I’m gonna get it printed on a shirt, in big bold letters, ‘NO NECISITO TAXI!’ I’m gonna wear it every time we have to make a bus transition in Rivas, which is the hub for buses. Traveling by bus in Nicaragua, you’re bound to catch a bus, get off a bus, or switch buses in Rivas, and those mere moments you’re not on a bus, you’re going to get bombarded by taxi drivers. Even though you’ve told the first five taxis, “No, gracias”, and this driver witnessed it, he’s still going to ask, coz ya know, fifth times the charm? Once again, I don’t need a taxi. Traveling from Ometepe to our next destination, Masaya, we decided to use this annoying taxi system from San Jorge to Rivas, it was only $5 and we didn’t have to wait 45 minutes for the bus. We got dropped off at the bus station and began trying to figure out which bus was going to take us to Masaya. The bus station in Rivas is also among a market, it’s quite chaotic, a good taste of Central America. Instead of finding the right bus, we found ourselves with a plastic baggy of pink strawberry flavored milk, and in the back of a ‘taxi’. I say taxi, but this car wasn’t marked whatsoever and sure enough, we’re getting scammed and there’s no turning back now. The driver is asking for way more money than agreed upon and pretended not to understand us when we tried correcting him. Dang it, it happened to us. I’ve read of stories of this happening, tourists getting into what they thought to be a taxi, and it’s not, demanding for more money, or they didn’t get their luggage. Should’ve taken the bus…. Lots of arguing and $65 dollars later, we’re standing across from Parque Central, at Casa Vega, our hostel for the next week.
We don’t have to share a twin bed tonight! Ever since leaving Louisiana, we’ve been sharing a twin bed, which isn’t fun when it’s super hot and humid, and you partner is a heater to begin with. Also, a washing machine! I don’t have to scrub our clothes by hand, not that I really mind doing that, you just don’t realize how much you take a washing machine for granted when you don’t have one for two and a half weeks.
Our main reason to go to Masaya was to check out the National Artesian Market there, hoping to score some local handmade gifts to give to people back home. Ha Local and handmade are definitely two words I would not use to describe this market. Everything was the same, from booth to booth, mass produced souvenirs. This was not what we had in mind and we were thoroughly disappointed. A reminder to not have expectations on things, they are what they are. Hearing of another market, a locals market, we head down to check it out. Rows upon rows upon rows of stuff. Lots of stuff. This market had EVERYTHING, it was HUGE. You could find everything you needed in here. Grab a new wardrobe of clothes in one row, get everything you need to build a house in the next two, and watch a lady slaughter a chicken five rows down. It was a mad house, a mad market, beautiful chaos.
While in Masaya, we traveled to Laguna de Apoyo for a day. Laguna de Apoyo is a volcanic lake, occupying the crater of an extinct volcano. We kayaked and caught a couple of fish for dinner, drank many cervesas, and met some incredible people, who invited us to Granada for New Year’s Eve, which was the following day.
The next day, we found ourselves on our way to Granada to explore for the day and join the festivities that night. Oh goodness, that New Year’s Eve will definitely be forever remembered. We found ourselves on the local’s block, and experienced a grand Nicaraguan NYE. Evening festivities included: A parade, paper bulls being lit on fire, running from said paper bulls, while walking in the parade with over a hundred people, fireworks galore, sack racing while a DJ roars them on, lots of beer, more bulls being lit on fire, and firespining of many kinds. Oh my, the pictures do little justice. Beautiful chaos, it seems to be popping up in my life a lot on this trip. Once the festivities calmed down, we grabbed a taxi back to Masaya, at four in the morning… Ha.
After recovering for a couple of days, we decided it’s time to move on, next stop, San Juan del Sur, to take some surf photography, and possibly hang out there for the remainder of our trip. Oh San Juan del Sur, I could elaborate on how much I disliked your charm, but I’m just going to leave these beautiful sunset pics here and a man climbing a coconut tree, to be admired,
We’re currently living on Playa Gausacate, Nicaragua, a nice quiet beach. We’ve rented a place for the next month, while we take surf photography
We can hear the waves crashing from our room, tide pools are just a short walk down the beach, the beach is clean and not over-ran by tourists, and the main surf spot is a 20 minutes walk on the beach. It’s our own little paradise.
As with my last blog post, there’s fewer photos of our moments. I forgot to mention in the blog post above that our phones got stolen traveling from San Juan del Sur to Rivas to get to Playa Gausacate. Blake will have a blog post up about that experience in the near future! Follow us on Instagram to stay up to date on our travels. We send photos daily to my sister, Caitlin, who posts them for us, allowing for us to still be somewhat connected. Gracias!!