Reports on my cycle trip around the World (by Ernest Markwood)
Monday, 9 July 2012
Since entering Nicaragua Leana and I have seen some smoke – mostly volcano smoke, as there are many of these cones along the Pacific Rim. We cycled mostly along the Western side of the country, without bothering to go down to any of the Pacific beaches (we’d seen plenty of those in Costa Rica). Initally we took a ferry across Lago Nicaragua to the twin-vulcano island of Ometepi. On the island we stayed in interesting Moyogalpa village (twice), as well as at a wonderful bungalow on the lake beach where we bathed in the luke-warm water. As I’ve mentioned in my previous report, I had some of my equipment stolen in Costa Rica. Well, here’s a twist in the tale!! On the ferry back from the island to the mainland Leana and I were accused of robbery! Apparently there was an eye-witness who saw us stealing somebody’s money and passport, etc. (my guess is that the so-called eye-witness was the guilty party). Anayway, the cops confiscated our passports and held us in the sweltering port for some time before inexplicably letting us go. In Nicaragua we have primarily visited Historical Colonial cities such as Granada and Leon. We also stayed for a few days in the disjointed capital Managua, mainly looking for spares for Leana’s bike. I say that Managua is disjointed due to the devastating earthquake of 1972, which destroyed the city centre (now the place is a city of suburbs, with the eery deserted centre still marked by the cathedral with clock stopped at the time of disaster). We cycled roughly North along the Pacific, but after the city of Leon we moved (or rather climbed) inland via various active and extinct vulcano’s. Notably we stayed in Esteli, where Cuban immigrants have established a smoking cigar trade (I had to participate in this activity – and I have found the produce to be of excellent quality). Right now we are at the hill-town of Ocotal, about 25 km from the Hunduras border. So, tomorrow we head into another of these smallish Central American countries. In Nicaragua we have probably taken more rest days than cycling days. Anyway, distances since my last report on cycling days have been:- Liberia 79 km; La Cruz (Costa Rica) 62 km; San Jorge (Nicaragua) 64 km; Moyogalpa (Ometepe Isl.) 13 km; San Jose DS 16 km; Moyogalpa (X2) 41 km; Granada 78 km; Masaya 21 km; Managua 42 km; Leon 95 km; San Isidro 114 km; Esteli 36 km; Ocotal 81 km. Total in Nicaragua is about 600 km. Total distance since the start of this journey is 95 462 km.
My bike (Old Saartjie) on the first day of this trip, 27 March 2007.
PLEASE HELP TO KEEP OLD SAARTJIE'S WHEELS ROLLING: In order to fund this cycle trip I'd sold everything I had, but that has long gone. Please help if you can! If you want to contribute, then please contact me on my e-mail, and I will give you details. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My Cycle Route
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 March 2007 - 144 871 km so far
My name is Ernest Markwood, and I am a South African formerly from Cape Town. I am a Research Psychologist by profession, and operated a Market Research business before embarking on this journey. I sold my posessions and took off by bicycle all the way through Africa from Cape Town. Since then I've proceeded via the Middle-East through Turkey, the Caucusus, Iran, Sub-Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal), China, South-East Asia, Indonesia, Australia, South- and Central America, and the USA, crossing Canada from the West to East and then all the way down the East coast of USA, and Jamaica. Currently my mission is to close gaps in order to form a continuous route around the world. I left Cape Town on 27 March 2007. This was not intended to be a race, but rather an experience (and so it is!).
Me (Ernest), on one of my better days
. . . . on this trip I have looked like this . . . .
- - - also like this . . .
. . . . and I've even looked like this!
I have not been cycling on my own for this entire trip. Leana and I left together on 27 March 2007 from Cape Town, South Africa (our former hometown). Since then we have cycled separately at intervals, although in total we have been together much of the time. We split in 2013. For more about her see leananiemand.org.za