A little visit to Matagalpa town
Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
300Trip End Nov 04, 2008
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However, if there is a place to rest, that is Selva Negra. Fresh, surrounded by short treks, full of wildlife, and excellent service and friendliness. So we are happy that tiredness hit us here and not before.
Anyway, we have been in the same spot for a full week now, the most we have stopped in a place since we started in December, so today we decided to start warming our engines up a bit and descended an almighty 12 kms to Matagalpa - the closest town.
With regards to attractiveness of the town, it grades zero
So in this entry you will find a few photographs which relate to last weeks events (or lack of them).
A couple of comments on some of the photographs:
- The tank: it lies at the entrance of the Selva Negra hotel. All the area of Matagalpa to Esteli (North of Nicaragua) was where the fiercest battles against Somozaīs National Guard occurred in 1978-9, and also where heavy combats were fought between the FSLN and the Contraīs (trained by USA in Honduras a few kms North). So all the area is scattered with old weapons, etc.
- The Cake: surprise cake that Veronika ordered without Marcos knowing anything. The waitress brought it out with breakfast. As it was quite large we cut a piece for most of the waiters and receptionists...they were well pleased!
- The Ficus Tree: we all probably know the ficus plant as that small adorable decorative plant that lies around many European houses and gardens. Well here in Central America "small" does not form part of its genetics...The ficus tree is a parasite one and grows around other large trees until it completely controls it. The pictures show a ficus covering another poor tree.
- The Terrocarril Wheel: back in the early 1900īs all the area of Matagalpa had coffee plantations as their main production. Their main problem was getting the coffee to the ports in order to export it within a reasonable time. Most of the coffee owners were using mules to carry the coffee, in a trip that would take about a week to Granada.
The German enginner Otto Kuhl (grandfather of the Selva Negra hotel owner) immigrated to Nicaragua in 1890 and together with other German Coffee farmers devised the Terrocarril - a steam train that would work without rails and take heavy loads of coffee beans.
They imported all the steam machinery and wagons from Germany and successfully managed to get the Terrocarrill to Granada and back on the very basic mule pathways.
However, the Terrocarril kept sinking in the mud and the roads where just in too bad a state to make this system economical, so just 6 trips later they abandoned the machine. Only the front wheels of the Terrocarril are left, but there are plenty of photographs and paintings of it at the hotel.