
whizzerwheel OP
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We finally get to Nicaragua...and hit the ground running. Get our crap, get through customs, immigration, find our ride, and get to our pre-arranged hotel.





...





...


The welcoming committee greets us at the hotel...





...




Decent accommodations and price...
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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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