Trip to the coffee highlands

Trip Start Aug 07, 2008
Trip End Oct 25, 2008

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spent the next 4 days after the last blog entry running to the toilet, obviously eating at market stalls is a no-no. Have mostly recovered now, though not helped by a busy weekend.

Travelled up to a city called Jinotega, in the Northern mountainous regions of Nicaragua. I left home at 4.20am to get the direct bus to Matagalpa, as the tourist information lady and the family i´m staying with had told me. I was then to meet with one of their friends, who incidentally is a bus owner/diver who drives the route from Matagalpa to Jinotega that combines perfectly with the bus from Leon. Unfortunatelt I had been misinformed. I realised this when, at a point I knew was still not even near Matagalpa, the bus emptied of all people and the conductor asked me where I was going. He told me I needed to get a bus to Matagalpa, so, very tired and confused I asked around and found the bus stop to Matagalpa. This connection meant I arrvied 1 hour late. Well, I never really arrived in Matagalpa. At the junction entrance to the town (which they always call the Empalme) someone came on the bus and asked if anyone wanted to go to Jinotega. I was asleep but jumped up and said me-me! I then told him I should have been getting on David Mendoza´s bus, so he told me it would be best to find him in Jinotega. The whole bus ride was very bumpy, with large potholes in the ground forcing the bus to slow down or drive on the wrong side of the road. Eventually (9am) I reached the small city of Jinotega. Somone pointed me round a corner and told me to find David there. His bus with his name on it was, but no sign of him, so I started asking nearby houses and quickly located his sister, who had his phone number, so I called, explained the situation, and 30 minutes later I was at his house being offered multiple Cokes and tacos.

Had a really good weekend. David & his family were really friendly, he took me out to a nearby town in the hills, out with his nephews (my age) for beers that night, lunch the next day, and then to a nearby forest reserve. Jinotega is much colder than Leon, about 25ēC in the middle of the day. It is the coffee capital of Nicaragua, the economy almost totally dependant on it. The nature reserve is half organic coffee farm half cloud forest. It is very peaceful and beautiful. It is also very humid, being in the clouds all the time. I left Jinotega on Monday morning with an open invitation to return, a new friend and bags of coffee for me and the family.

(Sorry no photos yet)
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