Nicaragua & Honduras (rescuring an armadillo)

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Travel Blog | 0 comments

Nicaragua & Honduras (rescuring an armadillo)
We crossed from Costa Rica into Nicaragua and traveled to Isla De Ometepe. An island formed by twin volcanoes rising out of a lake. It was interetsing exploring the island on motorbikes. We visited villages where locals were intrigued of us as much as we were on them. We had a great traditional BBQ dinner at the local bull riding competition. The weather turned for the worst and the mist and rain meant that if we climbed the volcanoes we would not be able to see anything beyond 50 metres.  The 8 hour return trip didnt seem appealing so we caught the ferry back to the main land. We headed towards the capital city called Managua and stopped off at traditional scenic towns like Granada and Masaya. I could have really bypassed the capital city. In my opinion there is nothing really interesting to see or do. It’s congested and an earthquake in 1972 destroyed its old historical center. Today the city consists of a series of sprawling disjointed suburbs. I gave the city 18 hours of my time and headed towards Leon. On route we had our first flat tyre of the entire trip. At 20,500 kms, Dale ran over a nail. I was surprised that we had ridden that far and never had a flat. The tread on the tyre was becoming thin, especially in the middle. We knew we needed to change the tyre soon, in the hope of avoiding possible future flat tyres. 
When we crossed into Honduras we were forced to pay $36. The authorities could not explain what it covered but without paying we were not permitted to enter. It was the most expensive boarder crossing so far. We made a bee line north towards the Bay Islands in Carribean Sea. We avoided Tegucigalpa, (the capital) and followed a road that google maps suggested was sealed. It was the worst road we have eber ridden on. We averaged 30kms an hour. The trip took 2 and a half days. On the way Dale received another flat tyre. As we removed the wheel 2 cowboys on horseback stopped to chat. They explained that the nearest town was 15 kms away. Lucky for us considering how remote we were. While Dale borrowed my bike to go and get his tyre repaired I was invited back to their house. Sometimes in life a problem can bring a positive experience. 60 kms later we had to stop again. The road was that bumpy that Dale’s back box broke from the bracket on the bike and bounced along the road. The contents spread across the road for 50 metres. Our intended destination was a port town called La Cebia. From here we planned to catch a ferry to the Island of Utila. Because of the slow ride we missed the ferry journey and had to wait till the next day.  Originally we planned to take our motorcycles onto the island but the cost was double that of a passenger. We opted to leave our motorcycles on the mainland and luckily we did as the island was small enough to explore on foot. The 3 Bay Islands (Utila, Roatan, Guanaja) were breathtaking. Spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling draws visitors from all over the world. It’s regarded as one of the cheapest destinations in the world to gain diving certifications. Unfortunately for me I ruptured my ear drum while scuba diving in the Red Sea and could not dive yet. I snorkeled around the reefs instead. We both really enjoyed our time on the island and I vowed to return in the future and dive the crystal clear waters. We headed south again to visit Lake Lago de Yojoa. A group of travelers had recommended that we must visit this area and stay at a place called D&D Brewery. Set in a lush rainforest this micro brewery had small cabins overlooking a swimming hole.  The food was great. I decided to camp that night, a decision I later regretted. At 10pm a thunderstorm hit and my tent was floating. Luckily I was able to move it to higher ground. Least I knew the tent was waterproof.
One morning we drove past some little kids walking along the side of the road selling a live armadillo. My curiosity got the better of me and I turned around to see the little critter up close. In the mean time a car had pulled over and was talking to the boys. As it turned out, he was a local man who loved animals. He explained to us that these armadillo’s are an endangered species to Hondrus. He asked if he bought the animal from the children would we promise to release the animal into the wild again. I agreed and the boys placed the animal into a heshen bag. I hung the bag over my handle bar and road off down the road. The man had asked me to make sure that I release the armadillo deep in the jungle so the local people do not catch him again. Upholding my promise I continued to drive for 10kms. The bag swung back and forth as the armadillo tried to escape. I laughed at the situation of me being pulled over by police trying to explain what I am doing with the endangered species. And that nearly happened when I saw a check point in the distance. I quickly took a sharp right and road down a small pathway. I reached into the bag and pulled the armadillo out. I was holding it’s tail to prevent being scratched by it’s sharp claws. Once elevated off the ground it began to spin in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. I couldn’t just let him go as the boys had tied its feet together.  I had to use both hands and all my strength to stabilize the animal. I cut the string and watched the armadillo run off into the jungle.

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