The beautiful and serene morning was certainly not a precedent for the day ahead of us. At 6 am we were on our way to Nicaragua via Honduras which was to take eleven hours (four of those spent between the two borders). The Nicaraguan one was the most chaotic with no logic to the confusion. With the help of a border guide we managed to collect all the pieces required to get ourselves, Ella and Astrid into Nicaragua. Leaving the border post we lined up to wait behind a long row of trucks, but a boy of about seven or eight years, came by on a bike and signaled to follow him, saying he could get us out of there. We followed squeezing through the trucks and cars going in the opposite direction and in a few minutes we were in Nicaragua.
Once in Leon, Nicaragua, we roamed the streets as long as our legs would carry us, I would say an hour, before hitting the bed at 9 to wake up at 5:30am.
Sadly our excitement for exploring Nicaragua soon faded as Brett’s fever and sickness returned. Team Astrid moral was at its lowest, even Ella just hid under the bed for most days. Brett slept for the next four days, yet we were determined to figure out what he had. We searched for answers and got many. Finally we decide to go to Nicaragua’s prestigious hospital in Managua. We crashed in the hospital’s parking lot but eventually after paying a hefty fee we got to see an infectious diseases specialist. With Dengue as the main contestant we were on a watch out for the next little while. This was impressive, even for Brett, Dengue and Chikugunya in a spout of 2 weeks.
Amongst all this we were getting to know the Nicaraguan police through their numerous check points. We would get so close to not being stopped and then just as we were about to pass them, they spotted our foreign faces and pulled us over. They would tell us about some ‘infraction’ we made, like crossing some line or other such things. We smiled, repeating that we did not speak Spanish and could not understand what they were saying. Then they would take the license and refuse to give it back until we paid. Considering we had an international license on top of our original we were less concerned with getting it back then they thought. Once they got frustrated with our lack of Spanish and realized we were not about to fork over any money, they would pass over the license and allow us to move on. But this was a process requiring patience and time. Just as we were done with one police stop we would get pulled over again to repeat the whole procedure.
In three days Brett’s results were ready and things were looking good. In the meantime we may have been getting a bit too comfortable with parking the car anywhere and everywhere. We woke to find Astrid had been broken into, window smashed and the contents of the car turned upside down. After doing the inventory the missing items included: electric shaver, two deodorants, my favourite collection of earrings/necklaces and our fan. We took the car to Managua in search of a new window. Luckily the first place we stopped, the guy new a guy, who knew a place to get a Chevy Astro window.
With hopes that the curve balls have been dodged it was time to get back to our van and be a bit more touristy then the past few weeks. Onwards and upwards we go.