I’m now in Nicaragua, which is the country I’ve been looking forward to visiting the most on this trip, but so far all we’ve done is travel so I haven’t had a chance to see too much yet.
Our journey started at 7am with a chicken bus from right outside the hotel in Comayagua. It was cramped but not as bad as I expected – just make sure you don’t sit near the wheel arch. On the journey we saw Comayagua properly for the first time due to arrive so late the night before. I asked Mena about that and asked why we stayed there as opposed to just going all the way to Tegucigalpa on the bus and she said that as we wouldn’t have time to see anything at last nights stop anyway Intrepid have decided that Comayagua is a better place to stay as it’s a lot safer than Tegucigalpa.
The bus took probably an hour to get to Tegucigalpa and it dropped us right at the Tica Bus terminal where we were due to catch the long distance bus over the border from into Nicaragua. There was just enough time to stock up on snacks and use the rest rooms before we had to board the bus – luckily we also had assigned seats on this bus as it was a long journey. Tica Bus is the luxury long distance bus company that covers Central America and if it offers a route between the places you want to go then I highly recommend them – the coaches are comfortable and there’s plenty of leg room. That is, of course, unless the person in front of you puts their seat all the way back as happened to me. At some point during the day I talked to Team Breakaway about this and they said that it was a very un-Canadian thing to do and that as a whole Canadians don’t put seats back like that.
During the journey we were given the immigration forms for the border crossing and they even put a movie on for us although this was the Spanish version of Hachi so we didn’t really watch it. Before we got to the border our passports and the exit fee for Honduras were taken and these would all be processed by the courier of the coach in one batch to save time.
On the Honduran side we decided to use the rest room facilities which, although they only cost 5 lempira, were absolutely disgusting. They didn’t flush at all, were incredibly messy, and we had to use a bucket of water to flush it each time. However there was time to relax in the sun while the border formalities took place and make my first phone call home in 6 days due to the fact my phone didn’t work in Honduras.
After passing across to the Nicaraguan side of the border we had to all get off the coach and take our bags individually through customs. During our time in the queue we were able to exchange money with the local money changers although this time they did try to short change me until Mena helped out. We got our passports back at this point and then it was back onto the bus to head to Managua. As soon as we started travelling through Nicaragua the scenery changed and we started travelling across flat open plains containing volcanoes as opposed to the heavily mountainous roads we had been travelling through in Honduras.
Our bus passed through the open plains and the city of Leon before arriving at its destination of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. This was only a transit stop for us and after waiting for a long time for our bags we met up with the driver of the minibus who was to take us on to Granada where we’re staying for the next couple of nights. On the way to Granada we got stopped at a police checkpoint due to the fact one of the people in our minibus wasn’t sitting down with the seat belt on when he saw us but in true Central American style he said he would let us off if we took his wife and daughter to the next town, Masaya.
Then it was on to Granada. When we arrived we found out that the hostel we were due to stay at was overbooked and so they had transferred our booking to the sister property down the road which was a proper hotel – and a nice one at that. After checking a lot of the group headed straight out to the pub to watch the Superbowl but I decided to head to a traditional local restaurant in town with Team Breakaway. The meal was really nice and it was there where I first tried a Caipirinha drink – it was really nice so I’ll definitely be having a few more of those on this trip!
We had time for a quick stop at the Irish Pub to catch up with the rest of the group over a couple of drinks but I made a mistake with my drink order and ended up ordering the “Blue Mother Fucker” which was a combination of pretty much every type of drink they had and that ended up making the walk back to the hotel fun. I think rather than reading tonight I’ll just head straight to bed ready for tomorrow.