I am cycling to raise money for the fantastic UK based chaity Macmillan Cancer Support. Big thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far! Justgiving is a quick, easy and secure way to donate online. See my other fundraising page, specific to the Macmillan organized part of the trip

Saturday, 20 February 2010

First day sola...

I´ve finally done it... headed off on my own! Admittedly I´ve only just about made it out of Granda, about 24 miles up the road, to the beautiful Laguna Apoyo. Am camping in a Spanish Scool and Eco Farm within the Natural Reserve alongside the lake, came shooting down steep twist after steep twist to get here, so am trying not ot think about how on earth I am going to make it out of the crater in the morning! But whatever struggles tomorrow brings for my legs, it will be worth it cause after arriving in the early afternoon and setting up camp I spent a good hour or so drifting in the lake, and chatting to a smily local guy Javier, in my stilted Spanish, making use of my imaginary ´novio´ at times! Drew and painted a little bit for the first time of the trip... one of things I was really looking forward to having the time to do... so relaxing. I´m really rusty, but that kind of seems appropriate, seeing as Nicaragua is known for its Naive paintings, (as an older German resident I had dinner with here tonight was pointing out).

Have got to admit this morning was a bit of a struggle, woke up bunged up and with my left ear ready to explode with an ear infection that I´ve been treating the last couple of days but wont seem to go away. But had put my mind to setting off today, so got some bread cheese bannanas and maize bread from the market and headed off towards the cemetary and up along the road we came in on with Macmillan. It seemed to be a long and very very slow and hot morning of cheeky gradual long climbs, lots of stops to drink and snack, and so when I finally arrived at the stunnig view from Mirador Catarina, was pretty chuffed at having got there with just my leg power (had first photo shoot with Peggy up there!)and also knew I was just about ready to stop. Catarina overlooks Laguna Apoyo and out to Volcan Mombacho, and asking directions to the lakeside hospedajes promted a lot of interest in Peggy from a friendly group of local lads and a lot of different answers on directions, most of which I didn´t quite get, but which got me to the ain square and from there, mixed in with warinings of the dangerous descent, got really clear directionsd into the crater.

Next few days plan is to continue to Masaya, then Ticuantepe, then El Chocoyero Nature Reserve, (or in other direction, back to Catarina, then San Marcos, Ticuantepe, Masaya) aiming to get into Managua Tuesday morning.

And so, after all that waffling, am off to swing myslef to sleepiness in a hammock in the dark... putting off getting into my sweaty tent til the last minute!
big love

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