One thing that we immediately noticed, already at the Nicaraguan side of the border, was the prominent use of red-black flags and the letters FSLN. It was used even more than the national flag. It turned out that it stands for Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, the socialist party that is currently governing the country. Back in 1981the CIA tried to overthrow the FSLN by financing and training the opposition, the Contras.
We crossed the Nicaraguan border without any significant problems but with a lot of bureaucratic issues. After arranging the necessities (mobile internet access and groceries) we went off to find a camp spot. Because of previous experiences with wild camping in Central America we have become much more dependent on i-overlander to find decent / secure camp spots. But Nicaragua should be more laid back and safe (source unknown…). Because i-overlander hasn’t got a good coverage here, so we decided to find a spot ourselves, and we ended up along a nice river crossing with friendly local people. But, when driving around concluded that most of the land is, just like it was in the other CA (Central American) countries, fenced and is private property.
The main roads are very good maintained and there are NO topes or tumulus so far. on the main roads. Only some vibradores. Therefore I think it is fair to say that of all Central American countries, Nicaragua has the best roads. So far.
The first Cordobas we got, were exchanged at the border. It was not much of hassle and actually quite relaxed. We prepared beforehand and knew how much Lempira’s we still had and what the exchange rate would be. Of course there is some margin because the money man needs to make a living too. Big cities have ATM’s, and so far the score is every one out of two functions as it should. It is even possible to get dollars, but in retrospect it might be better to get Cordobas and exchange these to the needed dollars with a money man. In this way you avoid additional transaction costs, the money man will ask less.
Diesel an Gasoline are easily available, and can normally be paid with a card. GLP/LPG is available too, but less frequent.