My last stop in Nicaragua is Managua, the capital city. I am only staying here one night to get the Tica bus to Guatemala tomorrow (I say Guatemala, I’ll actually be passing through Honduras and staying a night in San Salvador – two of the most “dangerous” countries to travel to according to much of the US embassy’s guidelines, more on that later).
Managua really lacks the charm that the colonial cities of Granada and Leon had. For a start it’s much bigger and really hard to navigate. Now, I feel I am pretty good at orientation and I am usually quite ok with just the small guidebook maps for most of the places I go. With grids of streets that look the same, no proper central landmark to orientate yourself and men constantly cat-calling, saying hello or “gringa gringa!” or whistling at you, naturally I ended up getting lost twice.
The first time I was saved by a nice young Nicaraguan engineering student who took me to the one place there really is to go in Managua – Laguna de Tiscapa which is some weird large like next to a hill. The hill gives you a good view and the young man was very pleasant company and I had a great time practicing my Spanish.
After that, I went to the cinema in the mall, since I’ve been craving watching a movie. I saw a dubbed version of the film “Going in Style” (“Un Golpe con Estilo”) which I have to reccommend – it was very entertaining and quite a sweet story which I much needed to get over my Leon hangover.
I got lost again on the way back, quite badly lost because a guy on a bike came and told me I was about to go into a really dangerous neighbourhood. He took me back to a play park where it suddenly transpired he had a wife and kids – I thought he was my age up until then. The kids were really sweet there, they kept asking me if I was a gringa (for those of you who don’t know, gringo or gringa is the Central American term for Americans and other foreigners, you get it a lot if you’re blonde and pale af)
Back to the hostel for a chilled night writing and reading. Up at 3:45 for the Tica Bus.