Tomorrow is the big day

“So, do you have your passport copies?”  “Yes… pretty sure I do.”  “Alright, so where would they be?”  “Hmmm… good question… oh, I know…”

This scene has been part of the riveting game we’ve been playing in the past few days.  For our Grandson Liam, it might be LEGO WORLDS.  For us, it’s WE’RE GETTING PACKED AND GOING BACK TO NICARAGUA!

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Not like packing for a bike trip!

And, tomorrow is the big day.  After the final step of winterizing our little house, our son Dustin is going to drive us up to the Prince George airport for the start of our next adventure.

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Saying goodbye to the Cariboo winter…
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And the cozy little house…

We leave PG in the evening and end up in Managua around noon the next day.  Our Airbnb host is picking us up at Augusto C. Sandino airport and giving us a ride to Granada.

Augusto C. Sandino, also known as Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino, was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and leader of a rebellion between 1927 and 1933 against the U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua. He was referred to as a “bandit” by the United States government; his exploits made him a hero throughout much of Latin America, where he became a symbol of resistance to United States’ domination. He drew units of the United States Marine Corps into an undeclared guerrilla war. The United States troops withdrew from the country in 1933 after overseeing the election and inauguration of President Juan Bautista Sacasa, who had returned from exile. The re-call of the Marines was largely due to the Great Depression. – Wikipedia

No bikes this trip – we’re taking a break to learn how to walk again.  Please sign up to follow us – you’ll get a notice from WordPress when we post.  There’s going to be LOTS of stories to tell along the way!

Next update?  From Granada Nicaragua…

In 1524, the city was renamed Granada, by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, ostensibly the first European city in mainland America. Unlike other cities that claim the same distinction, the city of Granada was not only the settlement of the conquest, but also a city registered in official records of the Crown of Aragon, and the Kingdom of Castile in Spain. – Wikipedia

The Plan

We leave our home in Quesnel on Dec. 29th.  Our son Dustin, his wife Karla and our grandson Liam live next to us and will be watching our house while we’re away.  Thanks guys!  Our layovers in Vancouver and Mexico City are comfortably short and with the fabled “Premium Economy” on the Aeromexico flight to Managua, we’re sure we’ll get a little shut-eye.  Once on the ground, we have a ride to Granada already set up.

We’ll be spending a month in Granada for a couple of reasons – dental work and Spanish language school.  We’re pretty excited about both.  The three weeks of school are an immersion program that has us staying with a family in Granada– so cool!

“All Nicaraguans are united by their laid-back style, great sense of humor and an openness that manifests itself in their love of socializing.”  Lonely Planet – Nicaragua

We couldn’t agree more.

In February, we’ll start the tour of Nicaragua we didn’t get to last time.  From Granada we will travel to many places in the country…

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Granada
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The volcanic island of Ometepe – Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash
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San Juan del Sur the surf capital – Photo by Paul Biondi on Unsplash
Leon department
Politically historical city of Leon.  Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
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Leon
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Lovely Las Penitas beach on the northwestern coast – Photo Jacob Klinger – Wikimedia Commons
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Mountains near San Rafael del Norte and Matagalpa – coffee!
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Brig Bay – Big Corn Island

 

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Beauty of Little Corn Island

Nicaragua Bound

Fifteen years ago, Heather and I celebrated her 50th birthday on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua.  Like all her birthdays, it was a distinctly special day because we ended the

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Happy Birthday honey!

day ringing in the New Year.  The people we made friends with on the island went out of their way to make it a special one.  One present was a bottle of Flora de Cana rum wrapped in banana leaves!

THIS year, Heather and I will be in Nicaragua to again, celebrate her birthday.

We have such strong memories of our time working at Casa Iguana on the little island.  At that time, Casa was a real going concern.  Our jobs were maintenance of the buildings, laundry, gardening, cooking dinners and hosting them at the lodge.  An excerpt from a letter written home:

“A lot of people come for dinner now as the word is out.  This place now has two expert cooks from Canada.  Us!  It’s true, we are now known island wide as the best cooks.  It takes a lot of creativity, as the usual fare is fish, fish and more fish.  Last night we made barracuda fajitas with freshly made tortillas.  They were a real hit.”

We know the island has changed a lot in 15 years, but we’re confident the ‘vibe’ is still there and the Nicaraguan people are still as warm as they were then.  We’ll be there in March… can’t wait!

Here’s a collage of photos from that amazing time in our lives!  Within these pics, you’ll see our daughter Megan who joined us at the end of her own long trekking tour, people we worked with, their kids, people we took our diving certification with, dinners we whipped up in the lodge and some of the incredible natural beauty of this place on earth.

The Good Neighbour Tour

In 2016 and 2017 we completed our Good Neighbour Tour.  We were inspired to ride across North America meeting as many of our fellow human beings as we could.  We weren’t in a hurry and wow, did we meet lots of folks!  In this day and age, it was a way to re-affirm our faith in humanity.  And, it worked.

The motivational vision for this tour came from a good friend Murray Boal who sadly passed away in 2015 – far too soon.  Murray was a gifted singer-songwriter and along with another good friend Bob Campbell, he recorded a song called “Good Neighbours”. The song embodies neighbourly love and the comfortable simplicity of having someone nearby to share life’s ups and downs.   Please have a look at a slide show of our friend and listen to his song:

Murray Boal – Good Neighbours

The tour officially started in July 2016 on the northern island of Haida Gwaii off BC’s northwest coast.  Following ceremony, we started “in” the Pacific and headed east.  We had the good fortune to stay with many Warmshowers hosts along the way and made many, many new friends.  We will be eternally grateful for the friendship and hospitality we enjoyed along the way.  Thanks Good Neighbours! 

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We dip the bikes in the Pacific

After rolling through the Rockies we turned east at Saskatchewan Crossing on our way toA (68) Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.  That’s where things changed… We received word that my Mother, Molly had taken ill and that we we should come… quickly.  With help from friends, we stopped the tour and made our way back to her bedside.  We were with her as she passed away.

Mum insisted we continue the tour the next summer and we did so in her memory.  In early May 2017, we got a ride to the exact place we stopped the tour and started riding. We crossed the prairies and entered the USA in North Dakota.  From there we followed a route through Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan entering back into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie.  Riding through all the remaining provinces, we ended up in St, John’s Newfoundland in late September.  What a ride!

And here’s the dip in the Atlantic.  Qudi Vidi Harbour, St. John’s Newfoundland!  One pedal at a time.

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