12 hours on a chicken bus

Managua Travel Blog

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The old school bus

Don´t go to Managua it is horrible. We only went there because we (stupidly) ran out of money and there was no ATM or travellers cheques changing place in San Carlos. And we had run out of dollars. Stupid tourists.

So what did we have to do? We had to get the 10 hour bus to Managua from San Carlos, 8 hours of which were on unpaved and very bumpy roads. The bus was an old US school bus, like the one Forest Gump goes to school on. The journey should have been 10 hours but we got a puncture. It turned out that it wasn´t a puncture at all but the rocky road surface had actually bent the axle out of place so the tyre half fell off. The noise of this was a bit scary and we thought we had hit an animal or something.   We then had a 2-hour wait while the driver repaired the axle.

Wheel damage that took 2 hours to fix!!
With a sledge hammer.

The journey, although very hot and so bumpy we couldn´t read, was actually very good. The scenery was beautiful and we went past several tiny villages and saw the real Nicaragua. Farmers herded their cattle along the road, kids rode horses back from school and women were washing clothes waist deep in rivers. A few of our fellow passengers caught our attention when one woman got on with a cardboard box that soon started shuffling about on the shelf and churping. This was soon outdone when a woman got on with her husband, 11 sacks of grain and a live chicken. The poor thing was terrified (the chicken i mean) and flapped about before poohing on the head of a girl passenger who the chicken woman kindly chose to sit next to. The girl moved seats.

We arrived in Managua and we soon realised it is an absolute dive of a place. We stayed for a total of 16 hours, 10 of which we slept.

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The old school bus
The old school bus
Wheel damage that took 2 hours to …
Wheel damage that took 2 hours to…
photo by: swhayden