Somewhat relieved I got on my way. I liked Nicaragua, I liked it alot. It would be one country I could return to and get to know better, amazing history (both 20th century and before) and landscape, really friendly people. Although one of the poorer Central American countries it also seemed one of the most organised, the roads were good and the police interesting. I was stopped by some local policemen, they checked my papers and then informed me I had been winding across my lane in a dangerous fashion and they would have to give me a ticket. Well, I stuck to me trusted 'I don't speak spanish, I don't understand' but they carried on. When I crossed into Guatemala I had been stopped by some young army guys, they had looked at my passport and had seen the chip in the back page, one decided this was clearly linked to a satellite so my government could monitor my position. With nothing to loose I showed this to the policemen and told the same story, they looked at each other, paused and told me to go. I rode on.
I planned to bypass the capital and stay a few days in Granada, I found a great hotel and pulled in just before it started to rain. The hotel staff were great, got talking to Hannah who was in charge, she had been learning English to help her career prospects, she was pleased to find an English speaker from England "From Texas, you can't understand". Hannah worked 12 days in a row, lived at the hotel and then had 2 days off when she visited her family, amazing workers.
A good example of how not to frame a picture, great church though.
Sunday market, nice bike .. a 'not a suzuki'
I had been doing the 'big beard' thing for a while, earlier I had bought some scissors and trimmed it but with little success. My hair, well I was getting dangerously close to the Charlton 'comb over', so I walked into this unisex hairdressors in Granada and left about 1 1/2 hours later, I met Kevin (Kaveen) and he was really keen to sort this guy out, ' they don't have barbers in England ?' He started on my hair, moved to the beard and then informed me I needed a 'facial'. A great guy, surprised we English took so little care of ourselves, patient and he even threw in a massage. I was so relaxed at the end I didn't want to leave or try and explain what my face had been through over the last couple of months while on the bike, all in a great experience. So, you English, get to work on your hygiene.
The 'after' photo.. his look says it all ..
Next, Costa Rica, the so called 'Nica-Tica' border, another on the Panamerican and one that does not get a good write-up, very busy and seemingly under constant construction. Fresh faced and onwards ....
Congratulations to Sam on reaching the grand old age of 18, now all that is left for you to do is run off and join a circus ..... well done Sam.