Gary, Jen, Ricardo and me rolled out of Ricardo's place in San Jose, CR at about 5:20 this morning. We had the city as a virgin day began anew. Ricardo rode with us until about 11 am through the hills and mountains of Central Costa Rica then he broke off to join with another group of riding friends.
We got to the Nic border at about 11am and took a grueling 2 hours to get into Nicaragua. I used a "helper" and Gary didn't. I had to wait an additional 20 minutes for Gary and Jen. It was a good study as to whether or not they actually speed up the process or just slow it down and make it more expensive.
The helper did try to get me for a $10 fee that was not legit so that put a black mark on his otherwise perfect performance. I gave him seven dollars total for about an hour and a half work. Pretty good pay for a Nico kid. We talked about sharing a helper for future border crossings but Gary doesn't like them because there try to take what they can get from people.
We stopped at the landing for the ferry to the twin Volcano island of Ometepe in Lago Nicaragua. Took pics ..aet mangoes and another fruit the Jen found that tastes just like honey but not as thick. Didn't get the name.
Took a wrong road heading to Leon in an attempt to avoid Managua and ended up doing some dirt riding for about a half hour at dusk.
Got to Leon at night and immediately started the hunt for accommodations.
Secure parking for the bikes is rare so it took a while to find Via Via near the center of town where they asked us to hop two curb/steps up into the restaurant where many people were eating. We rode right through a large colonial dinning area, making a few sharp turns past candle lite tables with lovers staring into our lights like deer.
The hostal has only dorm rooms at $6 per person. It is nice enough to stay an additional night but I'll have to check that with the group in the morning.
Plan was to get another pre-dawn departure to try to get into El Salvador tomorrow.
I am beat and will sleep very soon.
Funny thing... I am not getting any more of those "I wish I were riding with you" responses that were popular on the outbound portion.