Long traveling day
14.01.2006 25 °C
We took a few cabs early morning to the Tica bus station for the bus to Magagua. But first we had to cross the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. Well, the border was just a rope. If someone dare to run across without proper identification, I'm sure an intense shooting will break out. Let's hope it didn't happen while all of us were there. I exchanged my lempira and dollar to cordobas. An indigenous woman and her child came over to beg but didn't want me to take pictures. Later I was told that they believe camera will take their souls away. Well, no more inconsiderate tourist act. Instead I gave some cookies to the children. We waited for about an hour at the hot and dusty border crossing before boarding the same Tica bus to Managua.
Managua, capital of Nicaragua, was not much of a place for tourists. So we didn't spend anytime there. Only to transfer to cabs and another van to Granada. What's better than striking a conversation and introducing yourself to others when everyone is stuck on a van? I met Chris and Ofri, two graduates from London and Israel respectively. Ofri actually lives in South Africa! This group is as diverse as I can hope for. Almost everyone I met so far treat me with such exceptional friendliness without stereotyping. After living all these years in the states, I can definitely get used to this!
During traffic, I noticed a woman waiting for a bus with two live chicken, one in each hand. Talk about avian (bird) flu. Why is the western world so paranoid about this virus? We rarely get to handle livestock. I can't help it but wonder if this paranoia is another fear factor used by our governments to generate profits for their buddies in the pharmacetical companies. There is nothing wrong to warn and prevent a potential very dangerous virus. However, it is downright ironic to see just how much our lives are affected by the media if we let it. Why are people in nyc always worry and complain with everything when they already have more than they ever need. No offense to my 'peeps' in nyc but you probably know what I'm talking about.
Our hotel in Granada, Alhambra Hotel, is definitely worth a long day of traveling. We were at awe just to see its beautiful facade. And it came with a pool! Alhambra was the best hotel in Granada facing the Central Square with locals sipping coco tea, selling jewelery and crafts and young people listening to reggaeton. What did we do to deserve this?
I am rooming with Karin for the next two nights since there is no triple rooms in this '5-star' hotel. By the time we started to unpack, Chris was already in the pool with his football. Sagittarius style! While waiting for dinner at an actual hostel across the square, Alhambra staff treated us all with a complimentary Cuba Libre. Great way to get the night started ...
So there I am, sitting at the head of a really long table in a hostel reataurant full of colorful mural. Omar started talking to a woman sitting quietly outside this hostel, named Gioconda, who became our local guide (and a friend). After couple Caprinias and pescados con ajo y arroz (fish with garlic and rice), some of us decided to check out the city's night scene.
After wandering for about 20 minutes, we finally found the Monkey Bar, supposedly a cool bar with locals and foreigners. However, we decided not to stay because there is just no locals in there. We then followed the music to El Club, a cool spot with moroccan vibe. At this point, we girls were a bit tired and decided to head back to the hotel, leaving the clubbing for a later day. Me and Karin slept soundly with the TV on.