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Thread: Xiloa

  1. #1

    Default Xiloa

    On April 9th, I took a blue and orange bus (210) from in front of Mentrocentro west to Ciudad Sandino. I got off at the Sandino statue at the main entrance and then walked north down the main highway. My plan was to check out the road that wraps around the Xiloa lagoon. The lagoon is in a dormant volcanic crater. The cone of this dormant volcano creates a circular peninsula (Apoyeque) into lake Managua. The southern edge of the loop runs into the highway by Ciudad Sandino. The northern edge of the loop runs into the highway by Mateare.

    I stopped at the Maxipali and bought some bananas. I stashed those bananas in my backpack (along with my water and camera) for later. I turned right onto the Xiloa loop road. Some vagos shouted at me from the highway as I walked away. The vagos that hang out on the highway by Ciudad Sandino can be dangerous. I ignored them and kept walking. They lost interest.

    A bus passed me headed the other way, so I knew that there must be a bus that would take me down the road--if I wanted to wait for it. I decided not to wait for the bus, because I wanted to explore. I figures that I'd take the bus on the way back--once I already knew the area.

    I knew that this would be a dangerous area to walk, so I did it near mid-day. There are shacks scattered down this road. There are some concentrations of houses that look like towns here and there. They probably have names. I see them labeled on Google Earth, but I didn't see any names as I walked through them. I got some weird looks, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    I walked past some sort of military base with an outer wall, towers, and armed guards in the towers. This is on the left side of the road (the west side). I felt exposed and out of place as I walked between the road and the wall under the eyes of the guards.

    The view along most of road weren't great. I assumed that they would be, because it's in between a volcano and a lake. But the road is down low and surrounded by low hills and trees so that all that I got to see were the shacks along the road. I walked around 7.5 kilometers down this road until I reached the entrance to a park setup next to the Xiloa lagoon.

    Two towers with a connecting arch frame the entrance to the park. They appear to be setup in order to control the entrance to the park and probably charge an entrance fee. I walked without in without being stopped. The rooms in the towers were unmanned.

    The park is new(ish) and has playground equipment for kids. I walked through them and took some pictures, but my goal was the lagoon.

    The park runs right into the beach. The lagoon is backed by a ridge, but there's very little rise on this side. I took off my shoes and socks and then waded out into the lagoon with my pants on. The water is warm and clear. The gravel/sand is smooth enough that it is comfortable under bare uncalloused chele feet. Xiloa is an idyllic spot. I hung out in the water taking pictures for a long time just to soak it in.

    Young adults (6 to 10 of them) were playing in two groups to either side of me. Both groups were fully clothed.

    There wasn't anything for me to do there except enjoy the beauty of nature. I took pictures and videos, ate my bananas, and then I left. This would be (or would have been before the civil unrest) a great place to picnic with family.

    I waited for the bus to get back to Ciudad Sandino. It was less than C$10 (I think C$7, but I'm not 100% sure). When we got to Ciudad Sandino, I queued up in the aisle to wait for the doors to open. A tattooed and shirtless man behind me told me that he robs and kills people on the bus. I pretended that I couldn't understand him, and I didn't react to his threat. I figured there was little chance that he'd try something in broad daylight, and if he did, I had my knife and would defend myself. He didn't do anything.

    I just barely missed the blue and orange bus headed back to Managua, so I walked a block into Ciudad Sandino to wait at the bus stop. I saw some breathtakingly beautiful women while I was waiting. They actually overshadowed my fresh memories of Xiloa. This is no slight to the lagoon; they were just that beautiful.

    I caught the next 210 to Metrocentro and made it to my room without any issues. I finished by water at the bus stop in Ciudad Sandino, so I hot and thirsty by the time I got to my room.

    The nightmarish conditions in Nicaragua for many of my friends who are in the lower class has weighed heavy on my mind and heart. Thankfully, none of them have been killed, but some of them haven't been able to work during all of this. They don't have much food. They are afraid to leave their houses. They are stressed out due to an uncertain future. Because of all of this, I haven't felt motivated to share my last few adventures in Nicaragua here on TRN. It seemed to me to be inappropriate to share something as frivolous as walking around exploring the Nicaraguan countryside in the face of such suffering. I have finally decided to go ahead and share them anyway. These happened right before and right at the start of the clash between students and the police over the social security change. If nothing else, they should stand as historical snapshots of Nicaragua at that time.

    Here are some photos that I took on this walk (mostly at the lagoon). I hope you enjoy:

    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2
    Active TRN Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Xiloa

    " I saw some breathtakingly beautiful women while I was waiting. "

    Where are the snaps of the good looking babes?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Xiloa

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeh View Post
    Where are the snaps of the good looking babes?
    I don't take photographs of people most of the time, and I had my camera safely stowed before I returned to Ciudad Sandino. That area is not someplace you want to show off anything that someone might want to steal. So, the 'snaps' live on only in my memory.

    That being said, the women that I saw were working stands by the bus stop near the main entrance to Ciudad Sandino. If the country hadn't gone on general strike, then you could probably swing by there any business day and see them.
    Soy el chele mono.

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