Trip summary

biking summary

If you are new to this blog, I recommend that you read in the right order, by聽clicking right here.

– Days: 45
– Biking distance: 1226 km (Plus another 800 km or so by car/bus)
– Countries: 6 (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.)
– Total expenses: $535 USD (Plus roughly $100 for the bike)
– Tire changes/repairs: 3
– Times robbed: 0
– Times I’ve met mean people: 0

General stuff:
– Worst accident: Lost my credit card at the very beginning.
– Luckiest accident(s): All the ones I avoided and didn’t die.
– Happiest moment: This won’t make sense, but I was simply biking, being in the moment with no worries or pressure about the future. And I felt happy. I don’t think I’ve experienced a pure feeling like that before.
– Worst moment(s): All those times I was completely out of energy and had to just sit down on the road and rest, wondering how the heck I’d be able to reach my destination.
– Newest and most interesting experience:聽When I didn’t have enough cash to enter Belize, and spent an hour trying to sell my shoes and jacket to locals. I got a sense of what it’s like to be poor and needing to bug people in order to survive!
– Most awkward moment: I was hanging out a little bit with a Brit in Guatemala, and he had briefly mentioned a girlfriend. When we were swimming in the lake, I teased him a little about why he’s out traveling the world instead of being with his girlfriend! He got very serious, and I realized something had gone wrong. “Was this a sensitive topic?” I asked, and after a long moment, he revealed that they did start their trip together, but it hadn’t worked out and she had gone on her own towards Mexico. He then swam away out into the sea and I never saw him again. Oops!

Fight, countries, fight:
– Nicest people: Honduras
(Because it’s the only place where each city had people willing to hang/host me!)
– Least nice people: Guatemala
(Not a single host, though of course they may have been nice in other ways.)
– Nicest place to bike: Guatemala
(Beautiful landscape, not too hot, not too tiresome.)
– Worst place to bike: Honduras
(Maybe because I biked through the central mountainy areas, because that was just impossible!)
– Nicest hosts: I have to make this one a tie, between the family in Belize, and Ana Lucia and her family in Honduras. They both made me feel like home, and I hope we’ll meet again some day!
– Best food: The only thing that really stood out was the first meal I had after entering Honduras; tajadas with vegetables and chicken. It was amazing. Also there was an unusual burrito in Siguatepeque that was really good, also in Honduras. Ooooh, and the pizza at the beach restaurant in Belize! I might pick that one as number 1!

It’s surprising, but I think Honduras might have won!

And that’s the end of the blog! Thanks for reading, and I hope someone will find some useful information among all the posts. And that you’ve been decently entertained. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! 馃檪 Maybe I can add more details to this post if it makes sense.

Bye!

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Managua

My days in Managua passed quickly. Was staying with a聽couchsurfing host for a couple of nights, and we went to a cool bar with an impressive jazz band playing, and they had Uno, which we of course tried out. Was fun, but it took forever. Uno, seriously…

in lagoon
We also went on a trip to the Apoyo lagoon. It was a pretty and calm place, and reminded me of the lakes in Sweden.
Laguna de Apoyo Selfie
We swam a lot, and then sat down looking out over the water, and spent minutes in silence to just enjoy the tranquility.
Managua gang
The gang!

I also met up with a long-time fan of my music, and he had been excited to meet me now that I would end up visiting his city in frikkin’ Nicaragua.

mario kart
We ended up being a whole bunch of people playing Nintendo Switch, and it was a lot of fun! First I owned at Mario Kart, Arms and Snipperclips, then I ended up last at Just Dance.
Just Dance
When it was time to get to the airport at night, they were kind enough to drive me! It was a great ending to my Central American trip.

Le贸n to Managua

Z Leon to Managua
First a little hostel story:
Punche de oro seemed too good to be true! A really friendly guy took me to a private room with bathroom (including towel, toilet paper roll and soap) and gave me his WhatsApp so I could message him the next day when I wanted breakfast. All for roughly $5 USD!

Then a little later, he came back and said “sooo sorry, I mixed things up. You’re meant to stay in the dorm. I’ll show you.” It ended up being a small room with four beds crammed into it, and the bathroom was far away and didn’t even have a sink. “But if you pay 5 extra, you can stay in the private room,” he said with a smile.

I said the dorm was fine, and his smile faded. After that, I felt he was not as nice anymore, and when I woke up the next morning and texted that breakfast at 9:30 would be great, he was half an hour late, and it was just three dry slices of toast and coffee.
I don’t even drink coffee.
boring breakfast
I don’t want to be too negative though. If it was a strategy from his side (I mean surely he knows the prices for his different rooms), I understand his disappointment when it failed. And it was still really cheap for a room where I ended up being the only guest.

Punche de Oro is alright, but perhaps spending half a dollar extra to live more centrally is worth it, and get your own breakfast elsewhere.

Leon
The laundry I had washed the previous night was still wet, so I was allowed to leave it and my other things at the hostel while I explored the city a little. First I had to walk roughly two kilometers on a straight street like shown above.

bus truck
You can walk or take one of these trucks that act like buses in the city, 4-5 C贸rdobas (barely $0.2 USD) per trip. They are often so packed that you feel like a tuna in a tuna can.

The cathedral聽is the main thing to see in Le贸n, and I wanted to go in and see the view from the roof (apparently you can do that), but it didn’t open until 2pm, so I missed it.
catedral de leon
I walked around a little more, but to be honest, this city is nothing special. I’ve heard that Granada is another similar city nearby that is much more interesting. I went back to the hostel to pick up my finally dry clothes and left for Managua.

van to managua
Took a truck to the bus terminal and then left Le贸n in a van for $61 C贸rdobas. Almost two hours later, I had reached the end of my Grand Central American Adventure.

Because I sold my bike a little earlier than planned, I now have four days to kill around Managua before leaving by plane.

I will tell more about that in my final update to this blog.

El Cuco to Le贸n

Y El Cuco to Leon
I feel naked.

As I was biking through El Cuco this morning, a bunch of guys said “nice bike!” and I took the opportunity to ask if they wanted to buy it.

I suggested $70 USD, as I actually really wanted to get rid of it. I also wanted to include my pump, padlock, spare tire and repair tools in the deal, since I’d have no use for it anymore.聽But they were a tough crowd (probably more experienced businessmen than I), and my bus was about to leave, so after a bit of haggling, I accepted $50 for the bike but kept the rest of the stuff.
rip bike
I hope to get at least $10 dollars for my remaining bike stuff later somewhere. Throwing it away seems dumb, and no way I’d give it to those guys, even though they tried to get their hands on them for free after the deal was done.

I think I could have done better with the haggling, but getting back half of what I paid for the bike still seems okay. With this, I should have enough cash for my final week in Central America! No more Western Union! \o/

Bus from El CucoAt 8:30, I took the bus from El Cuco to San Miguel, arrived at 10:00 and immediately left with the next bus to Santa Rosa. Got there an hour later, and once again switched bus very quickly to reach the Honduran border. Three hours of travel time, $3 in total.

To be fair, El Salvador seems very bikeable. Flat roads, not very far between cities. Would have been nice if I were not already tired of this biking thing!

pupusa
The goal of the day was to reach as far as possible towards my final destination, which is Managua, Nicaragua. It was not yet noon, and I took a break at an eatery by the border to have my first and only authentic El Salvadorian pupusa for $1. It was okay I guess.

imigration honduras
So far on my trip, there has barely been any lines at all when crossing borders, but now they felt endless. Definitely another advantage of biking and not arriving at the same time as a lot of buses. Had to pay $3 once again to enter Honduras.

I got through the customs at 12:20, and this time I wasn’t to lucky with the timing: The next minivan leaving for Guasaule by the Nicaraguan border didn’t leave for another hour! I was not in a hurry though, and sat down in the shade to read.

Amatillo - Guasaule
The trip in the van was $6 USD, was long and uncomfortable. My leg particularly was hurting more and more, as we made no stops and I couldn’t stretch it once during the 2.5 hour drive.

Endless line of trucks
This does not seem to be a touristic border crossing. Mostly tons of trucks that we could luckily pass.

It was very nice to finally get off! Then I was attacked by loads of people wanting to drive me to the supposedly impossible distance to the border, but it’s just 400 meters and a nice little walk. Don’t get fooled!

Exiting Honduras was fast, but entering Nicaragua is a little more complicated. Lots of forms and receipts I need to keep, and there’s also a $12 USD fee! I didn’t have smaller bills than a ten and a five, and he told me he only had $2 to change. Hard to believe that the entire office was out of one dollar bills, but I didn’t want to make a fuzz, and agreed to pay $13 instead.

wild west
The small town on the other side of the border was like coming to the wild west! Ducks and chickens running around, people getting around by horse. An old lady had her boobs hanging out.
wild west horses
So many horses! Felt like a big contrast compared to other places I’ve been recently.

I got on the bus, but it didn’t depart until an hour later, at 6pm. And when I arrived in Le贸n two hours later, it was already dark outside. Also, the terminal was four kilometers from the hostel I had looked up online.聽聽If only I had a bike, it would have been no problem, but now, I had to catch a taxi, another $2 spent.

All in all probably my most expensive day on my trip:
– Buses from El Cuco to the border, $3
– Enter Honduras, $3
– Minivan to next border, $6
– Enter Nicaragua, $13
– Bus to Le贸n, $2
– Taxi to hostel, $2
$29 US dollars excluding food!!

That’s what happens when being in three countries the same day, I guess.

At least the hostel, Punche de Oro, is really cheap. $5.5 per night, including breakfast!聽The guy working tonight was really friendly as well.
We’ll see tomorrow if it’s a good breakfast or not.

laundry
Before going to bed, I did manual laundry. I’m new at this, so I hope the clothes won’t stink tomorrow.

El Cuco

El Cuco
Today I decided to bike along El Cuco‘s coastline, to see what was up.

There are very few people to be seen, and except for a couple of hundred meters next to the “town”, there are barely any buildings either. Just beach and trees.
Endless beach
The dark sand is really silky smooth, not a rock as far as the eyes can see.

Funny birds
I saw these cute little birds jumping out of my way. And the absolute highlight of the day (which I was unable to capture) was that a big flock of bigger birds suddenly glided along the beach in the same direction as I was biking, and it was awesome to be right among them at almost the same speed, as if I were part of their gang. It was like a movie!

River crossing
I had to cross a couple of river outlets. Luckily they were not deep and I could bike through without getting stuck or drown.

El Cuco Selfie 2
I stopped four kilometers from the town, where you can find the more famous La Tortuga Verde hostel. It’s where I had originally planned to stay last night, but it would have been too far to bike in the darkness.

Also, I’ve read many bad reviews about the place.

Either way, there was not much to do there, just a couple of people swimming and a restaurant that is famous for being slow and overpriced. I biked back to find more affordable food near my hostel.

Hostal Casa de Canela
The small town is quite clean and cozy, but聽I can’t help but think that there are so many other places in the world that are at least as nice, but more affordable. The cheapest meal I could find was 5 USD, at a restaurant right next to the beach. The chicken was frighteningly tasty though! What did they do with this?!
Food

I saw a lost Chinese girl walking on the beach, and I found it funny that even in a distant place like this, they can be found.

When I got back to the hostel, the same Chinese girl was there! And lo and behold, it turned out to be the same girl who had helped trying to fix my bike back in Flores, Guatemala! The world is so small!

Football
Then I watched Sweden lose an important World Cup qualifying game against Bulgaria.

We also went to the beach together as the sun was setting, to try to take some nice pictures. I’ll end this update with some of those, as I can’t choose only one:
IMG_0359

IMG_0381

IMG_0390

Tegucigalpa – El Cuco

X tegucigalpa to El CucoToday would be a change of pace. After a month of more than 1200 kilometers of biking, I decided that I’m nearly done.

I bought a ticket for a flight that leaves Managua,聽Nicaragua on September 6, and decided to use buses to do a detour to El Cuco; a small beach town in El Salvador. It’s a distance that would take three days by bike (plus three more to get back on track again), but this way, I could arrive there the very same day.

I left the hostel at 7:30 to bike the聽four kilometers to the bus station in La Granja. Once again it was a lot of fun to bike through the city and pass all the cars stuck in traffic.

Bus in Tegucigalpa
Finding the bus station was easy, and just upon arrival, a bunch of guys shouted “Choluteca!” and I basically rode the bike straight into its trunk and I hopped into the bus.

So far, so good!

It left at 8:20 and I paid 73 Lempiras to get off at J铆caro Galan (roughly 3 USD),聽which is the closest town the bus gets to El Salvador.聽It was frustrating to be on a bus and have frequent snack/toilet/drop-off breaks and stand still for minutes during trafficy sections. I felt the urge more than once to just get off and bike the rest of the way.

Also, at one point the driver almost drove into a truck in front of us, and had to turn to the side to avoid it, almost making us drive off the road. It was pretty interesting.

J铆caro Galan
Three hours later, they dropped me off in J铆caro Galan, and I waited for a bit in the shade, and then the next bus arrived twenty minutes later. I paid 60 Lempiras (I think 30 for me, 30 for the bike) to take me to El Amatillo by the El Salvadorian border. The trip was roughly one hour long, and it was one of those old school buses that are now used for public transportation! My bike was placed between the seats.
jicaro to border

At 1pm, we had arrived to the border. Everyone wanted to talk to me either in broken English or Spanish, asking for money, if I wanted to change money, if I want to sell the bike. I suggested 100 dollars, but they didn’t bite. But it’s good practice, I’m gonna start trying to sell it from now on!
El Salvador
Showed passport to exit Honduras, crossed the river, showed it again to enter El Salvador. The usual stuff. No fees.

On the Honduran side, they offered 5.20 USD (which is the official currency here) for my remaining 132 Lempiras. On the El Salvadorian side, I got 5.50. Again a slightly better offer once you cross.

I was lucky to get on a new bus (2 USD) just as I was done, and by 1:40pm, I was on my way to the largest city on the eastern half of El Salvador; San Miguel.
full bus

I arrived later than planned, and since the internet had told me that the last bus to El Cuco would depart at 4pm, I only had 40 minutes to:
1. Get my new 60 USD from a Western Union
2. Get something to eat
3. Buy some groceries
4. Find bus

I hurried out on the streets on my bike, asking around for a Western Union. Always people pointing in opposite directions, and when I did find one, a sign said it was not working today.

It was stressful! But finally I did find one in a small shop, and I got my money pretty fast this time, maybe because I explained the situation, and they even knew the hostel I was going to stay at!

Still, it was already 4pm, and I hurried hurried back to the bus terminal, maybe a little too risky, zig-zagging between cars against traffic.

I arrived! Only to learn that the last bus of the day was actually 5:20pm! My info from the internet had failed me!

Bus to El Cuco
Bus to El Chuco.

It was a good thing though, as I could finally pee for the first time today, and get something to eat.

People beg for money all the time here, which I actually haven’t encountered earlier on this trip. People also always start conversations with me, and I’ve聽begun to automatically say “no hablo espa帽ol, sorry” so they will give up faster.

The bus played super loud Latin dance music that made my seat vibrate. It felt like the ride kept going forever and I was so sleepy.

Finally I arrived at El Cuco, and the sun had already gone down. I biked in the darkness (though now I had a flashlight that I got from my La Lima host as a present!), and I could quickly find Casa de Canela. It’s a cute little hostel, 10 USD per dorm bed, individual fans. Pool table, towel included.

Also, they have little kittens running around, and one became my friend.
Cats in Casa de Canela 2

I have to say that I feel weird going by bus all day. In a way, it’s just as exhausting as biking, but with biking, there’s some kind of satisfaction to it. Now, there’s just tiredness.

At least tomorrow I have all day to just relax and explore the town and the beach!

Villa de San Antonio – Tegucigalpa

W villa de san antonio to tegucigalpa
My body has a built in clock alarm. I had set my phone to beep at 4:30, so that I would get a ride in my host’s car early in the morning. And even though it’s crazy early for me, I woke up on my own at 4:20.

car ride
The car ride was unremarkable. I wanted to examine how hard it would be to bike, but I slept through most of it! But yes. Probably a really tough bike ride!

sunrise
I tried to get a pic of the pretty sunrise from inside the car, but it was hard.

We arrived in Tegucigalpa聽at 6am, and they dropped me off at a Circle K mini-market in the center of the city. I had not yet figured out where to stay the night, and was unused to being at my destination so early in the morning. Luckily there was free WiFi, and I could surf around in peace to figure out the best solution.

It was tricky to find a fitting couchsurfing host, and in the end, I decided to bike through the city to Hostal Palmira, seemingly the cheapest one in the city, at 210 Lempiras per night.
biking through traffic
It was fun to bike past and between cars stuck in traffic.

The hostel was normal; nice but nothing to write home about. I found a girl from couchsurfing who wasn’t able to host me, but who wanted to show me around, so I got back on my bike and went to have lunch!

Santa Lucia
After lunch, we went to a small old town called Santa Luc铆a, which has old buildings and a little lake.

Santa Lucia boat trip
We went rowing!

church
There’s also an old church here. How old? I dunno.

All in all, a long but nice day with good company! The only blemish was that I lost the keys to my good ol’ lock, that I had used for my locker at the hostel. We had to break it open.
broken lock
Seems like more and more things are breaking or getting lost on my trip.

Update:
creature
This hand-sized creature just flew in and landed on my bed as I was about to go to bed! Is that a bat or a huge moth?! I’m not even sure, but it was fascinating and almost a little scary.

It was cool though! I took pics.