Wade

Day 3 and 4 in Nicaragua

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Day 3 started with sitting on my motel balcony drinking coffee and checking email, a perfect start for me. I headed off to La Dalia at about 0830 to meet up with Doug and holy crap what a beautiful drive. As I got out of Matagalpa I started noticing a lot of people hitch hiking. I use to hitch hike a lot growing up in Montana but I am really careful with whom I pick up. I finally stopped and picked up a women that was probably 50 and promtly explained that I do not speak a lot of spainish but it didn't seem to matter because she talked to me for 45 minutes straight and I probably understood about 20 minutes of it. As we started into La Dalia I asked her where the Texaco was that Doug said we would meet at, she pointed farther north when I dropped her off. Fortunately La Dalia is not a big town and I discovered that there was no Texaco here. So I turned around and headed back to the first gas station since Doug had said it was right as you started into town. Bingo, right after I got there Doug showed up. It was pretty easy to know it was him since he was the only other gringo in town that I saw with a long red go-tee (sorry I don't how that is spelled) and a pony tail wearing Birkenstocks. Oh yes, another north western.

Let me first say, what great people Doug and his wife are. And the reason I say his wife is because I think I am one of the worst people to remember someones name even though I am 37. Holy crap what is it going to be like when I am 50 or even older?! Anyway, they are doing exactly what I want to do and living exactly in a place I want to be. It was so funny hearing about how superstitous his neighbors were. My wife is from Mexico and she is superstitous also but I think Nica's may take the cake. After touring the property and learning a lot I headed back to Matagapla and of course I picked up another hitch hiker, this time a school teacher that was probably 45 and lived in Matagalpa. I once again explained that I didn't speak a lot of spainish and she understood. However she would speak in very simple terms and we were able to talk pretty much the whole way back.

Day 4 I decided I would hike up to the top of Cerro Apante outside of Matagalpa. So off I went on foot and started to look for a taxi, the first one I flagged down started to pull over and then got a good look at me and shook his finger and pulled off. He was an older guy so maybe he remembered the revoltion and didn't think much of the Americanos. The second taxi, no problem, he was a great guy. Man taxi's are cheap here, 20$ cordobas (about 95 cents) and he took me all the way to the entrance and dropped me off. One problem, it was closed and no one was there. So off I went hoofing it back to the motel since it was all down hill.

I hopped in my rental car and headed to Jinotega. Once again what a beautiful drive. I didn't do much except to go the the main market and wow what a market they have. The one big difference that I noticed was no stares. Just like everyday business, it was actually nice. Of course I had the one young boy of about 7 that wanted to come up and talk to me while I was people watching. He was very entertained with me speaking english to him. Laughing and running off and then coming back wanting me to speak more english to him. I headed back and again picked up another person, this time an older gentlemen of about 65. And once again easy to talk to. The best thing is he put me on some land that is for sale and exactly what I am looking for even though I am probably two years away from buying. No problem, local contacts are the key. I dropped him off in Matagalpa and decided to head back up to give Selva Negra a look as Doug and his wife suggested. How right they were! Of course as soon as I was walking with the monkeys my camera died. Thankfully I had the camcorder that will take pictures but the quality just isn't there.

So, where to tomorrow? I don't know, I am thinking El Tisey or Mira Flor. Guess I will decide as I am drinking my coffee on the balcony overlooking Matagalpa. By the way, El Castillo is a great place to stay. Great people and a great breakfast!

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