Heading for the border...

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nicaragua  , Rivas,
Thursday, November 4, 2004

Well, I finally have to leave Nicaragua because my visa will expire in 2 days and I prefer to avoid Nicaraguan prisons, well all prisons really, and any other officials that have the authority to help themselves to my wallet to pay the "fine". Actually, the fine for overstaying is only like a $1.25 per day and they really don't care. Going south to Costa Rica, there are 2 border crossings I can use and I've chosen the one that will be more adventurous and interesting. Rather than simply go down the Pan-American highway and use the border everyone else uses in Penas Blancas, which is full of people selling crap you don't want and other scams, I am going the long way. Currently, I'm on Isla de Ometepe, a large island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua formed by two volcanoes, one still active. From here, I will use a 12 hour overnight ferry to San Carlos, get my passport exit stamp, travel on a small boat down the Rio Frio into Costa Rica and get my entry stamp in Los Chiles. The river should provide views of monkeys, tropical birds, and who knows what else. Sounds cool.

Traveling around the island is difficult as the roads are terrible but they somehow manage to navigate school buses to most areas. Hitchhiking is about worthless as there is almost no traffic. This place is lot different and slower paced compared to the mainland ... and Nicaraguans are not known for their being in a hurry anyway so the urgency to do something is non existent. Anyway, after a few days stay in Majagual, a surfing beach along the pacific, I have recruited an English bloke named JP to make the border journey with me from this island. While on the island, in the small town of San Ramon, we met up with two Canadian chics and an American kid to check out the popular waterfall here. Unfortunately, the overnight rains made it impossible for the bus to come back for us the next day and we had to hike an hour and a half to the next town just to get out of here. We were cutting it close... if we missed the ferry today, the next one isn't for 3 days ... too late. Well, we got the ferry and were on our way...
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