Waking up in Managua
Managua Travel Blog› entry 9 of 52 › view all entries
Next morning I woke up at 6 am local time. I have always found it difficult to sleep longer the first day after I travel this way, but it still means that I am getting close the local time in my system, so I am absolutely not complaining. I had slept quite okay even though I had to adjust the air-condition a couple times during the night.
Babs and I had agreed to meet at 8.30 in the morning, a ritual that would follow us during the entire trip. The day before we had felt that we were pretty alone in the hotel, because there was not much action in the hotel bar or the restaurant.
The breakfast at the hotel was surprisingly good and I was quite full after having fresh fruit and chef-made omelette. After the wonderful meal I felt pretty good, the sun was shining and I felt that we finally could start our trip 24 hours delayed.
W quickly found our rental office and they were pretty fast and surprisingly organized. They called a car for us and it arrived 5 minutes later, it was a small 4x4. The 4x4 they brought us had no cover over the trunk so all our bags would be disposed and visual while we were parking. None of us like that idea, so we decided to downgrade the car to a Toyota Yaris, it would be smaller but at least it had a closed trunk so nobody could see our stuff when we parked.
Babs had visited Costa Rica the year before and there they stole all her stuff from the back of her 4x4, while she took shelter from the rain. For the moment changing the 4x4 to a small closed car made sense but we had to find out of the consequences of this decision later; if there would be any
First goal of the day was to find out of Managua city and head for Granada.
Managua is a really messy city; street vendors are crawling all over you all the time and all the tricks in the book is allowed and used. The city gives you an impression that is not going to last as anything positive. We had no plans of staying there longer than necessary and everybody I had talked to prior to my trip had told me to avoid it.
First we started by trying to manage by our map and road signs; this turned quickly out to be impossible. We had to ask around a couple of times before finding the way and even then it went bad, because people in the city didn’t even know the way out.
We finally found the road to Granada and as soon as we got out of the city centre the tempo and the scene changed dramatically. There were much more air and it became cleaner at we could see the landscape and the contour of the first Volcano.
Just before Masaya the police pulled us over to the side of the road. I could not stop laughing; we had been driving for less than 40 minutes and then the bribe seekers were standing there. I had been driving very slow, compared to the other cars that passed me all the time, because I had an urge to see the landscape and secondly because I could anticipate the situation, we were in, would happen.
I was driving slow keeping the speed limit and I even had two trucks passing me just before I got pulled over to the side. The police told me that I had not respected the speed limit and I had to pay 20 dollars. I smiled and handed over the papers from the car and my drives license. He had never had anything to measure the speed with and just wanted some money.
I was absolutely not in the mood of paying 20 dollars after 40 minutes on the road in Nicaragua, so I just smiled and refused. The first policeman gave up due to my poor Spanish and a second one with limited English but a much more friendly face appeared in the window with my papers. I tried to smile as much as possible and state that we actually were passed by two trucks when we were supposed to speeding. He finally gave up and let us drive on.