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Travel Log: Bluefields, land of buccaneers.

Landing in this harbor city, forgotten from the rest of the world, will make you dive immediately in a dimension where time is ruled by the sun cycle. You’ll face an ancient town, placed on the Escondido River mouth, with an old harbor that, for around two centuries, served as refugee for pirates and was, than, conquered by Great Britain. It has faced the American intrusions and later the destructive power of a hurricane that destroyed it all. You’ll find a Caribbean ethnic melting pot but not only. Here you’ll meet mulatto, black and white people and also some Chinese. As you can imagine there you can hear people speaking many different languages.

Within these languages the main ones are Spanish and a kind slang of an English taste. Then, also indigenous languages are spoken, such as the Miskito one. The Miskitos are the people that live in the tropical forests located between the cost and the lagoon.

 If you arrive in this town, it means that you’ve already tested your travelling resistance, but remaining here could be even more challenging but also very interesting.

You have to expect hostels with a used and smelly mattress thrown on wooden bars, with beetles frolicking happily around the room. Expect also bathrooms where the shower is a bathtub full of cold water with a bucket to wash yourself. You could also be in a clean hotel with friendly people but it could happen to you to notice that during the night worms are coming out from the shower hole. To avoid all this I suggest you to go directly to the Hostal Doña Vero which, after experiencing the others, will look at your eyes as a five star hotel at least in terms of cleanliness and hygiene. Here for few dollars per night you can use a clean kitchen, you have free coffee, water all day long, wi-fi and you can use a swimming pool while the tropical birds are singing their songs, without worrying yourself about possible surprises.

Don’t expect to see around other tourists, here people pass without stopping. The few ones there arrive here are the adventurers directed to Corn Island or Laguna de Perlas (Pearl Lagoon).

There isn’t any canonical spot of touristic interest to drive you here but the willingness to meet a truly caraibic charming reality that is really far away from us.

Houses are really coloured, short and made of wood, districts are divided in square blocks with straight roads delimiting the borders. Policemen are wearily patrolling the town equipped with their Kalashnikov or pump rifle. The harbour is a constant going and coming of every kind of people such as fishermen, wheeler-dealers and haulers while ships, trawlers and pangas (local name for a local kind of launch) are coming in a constant succession.

People are really kind and after one or two days here, not being accustomed to tourists wandering around, they will recognize you possibly saying hello to you while walking down the streets. You’ll bounce in many white wooden churches with a colonial style where you could see worshippers coming out, well dressed for the Mass, or hear gospel notes spreading all around.

In case you have time, it could be interesting to visit the local university where you can meet some passionate local student that could accompany you around, involving you into the dynamics of a town that only in appearance is easy to understand.

You could also feel yourself a bit of a buccaneer passing from the main square – park where, next to a well, traitors were beheaded or, even better, going to have lunch ordering a big dish of rice with meat or fish and beans followed by few beers while Latino American music is accompanying you in your lunch and around you dock workers and probably prostitutes give them self to alcohol under the filthy inn roof.

You could be astonished to find a murales with the insignia of Segrate city council (a town close to Milan, Italy) that is financing an international project to help populations exposed to a high risk of natural disaster such as volcano eruptions, tsunami, earthquakes and hurricanes that are flagellating this area of the South Atlantic.

You could be fascinated by a world that is ruled not by a frenetic life style but from the moon and sun cycles where people are living only around the hearth where they were born. You can easily meet people that never got out the town. The city will change after the sunset, people go to sleep in order to wake up with the first morning light. There are few inns where you can dance and drink breaking the night but here you shall go with a group of people in order to avoid problems that could arise from drunken people.

You could enjoy a good dinner in one of the two main restaurants of the town. One is located up to an hill where you can have a glance over the bay and the other one is at the end of a main road right on the lagoon shore.

If you have the will to wake up before dawn, you will see fishermen on their canoes throwing into the lagoon their circular nets, and you’ll be absorbed into a National Geographic style experience.

As soon as the sun will be shining and after seeing the fishermen doing their morning ritual of fishing, it is time to stop and have a good breakfast at Monte Cristo Café.

Don’t miss the second part of this story: Bluefields, Monte Cristo Café and the never land. Read it.

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