Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Managua

My mom, dad, and myself, before departing LAX at 5am-ish
The northern shore of Cuba.

Approaching Managua, Volcan Momotombo (I think) and it´s miniature island version, La Niña, looming in the distance
So I´m alive. And this keyboard is difficult to navigate, what with its funky setup and all. Anyway, I touched down a bit after sunset, grabbed a cab with a really cute Norwegian named Anna, and headed into Barrio Martha Quezada, on the west side of Managua. Descending in the plane was awe-inspiring, as the city appeared from out of all the dark green and black mountains below the plane, with a large volcano looming in the misty distance. Literally, there was this haze that made the sundown clouds amazing.

The peculiar, delicious, and ultimately stomach-unsettling first Nicaraguan meal

I had my first meal last night at a neighborhood fritanga, Doña Pilar´s, which is an evening-only restaurant serving up tasty enchiladas and meats. I had juicy but salty carne asada cuts, the ¨enchilada¨, which was actually a fried tortilla housing rice and steamed pork (I think), and not the usual Mexican version we´re so used to in San Diego. I made the mistake of drinking a fruit juice with most likely non-purified ice, and it was a strange flavor and texture. They call it ¨naranja tamarindo¨, and it has the consistency of boba balls, but in juice form. The girl serving it took a hammer to a block of ice in less-than-sanitary conditions, leading to my stomach rebelling a few hours ago and lancing out my first meal of today. Following that, I went to a darkened bar and had a few shots of Nicaraguan Flor de Caña rum and a bottle of Coke, but did not end up engaging in any meaningful, intellectual conversation, unlike my experience in Argentina. Strike 1 for Managua.

View from my hostel room.

Cold shower #1 of my journey. At least it´s not with a bucket! 

Nearby street - complete with honking cars, risky pedestrians, and all manner of vehicles sharing the road.

 This morning I walked to a place called, ¨Licuado Ananda¨, which served me the plato del día, consisting of slightly curried rice, platano chips (which are delicious), a fried mystery patty of what I think was beans and other stuff, and a disgustingly bland mash-up of vegetables that has the texture and temperature of the version I upchucked.

Anyway, I wanted to go to San Carlos, which is a bumpy, gruelling 9 hour ride to the Southeastern jungled border with Costa Rica, but after realizing the bus terminal I had to go to is all the way across town, I´m instead going to Masaya, to peek into an active volcano crater. Not a bad alternative, I´d say.

All for now, more for later. Until then, this is Drew Peters.

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