Matagalpa!!

I promised to write a little more about my first impressions of Managua and Nicaragua in general. So here we go: Managua seems to me like Orange, California. A plane city, more suburban than city-like, concrete and dryness, cars everywhere (no hummers though), but more poor and dirty and with no obvious down town. Imagine

Anemone, MYR og Marie on the back of a truck through Managua - real Nicaraguan style!

Anemone, MYR and Marie on the back of a truck through Managua - real Nicaraguan style!

a grey-ish yellow bus, built to carry 30 people, with 52 pair of eyes staring at you as they drive by, young kids squeezing their way to you and a dirty face with begging eyes asking you for a dollar, and plenty of well-placed recommendations of not walking in the streets alone and not going out at all in the night time. That’s Managua. That was my first impression of Nicaragua.

Thue and anice view over Managua and a coffee farm

Thue and a nice view over Managua and a coffee farm

Then the bus arrived to Matagalpa and the Hostal de la Buena Honda – Hostel of The Good Wave. And that name turned out to be quite well-defining. This past week in Matagalpa we’ve studied Spanish prepositions and past tense from 8-12 a.m. every morning and then wandered off in the afternoon to explore this tranquila city and area of Nicaragua, with the mountains in the background and smiling people all around. Well, all right, maybe not everybody was smiling all day long and sure, there were poor kids asking for dollars, but the atmosphere and all – so much more inviting than Managua! This past week we’ve been on a guided tour at a local chocolate factory (even tasted the chocolate-paste in process!), been hiking in the surrounding mountains, wandered around the big outdoor market fee

Linn, Mathilde and Anemone tasting the chocolate paste at the factory

ling safe, visited the colorful cementery and, most important of all, met lots of friendly people!

Evening 1 we were greeted by the smiling  dreadlocked rasta-security guard Memo at the door after eating gallo pinto and quesadillas at a tavern on the street close to the church. And several  evenings afterwards I spend in his company on the porch of the hostal, listenening to music and chatting in the evening breeze – muy tranquilo! Very nice dude 🙂 Friday and Saturday the bar of the hostal oppened, with Memo behind the bar, and all the crazy Danes made a real party! Later we went into town and danced with more freindly people. -I love this place!
This morning,in an hour or two, we will be leaving for the small village of El Tigre in the mountains of the region of Jinotega. A small village with no electricity and no English for 6 weeks – speak about a new adventure!

En sympatisk profil paa bjerget ved Matagalpa

I dunno exactly what my plans will be once the planned part of the Nicaraguan adventure is over, but sure thing is I will try to get back to Matagalpa a few days. My first impression of Nicaragua sure wasn’t very positive, but the last week has changed that abrubtly, and now I can’t wait to move on and discover other parts of Nicaragua! …Even though I wouldn’t have minded staying here a little longer 🙂

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Arrival to Nicaragua!

Well, here I am. Finally! After months of excitement and then worry about the whole idea of travelling for so long, I am finally here, in Managua, Nicaragua.

We arrived Thursday (it’s only three days ago!!), after travelling through Miami. And what a start to the Nicaraguan adventure!! Anne, our “adult”, picked us up at the airport of Managua where we were mashed into a small bus, our backpacks thrown onto the roof and tied, real Nicaraguan style, and then driven to our hostel – Backpackers’ Inn. The backpacks were brought into the house, and suddenly Anne realized that her purse, containing her passport and the credit card with the money for our projects and the usb with all our contacts, was gone. Distress! In an attempt to calm down a little we went to a pool party with some Nicaraguan Danes, tasted Flor de Caña – THE rome of Nicaragua, and went home and early to bed.

Next day we went down to the bus station to get a bus to the Danish Embassy. I tell you, taking a bus in Nicaragua is an adventure in itself…! We spoke with the embassador and heard a little about the political situation in Nicaragua and the close-down process of the Danish embassy. Next stop was Huempes – the big market place in Managua. Imagine a bunch of great grey halls, with hundreds of  small shops of two by one and a half metres floor space squeezed into them side by side –> that’s Huempes. Interesting!

Third day, yesterday that is, we decided to climb the volcano of Mombacho. We left the hostel at a quarter past eight a.m, convinced a bus driver to take us all the way, and begun the ascend at 9:30 under a splendid sun and a sky with no clouds at all.  Funny, all thirteen pair of shoulders had magically turned vivid red by the time we got down the mountain! The sommet of the volcano offered a splendid view over a landscape of jungle and coffee-fields. The volcano turned into a national park, the scent to the top was paved and broomed, steep but paved and broomed, which really isn’t my idea of a mountain hike, but with a nice view, a steep ascend and funny wordgames the hike wasn’t bad at all.

Right now we are packing our backpacks again, this time with direction to Matagalpa and the Spanish lessons. I hope to write again soon and tell you a little more about this strange city where I have spend the first week of my Latin American adventure!

 

-MYR