Heading out to Ometepe again – this time with unusual company!

There’s still a few missing posts to complete the Moskitian adventure… But as I’ve lost my Moleskin crammed with all my notes, as well as my maps (dufus), I’ll have to catch up on that later…

In the meantime, Flagstaffian Megan has arrived in Costa Rica to join me for the next nine days. And she’s brought company, in the tiny form of her 15 month daughter, Neva, who we’ll be towing in a trailer! The next week promises to be unlike any tours I’ve embarked on before, with a whole new set of challenges…

Our original idea was to loop around Monteverde National Park, but expensive shuttle logistics in Costa Rica ruled that notion out. A last minute change of plan was in order. I’d found idyllic Isla de Ometepe to be relaxed, safe and largely traffic free – ideal trailer pulling terrain. So the next morning, we found ourselves piling onto a bus and heading north to Nicaragua once more…

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Riders: Megan + Neva. Setup: Surly Troll + Chariot trailer.

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Neva's little mobile home for the next nine days.

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And Megan's steed, a fresh-off-the-press Surly Troll, seen here in miniature 14in form.

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We bused out to the Nicaraguan border of Pinas Blancas, breezed through immigration, and then jostled for place amongst the 18 wheelers on the road to Rivas.

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It wasn't long before the light was starting to drop, so we pulled in at the beautifully situated La Joya Eco-community and asked to camp in their land, amongst the coconut groves and the papaya trees. This was our twin volcano view across Lago Nicaragua...

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We were warmly welcomed in by Himat and his family. Himat is an architect specialising in low impact structures, and has spent time in New Mexico's progressive Earthships - sustainable buildings I've long wanted to visit.

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Mother and daughter.

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Neva. Always on the move.

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Here she comes...

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A momentary pause for contemplation.

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And she's gone...

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Note to self: close framebag at night. When I reached in for my bottle of water in the morning, this little critter, wrapped up and fast asleep, gave me quite a surprise.

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The gardener checked to see if it was venomous (it wasn't), then threw it back into the fields.

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Looks like it could be windy round these parts... Himut is aiming to be off the grid at some point, and with all this sunshine and wind, it's the natural way forwards.

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Luckily it was in our favour, and a tailwind helped propel both us and the 30 windturbines along nicely.

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The appropriately named Chariot in action. It's a real crowd puller - everyone cranes their necks to peek inside, cracking smiles as soon as they spot little Neva eyeballing them back.

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Although the road was easy going, truck and bus traffic were heavier than we'd have liked. We'll be looping back via quieter pacific coast tracks.

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Rarely a moment without that classic vista.

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The boat over to the island. Bicycles and trailer were loaded up amongst local produce, motorbikes, and backpackers lounging in the sun. The one hour ride is just a dollar and a half each.

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Closing in on those magnificent volcanos...

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Neva, as ever, was as good as gold, despite the choppy waters. Upon seeing our unusual posse, the family-loving Nicaraguans were inevitably even friendlier than normal, if that is possible...

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Landing in Moyogalpa, one of Ometepe's two tiny ports.

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There, rising like a set from Jurassic Park, loomed the 1600m Volcan de Conception. Our plan is to ride across the island, before returning to the mainland and looping back to the Costa Rican border via the dirt tracks of the Pacific coast...

 

11 thoughts on “Heading out to Ometepe again – this time with unusual company!

  1. Susie Moberly

    Megan is pretty cool (and brave) to take baby Neva on this trail! I think (secretly) you’re enjoying this! (might tempt you to have one yourself?) GREAT pics as always and so excited to receive your latest update! Both my sons and friends are following you eagerly… Smiled when I saw the GPS that Mum bought. Ahhh… I think Joannie worries like any mum, what ever your age!

    The HUGE coconut truck has just left for Chiang Mai with my partner on board for two days… I have recorded the ‘move’ so far and am inspired by you Cass to start my own blog… keep ’em coming… and I’ll let you know when I do! Take care, all of you! X

    Reply
  2. Reuben

    I love seeing touring cyclists with children! About a year from now we should be in your exact location, touring with our two little ones in tow.

    Really excited to hear (and see) more about this portion of your journey.

    Reply
  3. anna

    The snake is cool! But closing the framebag is clearly a good idea.

    I left my tent door open recently during a rain storm and came back to a big spider inside. And you know how I feel about spiders.

    Reply
  4. Dick Fitch

    It is thrilling to vicariously take this trip with you. Neva is a hoot! That kid was born to the right mother. What an adventure!

    Reply
  5. Dick Fitch

    Ruben … Megan’s friends and family (I am her dad) appreciate what you are doing and we thank you for the great photos and commentary. Isn’t Neva a hoot?

    Reply
  6. Megan

    Thanks Suzie and Reuben for the boost of confidence. I certainly have the travel bug, and with Neva’s independent personality and willingness to explore, I couldn’t help but want to share my love of biking and touring with her. I’m so excited to be able to share more with her as she grows. Enjoy your time next year Reuben, and feel free to ask me about any small logistics that I might be able to help with :)

    Reply
  7. Mike

    How tall is Megan? I am looking for a Troll frame for my wife, and I’m not sure I should get a S or a XS like Megan’s… my wife is 5’5″ with short legs :)

    Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      Hm, not too sure. I think Megan is 5’3″, or maybe less.

      My partner Nancy is 5’5″, and is happy on her Small frame.

      Reply

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