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Thread: Forget Me Walks

  1. #1

    Default Forget Me Walks

    I took trips from Masaya to Managua Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this last week. I took slow buses to Managua, and these turn off toward Huembes from Carretera Masaya instead of going all the way to Metrocentro or La UCA.

    I nearly walked myself to death over these four days in an effort to forget a woman. My hope was that the exercise, the threat of muggings, the danger of being hit by a crazy driver, and the sights might distract me.

    On Wednesday, I hopped off the bus right after the turn off towards Huembes—near the underpass in Carretera Masaya with the “Bienvenidos a Managua” sign. I had to walk towards Huembes a bit in order to find a place to cross. The traffic right there is crazy busy. I had to play Frogger.

    I decided a follow a street to the right of a gas station to the northeast. I’d never walked this road before, so I experienced the welcome distraction of a heightened alertness to compensate.

    I came out on the far side of Altamira and followed the main road down to the rotonda Cristo Rey. I circled around the rotonda to the right and passed a large group of police officers. I looked across the roundabout at a large group of taxis parked in front of another gas station.

    There was a tense feeling in the air. The cops were staring at the gathering of men near the taxis. I decided to take the first street to the right of the one I came down. I followed this road a long way until I reached a bridge and a road to the right that caught my eye.

    The road I followed is the same one that the 114 bus follows, and the stretch I walked is sketchy—to say the least. I felt the least safe walking this road that I’ve felt so far in Nicaragua. However, in my present state of mind, I welcomed the danger. It distracted me.

    I followed the new street east until I reached a large wall around a cemetery. I asked people where I was and what was on the far side of the cemetery, and I was told that there’s a mall called Multicentro Las Americas. I was hungry, so I walked around the cemetery to the mall.

    I ate a Hamburlooca meal in the food court. The burger and fries were ok by Nicaraguan standards. This means that it was a thin piece of meat that has been overcooked and covered with way too much ketchup and mayo. Still, it was better and larger than one from McDonalds and Burger King. McDonalds is about the same in Nicaragua, but Burger King is much worse. They don’t grill the burger here. Instead, they reheat previously cooked “meat” in a microwave.

    Almost a month prior, I’d let Vanessa’s niece paint my nails with a clear coat. Ever since, I’ve had shinny patches on all of my nails. That stuff really lingers. I bought some acetone at the mall to solve this problem.

    I learned that Multicentro Las Americas is in Bello Horizante at the bus stop across the street while I waited for the rain to stop under the awning of a pharmacy. The kind people sharing my shelter also told me which bus I should take.

    I took the 102 back to Metrocentro, and then I walked the very familiar streets back towards my old apartment. I turned off just before I got there and instead went to the massage place up by Los Pinos hotel. My therapist was there, and she was free, so I got a massage. This is the first I’ve had in a month, and it may be the best she’s ever given me. When she was done, she remarked on how relaxed I looked compared with how I’d come in. This also served to distract me—for at least an hour.

    It wasn’t night yet, so I walked from there up to Las Galerias mall before I caught a bus back to Masaya.

    On Thursday, I hopped on in the same place (the turn off to Huembes), but then I backtracked to Carretera Masaya and walked down to Metrocentro. I caught the 101 to near Plaza Inter (as no bus would take me directly there from Metrocentro). I ended up having to walk about 8 blocks to get there. I hung out in the mall for a bit (watched a movie) and asked for directions to Ticabus from there.

    I had to walk about 8 blocks back the way I’d just come to find it. I asked about their prices (both buses and rooms), I picked up a pamphlet, and then I walked back to Plaza Inter to catch a bus to Ciudad Jardin—to go check out the Immigration office.

    I only knew that it was somewhere in Ciudad Jardin, and I don’t know Ciudad Jardin, so I just waited until after we’d passed through Mercado Oriental, and then I jumped off and asked directions.

    They sent me east and then north about ten blocks. When I was close, I asked another guy for directions, and I was told that the Immigrations office was where they’d told me but that it closes around mid-day, so it was no longer open.

    Instead of going to a closed Immigrations office, I kept walking east until I hit the same street I’d been on yesterday (the 114). I turned north and followed it all the way to Carretera Norte, near El Nuevo Diaro. There, I caught the 114 back to La UCA, and then I waited in a long line for a microbus back to Masaya.

    I hadn’t managed to distract myself much on Thursday, so I had a rough night. I woke up several times and then gave up and just got up around dawn. I called the girl in question, and I was rewarded with a maddening conversation that left me even worse off than the previous two days.

    On Friday, I hopped on in the same place, backtracked a bit, and then took a new route north and east. This one ran me into the rotonda Cristo Rey too. I turned down the 114 route road and I followed this down past the bride and to the same road that I used to connect to it Thursday.

    This time, I turned east and followed the road to the rotonda of Bello Horizante. I had an ice-cream cone from the McDonalds there, and then I walked up to Multicentro Las Americas again. From there, I walked down to the rotonda Reina and then followed Carretera Norte all the way to the airport.

    I passed through some really sketchy areas (both on the 114 road) and then on the stretch between Multicentro Las Americas and the rotonda Reina. I was also vaguely aware of some dangerous looking people along Carretera Norte as I walked to the airport.

    However, I was too distracted thinking about a woman to even be distracted by the inherent dangers of walking alone in sparely populated streets in dangerous neighborhoods in Managua. This occurred to me before I reached Multicentro Las Americas. I decided that where danger failed, exercise might succeed.

    It didn’t.

    Let me pause for a moment and say that walking all of the way to the airport is not a good idea. Don’t try this at home.

    It started raining before I reached the airport. I ducked into the gas station nearest the airport to dry off and drink a juice drink. The rain cooled me off and for a moment it managed to distract me where everything else had failed.

    When I got to the airport, I walked in the Best Western to ask about their rates and to relax for a bit. They charge $80 (before taxes) for their least expensive room. This is at least $90 (if not more) after taxes.

    It’s probably an indication of how long I’ve been down here, but this seems laughably overpriced—since I’m currently paying $140 for an entire month in a furnished room where they still supply the soap, TP, and they take care of changing my sheets and cleaning.

    On the way, I learned that the 114 gets close to the airport, the 266 goes all the way there, and the bus from Huembes to Tipitapa passes by the airport too. So, for just about anywhere in Managua, you can get to the airport for between C$2.5 and C$5—as long as you’re patient enough for the slow progress of the bus routes.

    I took the 114 back to La UCA and then a microbus back to Masaya.

    On Saturday, I took the bus all the way to Huembes. Then, I walked up the road to Carretera Masaya and then followed this down to Metrocentro. I ate here, and then I went to get another massage. The massage helped to distract me—for a bit.

    After, I walked back to Metrocentro and caught a movie. This distracted me—for a bit. Then, I ate again.

    I crossed the street from Metrocentro and waited for a bus back to Masaya. I waited a long time for a bus that wasn’t packed. Eventually (around dusk), a microbus with “Granada” written on the front stopped by, and the door guy started shouting “Masaya, Masaya, solo Masaya.” I got a good seat as the bus was empty when I got on. It filled up quickly, so I guess there were a lot of mall patrons waiting for good seats.

    On the ride back to Masaya it got dark. Managua and Carretera Masaya look very different at night.

    Out of nowhere, I felt a wash of sincere joy in the moment. Something about my exhausted mind and body, the cool night air washing over my face, the lights on Carretera Masaya, and the faint smell of smoke got through to me. I smiled and reveled in the freedom of the now.
    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Forget Me Walks

    Not a very fun walk when you are carrying a heavy problem around. Don't know the details but sometimes a bad decision is better than no decision.

  3. #3
    Viejo del Foro El Greco's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Forget Me Walks

    You were in the heart of Managua(Bello Horizonte).. there arte some pretty women around them parts
    Dios es Amor!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Forget Me Walks

    Quote Originally Posted by El Greco View Post
    You were in the heart of Managua(Bello Horizonte).. there arte some pretty women around them parts
    I noticed a high concentration of cuties in Multicentro Las Americas. Right outside the food court is a good place to sit back, relax, and girl watch.
    Soy el chele mono.

  5. #5
    Junkyard Dog randude's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Forget Me Walks

    I wish I could offer some advice on women, but then my woman would read it and start a fight. Generally you just never want to get sucked into their game. Smile and nod where appropriate and always keep your back to,the wall.

  6. #6
    Viejo del Foro El Greco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Forget Me Walks

    Quote Originally Posted by randude View Post
    I wish I could offer some advice on women, but then my woman would read it and start a fight. Generally you just never want to get sucked into their game. Smile and nod where appropriate and always keep your back to,the wall.
    How do you think a lot guys stayed married for 30 plus years. the words they must speak are "Yeas Dear"
    Dios es Amor!

  7. #7
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: Forget Me Walks

    Love your walking stories, some of your MGA travels make me cringe, a few of those barrios I don't like to ride through in a cab.

    I like Bello Horizonte, lots of Costenas live in that area if you see any Island types (Hotel Hooters is a good place to start) you better ask if they can point you towards some Coco bread or Patti, you will be glad you did. A few places there sometimes cook Run Down on Sundays, stop by the "Country Club" just like the Coast, but in MGA. Used to be a crazy Costena Disco (Mr Sponge) over there, been closed a long time though.

    Also like the entire area between Metro Centro and Gallerias, a long stretch. Used to walk a lot around Plaza Intur area to the West, over around the Bus stations but I always get a bad vibe over there for some reason, know a few people that have been mugged over there in daylight. ACC lives over in there somewhere and says it is fine, I never had a problem just don't know the area so well. I think there are lots of good and cheap eateries in that area.

    Few trips back I found myself walking NW of Plaza Espana, that was a nice walk.

    When in MGA I stay next to the Japon Park and it is a nice place to spend the morning people watching, there you can watch other people walk.

    Been a few months since I had a good walk, thinking today I will walk some, rest my head.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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