I made a salad in Esteli!!

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
Trip End Jul 06, 2011

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 99 April 13th continued - We arrived in Esteli just as the sun was setting. We had a guesthouse in mind so plodded off to go find it. The south bus station is next to a busy freeway and needs to be crossed before reaching the town. This took a while to find a gap in traffic, it's not like Hanoi where you can slowly edge your way across the road, big trucks and buses aren't going to stop for a ginger gringo.

The first two places we tried were full, they didn't look full so maybe they didn't want backpackers?? Not sure, but we continued on and I notice a cake shop!! Oh boy, I spot a slice of chocolate cake that has my name on it! We eventually find a friendly guesthouse, unsigned but like a two storey motel and she has one room left. When I go to pay, Tamara had paid in US dollar and I wanted to pay in local currency, she must have got confused as she then lowered the price?? Ok fine, but still, can I pay my half in local currency? Then she lets me pay less than what the exchange rate was?? Maybe it was late and she didn't want to use her mind? Anyway, bags dropped off and a quick check of the wifi in the room we headed up a long centre street to the plaza. There is a BBQ place and seeing as it was getting late, time for dinner. BBQ chicken and a beer, a great little place and super cheap as well.

We return to the room and unusually the smaller bus journeys are taking their toll. I guess with the longer ones, I can nod off for a few hours in the knowledge that when I wake up I'm still nowhere near my final destination. Here in Central America, one questions themselves when the bus enters any small town or village, is this my stop???

Miles walked 4.65
Temp 30C 86F

Day 100 April 14th - My 100th day in Latin America! Time has flown by but my body feels how far I have come. I still look at my map and wonder how I've moved so far in such a short space of time. But, this is my choice of travelling, the key word being to 'travel'. I enjoy the freedom of taking a bus and having no care as to how long it takes, whether I reach my destination or how uncomfortable it is.

Anyway, for my 100th day and by coincidence, we walk to the chocolate cake shop, order some coffees and juice and Tamara does not believe I will order the slice of cake. Well I do and it tastes great. Who cares if I felt slightly sick after, nothing better than a bit of cakie and might be all I can find over the next 6 days.

After breakfast, ahem, I need to digest and lie down! Today, will be nothing but relaxing, catching up on some sleep, chilling and enjoying Esteli. There are organised tours to Cigar factories but I'm not really interested, maybe if I smoked but I'm not fussed.

Once the cake has had time to digest, we walk back to the plaza, enjoy a drink and watch as a guy runs a business offering the hire of small powered barbie cars around a centre statue to young children. It's amusing to watch, except when young children run right up to your face, push their dirty grubby hand in your face and ask for money.

We decide on buying some local produce to make a salad for lunch. I know, you might have just fallen off your seat. When travelling, I tend to avoid fresh salad and fruit, just to preserve my stomach and to be able to keep travelling without the need to book the toilet seat on the bus.
We buy a massive avocado from one guy, two tomatoes from the back of a truck, we pick up more ingredients at the local supermarket and a piece of chicken to give the salad some protein.

Back at the guesthouse, the owner was fine with us using her kitchen and after some preparation, we created an extremely delicious salad. I even found a tin of sardines (pilchards) to add to mine, well I was thinking about them the other day so had to satisfy the urge.
Sadly for Tamara, the salad knocked me out and I must have slept for three hours in the afternoon. She writes a journal and has word on her ipad, so even without Internet connection, can knock out a journal or two while I sleep.

In the evening we make another small salad with some chicken again, use the other half of the avocado to make guacamole and buys some chips to dip.

Tomorrow we will leave Nicaragua for a seemingly short journey to the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. If you can't pronounce it, wait for the title of my next blog.

Miles walked 0.9
Temp 32C 90F

Day 101 April 15th - The plan was to get up super early and catch a 7am bus. Well, at 7am we were packed and headed off to breakfast. Coffee and a donut from the same place, hmmm! Oh well, it was quick and well, to put this nicely, I think the salad was having a negative impact on my body and I'm hoping I can last the bus journey to Tegucigalpa.

We walk to the north bus station, which is a few metres away from the south one. Luckily again, we climb aboard a bus, it fills and we are off. I'm predicting four hours to the capital. Fingers crossed.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Nicaragua. It is a place YOU must visit. There are beaches, surfing, Islands, Volcanoes, hip towns, rural towns, coffee producing villages and if you're up for a challenge, a tough capital. Except for the attempted theft in Managua, my experience has been wonderful and I've been lucky to have met some very cool people to share the experience with.
Ignore your preconceptions, book a flight to Managua, get on a bus and head south to Grenada, you will not be disappointed.
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mum and andy on

glad you got the pilchards at last,100 daysin latin america !! amazing.

Christina Guarino on

Wow, ginge. I can hardly believe it was more than 100 days ago that I saw you here in Brooklyn. I'm so glad you're having such an adventure!

Dave on

salad? salad? no way!

Pete on

Was the salad the fibre overload that broke your plumbing? Or was the chicken a bit pink?

Lois G. on

Go Old Man Go!

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