My seat started shaking. That was a unambiguous sign we touched the airstrip of Managuas Airport. The capital of Nicaragua welcomed me with the exact opposite of what I slowly got used to on the Corn Islands: traffic, noise and smog. I guess, this is pretty standard in most of the capitals around the planet. But everything is fine, as long as you come up with an escape plan! In my case this ment traveling to the northern part of Nicaragua. These regions are well known for their coffee plantations and great hikes. Combined with pretty much no tourism industry at all – exactly what I was looking for.
So I took a chicken bus to Matagalpa, which took around four hours. As I had no music to listen to, there was enough time to reflect on the past days adventures. And some planning ahead of course. It was super hot in the bus and more people came in to join the ride – almost 60 people squeezed into the discarded US school bus. I took my chance to buy some fruits and yucca chips from these cute vendor ladies which are selling their stuff in between the stops. As our bus arrived in Matagalpa, I got another proof of how hospitable and kind Nicaraguans are: two ladies asked me where I want to go and called a taxi. And not just that, they also ensured I got the best rate 🙂 super exhausted, but happy I fell asleep in my very own tree house which was located somewhere in the outskirts of the city. The next day started early: 7am sharp I was ready for some hiking and exploring around Matagalpa. Apparently there’s a waterfall and a big cross on top of the Mountain. Unfortunately I didn’t get to the waterfall, but the cross was hard to miss 😉
As you know, hiking (and a lot of other things) makes me hungry – so I went to this super secret Italian Restaurant called La Vita e Bella. “Grande” was an appropiate size to quench my craving for food. Well, at least for a couple of hours 😉 Did I mention my friend Joost, which is living in Nicaragua at the moment? If not, now you know the reason why I went to Ocotal – a tiny city near the border to Honduras. He’s working at a coffee plantation and invited me for a weekend at his place. Ocotal is not a place where tourists go, so it was a great break from the so called “Gringo Trail”. My friends boss, which owns the majority of coffee plantations in this area, showed us the town and how things go there. It’s interesting to see Nicaragua from a residents perspective and try more local delicacies! As always, time flies so fast – only a few days left on my visa. That means: off to Granada!
Granada is well known for its beautiful architecture, great food and of course the Islets of Granada. Wow, where should I even start? You might know I am into volcanoes and lava. Therefore the nearby Volcano Masaya was a must see for me. Check this out:
Incredible! For the first time in my life I saw swirling lava. Something I will never forget (although it was only 15min). The people I’ve been with thought ticking it off my bucket list is worth going for some drinks. This is where the unbelievable happened: I met my friend Jonno from Australia – just when I left the hostel! That was unexpected. As our plans matched we decided to travel Island Ometepe together – and it was a blast. Unfortunately the island doesn’t have that many paved roads, so an ATV is pretty much necessary to go and see the best places. What I didn’t like is that people really try to rip you off. What I did like was a waterfall and the night sky 🙂
Jonno told me his friend Josh, also from Australia, moved to Nicaragua and joined some sort of Hippie Community. I decided to stay with them for two nights. Far away from everything, just nature and a couple of lovely people (oh, and BBQ over a huge bonfire). It was the first time since months sleeping in a hammock under millions of stars. An experience I will never forget.
As you might know I am in Costa Rica now, looking for my spirit animal – can you guess what it might be?
Feliz dias mis amigos!