Day 103 – Choluteca, HN to Leon, NI

Day 103 – Choluteca, HN to Leon, NI     12/02/10     Mileage: 112

Coffee, it had been days since Brian or I had a (good) cup, so this morning we set off to the Cafe Americano coffee shop around the corner from our hotel. Inexplicably, they don’t open until 10am. What kind of @#*% ing coffee shop doesn’t open until 10 in the morning? If Starbucks in the US didn’t open until 10…there would be bloodshed in the streets. Well, just one more thing I hate about Honduras. So, across the parking lot was a Wendy’s…yes, that Wendy’s! They were at least open, so I had an egg muffin and (decent) coffee, all under the watchful eye of a security guard toting a shotgun. It’s funny what you get used to, because security guards, which most stores and better restaurants (and Wendy’s!) in towns have, all tote shotguns or assault rifles. So does every delivery truck…which quite literally has a man riding shotgun! Don’t try to steal a 6-pack of Coke off of a delivery truck down here, or you will for sure get a 00 buckshot enema. Anyway, after our Wendy’s breakfast, we packed up the bikes and split for the border.

This cutie worked the front desk at the hotel…the only appealing thing in all of Honduras!

Leaving our hotel in Choluteca…

On the way out of Choluteca…

….and the roads have huge potholes.

I couldn’t wait to leave Honduras…it was giving me a bad vibe, and I didn’t want to be here one second longer than I had to.

And another police checkpoint. Smile dickhead.

At the border, the first order of business was to cancel our bike import permits at the aduana (customs) and then to immigration to stamp ourselves out of this hell hole. Of course, the “helpers” were there to try and sell us their services, but we told them very succinctly to go bugger off…we were onto their game.

Border cop and a helper trying to intercede.

To this border cops credit, he was the only one in 7 countries to notice the license I gave him was expired. Brian and I always give our “dump” licenses (in my case an old expired NJ license) whenever any official asks for a license, just incase they get confiscated. He accepted my AAA “International Driving Permit”, which I am also happy to give away. I never give my current valid NJ drivers license, and have not needed to yet.

On the way to the border after the police checkpoint.

At the Honduras border building…

Changing money…

After processing out, we hopped on the bikes, gave Honduras the 1 finger salute and crossed the bridge into Nicaragua(country number 8!).  AMF!

 One last police check before the bridge.

Here’s another helper…yep, that’s a camera dickhead, smile…  🙂

The Nicaragua border was refreshingly straightforward and relatively inexpensive at $24 in total. It was $12 to enter the country (which is really only $2 plus what amounts to a $10 mandatory tip or bribe if you will) and $12 for compulsory vehicle insurance. The bike import permit was free.

Arriving at the Nicaragua side….and glad to be out of Honduras!

This guy was driving down to Panama from Colorado in his FJ Cruiser. That rig on the roof is a rooftop tent…..very cool!

Standing around waiting I started chatting with this Nicaraguan girl….I was practicing my spanish and she was practicing her english.

One last checkpoint, and we were in Nicaragua!

With that we fired up the bikes and pointed them for Leon, a nice colonial town about 90 minutes from the border. On the way we passed an active volcano spewing smoke which is as common down here as shotguns and as easy to become accustomed to.

In Leon we settled into the Lazy Bones hostel which had private rooms, a pool and wifi for $20…not too bad.

This was an impressive cathedral on the main square in Leon.

Around town in Leon…

We took a walk around town, had a bite and a few beers and then I called it a night.

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5 Responses to Day 103 – Choluteca, HN to Leon, NI

  1. Arlene says:

    So gald to read the blog and see that you are out of Honduras. Very smart about the drivers license!!!
    Are you and Brian still riding together now?? I hope so from what you say about the places having security people with shotguns,etc it is good to be with a teammate. I am almost glad to hear that there are people watching. Vicki told us about someone she knows who lives there and has big bucks and goes to the stores with a security person who takes care of them. Lots of kidnappings, robberies, etc. These people need money and will do anything to get it.

    I really hope and pray that you decide to ship the bike and fly to South America……..I want to be able to sleep for 5 days instead of you being on a ship and me worrying all that time.

    Time for me to relax before I get ready for sleep. I hope the cursing stops because that means things are better for you…..right!!
    Luv ya, Mom

  2. Arlene says:

    Well, it is about 25 degrees here and I bet you miss this cold weather, ha, ha, ha. Wondering if you are taking Spanish classes????? Thinking of you. Be well and be safe. Love, Mom

  3. Kurt says:

    Brrrrr. Most of upstate NY is covered in several feet of snow. Still nothing here yet, so the bike is still out. Thank God for heated gear. Guess you don’t need that down there much do ya?
    So how are you getting yourself and the KLR to South America? Your Mom seems concerned. I sent a note to the CMA team to add that to their prayers for you.
    Go Lenny, go!. I think I might get through this Winter a little easier following you around with your travels in warmer climates.
    Thanks, Kurt

    • Lenny says:

      Hey Kurt! Yeah…no need down here for heated gear for sure!! Though, I was wishing I had some in Alaska and will probably be wishing for it again in southern Patagonia! As for the Darien Gap, right now I’m trying to book passage for me and the bike on a sailboat from the Caribbean coast of Panama to Cartagena, Colombia. The fall-back plan is to fly me and the bike from Panama City to Bogota…

      Thanks again for the kind words and prayers…

      Bien viaje,

      -Lenny

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