Badass Bugs and Ruthless Rats

Nicaragua welcomed us with a rainstorm on Friday. The last several miles to the border were all uphill, and we arrived panting and sweating. That didn’t last long though. The moment we got our passports stamped, the sky opened up. We thought about waiting it out, but after a few minutes we decided that it probably wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. Miked donned full rain gear (jacket, pants, even Goretex socks), but I thought I’d tough it out with only a jacket. About 30 seconds after venturing out in the rain I changed my mind. It was one of the few times Mike turned out to be right. Immediately after the border we started going down the other side of the hills we’d just climbed, but this time we practically froze. It’s chilly biking downhill in the rain, even in Nicaragua. It did clear soon enough though, and the mostly downhill introduction to Nicaragua was beautiful. We found ourselves in a town called Ocotal that night.

Pretty flowers and a quaint cottage.

Yesterday we biked a short distance to a town called Condega and decided to call it quits since the road ahead was mostly uphill and the next town was just a bit too far. We took the extra afternoon hours to wander the town. We met a man named Daniel who spoke English and proceeded to share his political views with us. He admitted to the interesting paradox of admiring both Bush and socialism. Go figure. He did treat us to Cokes and tacos, though. We also discovered that Condega was hosting a televised Christian rock concert that evening. We watched the set-up and intended to join the gathering, but then it started to rain pretty good. We retired to our hotel room for the evening instead. We did entertain some company though; a rat the size of a cat kept running back and forth across the beams on the ceiling. I never caught more than a glimpse of him, but Mike nearly screamed several times when he made appearances. I didn’t sleep real well, but I didn’t wake up with the rat sitting on my chest either, so I guess it could have been worse.

Today we made it to Esteli after climbing a-thousand-some-odd feet. It was a pretty pleasant day, and I saw one of the most beautiful butterflies ever. It was at least the size of my fist and brilliantly blue. There are actually quite a lot of pretty insects around here. I’ve seen loads of other butterflies, glimpsed several hot pink and purple dragonflies, and had a close encounter with an iridescent emerald green bug of some sorts. One minute I’m biking along, minding my own business, and the next there’s this freaky green bug down my shirt, stinging the crap out of me. Mike got a kick out of me screaming and nearly tearing my shirt off trying to get the stupid thing out.

Anyway, we made it to Esteli, where we found and treated ourselves to Subway sandwiches. Tomorrow we continue our ride south, heading for the enormous Lago de Nicaragua. Check out the Travel Map (linked on the left) if you haven’t done so recently — it almost looks like we’re making progress on our bikes.

3 Responses to “Badass Bugs and Ruthless Rats”
  1. Dr_Omega says:

    You 2 sure do have hurricanes following you! Glad to see you are safe-watch out for the mudslides!Your blog keeps getting more interesting- bugs & rats yuch!I hope we won’t have too many of either on our trip I loved Portrait in Sepia too.Am reading India stuff now.Call if you can.Love,Mom Z

  2. JM Simpson says:

    Hey Brady girl!I have been immersed in your story for the past hour. If I were still teaching I would be freaking out right now because I would be procrastinating again from grading or planning or both. But now that I have a job in the real world, I don’t work for free at night anymore!Your blog is wonderful!!! What a gift to all the people who know and love you and live their drab existence through your exciting seat-of-your-pants world. Your mom gave me this website address a month ago, and I just ran across it again tonight, so here I’ve been. Now I’ll be a regular!Hey, I’ll even see you and your mom soon at Kristen’s wedding!! I’ll have this finished by then. YEAHHH!!!! I’m excited now!I have only read through September and August. But I did see your comments about Marquez (read more) … love, love, love him. I read something by Allende or was it another female and Sandra Cisneros. Can’t remember others now. I’ll get back to you on that. Of course, I’m a lover of Latin poets … Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, very beautiful language. Peace,Julie Simpson(your mom’s old friend who remembers you when you were a tiny wide-eyed babe)

  3. JM Simpson says:

    P.S. To all of your teacher/professor/student friends who probably know Jackie/Jaci/Jax/Ms Brady. I don’t mean anything by that crack about a “job in the real world.” I have incredible respect for teachers … don’t want to start any international incidents here.

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