Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nicaragua: Bring the instinct and the sunscreen.

I believe Albert Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I do not dare differ with these words. But I would like to say insanity is also putting yourself on a bus for 13 hours from San Salvador to Managua, Nicaragua. 

Kristin and I at 4:30 a.m about to leave for Nicaragua. Obviously, Kristin's eyes are wide awake. 

Luckily, 2 border crossings, a couple of questions about a bag of tampons and 13 hours of a Dramamine induced coma later, we managed to survive the bus trip. Unfortunately, we got into Managua later than expected so we had to stay the night. But we got to explore the mall, eat some yummy pizza and do a little shopping. Life was good.
Next day off to Grenada.

Welcome to our new room. You had to climb the stairs of death (no easy feat with a 50 pound backpack on) and squeeze into a small linen closet with a bed a.k.a our room. 
The climb to our lofted closet, I mean room.

First order of business: Iced coffees :)

Next up explore: A church in Grenada

Another beautiful church.
I am enjoying this pottery museum way too much. 

Wow, that's how they make chocolate?? Secretly, this is my second time at a chocolate museum in Central America, but who is counting?
A breathtaking view of the city of Grenada

The girls and I adventured to the lake where we discovered cannons, but if you look closely there are millions of gnats flying in front of the camera. We were in a swarm of them.... all for a stupid picture with a cannon. 

Day 2: Proper hygiene might be in order. But I might have lost it along the way.

I was trying to be a kind roommate and not cut my toenails in the room (instead I chose to cut them over the edge of our "balcony" where they dropped into the walkway of our fellow hostile friends).  I know what you are thinking, eeeewwwwwww seriously Kate?!? But let me explain I was merely adding to the decor of this janky hostile. 

But let's be honest my nasty toenails were about to be the least of our problems.

Kristin, Jenna, Colleen, Yenna and I get this brilliant idea to go to Masaya, a town about 20 minutes from Grenada and check out their art market. We hopped onto a chicken bus and headed out. I immediately notice this guy being real sketchy. He kept looking at me and the other girls. There was just something that wasn't right about him. We get into the bus stop at Masaya and it is an absolute free for all. When I think of a Central American market this is exactly the thing I think of. Vendors EVERYWHERE selling: clothes, shoes, candy, food, live chickens and roosters, you think of it and it was probably being sold there. It was absolute chaos.

So of course we are all in awe that we have lived in Central America for almost a year and not experienced a market like this. And this is when the sketchy man seizes his opportunity. 

As we are getting off the bus he bumps me, I turn around a give him the evil eye and he immediately apologizes. This was his way of trying to get me to take my hand off my bag, but he picked the wrong girl. Next he bumps Jenna and here is where the madness begins. Just after he bumps Jenna, he starts jumping over seats to get off the bus and then it dawns on Jenna that he has just pick pocketed her. She glances down and realizes her wallet is gone....

Jenna actually considered chasing after this man, but in the madness of a wallet being taken, there is no rationalizing with some people. So as we get off the bus, in a bit of a whirlwind, we realize that almost this entire market has stopped to stare at the 5 gringas who just got robbed. 
The madness is very deceiving from the picture.

GREAT! On top of being white girls and sticking out, now everyone was staring at us. So I wrangled us up and we headed for the market. But once again that funny little thing called instinct kicked in. I looked at the girls and we all just said let's get out of here.

So we chose to head to the most tranquil place we could think of, Laguna de Apoyo. It is a lake in a crater of a volcano. 
Lago de Apoyo. Not a sole in sight. It was an excellent way to relax and forget about the earlier events.

The company was great too!

Enjoying a nice afternoon beer at the lake. 

After a leisure day at the lake, we headed back to the a taxi and avoided the market of robbery!!

Dinner with a beautiful group of friends: Dom, Yenna, Colleen, Kristin, myself and Jenna. 
Next, we were off to dance...
I got the pleasure of dancing with this fine gentleman. Kristin was dancing with his boyfriend (if you get my drift). I will say it was very obvious he was not into girls. But at least I could practice my salsa dancing.

I am a lucky girl.

Loving each moment. I get to see the world and share it with some amazing friends.  

Nicaragua part II.....

Coming soon