Neil Gibson travels to Central America, where he
visits two contrasting countries; Costa Rica,
one of the most affluent lands in Latin America,
and Nicaragua, better known for its
His journey begins in San Jose, the
capital of Costa Rica, where he gets caught up in election
fever and after sampling some traditional recipes in
a Boca bar, he goes out to dance the night away at a
Merengue club. Whilst in this area, he also visits a
volunteer group who are trying to combat the problem
of poverty that still exists on the outskirts of San
From San Jose, Neil hooks up with a Harley tour, and
cruises up to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Its a haven for wildlife boasting the
largest number of different bird species in the world.
Here Neil has close encounters with rare birds, tarantulas,
& deadly snakes, before arriving at Volcan Arenal
where he relaxes in the mystical atmosphere of the hot
Heading West to Liberia, Neil plays
at being a cowboy and goes to a bull fiesta, where his
Scottish charm lands him with the honour of dancing
with the Rodeo Queen. From Liberia, Neil heads South
to rest up on the Pacific Coast in Montezuma,
a popular travellers hangout. Later, Neil meets
up with Victor, the crocodile man who introduces him
to the beasts at very close range.
The next leg of his journey takes Neil over the border
by boat into Nicaragua. His first stop
is at the historic town of El Castillo, where Neil finds a guide and heads off to explore the
surrounding jungle. Neil has to hunt for his dinner
and ends up eating roasted rat around the campfire.
North of El Castillo is Lake Nicaragua.
Neil travels across this Lake to the Solentiname
archipelago, and stops off at the Island of Mancarron, where he learns about the roles
that people played during the revolution in Nicaragua.
On Sunday afternoon, Neil plays baseball and as part
of the winning team he celebrates with rum which is
brewed locally and fermented in human excrement. Whilst
on the island, Neil also investigates the local art
scene and learns how the Islands turbulent history
has influenced the art produced.
Travelling across from the Soletiname Archipelago,
Neil reaches Granada where he visits
a cigar factory and learns to roll his own. From here
he hitches to Managua, the capital
city of Nicaragua. Neil explores this city which was
devastated by an earthquake in 1972, and discovers that
getting about is not easy, because many streets do not
have names, and people use buildings that are no longer
standing as reference points. Neil finds a guide and
takes to the road with a biker who shows him the sights
and sounds of Managuas night life.
On a more serious note, Neil also visits the Heroes
& Martyrs Museum, and Peace Park, which brings home
the realities of decades of fighting, in a war where
over 30, 000 died.
Neil hitches a lift to Diramba, where
the annual religious festival was taking place. After
joining in with the colourful festivities, he journeys
to the serene landscape of Volcan Masaya. Its
a four hour trek to the craters edge, known by
the Indians as the land of the Gods, and known by the
Spanish as the mouth of Hell. It is here in this dramatic
landscape that Neil ends his adventure through Central