We were sad to leave Costa Rica but still had more countries to visit and time was getting shorter. We loved it so much and could very easily come back for a longer stay now that we have had a taste.
We were up early to leave and in two minds about what to do.
We’d pulled over to the side of the road to take pictures when the Belgians drove past and hooted. This made up our minds for us!
We had to pay to exit Costa Rica! And to enter Nicaragua, in US $.
We found the countryside to be very similar to Costa Rica. The roadsides were also similar, but with fewer small towns on the route.
We carried on all the way to Managua, the capitol. It was getting late. As we were in a city there was no chance of wildcamping.
We headed for a campsite indicated on our GPS map. It was dreadful! We decided we couldn’t possible pay to stay there, but rather book into something decent!
We’d passed what looked like a Motel and returned to it. The Colibrí Auto Motel. We were guided into the property by a night watchman and parked undercover and entered a huge dimly lit room. When our eyes adjusted to the low light the first thing we noticed was a huge bed, jacuzzi and a glass walled shower…..and mirrors everywhere…. including above the jacuzzi and bed!
A bell rang from a metal door in the wall. I opened it and there was our bill. I left the money and later found the receipt! No human contact. All very discrete!
There was this apparatus in the room. At first we thought it to be exercise equipment but then there was this chart on the wall that showed how it should be used……
There were no bedside lamps in the room so we couldn’t read that night !!!
Refreshed, the next day we were off Granada but stopped at Masaya on the way and found a lovely market with really good local crafts.
Something we’d seen so often on our trip is a Shoe Shiner
Another special Hispanic Colonial city with beautiful buildings and Plaza.
The city also had its quota of colourful buildings, galleries and eateries.
After a tasty lunch we left for Leon, the last town before the Honduras border.
We arrived at sunset and camped between some trucks at a garage.
There was nowhere we felt like staying so we returned to Leon and booked into a Motel. We wanted to freshen up before our trip through Honduras the next day.
Up early and on our way again. We had to cross two borders in one day as we’d heard and read so much bad news of the unsafe conditions in Honduras.
We’d decided not to take any chances and take the advice of those in the know and spend as little time there as possible.
The border crossing was no different to usual and the officials seemed to be the same as everywhere else.
The roads were perhaps a little more potholed and the people seem to be very poor.
We came across this colourful bus…
At a stop for coffee and something to eat we chatted to the staff running the restuarant and they were friendly. Then we continued to the second border, only 110kms from the first one. We’d chosen the narrowest part of the country to cross through.
Again we had no problems as we crossed into El Salvador.
We’ve often found negativity written about most of the countries we’ve been through. It’s been published in the travel guide books. In nearly every country you’re told to be careful about everything from pick pockets to hijackings.
One must not take unnecessary risks and do stupid things obviously. But our thoughts are that one has to experience the countries for oneself before making any judgement.
By avoiding big cities as we have – due to the inconvenience it would have caused us with the difficulty in finding suitable camping facilities in cities, and also taking the camper into busy streets – is probably the reason we found things to be pleasant and safe.
So I’m not about to bad mouth Honduras like others have. We didn’t have enough time there to make a fair appraisal.
Our first night we wild camped at a garage in San Miguel. A very poverty stricken and run down town. We didn’t stay there longer than necessary.
The next day we continued our journey and bypassed San Salvador, the capitol. Our route was through rustic villages.and beautiful countryside….
The properties had high walls with broken glass bottles on top of them to prevent easy entry. The roadside restaurants were behind strong security gates which were closed. Not very inviting for the tourist.
We eventually arrived in Santa Ana which had a lovely Plaza and church.
Santa Ana seemed to be so much better. I even found a cellphone shop that said they could repair my phone and I could get it back the next day.
The ladies were dressed in colourful aprons and the men all wore cowboy hats. We had lunch in a lovely courtyard
That night we booked into another Auto Motel! This time no jacuzzi but a mirror above the bed and a soft red light was the only illumination.
As someone later said, at least we knew the linen had been changed and the facilities were all disinfected and spotlessly clean!!
The proprietors were friendly ladies and realised we only wanted a room to sleep in!
The following day we fetched my cell. It had not been repaired. I decided to leave it until our return home and battle on charging the battery externally.
We headed for the border, paid $20 taxes and left without any problems for Guatemala and the Myan ruins, crafts and culture…….