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
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.
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
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!
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 🙂