09/07 I’m having the hardest time figuring out if I like Nicaragua or not. Things I don’t like: explosions at 4:30am every morning, incessant honking, car alarms, high hotel prices, constant staring, people are not as friendly and a little bit of corruption. Things I do like: amazing food, good roads, light traffic, not too many crazy stray dogs and the garbage situation on the roads isn’t that bad. I guess I’m leaning toward not liking it mostly because of the people situation. Prior to Nicaragua (and El Salvador) it was exceedingly rare that someone wouldn’t wave/nod back if I make the first move. That happens a lot here and now I don’t even bother. That’s not to say everyone thinks I’m here to steal their kids because a fair number of people still honk and wave even if I don’t.
Mentioning car alarms made me remember something. This might make me sound like a bit of a lunatic though. About a week ago this stupid truck in the hotel courtyard (right next to all the rooms) had a car alarm that was so sensitive that rain falling on it would make it chirp. This went on until I fell asleep but then the rain came back at 1:30am and the stupid alarm kept beeping. Finally I snapped and figured if the thing is going to chirp at least I could make it go off all the way so the retarded owner would have to come out and I could yell at him (in English which would have done nothing). So in the pouring rain I went out and tried for the life of me to get that stupid alarm to go off. I hit the windows, rocked the entire truck up and down by pushing on the bumper and tried to open the door handles. Nothing. This was also the only place I stayed where the owners didn’t live there so I couldn’t even get them. I gave up and went back to bed.
Rode like a madman and made it 66 miles today. I think that’s pretty good with 4600 feet of climbing too. The sun about to go down was the only thing that kept me from making the Leon to Granada run in one day. I think it’s pretty much all downhill tomorrow so it was doable. It poured for 2 straight hours starting at 11am this morning. I can’t remember ever having it rain that hard for that long. Traffic was almost non-existent on the old highway #3 which was good because visibility was horrible. The cool temperature was a nice treat. Riding on the PanAm uphill with no shoulder for 10 miles was a lot of fun. Just kidding. It was brutal.
Not sure where I’m staying but it’s the first hotel coming into El Crucero. It’s way overpriced I think. For US $20 there should at least be hot water. All the rooms sit right on top of the very busy PamAm highway so it’s not even in a good location that would justify the price. Most hotels also have the standard room prices on the back of the door so when they don’t, like this place, I always think I’m getting the special gringo markup. The food in the restaurant was delicious and 3 beers helped take the edge off. The Nicaraguan beer Toma is pretty decent.
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The very quiet CA-3.