Celebration! We're back on 4 wheels!


Sometimes things just fall into place... We arrange for transport back to mango rosa and the bus and as we pull into the parking lot we see the mechanics waiting with all of our parts.  We didn't arrange this time or even tell them we were returning today, so im somewhat curious if they been sitting here for a day.  I also can't say my hopes were very high and if i took a bet 5 days ago i would have said theres no way we would have parts secured by now...in fact, i barely expected to get a mechanic on the phone by the end of the week.

I take a look at the tooling work and the parts they brought with them and im shocked- everything appears to be in order.  Im not sure how they did it, but between Rivas and Managua they somehow managed to secure the nut, snap ring and bearing that needed replacing.  Amazing.stub axle


We spend the better part of the day putting everything back together and double checking that everything is clean and in working order.  I go back and forth between the bus and the images, diagrams and notes ive collected online- convinced its all too good to be true.  Despite trying i just cant find any problems with what we've just created...so i give in- allow myself to believe, and take the bus for a test drive.  We grab the keys and a few cold coca colas for the guys and then head out.  It's obviously a bit hard to listen for problems on dirt roads, but everything seems great.  Jen and i look at each other half waiting on the bad news to follow, but i think we’re back to road ready.  Scary stuff.

We pay the guys for their help and they actually apologize for it taking so long to find the parts.  Clearly they didn't grasp the fact we thought we might be living/camping here for the next month.  A celebratory jump in the pool and high fives all around.  I pinch myself once just to make sure i didn't dream the whole thing...it just isn't usually this easy, and based upon what i read from experts online- this one should have been tough.

As we swim we get even more good news.  Apparently they still have 3 spots open in the group headed out for the weekly booze cruise.  Really?  Sounds like the perfect sendoff for Bailie, and now that we have all this free time on our hands and nothing to worry about, why not?

dolphin cruise jen1snapperdolphins We help the staff load up the fishing poles and coolers and we are off.  The rum punch was good but the pod of dolphins we stumbled upon half way through was way cool.

Literally 100s of dolphins playing on all sides of us and jumping so close to the boat you felt like you could grab them or jump right on their backs.  Apparently this is pretty rare for the cruise, so we’ll just assume it’s the ocean's way of telling Bailie to come back soon.  Truly magical

dolphins2dolphins3 dolphins4 jen2 peaceWe also managed to snag a snapper while trolling out, so back at Mango Rosa the kitchen staff cooked it up so the group had some food to share.  Could this day get any better?  Why, yes.  As we wrap up our plate of nachos and the fish we see that our new friends are partying to celebrate their last night as well.

We crash the party on their balcony, and eventually move the celebrations to the pool.  Things got a bit crazy, and i’m still not sure how Bailie managed to make her pre-5am pickup to the airport, but last we heard she was in Guatemala, so we’ll hope she’s home getting some well earned sleep by now.

Bailie- assuming you got enough sleep to read by now...  You're a beautiful girl and we love you dearly.  It was such a gift to share this time with you and we cant thank you enough.



Jen and i decided to stick around and give ourselves one more evening at the Mango.  We catchup on emails and other needed tasks; and attempt to figure out what our plans are from here.  A large comfortable bed, a/c and a pool...just too tempting to not take advantage, and we spend the entire day talking, planning and napping in bed.  Such a treat!

Cant say we've finalized any large scale plans...you know us better than that.  It sounds like were going to make a run for the border tomorrow though-  Costa Rica here we come!