Tag Archives: Kindle

Molango to Apizaco, Sunday, 28 October 2012, Day 117

Road block who would have guessed it was for a Religious run carrying the Madonna with my bad spanish I was certainly surprised 🙂

I woke up and fortunately it was dry today but it was still quite cold. I hit the road and it was still very misty or I was driving in the clouds but fortunately it started to clear and I could finally see where I was going and it was nice.

Crap Vision-ability

Plan on the page is to keep plugging away moving south to Antigua where I plan to have a rest and do some Spanish lessons as I have not got a clue what is going on around me and I am not at all comfortable with that. Today the road was blocked and I was trying to found out what was going on but my knowledge of Spanish is woeful so all I could do was wait. It turned out that it was some religious event the road was full of young people running down the street and a convoy of accompanying cars and lorries and they where carrying a statue of Mary I passed another one later. I am not sure I would have been able to understand the explanation for this holdup in English never mind in Spanish but it does explain why the petrol pump attendant when I asked about what was going on he crossed himself so there was the religious clue unfortunately at the time I had no idea what he was trying to tell me.

Good day in the saddle but I am not covering the ground as quickly as I think I should be I did more than yesterday but considering the hours I am putting in I am expecting to have gone much further. Slow going on these roads and village very rarely going fast at all. I think I gained an hour but I am not sure as have seen no clocks to verify this so at about 5pm ish according to the clock on my GPS which I think is right my right leg was beginning to cramp up no idea why could be all them damned speed humps or all the stop start riding I have been doing today so this was a sign to call it quits for the day as well as my GPS sending me on another off road excursion and getting chased by wild dogs was enough to tell me to stop for the day. So I ignored the GPS I did a U-turn only to be chased by the same wild dogs and decided to stop at the first decent place I saw. A couple of minutes later saw a nice old church and opposite a small hotel which had a courtyard for parking the bike so I pulled in there. Got a room no problem and extremely cheap but no Wi-Fi but who cares I can live with a night without Wi-Fi. I was in little village just short of Apicazo so not much there other than the church and the hotel so nowhere to eat. After wandering about for a while found a place that was cooking chickens on a rotisserie so ordered half a chicken and some papa’s fritas and got some pop and then back to the room to eat my little greasy feast. I had mushroom quesadilla for breakfast/lunch, which was also very nice.

Tonight’s entertainment was to finish the Hunger games on my Kindle. I quite enjoyed it easy reading and a page-turner but quite a simple plotI have  just downloaded part 2 and 3 so another excuse not to be doing my blog or responding to the comments on it. I will do this when I am back on line honest injun

Los Naranjos, Friday, 16 November 2012, Day 136

Birdie with same colour palette as me 🙂

I woke up snug as bug as I actually had a blanket and a tee shirt on as it was nippy here and it sounded like it was raining outside so I rolled over and went back to sleep decision made I am staying another night. I eventually got up and had a leisurely breakfast and I finally went for a walk to Los Naranjos Eco-Archaeological Park which took a couple of hours a pleasant walk through the jungle to the lake where there was a long raised boardwalk along the lake. Loads of birds and stunning scenery and it was dull and overcast and sort of drizzling so not to hot. The surrounding mountains covered by clouds so I am not getting the full vista. I am in two minds on whether the weather is bothering me as I am not a big fan on full on sun and heat but I would like to see a bit more than just the glorious glimpses I have been getting to see whilst in Honduras but it is pleasant riding in this weather when its dry dam right scary when wet!

Los Naranjos Eco-Archaeological Park nice walk on the boardwalk

 

I got back to the brewery at about 3pm and I treated myself to a piece of chocolate cake and a vanilla cream soda mmm lekker. The place is a brewery that I am staying at http://www.ddbrewery.com but as I am still on the wagon I have not tried any of the beer but no problem as they also make there own soft drinks, so orangeade, coke, vanilla cream soda and Root Beer. My favourites cream soda and the Root Beer and the food is not bad either.

Whilst enjoying my afternoon tea a Canadian Girl Jill arrived and was going for a walk to Finca Paradise Coffee Plantation just up the road and I still had some miles in me so I decided to join her, as did another young American lad. Another great walk but extremely muddy and slippery we picked up a guide a young Honduran school lad who offered to show us around as a guide we politely declined his offer but he was bored so joined us anyhow running ahead pointing things out. Excellent practise for my Spanish and another good walk.

Guide and victim to practice my bad spanish with 🙂

Got back to the brewery just as it was getting dark and went back to my room to look for some good reading matter for my kindle for the coming months and I ended up downloading 29 books all old classics so it cost nothing so I have plenty choices now but if anyone has any good book suggestions let me know and yes I maybe willing to pay Amazon if they look good. I am nearly through the Hunger Games Trilogy then I think I will go swashbuckling with Alexander Dumas and the musketeers.

I had dinner with a group of folks staying at the Brewery and then a reasonably early night updating this well sort of and an evening reading my Kindle.

Nice relaxing day with a lot of walking very pleasant 🙂

Leon to Granada, Saturday, 24 November 2012, Day 144

Lots of Volcanos in Nicaragua and fields this colour brown loving it !

There’s were of couple of things I forgot about last week they being;

  • I copied a load of Kindle books of a chap Scottish Gary (Cheers mate) so I have plenty of reading material for the coming decades problem is some of them I can open and read no problem but there are others that I am guessing are kosher so are brought with some kind of key through legitimate channels so any of my computer geek/nerdy friends or anyone out there have any tricks to fool Kindle into thinking that I should be able to read these books for nothing please send me a PM as I am not sure it’s the type of thing I wish to encourage others to do or for the younger viewers of this site 🙂
  • I also masqueraded as an English Teacher this week there was this elderly Dutch lady who was wanting to learn Spanish but her difficulty was that her English was not that good and most of the teachers here are reasonable in English but not so good at Dutch so she was trying to see if she could improve her English. Well lets just say her English was as good as my Spanish currently is so the hour we did probably did not help that much but it was fun being the teacher for a change rather than the student. I know lots of you are thinking this bloke’s English is crap and you would be correct with that statement but I am getting into languages and I am even considering doing a TEFAL course maybe on this trip and doing a bit of teaching work whilst whizzing around on me bike as I checked this out and they do some serious work on your grammar which I never recall actually learning while at school so it could be a useful course for me to do.

So back to today I set the alarm clock for 6.30am keeping in the rhythm I had built up whilst going to School and the idea was that it should be cooler at that time of the day making the planned ride to Granada easier.

I got the bike out through the restaurant and bar this time no cheering crowd as it was early and no one was up and the first port of call the beach for breakfast.

So was it cooler you all ask nope was it bollocks 26 degrees and it slowly got hotter as the day went on. The beach was about 15km away from Leon I am not sure what I was expecting but I was a bit disappointed when I found the road did follow the coast and you could not see the sea as there where houses between the road and the beach blocking the view. So eventually I just drove into a Hotel/restaurant and it turned out to be a great little breakfast spot overlooking the Pacific just what I was looking for. Downside was the American owner a chatty know it all been there done it all type of chap was offering me info even though none had been requested I manage to loose him and positioned myself in the shade looking out at the waves when I was joined by a local fisherman called Roger so another inane conversation that I rather not had have all I wanted was to enjoy the beautiful setting with a my cup of coffee and my pancakes which I finally got and Roger realised that I was not much company at that point and buggered of leaving me alone which was great as I had been looking forward to this for a while after a week living in Dormitories I needed a bit of Philly time.

Suitable attire for the beach me thinks! Maybe not

After breakfast and a very short walk on the beach as it was getting hotter I had a further drive around this coastal village and then headed back into Leon. I got lost in Leon even though I had lived there for a week but I asked a friendly copper who pointed me in the direction of Managua. It was nice as long as you did not stop for long and there was a cool breeze but the temperature was 30 degrees plus and as we all know this chap is not designed for this kind of heat. Tootling down the road when I see a sign for Viejo Leon and Momotombo volcano so as I have not got far to go today I decide to go and explore. Nice little road through nice countryside with the Volcano in the distance getting closure all the time. Eventually I ran out of proper road as it turns to deep volcanic ash dust so another substance to add to the ever growing list of road surfaces that Philly cannot ride on so stopped here by a lake overlooking the volcano took a few pictures and then back the same way I came before I cooked. Keep on moving is the trick in this heat.

Momotombo Volcano

Later passed another sign for the Masaya Volcano and I remember reading that this was a national park and you could drive to the top to the crater so a quick U –turn nice chat with the lady at the gate in Spanish on what I could and could not do in the national park and of course I understood it all honest injun 🙂

I spent an hour or so first at the visitor center than at the crater itself there was a nice cool breeze that took the edge of the heat but it was still bloody hot.

Crater at Masaya Volcano

I finally hit the road and hit Granada at about 4pm ish with all my little detours this had turned into quite a long ride but most enjoyable in spite of the heat.

It took me a while finding somewhere to stay but I find a quite little hostel 10 minutes walk from the central square which has a garage for my bikes dorm rooms 2 to a dorm and I am the only person in mine and its cheap as chips and the Wi-Fi is reasonably fast as well.

 

So after a quick lie down I headed into town for my tea I had been told that Granada was quite touristy and was hoping that there would be a McDonalds and or Burger King type of place as that is what I have a craving for but nope no luck I did find a Tiptop the Nicaraguan KFC so that will have to do instead. A Bit of a walk and then back to the Hostel getting this up to date. I had a bit of an issue logging into WordPress as it kept asking me for my user name instead of my e-mail address and was I locked out for a while as I for the life me could not remember it so I was nearly banned from me own blog. After a bit of research I found out my user name is the same as your E-mail so that is why I had not written it down as I thought that is going to be easy to remember well I guess not.

Going to spend another day in Granada as it Sunday tomorrow so a kip in and a lazy day is called for.

Balgue, Tuesday, 27 November 2012, Day 147

Some of the locals in Balgue

Future bacon sandwiches!

Wow I am getting lazy with not having to do much riding because the boat is not till the 8th December and I am practically through Central America. I got up at 7am due to the fact that I had gone to bed really early but I just lazed around on the balcony in the hammocks and the great views till about 12am leisurely breakfast and reading my new books on Kindle. For some perverse reason I am reading a book about a Jewish doctor/pathologist experiences at Auschwitz not at all a pleasant read but I cannot put it down. I do this every now again read a book with a really horrible subject matter after I will then read something a bit more light hearted next.

Road to the the Finca

I finally got in the shower and then I went for a walk first up the hill till I sort of got lost then down the dirt track into the village to the local restaurant I had heard about run by an English bloke and I just vegged around there with an English couple from the Finca who where driving through doing similar route as me in an old American van (Forgotten there names already god I am bad at names :-(). I Had a very nice lunch of Dhal (lentils) and a lemon juice. I then went for small walk around the village down to the lake and slowly made way back to the Finca uphill this time so needed a little lie down in the hammock when I got back to view another fabulous sunset.

  

I had dinner with Taj a 60-year-old Canadian guy who works in the summer and winters down south in any hot country. He is suffering from Parkinson disease so he is not sure how long he will be able to keep up the present lifestyle. Interesting chap done quite a lot he has no idea how bad the Parkinson will get and how quickly he will deterioate but it most be pretty scary as well as exhausting with the continuing shaking and twitching. I must admit when I first met him I presumed he was an ex junk with serious withdrawal issues until I got chatting to him. I should try not to be so judgemental in the future as he turned out to be fascinating bloke  and I hope for his sake that the illness does not set in to quickly and he can enjoy a reasonable life for as long as possible. Certainly makes you think on how fleeting life can be.

That evening we were joined by a couple of flight attendant Stewards and I was chatting with one of them about the life on the road interesting but not sure I would like to do it. This bloke has been doing this for 14 years always on the move and living in hotels fascinating but I am not sure it’s my cup of tea or should that be tea or coffee sir. Another early night back in my box at the end of a very relaxing day.

  

 

Trelew to Balneario El Condor, Tuesday, 12 February 2013, Day 224

Nothing for miles behind and guess what up ahead not that much more interesting 🙂

I have decided to get all Daisy’s consumables fixed in Buenos Aires so I fettled with the chain to minimise the crunching noises but I am not sure how successful I was in this. The wind is already blowing strongly it is going to be another long hard day in the saddle. I have no idea where I am going other than Buenos Aires, which is a long way of, and I am sure that there is not much of interest in between. I had missed a penguin colony yesterday as I did not fancy a 70km detour there and back with this wind and featureless landscape and today was similar I was going to pop in to Puerto Madryn but the wind was gusting again and I just wanted to get away from it is so put my head down and headed north. Dull day today nothing interesting but the wind so I am just trying to get further north away hopefully from the wind, and to a more interesting landscape. There are huge queues at the petrol station I waited about three quarters of an hour before it was my turn and then they did a shift change that took another fifteen minutes. So fuelled up in the middle of who knows where and the wind is still toying with me and I am seriously bored.

Large queues at the Petrol Station and that is a highlight!

Just cranking the miles out Daisy whining all the way to as that chain is not getting any better. I have my destination as Viedma as according to my GPS its got a municipal campsite but according to the man at the next petrol station he says its closed but another man at another petrol station say its just over there and when I ask at a police check point they direct me down a dirt road and hey guess what it is closed and has been closed for 2 years. Chatting to a nice bloke and he directs to Balneario El Condor a beach town which has a couple of campsites about 35km away so of we trundle Daisy making some extraordinary noises that I am sure I am going to loose my chain at any minute bugger. I roll into town and ask a policeman on a quad bike for directions to a camping he says to follow him and he takes me to a campsite. I have heard horror stories about police in South America but in my experience the majority have been very nice and helpful this was no different. The problem with the campsite was that it had a charge for the person and a another charge for the tent and added together expensive for camping so I go to the other end of town on the dirt roads as the camping sites are cheaper down there and they where.

Another dusty campsite but nice enough I put me tent up when I am surround by a group of kids of different ages I had spoken to the eldest one earlier about bikes and he had returned with the rest of the family as one of his sisters wanted to practice her English. There timing was bad as I was just about to get out of my hot leathers and was balanced on my shoes as I did not want to get my feet dirty and they all turned up so we had a conversation. There were 7 siblings from the ages of 21 and I think the youngest was 7. The 10-year-old Larra was my favourite madly in love with Justin Bieber and very excitable she kept yapping away in Spanish and wanting me to count to 20 or just sing a Justin Bieber song. Not knowing any Justin Bieber songs I did counting 1 to 20 in English Dutch and French and then very badly in Spanish. Their father turned up and apologised about his kids but it was fun. I finally got rid of them a very strange but amusing dialog in a mixture of English and Spanish covering the interests of a 7 year old to a 48 year old! Out of me leathers finally and I walked into town to find something to eat again I ask directions and again I am not shown but taken to my destination and I found a pizza place and I ended up with half a pizza which I have no idea how I got a half but that was all I really wanted anyhow so I did not question it and it was half price as well.

Back to the campsite for a shower as they are only open in the evenings, why I do not have any idea why.I bumped into Larra again with her Mum and she asked for a kiss on the cheek so I obliged it looks like Justin Bieber has got some serious competition 🙂

Working on this offline and reading my Kindle the book I am reading at the moment is Sea biscuit, which was a very famous American racehorse during the depression. Interesting read. So a dull day but a very nice evening.

Dullsville !

 

Purmamarca to Los Pirpintos, Saturday, 2 March 2013, Day 242

Seriously dull roads today just as expected unfortunately!

I left the hostel at about 9am still no one around so I had no idea what to do with the key so I just locked the door and left the key between the screen door and the door in the hope that this was the right thing to do.

Nice run again into Jujuy then it got seriously boring. I had plugged in Asuncion into my GPS and after filling up about 60km out of Jujuy I had a closer look at the route the GPS was taking me. It was routing me North via route 81 and I remember seeing this route on another map and that route 81 was ripio (dirt) but it’s a main route so I guess Mr Garmin think this is not a dirt road as I had specifically turned the dirt roads option of on my machine. So I kept following the Garmin route whilst I made a decision on the next route do I trust my GPS or do I trust Philly. So I did another 20km before I pulled the plug and did a U turn back to Route 16 trust my Garmin you have got to be kidding me 🙂

So a 120km detour on an extremely boring stretch of road and the rest of the day not much better dull dull duller. I reached the Route 16 which is a straight road that goes on for ever so for the for first time this trip I pulled out my IPod to see if some music would help with the boredom stakes. First time I have used an IPod on the bike and it was not a success. I had to have it on at full volume and I still could not really hear it due to the wind and helmet noise and what you could hear where only parts of the music so half the time I did not know what I was listening to. My friend the wind was also back pushing my helmet from the right making the right side headphone uncomfortable. So after 2 hours I gave up on the IPod and went back to being bored.

It was getting late and I had seen very little in the way of accommodation and I was in the middle of no where and the towns or lets call them villages kept getting further and further apart that at one stage I was even considering just setting up camp on the side of the road.

At one village I stopped and asked about accommodation and I was directed to a place at the far side of the village that had rooms you would not have known looking at the place from the road so fortunately for me I had stopped to ask.

They had rooms but what a shithole but not to expensive after a bit of haggling no water in the cistern just a bucket and the previous tenants had use the cistern as a rubbish bin! Graffiti on the wall decrepit old air conditioner and the lock on the door did not work so in short a hole.

My hole for the evening! looked even worse on the inside!

But beggars cannot be choosers and was just glad to have a roof over my head. I went for some dinner and before I even asked a Milanese sandwich was plonked in front of me which was fine as that all I really wanted anyhow. I sat outside watching village life, which was non-existant till the sun, went down (I really did not fancy going back to my room!). Entertainment was a couple of dogs chasing a small pig around and around the yard until a bigger sow came over and chased them of typical bullies picking on the smaller ones and then running away when something there own size or bigger comes along. I was routing for the pigs.

I finished my book Sea biscuit which was good and would recommend it and I finally ventured back to my room and to my asthmatic air conditioner and I pushed all my luggage against the door to keep out anything that goes bump in the night remember no lock.

It absolutely pissed down that night so I am glad I was in my little shithole rather than in a tent at the side of the road. It had a tin roof so the noise was horrendous!