Nicaragua
The usual preparations to enter another country with a few new twists. More tourist visas and stamps on the passports and vehicle permits.
As we pulled to a stop a man in a jaunty white saucer cap, wrinkled white short sleeve shirt, red tie and black pants came out to inspect us and the motorhome. He asked permission to come in, once in he took a quick look around, shook Bills hand, got out and pointed at a bigger concrete building a few yards away.

We drove up to it and stopped. Out came three or four guys with spray tanks. So we got sprayed for bugs again, this time inside and out. Thinking back now, it’s funny we didn't get sick from all the fumes. Again, all around us on the ground, hanging off the buildings and flying were all kinds of big nasty insects. I guess when they get to a border there is a wall known only to them, so they can’t cross into the next country and contaminate it. (They just sneak rides across with unsuspecting Gringos in their motorhomes.)
After being sprayed we had to check in at the army checkpoint next door.  Several solders in fatigues, guns slung over their shoulders, came out.  Two went into the motorhome, three headed for the trailer. The long canvas bags holding the tent poles caught their attention. They had to be unloaded and opened. I think they wanted to make sure we weren’t smuggling in rifles. The ones inside were more interested in the kitchen (microwave and refrigerator) and bathroom (the shower) than what contraband we might have hidden. The officer in charge, an older man with a big bushy mustache, asked Bill if we wanted to pay an extra $105 Cordobas (about $15 US) to have a soldier ride with us, in case of trouble, until we crossed out of the country. Bill told him no thanks.  Holding their rifles in their hands the two came out and motioned everything was okay inside then said something in Spanish to the officer. He walked up to the door and looked inside, where he noticed the microphone for the CB. He went into the building and came out with twine and wax. He went inside and wrapped the microphone with heavy twine and placed globs of red wax on the knots. He told us the seal better not be broken when we went to leave the country. Our identification papers were stuck to the windshield so they could be seen as we approached.
Finally we were free to leave. It was over 250 miles to the Costa Rican border.  That is a long day for the motorhome and The Driver.
Most of the day it was hot, humid and windy as we were getting further and further south. I didn't feel too good this day, had caught a cold, so I spent a lot of the day sacked out in the back bed.

From the border to just before Leon was pretty uneventful. More narrow winding road, tropical foliage, lots of sugar and banana plantations.
Very fertile country, the dirt was so dark it looked black. The guidebook says it is from all the volcanic ash. In the distance we could see several high volcanoes puffing out smoke. About 50 miles into the country we had to stop again at a check point and GOT SPRAYED AGAIN! What is this?

I was still lying down in the back as we neared Leon when without warning the motorhome slowed way down. Bill yelled to us to look out the windows. There were several tanks parked along the side of the highway. Lots of soldiers, in full battle dress, with their guns slung over their shoulders were walking around them. As we unhurriedly passed them, the kids waved and the soldiers grinned and waved back. We all let out our breath and waved back. Thank goodness. As soon as we were out of sight we picked up speed again. Bill said he thought for sure we would be stopped. Not a good place to be.
We just skirted the suburbs of Leon and were out in to the flat countryside again.


We passed through several small villages where our red, white and blue motorhome drew lots of attention. One town in particular became an incident “not to forget”. It was a small town only a few blocks long. We had been on the receiving end of a few catcalls and obscene gestures. But this was really unexpected. Suddenly from one of the houses along the road dashed an old woman, broom in hand. She stopped right in the middle of the road where it dipped at a little stream. She was yelling that it was her property and we couldn’t pass. She stood her ground daring us to go by her. Bill slowed way down and tried to drive to the side of the road - she moved with us. By now her neighbors were coming out of their houses - laughing and encouraging her. As we got close enough to her she started to hit the motorhome with her broom. Bam! Bam! “Yankee Go Home!”  Bam! Bam! At least the bystanders weren’t helping her and most were enjoying the show.  Bill told Randy and John Mc to go out to try to move her. They slowly opened the door peeking around it ready to slam it shut if anyone came after them. No one seemed to care, so they got out and went up to her, trying to stay out of the stream and dodge her broom.  They tried grabbing the boom but couldn’t catch it. Then they tried to get her to move out of the road. No deal - she just became more agitated.  Finally Bill grabbed the mike, (I almost had a heart attack - thinking he was going to break the seal - we’d be in jail here forever!)  He very carefully moved the rope and seal, put the mike to his mouth and yelled at her in Spanish to get out of the road. That brought a young woman rushing out of the same house. She went up to her, took the broom away and pulled her out of the road.  One of the men standing watching put his finger to his head and spun it around as if saying, “She’s crazy.”
The boys got back in and we took off. The crowd dispersed as quickly as it appeared.
Before we started up again Bill carefully rewrapped the mike. Didn't look like it had been touched.

The roads and country side during this stretch were flat and boring. Off to our left we could see Lake Managua. Then we were traveling along Lake Nicaragua. It’s a big lake and in the distance we could see a large island with two smoking volcanoes.  Quite a site. According to the guide book it’s a fresh water lake with swordfish and sharks living in it.  
We arrived at the border village of Penas Blancas without any more incidents with tanks or old women.  This day we had traveled 287 miles to the Costa Rican border - a very long day.
We all were glad to be leaving Nicaragua. The obligatory stop at the border office, wow no charges to leave the country.  We were waiting for someone to come on board to check the seal on the microphone - no one did!  Guess we could have left it untied with out any problems.  Glad he didn’t though. 

Nicaragua Border

Nicaragua Border

Lake Nicaragua

Lake Nicaragua

Oxcart

Oxcart

Driving Through Nicaragua During Troubled Times

Our travels through Nicaragua