Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Granada And The Tree House

An uneventful ride once out of central Managua then a short open road trip to Granada, arriving there it was hot and sticky, Ellen set to looking for a place to stay, seems to be popular place with a lot of hotels and hostel booked out.

We finally found a place that was a reasonable cost and had a swimming pool so Ellen was sold on that. 

Getting Maya into the lobby was tight with about 5 -10 mm on each side of the cases, there was also a swarm of little bikes in reception too so there was some shuffling done.

The local market was in full swing and close by so we took my broken boot for a repair job and I bought a new shoelace for my hat as it had decayed and died, also my gruds are 15 months of getting a thrashing were getting thin so both Ellen and I bought two new ones each with the imminent biff out of the old one close.

One of the hostel owners with an employee

Ganada cento is very nice and much like Antigua, Guatemala

The Tree House

Leaving Granada we only travelled 9 km to our next destination the Poste Rojo (Red Post Hostel) otherwise known as the treehouse.

We found our way there and took the final 200 meter climb amidst a ball of sweat in riding gear.

We just got in and sorted and the regular afternoon thunderstorms chased us under cover, the howler monkeys sitting in the trees not thinking much of their afternoon wash all went quiet for a while, we have about 8 -10 of them in the trees above us.

For a small monkey they can make a lot of noise. 

The access road in

The bar

Some signage

We met a Kiwi girl Lou at the hostel, although from Auckland which is not part of New Zealand she almost seemed ok, it was really cool to hear some Kiwi lingo and speak Kiwi lingo without get a blank look back at us.

The house


The following day was our assault on Volcan Mombacho, Lou (nicknamed Kiwi) was heading to Masaya so we all walked together to her bus then we left to the Volcan, while walking into a tienda (corner store) a dog came running out and went for me, I had already prepped my sticks for the big walk so as quick as a flash I managed to swipe the dog clean under the chin and judging by the sound it made and the squeal that followed he was not impressed and backed off immediately which I was happy about to be honest, didn’t fancy a rabies trip to the docs .

Narrowly avoiding dog issues it was about 6 km to the top of the Volcan and the top section is very steep and quite a grunt so we both were dripping wet only half way up.

The walk around the top was the easy bit and like all of Centro America there was fud available at the top so we refueled us and continued, unfortunately with the cloud the views were somewhat restricted but that is the way it is. 

It was windy at the view point

Stunning scenery in the rain forest

A rock crevase 

Coming down I dreaded the long clunk down, we managed to score a ride down on the back of a ute gratis, they charge $15 US for a ride up and back so it should have cost us $7.50 each ... we spent that on Rum that night!!

Leon to Managua

Jurgen sent us down the old road which was very entertaining and great fun, virtually no traffic at all, in the distance it was started turning black, then very black and it started to rain so a quick stop to swing on the wet gear.

Well ... if we only knew what we were in for, as luck would have it we cleared the old road clay section prior the lite rain, entering into Managua all fury was let loose on us as mum nature threw her toys out of the cot.

We got torrential rain like I have never seen in my life before and the road turned into a creek then a river with pressure waves rolling down it.

At one point we were riding down the street/river and the water was over the front exhaust head pipe and coming up the tank, the front of our fuel tank is about 600 mm off the ground so we were in quite a torrent of water, even Ellens boots were under on her passenger problem with overheating!!

This is a road!!!, note we are riding on the left hand side of the double lane as the right hand side would be a lot deeper due to road camber.

Shabby photo but you can see the front of the tank and the front exhaust header pipe under water

Once we had gotten through the shower we arrived at Aarons place (TeeVee on ADV) as he had kindly taken delivery of the pinlock inserts and bought them down for us with with him ... onya dude, really appreciate that!!!

Aaron had organised a hotel for us only a block away from his place, he also had some locals come around for a big bar b q and grogs, some nice steaks, more Rum and yet again good times a true entertainer.

Ellen and Aarons good lady

Sunday morning was the family day out to Laguna Apoyo, we were invited which was very nice, Aaron organised a large Toyota van and we all piled into that with the chilly bins, fud and I say most of a gazebo...which became apparent.

The start of the day was wet ... who woulda thought in rainy season!!!

Arriving at the lake it was raining pretty well, Aaron pulled out the gazebo to find that the cover was back at the house.... FAIL ...Aaron was gutted and took it hard, we said well hell we were not worried and we will go for a 5 minute swim while we were there anyway given the effort to get there.

Down to the lake

Aaron and his good lady

Two hours later we got out of the water and the rain had all but stopped so the bar b q was on again WOH HOH .... sans gazebo ... bonus ... one less thing to pack up!!!

Girls playing to the camera ... great kids!!!

Good fud, good rum, good friends, good times!!!

That evening we were supposed to go to Salcars but with the Nicaraguan festivities we didn’t leave the lake until after dark so by the time we arrived back in town we decided to stay at Aarons rather than ride at night....more rum 

The following day we headed off to Salcars, I had a saw throat so we decided just to relax a little and take it easy.

Arriving at Casa Salvador

We spent two nights there taking in some local sites during the day and and relaxing at night, apparently we rode pretty close to some palace and the military wanted out passports etc as they wanted to know what two strange lookin people were doing riding a large alien......smiles, passports, chats, no worries bro, Kiwis havin fun.

A local lake

Time for a cold coke

Diving off the main drag we found some nice coloured trees

Maya parked with the little fellas

Salavdor runs Nicanotoadv and utilizes Yamahas and and F650, for anyone wanting to ride Nicaragua and there are dozens of reasons why to ride there the Salvador can set you up with a lite weight bike that is perfect for exploring Nicaragua.

Although I love the KTM 950 I would choose a 125 or 250 over it for Central America due to the diverse nature of the terrain, shingle roads and sandy volcanic back roads.

So thank you very much for hosting us Salvador, you have a beautiful home in a cool place.

Reyna, Salvadors mum relaxing outside, very warm and welcoming to say the least.

This is Salvadors contact, he can sort your needs out on Managua no problem or if you are looking for a rental ride he has a heap to choose from.

Next destination was Granada.


The trip down to Leon was a cooker, an uneventful trip with only a few sights along the way like this local bus

Arriving in Leon it was very hot and very sticky ..... add to that a 950 cc heater under us it was nice to peel off the gear and turn into humans.

A decision was made to have an iced coffee and I was just parking Maya when we bumped into Simon and Julia from New Zealand .... a big surprise.

We organised to catch up with them for tea that night but in between time a cold coffee was in order.

While having the treat of a cold coffee mum nature chimed in and played a huge thunderstorm coupled with the heavy rain etc, quite spectacular really.

The hostel we stayed in that night turned out to be a shite place and not very nice, luckily we had organised to go and stay in Hostel Jurgen (Ride Nicaragua) also Werner and Claudia were also arriving so we had quite the gathering.

The following day Jurgen took us for a local ride, we headed out on normal streets that turned into sandpits, gravel and rocks through some very cool countryside and past local volcans.

Claudia modelling her riot gear 

We ended up at Volcan Momotombo at a funny wee local bar on the edge of lake Managua, cold drinks were the order of the day after the silly photo session on the beach, getting back off the beach was bit of low key entertainment with squiggles and wobbles and some rooster tails thrown in.

At the local bar/tienda there was local music playing at about 140db through less than ideal quality speakers but that didn’t stop the locals getting up and dancing on the sandy floor, low impact natural surface that never wears out ... perfect, Jurgen was hit with the ladies with them wanting their photos taken with him.

Just when we thought the action was dying down the attention focused on the motos for an impromptu photo shoot for a combination of slinky girl photos and some family orientated shots, this time EVERYONE was in on it.

.....I am just the owner ... ignore me ... and she did 

Upon completion of the photo shoot we were given the royal sendoff with big waves and smiles was quite cool actually....and we headed back to reality.

That evening was a nice round of stirfry provided by twomotokiwis followed by some Flores de Cana rum provided by Werner and Claudia ... good times, a half time change sides from the previous nights shenanigans. 

The next morning was a fixit morning with our broken USB charger, we did get it fixed and sorted thanks to a local dude who Jurgen knows, if in Leon and you need something sorted Jurgen is ya man.

We then headed on on our merry way to Managua.