IKamper blog: Episode 7: Nicaragua tour (Travel day 59 out of 270)
We needed to be strategic about the next few countries, as there was reported political unrest and protest due to a recent election in Honduras. We were advised to not stay the night in the country and just drive straight to Nicaragua. We were pleased to still be caravaning with another fellow 4x4 overlander with a roof top tent. We calculated that in order to cross two borders, drive 350 km straight through Honduras, and arrive safely at our campsite in Nicaragua, we would have a 4am take-off goal. We generally don’t like to drive at night, but we had installed extra front fog lights that we would use before the sun started to raise around 5:30am. We had a plan. We went to bed early, set our alarms, and crawled into our Skycamp tent.
3:30am came way too soon. We crawled out of the tent, brushed our teeth, arranged our camping gear in our car, and took our positions on either side of the car to close the tent. We like to secure the tent shut together, because we can both make sure the fabric is tucked in on both sides and nothing is blocking it from closing properly. Lindsey held the black strap while José folded up the ladder. Using the black strap, we pulled closed its mouth, stuffed the sides in, folded the black strap and tucked it inside, then snapped it shut, securing both locks with our key. We were more grateful than ever to have such a quick process for early mornings like these. If the process had been any more complex or taken any longer, we wouldn’t have been able to do it before coffee.
We made it safely to Nicaragua and parked our Toyotas overlooking the ocean, on the outskirts of the beach town, San Juan de Rivas. We made a little camp between our two deployed roof top tents, camping chairs and fairy lights. We stayed several days on the beach enjoying Nicaragua’s delicious ‘gallo pinto’ (rice and bean dish) and cold ‘cerveza’. A couple nights later, a local family had taken over one of the gazebos near us on the beach and started cranking up their music. We were a bit annoyed until we saw who was the life of the party: an elderly ‘abuela’ shaking her hips with full bottle of rum in her hand! We started dancing to the music from our campsite and before we knew it, the old lady grabbed a couple of shot glasses and served us Nicaragua's sweet rum. We were introduced to the whole family and we were so touched how they received us four foreign travelers with such a warm welcoming. Next thing we knew we were doing shots with the entire family and doing hoola hoop competitions. The kind people of Nicaragua were just as sweet as their rum and we had a wonderful time.