Around Managua

Trip Start Aug 21, 2006
Trip End Sep 08, 2006

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I walked all over Managua yesterday. I decided that I needed a little day pack since carrying around my guide book and random other stuff in a plastic bag was lame, so I went to a little mall that is close to my hostel and picked up a small backpack. The mall was on the way to a big crater lake thats in the center of the city. Its an easy walk up to the top where you have a great 360 degree view of the city.

After taking a few pictures, I decided to ride the zip-line down to the bottom. They call these "canopy tours" even when you're not really in a canopy.  Anyway, after about 30 seconds of instructions and strapping on a harness, my guide attached me to the cable and said, "slow down before you get to the end" and away I went, cruising down a 300 meter cable to the second platform. Wheeeee! ... There were three cables to ride and once I got to the bottom, I could feel my abs tightening a little bit. What a fun way to get an ab workout!

Next I walked to the waterfront to see a few statues and the ruins of an old cathedral. It was a pretty long walk considering how hot it was. It took about an hour because I stopped to take pictures and observe the student rally/protest/whatever that was going on (there were hundreds of students in yellow shirts marching, beating drums and shooting things into the air). After the cathedral ruins, I walked into a modern art museum which was more like a gallery (most of the art had a price tag). There were some really cool statues in there, so I took some pictures. Next, I went to another museum to see 3000 year old foot prints. I guess when they were digging a canal, they uncovered these rocks that had preserved human foot prints. It was interesting, but everything was in Spanish, so I can't really elaborate. I plan on learning some Spanish before my next trip here.

It was 2 PM and I was pretty much done seeing Managua. There aren't a lot of interesting things to do here, as far as I can tell, so I decided to check out the big university (ok, yes, I just wanted to check out the cute Nicaraguan college girls). So, I got a cab to la UNC. I walked around the campus, had a coke at a little outdoor snack shop. Chatted a little bit with a couple of college girls who spoke English and asked when the dance school was. After getting directions to the Nicaraguan Academy of Dance, I walked over there and asked if I could take some Latin dance classes.

Unfortunately, the Salsa class wasn't until Thursday night, so instead I took two hours of "rhythm" classes. These were basically dance aerobics classes, but they danced to Latin music and learned steps (foot work and patterns) to various Latin dances, like Salsa, Meringue, etc.). I was one of two guys in the class and the only white person. People actually gathered at the door to see the random white guy in the aerobics class... Oh, and if you're from Seattle and ever take a dance class here, you'll appreciate how nice and cool it is in our Seattle venues. It was something like 90 degrees outside, probably over 100 in the class room and no A/C. I drank three big bottles of water in two hours and Im sure I sweat it all out within that time as well. It was fun, though, and now I know a few Latin dance steps... hopefully I be able to try them with a partner before I leave Nicaragua.

After going back to the hostel and taking a nice cold shower (damn, that felt good), I went to Rotonda Bello Horizonte for dinner. This place is a big traffic circle with restaurants surrounding one side and more mariachis than I knew even existed. It seemed to be the mariachi center of the universe. I think a different one came up to me every 5 minutes asking if I wanted some music. I ate at the pizza place and had an amazing Hawaiian pizza. It had red pineapple (I assume it was dyed since Ive never seen a red pineapple) and was really good. I also had a couple of Nicaraguan beers, which were pretty good, too. I was tired, so it was off to bed for me. Now, I have to figure out where I'm going today... Corn Island? Leon? Youll have to read the next entry to find out. ;)
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