The Lost Road to Bluefields, Nicaragua....

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by brecchi, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    #41
  2. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    sorry about the (likely) stolen duffle! been lurking and following your adventure. our family has gone to Nicaragua 6 x's over the last few years to do volunteer work in La Paz Centro. in fact, i am back on a bike after 27 years because of our last trip in 2/2013; my host family let me ride a 125cc they had and the bike "bug" bit me hard, so i bought a bike when we returned. we have been to all the places you are visiting. when we go we travel with no valuables at all and minimal stuff to keep track of, as things often "disappear". nonetheless, we love nicaragua, despite the poverty and desperation, and look forward to each return. in general, we find the people open, kind and generous with the little they have (by USA standards). the nicaraguan families we know would literally give us "the shirt off their back" if they thought we needed it. keep your spirits up and i hope you enjoy the rest of your journey without incident!
    #42
  3. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Thanks man, in hindsight things could have been much worse.....and I am pretty sure that I lost the bag off the back and that it wasn't stolen. Just picked up off the side of the road by whoever was passing by. Nicaragua is still my favorite country, the people have always been really good to me :clap
    #43
  4. Mi Vale Madre

    Mi Vale Madre Adventurer

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    was in bluefields a few years back but left my samari in rama and took the river boat to bluefields,flew out islas maiz. did not there was a road. whan you get time could you post this route you took.
    #44
  5. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Mi Vale Madre - Im thinking you may not have actually read any of this thread?....:wink:.....sorry, I didn't find the road, although a couple of Italian guys managed it - they talk about it in the middle of this thread and there is a link to a detailed report they did.
    #45
  6. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    So, the next morning I woke up and the guy running the hotel hooked me up with a motorcycle mechanic who repaced the exhaust, kickstart and turn signals with used parts and charged me about 35 bucks for everything including installation which seemed fair. I later found out that I overpaid but still....$35! I then began backtracking to Matagalpa, and ended up passing through Jinotega which ended up being a hot, dirty unspectacular place. I hung out at the central square for a bit in front of the ugliest cathedral of all time, and then I headed up into the mountains and back into Boaco, where I stayed the night again. I was actually glad to be back tracking much of the same route, because it gave me a chance to re-take a lot of the pictures I had lost. I was still feeling pretty shitty about losing all of my stuff, but Boaco was a nice interesting little place to spend the evening again. And my final day of riding tomorrow would be a mountainous route of backroads back to Matagalpa which I hadn't previously done, and which I was told by various people was very scenic, rural, and nearly impossible to ride, which proved to be untrue.

    The entire route was pretty much paved actually, although some sections were in pretty suspect shape, it was still good enough for me to remain in 5th gear while the bigger trucks slowed down, enabling me to speed around them. I passed through Muy Muy and a few other small towns. The last 15 kms or so back into Matagalpa was actually the toughest of the day, with much more buses and traffic, and steep winding roads which were in horrible shape. The whole ride only took a couple of hours, and it was nice to be back in my homebase after this little adventure :clap
    #46
  7. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    i've done the road from el rama to laguna de perlas. not all that bad. but, judging from the way it appears your duffel was attached to the bike, it just may have fallen off. i suspect that while the two cops "helped" you, someone else was helping themselves to your duffel.

    rule numero uno for nicaragua: NEVER leave you valuables (or even your not so valuables for that matter) out of sight. also, gotta say that your balls are monster to have even thought of riding that road after sundown. i was with a group of five locals, two of whom were carrying glocks, and we didn't even think about it. glocks are no match for ak's, especially when you have to dig the glock out from who knows where and the ak is already pointed at you. on that road they do guatemala style bus robberies.

    anyway, sorry about your loss. it was an adventure.
    #47
  8. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Hey TeeVee - yeah it was an adventure for sure. I hope folks are not thinking I'm throwing a pity party here for myself. Just relaying how I felt at the time....believe me, while it did suck ass, I'm over the "loss." And I knew it would make for a slightly more interesting RR:wink:

    In retrospect, I think the road just seemed so bad because of the POS bike I was riding, as evidenced by losing piece after piece on the way back. I also want to reiterate that I am pretty convinced my bag wasn't stolen off my bike. It had loosened itself off to the side of the bike and fallen off multiple times on the way there, and it probably just did so again without me noticing. I was pretty shot by the time I arrived and my faculties were definitely not sharp at all. The cops were actually really cool and sincere and my instincts tell me that they didn't participate in a scam to look the other way while people stole my duffel. And the reaction of the people being questioned seemed a mix of genuine confusion and concern. Also, people really wanted me to stay the night for my safety. I think that a bunch of thieves would want to be rid of me as quick as possible. And as far as having balls of steel.....well there was not much really left for bandits to get from me at that point, right!

    Some more pics and a conclusion to follow.
    #48
  9. OK Lucinda

    OK Lucinda n00b

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    I'm on an rtw and in Granada tonight. If there is anything I can get to you or otherwise help let me know.
    #49
  10. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Thanks Lucinda, nice of you to offer. Im currently in Colombia, this report actually happened a few months ago.
    #50
  11. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    New exhaust

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    New kickstarter

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    New turn signals

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    This guy helped me sort the bike out







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    Getting gas

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    #51
  12. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    #52
  13. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Back home
    #53
  14. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    nice. funny (sad) thing about nica is the vast difference between the majority of the people there (nice) and the minority that give one pause (rotten).

    on one ride trying to reach as far to the top of volcan mombacho as we could, we stopped to take a breather and a drink. some coffee workers came walking out of the bush carrying their work machetes. nonetheless, one of the guys i was with draws his glock and holds it behind his back as the workers walked past. i later asked him why he was so worried about the workers. he answered, "im not worried about coffee workers. it's just that they aren't the only guys wandering around the bush with machetes. hopefully you'll never have to find out the hard way."

    he's 54 years old and was born in and has lived almost his entirely life there.

    glad you had a great time.
    #54
  15. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    While I agee with Tee VEE, I'd add that the same could be said of MOST places I have been, INCLUDING the USA! Having grown up on the "streets of Los Angeles", I had plenty of close encounters with armed and dangerous men there, in my own native country! Having traveled extensively, (and worked in 2 US prisons) I continue to believe that people are inherently good and that this "rotten-ness" is what at times comes out of some people when they are corrupted (by poverty, addiction, oppression, etc.). IMHO there are very very few "bad" people (sociopaths) on this planet! If one walks thru the world without fear and with this belief (though not naive), I feel one is likely to find the world and its people a relatively safe and beautiful place. Peace.:D
    #55
  16. Saeed

    Saeed Life-long learner

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    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures
    #56
  17. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Its been interesting reading everyone's comments and I appreciate anyone who was into reading this report. Reflecting on this trip in a cafe in Medellin, in the middle of another adventure, I'm surprised, but not offended by the posts about guns, safety, thieves, etc. I have never felt any kind of danger or threat while traveling anywhere in Nicaragua, although maybe some of that has to do with naivete. I'm still pretty sure that the bag fell off, regardless of my initial response. Anyway...

    I had the bike for a day or two more in Matagalpa, before it finally died on the last day. The guys from the shop swung by the central park to pick up the bike, and were pretty pissed at what happened to the bike - a totally dfferent mentality from the States for sure! Can you imagine renting a vehicle, having parts fall off, taking care of it yourself, and then getting a bad vibe from the renters? Their stance was that I should have A. Called them if anything went wrong so they could come get the bike - even on the other side of the country ( which was bullshit) and B. That I should have backtracked and picked up the original parts which fell off, as the value of the bike with generic parts was now lower. The fact that it was pitch black and I would somehow have to find a kickstarter and a hot muffer and pipe and lug them back to the mountains of central NIcaragua did not factor into their thinking. We all went back to the shop and the shop owner was a bit more sympathetic. We both agreed that I would not be responsible for the cost of any more parts, new or used, but that I would still pay the full amount we had previously agreed on, regardless of any extra costs I incurred ( $35 bucks, parts and labor). I paid the $110 bucks for the 11 days of rental and left the bike with its rightful owners.

    Hope you guys enjoyed my first attempt at a RR - I know its far from the best but I plan on doing more and getting better at this!

    -Ben
    #57