Getting from Tegucigalpa, Honduras to El Tanque Rojo, Nicaragua was not my best riding experience on this trip. I left early in the morning as usual and headed to the border. I had 270+ miles (436 kilometers) to cover to get to El Tanque Rojo and also had my first accident of the trip.
On approaching the border I encountered one of the most dangerous roads on my journey, the potholes, and depressions throughout this road were incredible. I have never ridden on such a horrific dusty road in my life. Cars and trucks coming the other way were swerving in front of me to avoid massive potholes, dust was kicking up everywhere. I thought it could not get worse.
Then, as I rounded a corner a massive hole in the road at least 8 inches deep by about 1 meter in length flung me from my bike. I was hoisted into the air and landed unceremoniously on my arse.
My helmet and backpack protected me, my helmet as my head hit the ground and my backpack (with nice soft rain gear in it) protected my spine.
I got up pretty quickly and went looking for my bike, and there it was like a stallion grazing in the grass, amazingly upright in a ditch seemingly with no damage. Upon closer inspection, both of my tires were in warning mode (punctured front and rear warnings on my dashboard) and deflated. Both my rims had been damaged.
I turned the bike off and had assistance almost immediately from some locals, we walked the bike to a safe location and they called “a guy” who arrived amazingly quickly (this might happen a bit).
We removed front and rear tires and proceeded to beat back into shape both of them. The rear one was damaged quite badly, the front one only in one place. We then put the tires back on and I used my compressor to inflate again. We then tested to see if air was escaping, seemed ok. All up this took about 90 minutes.
Not the start to the day I wanted on my way to El Tanque Rojo. Adding an extra 2 hours to my journey. I was also going to now arrive at the border around midday, so, it could not be a worse start to my border crossing by motorcycle.
So I got my head back into the right place and proceeded to the border crossing. One of the guys spoke decent English, so I took him with me to the border to help me out as I didn’t want any more delays.
This border crossing is a crazy one for truckers with miles of trucks waiting to be processed. Getting out of Honduras wasn’t as easy as expected either. quite easy,
The border crossing occurred in November 2016 on a KTM 1290 Super Adventure Motorbike. I headed for the Guasaule Border, Chinandega Department, Nicaragua crossing around 11 am. On arrival, I was greeted by another dozen or so “helpers”, I ignored them as I already had my guy!
Onto El Tanque Rojo, Nicaragua
I stayed at the Apoyo Resort & Spa in El Tanque Rojo, as it was off season it was not very busy. I headed across the road to the lake and a restaurant which was nice, had a few beers, some tacos and just relaxed. There were only a couple of people staying at the hotel, my booking was screwed up a little and had to wait about 30 minutes to be processed in. The staff at this hotel are very friendly.
The rooms were basic but had a fridge, microwave, and a noisy air conditioner. There is also o deck with seating. Pretty much nothing was open, so had to make do with my tacos in my belly from across the road. They had good security, although parking was way below and had a big climb with all my gear. WiFi was very average, but across the road at the restaurant, it was better. Not good for a hotel of this nature.
The bedding was comfortable and surroundings nice with some growler monkeys providing the night’s entertainment.
El Tanque Rojo, Nicaragua
Masaya is a city in western Nicaragua right near to El Tanque Rojo. It’s the gateway to Masaya Volcano National Park, home to several craters and the active Masaya Volcano. On the edge of town, El Malecón is a walkway overlooking Laguna de Masaya, a crystalline crater lake. The city is known for its National Artisan Market, selling handmade hammocks, wood carvings and pottery. The 18th-century Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church is nearby. From Wikipedia