Find the new road to Bluefields -Days 549- 550
There is little on the internet about the new road to Bluefields. Was it fully finished? We had read a few blogs about getting to our destination, but these were written before the new highway to Bluefields has been built.
We left our accommodation with a few of us having little sleep. The room had a plethora of insects. Well, we were in the countryside; in their habitat. I am not scared of insects; I just don't like getting bitten. So I slept in my dress with the bottom tied up plus my sarong placed over my face. That stopped the little beasts munching on me.
We left in good time for our long journey to the Carribean coast, passing through villages with a scattering of shacks, men wearing fabulous cowboy hats riding their horses and stopping to let rib-thin cattle pass.
Arriving in Rama at lunchtime for a short stop, we had a bit of a fright when two men looked menacingly at us in the car, one very near my door with what looked like a machete. "Drive Tim", I said firmly.
This road to Bluefield is so new that it is not showing on Google Maps or Maps.me. We had to use our initiative to guess where it started. Our guess was wrong. When we got to the river crossing instead of our imagined sturdy bridge, a rickety piece of wood was in its place.
After asking a few people where this infamous new bridge was, it then dawned on us that it was not in Rama. Eventually, we found out the start was at Neuve Guinea, resulting in us driving 50km back from whence we came. There were a few unhappy bunnies in the car.
Upon reaching Neuve Guinea via pot-holed roads and beautiful countryside of rolling hills, I suggested we stopped here for the night, but the consensus was to carry in, even if it meant driving in the dark. This decision thankfully was right.
The new road, reducing the original 10-hours travel to 3 (well, that's if you drive directly to the correct place) was a breeze compared to our previous experience. This newly laid road with reflectors in the middle and the sides made our journey so much smoother. Some of the barriers were still being put in, all part of the snag list, but that didn't concern us. We were just pleased to find this road.
Finally, at about 7pm, we arrived at Bluefields, not before the police stopped us for another routine check.
We now needed to find a place to stay and the area didn't look like the kind of place we wanted to wander around at night. The only place on our usual accommodation websites was £150 per night. No way, José.
Thankfully Eve found a recommended place in the Lonely Planet's Guidebook, and after a quick call, the third of the price room was reserved. Phew. Our room was spacious and neat, with bedside tables and lamps. Amusingly, there were no plugs near the lights. They were all for show; they still had bulbs in them though.
We stayed in Bluefields for the next day before getting a ferry to the Corn Islands. Ferry tickets, atm, food and safe parking for Rexy boy were all on the agenda. This doesn't sound much, but things all take time.
It's a strange place, not particularly friendly, which surprised me. It is so remote that I thought it would be a tight-knit community.
Back in the 1600s, English pirates traded here and eventually, the British crown cultivated relations with the indigenous Miskito people with many Jamaican colonists then moving here with their African slaves. This has resulted in more people speaking English (with a wonderful strong Carribean drawl) than other parts of the country.
I wonder what the impact the new road will bring to this remote area? Will Bluefields better integrate with the rest of the country? Will more people move here or even leave here?
"Find the new road to Bluefields" sounds like a great song title. Sadly the place wasn't a hit for us.