Archive for June, 2009

´Just do it´

Thursday, June 18th, 2009
´Just do it´

Granada, Nicaragua, june 18th 2009

A few weeks ago on a sunday, a tall gringo approaches me just before I want to head off on my bike. He is visiting a friend here from out of the US and he heard about me and my bike. If he can take a picture of me and my bike. Of course. I´m always flattered to hear that. When I ask the reason for his interest, I almost fall over from astonishment. His name is Guy and he is a Frenchman living in the US. In the early ´80-s he did the trip Alaska-Argentina and via Africa back to France on a moped, a 49cc bike. It took him 3 years, but he did it. Amazing!!! Although he was sponsored by the factory, Motobecane that is, he never wrote a book about it, a pity, I would have loved to hear or read more of his stories.

Yesterday a group of 3 ultramodern KTM adventure bikes rode through town, heading south. Sometimes the look of that makes me feel a little jealous and a little alone. The equipment, the high-tech toys, it all says ´professionalism´. Yesterday I also got the picture from Guy on his moped in my mail and that instantly made me smile (see above, very fittingly, made in Nicaragua). It ain´t about the money or tools, it´s all about the will to do it, just do it!

That kind of positivism will hopefully also help out of my physical mess. End of last week I felt good. A ride to Leon on friday and back on monday shattered that illusion. Back to where I started. Time for some action. One of the nice things about Nicaragua is that you can get almost anything from the pharmacy. So, I am back to the medication the travel doctor in Oakland prescribed me and from which I run out some time ago. A daily anti-anything-infection medicine also in use for malaria and other flying stuff. Ultra cheap here because countries like the US and Spain donate a lot of medicines. For free for the very poor in the hospital pharmacy. The little group of old US military that I know (Vietnam, Marines, Navy, police) say there is a lot wrong in my diet for the tropics. So I´ll change that and next days I hope to find out if that will work. If this is not doing the trick I´ll visit a doctor. For free in the general hospital, donated by Japan, I visited it, nice building but anything else looks a bit outdated, or I will visit one of the private clinics, not for free.

Still in Granada

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Still in Granada

Granada, Nicaragua, june 11th 2009

Still here. Takes more than a few days to recover, the pattern is the same as last time, totally exhausted, no energy for nothing, bit of a headache. I stay at Wayne´s house (picture) where on average two or three cats keep me company and Blackie, an ex-streetdog. My only activity has been walking the dog. That´s fun, he has a sharp nose for the good & the bad, he makes that perfectly clear, people in the last category go pretty fast out of his way, very handy at nighttime, he also guards the bike.

Don´t know where this feeling of ´no energy for nothing´ comes from. Since the start of the rainy season it has been relatively dry and windstill. As long as it doesn´t storm at the Caribean coast it will stay this way is the general expectation. Beacause of this all flying objects from small to big things (little flies, mosquitoes to libels) live longer as normal, and boy, the do know how to find me!

Anyway, next couple of days I stay put, expect to leave this monday or tuesday. Besides an oil change (didn´t find an oil filter so far) the bike is more than ready, she´s waiting for me!

Never say goodbye twice 2

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Granada, Nicaragua, june 5th 2009

Didn´t leave today. Same illness as before, exhausted and headache. No electricity at night, so no airco and windfans. A lot of people are complaining, flu like. It´s not like the swine flu. Warnings for that are every half hour on national tv. This week 7 cases in Masaya, 16 km´s down the road from here, visit that weekly.

Will rest and try to be on the road monday or tuesday, I won´t cross the border on a weekend anymore (see story Honduras).

Thanks for all reactions on message 1, always feels good to read!

Never say goodbye twice

Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Never say goodbye twice

Granada, Nicaragua, june 4th 2009

My second goodbue party is on saturday, it almost feels normal to say goodbye again to all the people I have come to known in a short period. My temporarily import licence for the bike expires on thursday after that. On tuesday however I feel a little sick. Worse on wednesday, i feel completely exhausted and have a headache all day long. No way I can leave on thursday!

The import license can only be renewed once. I try my luck and go to the customs head office in Managua. I try to get to talk to the managing director but that is a no go. The first officer I talk to gives me little hope, the second however warms up to my story. I need to write a handwritten letter to the director and she will plead for my request. I have to call back on friday to hear the answer. Much to my surprise I get 15 days extra, as an exemption to the rule!

Tomorrow I will leave for Costa Rica. Jimmy three fingers, Brian and Aracelly will accompany me to the border. I´m sad to leave. Life and love in a third world country have mesmerized me. A third goodbye party seems not a smart thing to do, it´s hard to leave as it is.