I Arrived in Managua
, the capital of Nicaragua early in the afternoon after getting a late start in the morning. The bus ride was really good only about 1.5 hours along a very smooth and straight road ... highly unusual for Latin America. Found a hostel and went looking for a laundrette - the locals kept giving me conflicting directions to a "lavanderia" until I asked a guy on a street corner who was repairing a motorbike ... the guy says hold on for a minute and pops off to his house nearby to ask his wife. I thought he was asking where the laundry was but it turns out he was asking her if she would actually do the washing.... so I got my washing done in someone's private house for a ridiculously cheap price ! Another example of how genuinely friendly most of the Nicaraguans have been so far on the trip.
Managua is a strange place , it felt strangely quiet & lacking in people as I walked through the streets down to the main square where the old cathedral and palacio are located. I checked out a few of the limited number of "sights" in Managua and then wandered a little further down to the restaurants at the shore of Lake Managua. At the lake I was pleased to surprisingly bump into a Dutch guy , Nic , who I´d met in Leon and the only other obvious tourist I´d seen (I'd actually hardly seen any locals either ... really uncomfortably quiet). Nic was supposed to have already left for Costa Rica with his cousin Sven but they had been unable to get a bus and got stuck in Managua for the day. So it was good to have a drink with Nic by the lake and later in the evening all three of us found an Irish bar in Managua for food , beer and cards which was cool .
We got chatting to a local Nicaraguan bloke (fun trying to explain the game of rummy in Spanish to a Nicaraguan) who suddenly decided he also wanted to come to Granada with me in the morning ... I wasn't exactly too keen on the idea but I played along and took his phone number... hope he´s not still patiently waiting for the call . Tomorrow I'll be catching the bus to Granada so hopefully there will be more going on there than there was here in Managua!!!