I’m starting to get that itch. That itch that it’s time to meander. ‘Meandering Mindy’, Blake likes to call me. I can’t help it, it’s what I was put here to experience. Packing up our bags and saying goodbye to this beautiful farm has been on my mind for a good week.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;”
J. R. R. Tolkien
Finca Bona Fide (projectbonafide.com) is a 26-acre experimental permaculture farm that is full of life and everything on it has a purpose. From the wind-chiming bamboo clusters to the millions of spiders of every shape and size, whose webs I constantly wore on my face. I had grown more than used to the sound of a confused rooster at 1 o’ clock in the morning, ant swarms taking up every square inch of living space, scorpions being eaten alive by said ants, and actually looked forward to eating gallo pinto with every meal. I preferred chopping down termite’s nests to feed to the chickens than carrying buckets of water to water the citrus trees before breakfast and didn’t mind whatsoever pooping in the compost toilet. Permaculture farm life is a beautiful life, but I’m feeling stale with so much yet to explore. We had originally planned on staying on the farm for two months, but we’re deciding to follow our vagabonding nature and go explore, with full intent of returning to the beautiful finca again. As I lay here in this hammock, as I’ve done everyday here on the farm, I think back to the day and a half it took us to get here, and how it seems like yesterday.
Getting to Bona Fide was over a days journey of traveling from Managua. It all started with a giant green and yellow school bus.
Oh goodness, Central American bus systems are an experience of their own. I’ve read many stories of hecticness of ‘chicken’ busses, but I had never experienced them myself. A 30-45 minute drive took about 3 hours. There were many stops with people getting on and off, along with vendors selling many fried foods of sorts in self-wrapped plastic bags. At one stop, a clown boarded and remained standing up front, entertaining the whole bus. I sat there very thankful that Blake was sitting next to me, and that I had used the bathroom before getting on the bus. I had no idea where we were going, hoping that the last stop wasn’t ours, nor having any idea what was going on around me. At this time in our trip, I spoke no Spanish. If the clown was making jokes about the only gringos on the bus, I had no idea, but he did receive quite a few tips before getting off at one of the many stops. Looking around, everyone seemed pretty un-phased by the fact that several people have disposed of their trash out the window, the constant honking of horns, and the mere inches that the bus has come within hitting several cars, moto-bikes, and people. This was the moment that it really hit me, as Dorothy put it best, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” All the planning we had been doing the last month was finally here. Whoa. Three hours later…We see a ferry up ahead, and assume that this is our stop. As soon as we get off the bus, we’re herded onto the ferry by men yelling, “OMETEPE! OMETEPE!” We had originally planned on grabbing food before getting onto the ferry, but there was no time for that. We had no idea if there was going to be another ferry and this one was leaving now. There we were, on the second story of this ferry, crossing Lake Nicaragua, feet dangling over the ledge, wind blowing in our hair. At one point a dragonfly landed on me and I felt oh-so grateful for where I was, and for what was to come, as this was just day one. It started to sprinkle, a very warm rain, and looking over to Isla Ometepe, there was a full rainbow over the island of twin volcanoes, as if welcoming us to our new home.
The sun was setting as we arrived on the island, and we checked into our hostel for the night, deciding it was better to make the rest of the trek to Bona Fide in the daylight. Being the second time I had ever stayed in a hostel, I totally spaced the fact the you’re sharing a room with 6-10 people, and a lock is a key piece of equipment needed when staying in any hostel. Already hangry and beginning to crash, we roamed the streets, in search for a lock. We can’t be the only people to have forgotten a lock before, right? Finally finding a lock, and our stuff secured, we went looking for food. Ever been so hungry you can’t make decisions or even think straight? I was at that point, not to mention I couldn’t read any of the Spanish on the menus to decide what I wanted. The bliss I was feeling a couple hours ago was far off in the distance; all I could hear was the rumbling of my tummy. After finally indulging in chicken and French fries, I decided sleep was the next step. That was the last night I got the pleasure of controlling the air movement without the help of mother nature, via fan. The next morning, after eating the best eggs benny I’ve ever had, and having a calala (passion fruit) smoothie for the first time, we boarded our bus to head to Bona Fide.
But wait, we have to switch busses at some point? We have to put our bags on top of the bus, and trust they’re not going to fly off? We’ve got to somehow fit on here with a bazillion other people? Is there some law about how many people can get on the bus? Breathe Mindy. This was a major point of stepping out of my comfort zone and really riding it out, (pun intended.) I thought the bus was full when we squeezed on. Nope. Somehow more people kept managing to squeeze on like a game of human Tetris. The hour went by pretty fast on the first bust, and before we knew it, our bags were getting thrown on top of another bus and we’re playing another round of human Tetris. This time bags of rice and plantains were involved. I was really amazed at how everyone stayed calm and no one seemed annoyed by how many sweaty bodies, babies, grandmas, and teenagers on their cell phone, were getting crammed onto the bus. Not a chance this would be OK in the states. Someone would get offended or pissed off, but here, this is a way of life. It was beautiful chaos. We finally got dropped off in Balgüe and began our ascent to Bona Fide, passed the wind-chiming bamboo clusters, a right at coconut alley, pass the pigs and up the hill, just in time for lunch. It was a beautiful journey and a wonderful was to be bitten by the travel bug. Here we are now, packing our bags, preparing for our descent down to Balgüe to get shoved on a bus, to repeat the hustle and bustle of transportation to Masaya, all to relieve that itch.
You’ve probably noticed the lack of photos in this blog, other than Bona Fide pics. Unfortunately, our cell phones got stolen last week while traveling, and they had quite a few pictures on them. No big deal really, just materialistic things, and I hope whoever stole them needed them more than we did. Just another sign that we need to disconnect more and back-up our photos more often. Ha. Don’t forget to share this post with your peeps and meander around our blog! Gracias!