We made a significant choice when we decided to give up a safe existence (jobs, a house, clean drinking water and the ability to flush toilet paper) for a life with a modicum of adventure. We planned our route with a broad brush stroke, or rather a Sharpie line on a map in the garage, along with an ambitious, now laughable schedule to arrive at the tip of South America, “in about a year or so”.
Our actual route meanders and sometimes loops back on itself, subject to the weather, places we’ve dreamed about visiting, friends who meet us to bike and the suggestions of others (sorry folks, the reader poll regarding visiting Cuba was overwhelming in favor of going, but we detoured into Chiapas instead of going to the Yucatan).
Our recent zigzag took us to Laguna de Apoyo, a crater lake. This was our second crater lake we’ve bicycled to, with the first being Crater Lake in the USA, after our friends’ Jason and Thanh’s wedding in Yosemite (congratulations on the birth of your baby girl!)
Laguna de Apoyo was beautiful and we enjoyed our time there. Leaving was a chore. Again it was hot and humid, not making the 700+ vertical feet (217+ m) in the short distance of less than 2 miles (3.2 km) an easy ride. I’ll save you the wear on your slide rule, it was more than an 8% grade the whole way up. We smelled the asbestos from the burning brakes of vehicles passing us on the way down, which was discouraging, but the howler monkeys cheered us on.
The property manager of the Apoyo Resort, warned us that locals push their (unladen) bicycles up to the top. Perhaps we can claim the title of the first to bicycle from the bottom of the crater to the top?
Luckily for us, the rest of the day was a short downhill into Granada.
Our choices in destinations can preclude us from seeing other interesting sites. For instance, we went through Managua, but had to skip the Ancient footprints of Acahualinca. These human footprints were left behind in volcanic ash and mud, which solidified about 2,120±120 years ago, shortly after the group of up to 15 people passed by. I’ve seen other petrified footprints. When I lived in Austin, Texas, I mountain biked in Glenrose, Texas where dinosaur tracks were visible in the stream beds. According to Ken Ham, it will be any day now when we find evidence that people and dinosaurs coexisted. I’m almost certain that footprints in Acahualinca were left by people fleeing a vegan T-rex that recently fell off the wagon.
Our route choice also precluded us from visiting the Fortress of the Immaculate Conception. Besides being bombastically named I think it would have sufficed to slap a chastity belt on the poor girl instead of building and entire fort to keep her safe from potential suitors.
The horny British desperately tried to invade in 1762 only to be defeated by a teenage girl, Rafaela, who single handily killed the British commander of the expeditionary force. The British finally lifted their siege and retreated on August 3, 1762. Rumors are they hung out in the Caribbean and filmed a few movies before getting bottled up by the French Fleet at Yorktown a few years later and having to surrender, yet again.
Humiliated, the British returned home, and spent the next century compensating by making their island look huge on world maps.