yesterday saw me flying over volcanic lagoons and winding rivers leading into blue lakes.
green and blue as far as the eye can see. i rode in the little plane with my nose pressed against the glass for the last 30 minutes of our flight. snap snap snap went my iphone.
we flew through a dense cloud canopy that kept breaking apart then reforming. dazzling me with scene after scene of enormous lakes and craters. sunlit coastlines.
at last we landed in the small airport in managua. i stepped off the plane and into the land of tropical heat and warm breezes. customs & immigration were easy. i plunked down 10 buckeroos for a tourist card and picked up my battered suitcase which has seen better days. then i stepped outside the airport to wait for my ride. thick stands of banana trees and coconut palms waved to me. the air felt moist. i was excited.
who’s that in the tight superman t-shirt, shorts, and ray bans? must be julio my ride!
away we went in his air- conditioned car through the nicaraguan countryside. we stopped once for a herd of horned cows to cross the road. men on horses herding them into a green field. i saw so many people on horseback and horses in fields. even wooden horse carts with men holding reins. unlike in guatemala, i didn’t see any pigs with rope leashes or animals tethered to fences.
we passed all manner of small colored houses and shacks too. everything was clean. nicaragua is the poorest country in central america with over 40% of its 5 million people living on less than $1/day. life here in granada is different than life in rural nicaragua where poverty is much much worse.
julio gave me the cliff-notes version of nicaraguan dictators, revolutions, political parties, sandinistas, contras, banana wars, corruption, and bribes. i will suffice it to say nicaragua is currently safer to travel to than either mexico or guatemala and MUCH safer than el salvador or honduras. since i don’t plan to travel on rural roads after dark or resist robbery attempts i feel very safe. as according to the UN doing either of those things can lead to a poor outcome.
about an hour later julio pulled up to the charming little place i’ve rented till the end of the month. will provide link once i get home.
as soon as he left i baptized myself in the plunge pool. ice cold. instant refreshment.
i read somewhere that granada is like antigua guatemala was 20 years ago. many fewer expats and tourists in general than other latin american destinations on the more popular travel radar. still everything is relative, right? antigua might seem off the beaten track compared to say, san miguel de allende. all i know is i love pretty colonial towns and i intend to see as many as i can, while i can.
as the sun was setting late yesterday afternoon, i ventured forth for some grub. julio had taken me to a grocery store on my way to the casa, but i wanted to hit the streets and get my bearings.
i spotted the quaint little la hacienda with it’s delectable menu of steaks, rice, beans, salad, tacos so i took a seat on the terrace and ordered something.
fajitas as it turns out. extremely agreeable.
mojito: way too strong for my delicate constitution. i ordered a tropical punch.
cool and luscious. alcohol free. i think…
i wandered home under a beautiful sky filled with clouds the color of my drink.
i’m off to make a NICA LIBRE with my newly purchased bottle of flor de caña rum. take a nap. take a dip. wander out for dinner somewhere this evening. write in my travel journal. stare into space. the air feels wonderful inside the house with the ceiling fans whirling.
hope you’re well. hope you’re happy. tinkering away at something that brings you pleasure.
love from nicaragua.