Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nicaragua day 1

9:30am - OK, so we are here in Granada, safe and sound. We arrived in managua via a very empty flight (which was quite condusive to sleeping) around 1am. After we got through customs and imigration, we headed across the street to the best western to see if they had any rooms available. they did, but coincidentally the room cost $90. So we then proceded to talk to a taxi cab driver and see how much he would charge to drive us to Granada, after a long conversation of his broken english and our translator book, we finally realized that he wanted us to pay $40 for him to take us to Granada. this was way to much so we just went back to the airport and slept on the hard marble floor untill we could catch a bus out of managua.
Before we started sleeping
Our view of the airport from our bench
At about 7am we crossed the street to the bus station, which did not look like a bus station, and caught the chicken bus for 10 cordobas (50 cents) to the Huembe market. Needless to say, in the grand central american way, we were packed into a normal sized school bus with at least 100 other people, standing, sitting and laying all over the bus.

After most of the crowd got off the bus
From Huembe we got a taxi to UCA (university of central america). the driver said that he could get us there faster than anyone else in the city, we were doubtful but after he ignored all signs of traffic regulation (including stop signs and stop lights), we arrived at UCA. From uca we got a small 15 passenger van for 20 cordobas($1) and rod the hour to Granada. When we arrived in Granada we found a bench to sit on and then decided to find a hostel. We found a place called ¨ the bearded monkey¨ which is $6 a night, a little more than we planned on spending, but in reality its not that bad.
Sitting around the Bearded Monkey
It is very interesting to see how the people interact with each other and with us. you rarely see a bicycle only one person riding it, there is almost always two or more people, sometimes a whole family riding at once. Looking out the window of the bus, a very common sight is to see a random horse grazing by the side of the road (in the city too) or people trying to sell you food through the window when you stop at lights (that is if you actually stop). It is only 11:05 right now and we feel like the day should be wrapping up (but its not). We still have Granada to explore, we are going to try and find a market where we can get some food to eat. Keep us in your prayers and know that God is taking care of us every step of the way. Also there are no pictures because the hostel does not allow us to download anything onto the computers, so for now hopefully we can paint the pictures with our words. 7:30pm - Well, just before we left the hostel to find a market we met a girl who was traveling solo named Anna who is from Germany. She has been in central america since the beginning of october and will be here a total of 6 months. She was not doing anything so she came with us on our market journey. We stopped at a small bakery to grab something quick to eat and in talking with anna found out that it was her birthday and she was by herself. So dylan bought her a cappuccino(her favorite hot drink) and we all wished her a Feliz Cupleanos. We walked about 30 min through granada down to the lake where we watched some tourists taking pictures and had to fight of an old man with an ice cream cart trying to get us to buy his product. on the way down to the lake we saw a medium sized dog (a mutt of some kind) walking across the street limping, as he got closer we could see that his left front foot was completely crushed, it looked like a pancake and was red with dried blood. he was barking all the way but it was less of a bark and more of a pitiful cry for help. it did not even sound like a dog, it was almost human sounding. Walking past situations like that make traveling like this difficult, but there are so many ferell animals and there is no action being taken to spey or neuter them. Another sad situation is the horses. There are many horse drawn carriages that whisk the unaware and wealthy travelers from one side of granada to another. the horses that are used are more ematiated than the victims of the houlocost. Some are limping and some have terrible looking hooves but nonetheless it is a heart wrenching sight.
Stacy, me, Erika and our new German friend Anna at the lake
Erika and Dylan trying to be tigers... or something like that!
After leaving the lake we went to the parque de centrale where collonies of locals trying to sell their goods to the unsuspecting travelers. We met a couple from Argentina who were traveling from argentina to mexico and just making braclets and necklaces to help pay their way. they were very delightful people and the girl grew up in patagonia which is said to be paradise so that connection was a pleasure to make. We went back to the hostel for a couple hrs and rested our earth worn feet. We went back out around 5:30 to find a place to eat and managed to find a local place that had great beans rice and plantains.
Our first real meal in Nicaragua
Chowing down...
After dinner we realized the sun was setting and the warm glows would make a great picture. I remembered anna telling us of a church bell tower that you can climb and see all of granada. So that was our focus, well it was my focus but dylan erika and stacy just walked at their normal pace and as it turned out we were a little late for the sunset. Erika and I still decided to go and try to catch a glimpse of the fading sun. We got to the church just as they were preparing to close the doors but the man was gracious and let us go up anyway. We stood on top of the church watching the sun go down and the sound of sunday mass was faint beneath our feet. I pulled out the ring and asked Erika to be my wife. The special moment was when she looked right past the ring and at me and said YES. As she took the ring out of the box and started putting it onto her right hand I had to quickly correct her action and make sure it made it onto the right finger. And no, i did not get down on one knee or make a big scene, that stuff is too cliche. it was simple and quick, straight to the point, but the important thing to note is that she said yes, and not... Um... well, i guess so! We got back to the hostel and grabbed showers (much needed i must say) and hung out with all of the other travelers in our midst which is refreshing, so many walks of life, so many nationalites and so many friends.
Erika in front of the church
Erika ontop of the bell tower
View of Granada
Just after I proposed
Erika's face when she realized what she said YES to!
Just kidding, this was her real reaction!
And my reaction


  1. hey! so glad you made it there safely. i set up an acct. so i can follow your blogs (all 3 of you boys) spoke to uncle paul today and he will do the same. can't wait for your next entry. love to everyone.

  2. YESSSSSS!!!! well cody, you know how we feel about erika. we're very happy for you both and love you so much. God bless. we look forward to your next entry. love to everyone. mom and dad