Home again — some impressions of Nicaragua

I wasn’t excited about going to Nicaragua, but I’m very glad I did. Granada was an interesting place.

People were pretty friendly. They were, for the most part, quite dark-skinned. You could spot the North Americans (US / Canada) and Europeans easily. On the street one day, we were just walking along. Two women walking by stopped us, moved Kathy’s glasses case up on her shoulder (from hanging on her arm) and, mostly with hand motions, told us to be more careful with our cameras and purses. We thought it was quite nice of them to worry about strangers.

Many people we saw were thin to the point of emaciated. The same could be said of many of the horses and dogs. I don’t think I saw any cats. We did see a dead rat once in the street.

Traffic was a mess: bicycles, motorcycles, a variety of three-wheeled vehicles, cars (mostly Japanese), pick-up trucks, regular trucks, horse-drawn carts… Vehicles rarely stopped because of stop signs; they did hesitate at every intersection to check for cross traffic that wasn’t going to stop.

We used dollars pretty much everywhere. Some stores accepted credit cards. The US dollar was roughly equal to 25 Nicaraguan cordobas. I used the ATM machine at a bank once. I could get either local or other currency; I got local, so I don’t know how it worked for other. I took lots of $20 bills. Another time, I’ll make sure I have more $1, $5 and $10.

As a veggie, I found plenty to eat. However, what we found was Italian, American, steaks,… but not much “Nicaraguan”. That may have been because we were mostly in a tourist area. The food was generally quite good, the restaurants looked clean (cleaner than home). We drank bottled water and had no problem.

One “housekeeping” note: As in Costa Rica, toilet paper went in the trash (“basura”), not the toilet. I worried about asking for a restroom — they’re “baños”.

We were in Nicaragua as tourists. We tried to look around a lot, but we were still tourists, not really living off the local economy. And we spent most of our time in one city.

Would I go back? Yes, maybe. I am encouraged now to visit more of Central and South America, areas I’ve never been.


1 Comment

  1. Stefan

     /  March 26, 2014

    Just saw your wonderful blog. Very nice indeed. Thank you.
    And welcome back home.

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