Friday, January 10, 2014

Managua, Nicaragua


I arrived into the Managua airport in the evening and was met by Luis from Hostel La Casa de Los Abuelos. The travel books and websites suggested I arrange a safe transfer to your hostel in the evening. Everyone warned me that Managua was not safe, and especially at night! I had asked for my Hostel to pick me up and I was happy I did not need to negotiate a price with taxis. I was tired and wanted to go to bed. Luis was sweet and took me to the ATM to get cash before we left the airport. It was time to use my Spanish, Luis told me he spoke little English. This is the first country I had visited where I actually knew any of the language. We made small talk on the way to the Hostel. I checked in and was told breakfast was served from 7:30- 9:00 AM. I said goodnight and went to my room. I was exhausted. 

The next morning, I practiced my Spanish at breakfast and made some plans for the day. I walked to the Mercado Roberto Huembes. Anything you want, they sell it here. I stopped and bought a SIM card and Internet for my cell phone. As I entered the market, I was greeted with hammocks and rocking chairs.
I wanted to sit down and relax in the rocking chairs and watch the world walk by. The gentleman was selling them for $70. I will have to find a cafe with some rocking chairs to enjoy. I continued into the stalls and was asked by the shop owners to look in their shops. As I walked, I noticed men were listening to radios with a game being played. I immediately assumed it was soccer, the world's sport. As I listened closer, I noticed it was baseball. This gentleman was a baseball fan and enjoyed talking about the sport with me. He tried to sell me a glove and a bat. Sorry, I don't play. 

I continued on past the cookies and piƱatas for sell and onto the hair and nail salons. 

Next, I walked through the fruit and vegetable market and the food stalls. Women were making homemade tortillas and selling fresh, hot meals. I continued walking and exploring. Next, clothing and cosmetic stalls. I exited the market stalls and saw the bus station. This was fantastic! I had heard stories of the chicken buses and there they were lined up waiting for occupants. 
Travel in Nicaragua is done on the Chicken Buses. Yes, chickens are sometimes carried on the buses along with anything else you need transported.Ha ha! I added it to my list of things to do. I wanted to ride on one of these colorful chariots. The experience is suppose to be once in a lifetime. Not today. But at some point I will. I wonder if this is how I will get to Leon tomorrow? I was going to have to ask at the hostel. 
I was hungry and decided to go back to a restaurant and have some lunch. I looked at the food and ordered a meal (rice, beans, chicken and plantains) and a Tona beer. Afterwards, I walked back to the hostel. I met some other travelers that had spent 9 weeks and I asked for suggestions of where to go in Nicaragua. They highly recommended Luguna de Apoyo and Leon. We laughed and shared stories. It was hot and we all decided to take naps and relax. We met back up for dinner that night. They had found fantastic street food 2 blocks away. We gorged ourselves over travel stories and returned to the Hostel. I said goodbye. They were returning to Canada early in the morning and I was going to Leon. 

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