No Roads Lead to Bluefields

Bluefields Travel Blog

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400-head of cattle being herded down the highway

Today started fairly early because we had to travel from Juigalpa to El Rama to catch the noon ponga to Bluefields.  We spent another two hours squished in the car, stopping at a gas station for breakfast. We grabbed some pastries (picos are just so good!)  Along the way, we encountered a rancher on a horse, holding a red flag.  Jay said that that meant there were cattle across the road.  What that really meant:  the ranchers were moving 400 head of cattle down the road, including 2 albino horses.  We kept driving, and the cattle moved around the car, so close that we could reach out and touch them.

the ponga
 

We got into El Rama about 11 o'clock, in plenty of time for the noon ponga.  Since Bluefields has no roads leading out of the village, we would have to take a boat down the river to get there.  We wasted time by eating at a dockside restaurant.  I had carne con papas.  The steak was served with rice and beans (separated, not gallo pinto) and platanos boiled so they tasted like potatoes.  The pongas do not leave until there are 20 people aboard, so we actually left about ten til 1.  Jaimie, Nellie, Emily and I sat in the back seat, with Jay a couple rows ahead of us.  I totally did not know what to expect.  But, it was just the fear of the unknown.  The ponga ride turned out to be one of the top ten coolest things I've ever done in my life.

  It's a speedboat with benches for the passengers to sit in, and the trip from El Rama to Bluefields is not quite two hours.  You can't do much, since you are practically sitting on top of one another.  Plus, it started raining.  A tarp was thrown out over all us passengers, and we held it tight against the boat to keep from getting wet (we were not so successful, though).  Being in the back, we were beaten to a pulp by the tarp whipping in the wind.  But, it was so much fun, all I could do was laugh.  Where else would you get an experience like that?

Leaving the dock, we walked to our hotel, the Caribbean Dream.  Jay knew where we were going, but allowed a local to help us carry our luggage.

carne jalapeno con tostones
  Once again, Jaimie and I are sharing a room, but this time it is air conditioned, with a tv and our own bathroom.  We didn't waste much time getting settled before we headed out into the village to explore.  We came across a bakery and went in, maybe to get a  pastry or piece of cake.  However, Jaimie noticed the cheeseburgers on the menu, and we had to sit there for her to devour her cheeseburger.  Once she was done, Emily decided she wanted one as well.  Gee whiz.  So we had to sit there even longer.  When we were finally able to leave, and wander about the town again, we found Jay (he'd stayed in the hotel to work on some things for tomorrow's seminar), and he was hungry... so was I; I didn't get a pastry.  We went to a restaurant that had been recommended to him by one of the church members.  When we walked in, I was surprised; it was a really nice restaurant, with waiters and table cloths.  I thought it would be really expensive (thinking the customs of America).  But, the entrees were still reasonable.  I think my dinner of filete jalapeno cost me all of $6 (U.S.) 

We went back to the hotel after dinner.  It was an early evening for us.  But, since this hotel had internet, I was able to check my email and email my sister to let her know how the trip was going.  An early bedtime; I just couldn't keep my eyes open.

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400-head of cattle being herded do…
400-head of cattle being herded d…
the ponga
the ponga
carne jalapeno con tostones
carne jalapeno con tostones
pizza, that had been left out all …
pizza, that had been left out all…
an albino horse
an albino horse
covered by a tarp to keep the rain…
covered by a tarp to keep the rai…
more te jamaica!
more te jamaica!
Bluefields
photo by: ahtibat17