>Chickens are taking over the world here. They ride the buses. Was on my way down the mountain on one of the two buses that passes through Estanzula, near Esteli, when I hear a chicken. Was sitting in the last seat of the bus, turned, looked over my shoulder and there was a chicken, chilling in a 5 gallon bucket. Next thing I know I see people carrying them in grocery bags, with holes cut out for their heads.
-I was plagued with inescapable traveler’s ‘runs’. Yes, ‘runs.’ Those that make you dive for any bathroom. Yes, I had them. 9 days strong. After day 8 I gave in to taking the drugs that were prescribed to before I left the country. Thank you pills!
-Went on a couple day trips to Jinotega and Esteli. Bus ride to Jinotega….my seatmate falls asleep and his hand lands on my leg….would you move it or pretend its not there??????
Jinotega, a small city yet beautifully placed in the mountains. Ate some good food, tried a raspado (slushy) out of Tamarindo, from a tree and saw the local sites. Funny story about the food…..because of my little sickness, I could hardly go 20 minutes after eating ANTYHING before needing the restroom. Well I had a little snack on the bus and when I got to Jinotega I found a restaurant and asked for the restroom. Good thing I carry tp with me now, but bad luck here because after I deposited my snack in the toilet I realized that the toilet is not functioning. And yes, turns out the RR is located right next to the kitchen. PERFECT! I stay and enjoy my breakfast but BOLT as soon as I take the last bite. Maybe I need to carry around tools too!
My bus ride from Jinotega to Esteli was a lesson in itself.
-People tie pigs up in the ditches so they can eat.
-Saw a family using a team of oxen to drive a cart of oranges.
-One house had chickens running in and out of it.
-Clearing a field consists of 30 men with machetes.
-Cabbage is growing everywhere.
-The 3 hour ride consisted of only dirt roads. When I got there I had a fine layer of Nicaragua dirt covering my entire body!
-The landscape is similar to Costa Rica, it has rolling mountains and everything is green. Here there is less life in the forests. There are more fields here and this place is bustling with cowboys. Its normal to see horses tied up in the country to a tree or in the city, saddled and ready to ride!
-My seatmate was a 50 yr old woman who I thought was pleasant, as I was taking everything in, I saw her spit on the floor. All I could do was laugh!
Esteli, I love! The sunset here was great, but my first real working shower in 2 weeks was phenomenal. Although it was cold, I found myself dancing and singing with enjoyment! I paid $3.50 for my hotel!
Was up at 5am, roaming a new market to catch the 6am bus to the waterfall. Waterfall which I thought was huge, as it tall, which was actually long and drawn out. A bit surprised but enjoyed the country of Esteli. The untouched landscape is a bit like Texas, dry and dusty, with mtns!
Tried to see a local gallery here, luck wasn’t with me as it was closed. But spent time roaming in all the shops. They sell everything from Victoria secret sprays, to Nike shoes and Holister shirts. All very VERY cheap!.
The floors to the house are finished. Luis finished them while I was away. So great to see the kids running around, happily enjoying their house.
Good new, back to showering inside. The shower floor has tile now so all is good. Still using a 5 gallon bucket!
Eating and trying the local food. Now that my stomach has whatever creature is needed to survive here, I figure why now. Nacatamale, enchilada for 10cents, or a cookie for 6, how can anyone turn this opportunity down!
-Do what you have to do to make a dollar. Hence the LOAD of bananas on this truck!
-I’m served every meal. People don’t help themselves, we wait for our plate in the house.
-Jenny left today with a potato sack of clothes on her head, off to the river to wash clothes.
-Not sure school is ever required. Seems to me that the kids are always playing in the streets.
-Went to have a beer with Luis, his bro and father yesterday afternoon. They had to check out the bar first, as it turns out, its only men. I was thee only women there and they were looking for a safe spot since Sunday is a day for many to drink heavily.
Alive and doing well. Will be heading to Granada, OmeTepe, Masaya, and Corn Islands soon. Not sure which destination first!
Off to refill my 5 gallon jug with pure water and catch the bus back to Sur Maria, a 45 minute jaunt on old US school buses filled with everything imaginable! Love this place!