Nicaragua, 2013 (part 2)

April 17th, On the way to Masaya, Granada

We are heading to a more touristy place.  Can’t wait.  I just might meet cute girls [spoiler: none!].

Speaking of that, meet my “condom”.  You buy a bottle of Pepsi in a glass bottle.  They show it to you and then pour it into a plastic bag with ice.  Bottles are expensive!  LOL

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Bar on top of a mountain (volcano).  Now, this is life.

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Trash everywhere on the side of the road.  Too bad I didn’t have a chance to take better photos so you could see how much of there really is…

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This is supposed to be full of tourists.

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Just sleeping, don’t think anything of it.

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First [and only] souvenir store.  Nothing that actually catches my eye.  Quote boring, actually.

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I like watching locals more.

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Shoes on electric wires…. That’s got to be some Americans!  This is the first and the only time I’ve seen this here.  Gang signs :-)

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School girls.

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Germans.  Why here?  Why not?!

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Just taking a nap, a weary traveler, think nothing of it.

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Grandmas.

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Aha!  Tourists!

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More tourists.  These are Americans.  I say “Hello” and they jump away — they’re been instructed not to leave their group and not to talk to anyone.  LOL.  Americans…

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Fat?  Pregnant?  Who knows… Who cares!

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I keep forgetting to take pics of the cigarette-burned table cloths.  It’s like this everywhere.  I mean at every restaurant…

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Where is USA?  Aha!  Think again.  Not so much US-friendly :-)

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LOL

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Aha, a liquor store.  Local been (Taña, Victoria) are 1/2 the price of everything else.

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First and only laundromat I’ve seen.  Nice!

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I see, only in this town, signs on the buildings identifying the owners.

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Kids.

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Mr. and Mrs. Garcia live here.

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You like the beach?  Care to take a swim?

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The city is trying to fancy itself up.  Right next to the tires in the water.

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Friendly guards with guns.

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This hand-cracked stones are used for hand-made sidewalks.

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Like this one.  All done by hand.  No machines.

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Food here, I suppose?

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The little girl is sorting through trash and bringing “good things” back to her mom.

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See what I mean?

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500 or-so km away and the food is?  Same!

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April 18th, On the way to San Juan del Sur

I think my favorite beaches in Nicaragua [so-far].

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See the different napkins?  Every place is different.

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Wind power!  But they have no other power and the city needs it.

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Tourists.  Lovely.  No speak English :(

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I remind myself of that Prodigy guy here.

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Mmmm, salt!

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I found an iPhone prototype!  LOL

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For sale.  ~$100k.  Let’s do it?!

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Coconut oil.  So I can sunburn in style :)

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Sunset.

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There is a little “house” at the bottom of the status and it looks like someone lives there.  Hmm…

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Awesome villa, eh?

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So this truck states that they travel the planet for National Geographic.  Let’s check out this site together.  Oh-so-very-lame.  Bleh.  I think you’re getting a better tour here than what they do.  But, OK.

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I could live here.

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April 19th, On the way to Ometepe

Saying Bye to my fav beach [spoiler: we’ll be back], let’s move elsewhere again!

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Oh, I have so many stories about this….  They are more personal.  Basically, my advice for you is to get a guide at this point.  Everything is bribes and bribes and bribes over.  $5 here and $5 there.  You cannot more an inch without bribing someone.  Great.

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We’re done bribing and are loading up on the boat, trying to cross to the island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.

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Russian crane!

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And here is where we are headed to.

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Garage.

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For improved satellite reception which is, anyway, non-existent.

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Monkeys!  The sounds they make!!  Whoof…

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A horse?  Why not?

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Oh, we’ve arrived at some super-natural bath.  Supposed to heal me for the rest of eternity.

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Avocados?  I thought I could only get them at Trader Joe’s ;-)

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We’re next to a swamp.

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Sure beats my office!

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This is 3-4 km from the car.  Long journey to get here.  Tired.

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WATER!  FRESH WATER!

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The only photo of us with our car.  Expensive rental but worth every penny!

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And the only place in Nicaragua that separates recycling.

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There birds are hungry, too.

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Lovely, isn’t it?

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April 20th, On the way out

We take the last shots of 18-year-old rum.  Sigh.  Everything comes to an end.   This was a wonderful vacation but we still have tomorrow!  And then the travel back and my lecture and work and students and paper and two proposals and … Am I getting carried away again?! :)

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Cheers

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Aha!  Tourists!  Chubby American girls.

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Russian car from the 80s!  :-)

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We’re back to our favorite beach.  We’ll spend the day here and go to the airport.

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I’m just a little red, huh?  Decided to “get some color” on the last day.  Bad idea.  But, oh well.

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Accident on the road.

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Gene insisted….

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Well, what can I say?

I was pleasantly surprised by the country.  Nicaragua is nothing like what I had expected.  People are very friendly.  Prices are very low.  There is no hot water anywhere but I don’t really need it, just brush my teeth and go dunk in the lake or the ocean.

We’ve only seen 1/2 of the country but that is more than enough for me to form an opinion and a very positive opinion.  I think this is a great vacation stop if you like adventure.  If you are more into all-inclusive friend-food fattening trip with mimosas and fat American girls… Nicaragua is definitely not for you.  If, however, you are interested in immersing yourself in a culture you have not really seen before…  Well, this is definitely the place.

Next time I will not be as cautious and will bring my good camera so I can show you more of what this place is like.

My only piece of advice?  Bring a significant other.  There is absolutely no way you are meeting girls [or boys] here that are anything better than an average blah nerdy something back home.  Otherwise, this is one of my favorite countries for a vacation.

Special thanks go to Eugene and Anastasiia for dragging my butt over to this trip and convincing me that taking a break from work is important.  Guess what happened while I was gone….  Nothing!  Work can take a break for a week.  Really.  Truly.  Yes!

Cheers, y’all.

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