Monday, September 10, 2007

Road Trippin’

Volcano Mombacho, still active although not very much for the last decade

The smells are the biggest difference. Driving along in an air conditioned truck at 60 miles per hour, you rarely smell what you’re going by.

But on a motorcycle, you can’t help it.

I went to Granada this weekend to be a tourist. It’s a beautiful old Spanish colonial city a little less than 50 miles from where I live on the shores of Lake Nicaragua (both Granada and where I live).

Roberto pulling out of a parking space in Granada

To get there and back, my running partner, Roberto, and I took his motorcycle which topped out with both of us at around 40 mph. We were on the Pan American Highway for much of the trip, and I quickly got used to the gush of wind from being passed by semi’s.

But if the first 30ish miles were slower than if we were in a car, the next 20 went faster. This portion of the Pan American is FULL of huge potholes; in a car, you have to slow down because with four wheels, you simply can’t avoid them. With two, however, often you can. There was the occasional jolt that made me wonder if I had internal organ damage, but they were few.

Yes, my back hurt, yes my butt hurt. I was very happy to arrive each time. But I also felt like I was experiencing this part of Nicaragua as I had never before even though I have passed through it dozens of time.

I saw the expressions on people’s faces as we passed; the cows seemed so much more imposing with their lumbering gait. I could feel the sun that kisses those under dappled shade and beats down on those walking alongside the road.

As a very goal oriented person, I always want to get where I’m going as quickly as possible. But on that motorcycle, on that road, when there was no rain, I really loved the journey.

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