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Old 07-07-07, 05:20 PM   #1
ephemerica
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Robbers targeting cyclists near Nicaragua-Costa Rica border!

My girfriend and I were robbed yesterday morning (5 July 2007) at gunpoint in southern Nicaragua as we were riding toward the Costa Rican border. We were about 30 km south of Rivas on the Panamerican Highway when we were stopped by three young guys who came out on the road blocking our way. They started by asking for water, and then eventually pulled out a gun and threw us and our bikes off the side of the road by a bridge. One held the gun on us while the other two went through the bags and took anything of value that we had. We're both fine, a little scraped up, demoralized and poorer.

Upon reaching the border, we went to the police, who said that we were the third group of cyclists in the last month to be robbed on that stretch of highway. And they are definitely targeting touring foreigners. So we would recommend that under NO circumstances you ride bikes between Rivas Nicaragua and the Costa Rican border--play it safe and take a bus. Or you could check with the Nicaraguan police in either Penas Blancas or Rivas to see how the roads have been. We cooperated with their investigation (including going back to the crime scene with 8 police carrying weapons!), but I think they came away with little evidence to use to catch these guys (if they even bother to try). We had just come from Ometepe, so we don't know anything about how the road is between Granada and Rivas.

We want to post this to as many places as possible so as many eyes see this as possible to try to prevent more robberies. I'm going to post this in the Couchsurfing and Lonely Planet cycling forums...any other suggestions for places to post?

Thanks,
Matt & Cindy
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Old 07-07-07, 05:54 PM   #2
jaypee
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Glad you're both ok. Crazyguyonabike would be a good place to post this information as well.
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Old 07-07-07, 06:29 PM   #3
Mchaz
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That is horrible. Do you at least still have your bikes, and necessary equipment to continue the tour?
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Old 07-08-07, 12:11 PM   #4
ephemerica
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We have the bikes, but they ruined one of our front racks, took a pannier to carry our stuff away, and also took tools, spare parts, tire pumps and other necessary stuff. We havenīt decided if we will try to replace it (depending on how much it costs and how difficult it is to find in Costa Rica) and continue biking or maybe send what we have left home, buy backpacks and continue that way. Or maybe fly somewhere else for the bike tour... We are going to hang out here for a while (we still need new credit cards and dont have the cash to move around while waiting) and figure out whats next.
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Old 07-08-07, 12:53 PM   #5
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glad you are ok. and thanks for posting.
bootsnall.com would be a good website to post this on. they cater to independent travelers.
be safe.
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