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Robb and Cathy in the Pool at Villas Palermo
Friday, November 07

So today we head off to Masaya and then Managua to send Cathy and Robb back home to the girls and us off to Little Corn Island for some overdue R&R.  We cooked a huge breakfast in the casita and then decided to just hang at the swimming pool and enjoy the nice weather and laid back atmosphere instead of tromping around town again. As you can see from the picture, Robb was thoroughly enjoying the warmth and sunshine of San Juan del Sur while the rest of us frolicked around in the pool.

We ultimately opted to take a somewhat expensive private taxi to Masaya Market and then on to Managua deeming that a lot easier than multiple buses or whatnot and were picked up at the Villas in a tiny little car with a nervous driver who spoke very little English.
Robb and Cathy Catching Rays


The drive to Masaya wasn’t all that long - maybe 90 minutes or something and we stopped in a rainy, dirt parking lot to wander around the market.  The parking lot was jammed and incredibly tight with our driver requiring the help of several guys to safely squeeze his little car in between trucks, buses, cars and horses. This was definitely a locals market, not too touristy, and had the most bizarre collection of stuff you could imagine (such as the stuffed chickens in the picture).  Lots and lots of Jesus oriented, tacky wall hangings and stuff but nothing that really interested Cindy so we neglected to invest in any handicrafts.

Robb did decide to sample some of the fare and ended up getting some tasty pork tacos - unfortunately, I was uncharacteristically not up for them since I was still feeling somewhat ill.
Our street at Villa's Palermo
  We wandered around the market buying trinkets for Morgan, Bailey and Mac for a while.  We were walking down a rainy little alley-way when I saw the little boy in the box and had to snap his picture.  When I showed him the picture on the LCD on the back of my camera, he was hesitant at first and then enthusiastic and smiling…very cute.  After a while we piled back into the car and wormed our way out of the parking lot but not before we saw the kind of bizarre horse cart with a stigmata bearing Jesus on it.  Latin America takes its Catholicism seriously!

Traffic in Managua was pretty bad and our bad driver, being a good Nicaraguan country boy, was totally freaked out about driving through it while trying to find the hotel and avoid hitting all the little kids begging.  We had heard that Managua was none to nice and it became apparent as soon as we got into town.
Bizarre Stuffed Chickens at the Masaya Market
  At every intersection we were besieged with little kids begging, trying to sell candy or clean the windows.  Eventually we saw the Hilton but the driver was to scared to make a left hand turn, so with horns blaring and little kids yelling at us, we zipped up to the next intersection to make a U-turn and pulled into the driveway of the Managua Hilton where we were greeted by a nice bellman.  The driver happily bolted back to the tranquility of San Juan del Sur as we were escorted up to the “Executive Floor” to check in.

Robb and Cathy were duly impressed by the upgrades afforded by my Diamond status with the Hilton and, after cleaning up, we went into happy hour in the executive lounge which was full blown appetizers and cocktails and put a big smile on Robb’s face.  After a few cocktails, we decided to venture out for dinner to a local place just across the street (since everyone told us not to walk far for safety reasons) called La Negra something or another.
Barbeque Pork at the Masaya Market
  On the way the hordes of beggars descended upon us again but we managed to make it there.  It ended up being a blast with really good seafood and more importantly a hilarious crowd being entertained by American videos from the early MTV days.  We saw everything from Abba to Michael Jackson to the Bangles and lots of drunken Latinas dancing provocatively (and drunkenly…always fun).  We hung out for a few hours and enjoyed the warm evening, more cocktails and fun before heading back to the Hilton to bed.  Tomorrow unfortunately Robb and Cathy head home and we are off to the wilds of the Caribbean and Little Corn Island.

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Robb and Cathy in the Pool at Vill…
Robb and Cathy in the Pool at Vil…
Robb and Cathy Catching Rays
Robb and Cathy Catching Rays
Our street at Villas Palermo
Our street at Villa's Palermo
Bizarre Stuffed Chickens at the Ma…
Bizarre Stuffed Chickens at the M…
Barbeque Pork at the Masaya Market
Barbeque Pork at the Masaya Market
Little Boy in a box at Masaya Mark…
Little Boy in a box at Masaya Mar…
Horse Cart at Masaya Market
Horse Cart at Masaya Market
Religious Taxi/Truck at Masaya Mar…
Religious Taxi/Truck at Masaya Ma…
Managua Hilton
Managua Hilton
Managua
photo by: swhayden