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Travel log: Nicaragua, destination Bluefields!

Travel 1st part: From San José to Managua.

What really made me to be at dawn on the bus that was leaving from San José in Costa Rica bound to Managua, Nicaragua, as first step of a long trip, is a long story that will be kept in the boundary of my memories.

Certaintely, thanks to this post, you’ll be able to know what you could expect from this trip in the case you would ever pass from there.

Trip preparation had been reduced to the essential, just few information asked to people from Nicaragua that was living in San José. As a fact I haven’t had even the time to acclimatize myself nor to get used to the local time.

From San José to Managua there are two companies that are offering a direct route. The buses are really confortable. Personally I used Transnica but also Ticobus is fine. You could try to save some money taking a bus till the border and then taking another one from the other part of the border till Managua but in this case you shall think about the fact that you must multiply the trip hours.

At the border the earthquake made the buildings trembling but local people seemed to be used to an hearth that often says what it wants.

Trip 2nd part: From Managua to Rama and from Rama to Bluefields.

From Managua to Rama you must opt for the pure local and more folkloristic transport: in this case an old yellow bus, the last one of the day, the nightly one that leaves at 10 p.m.

The trip to reach this small river town was an apotheosis of contrasting feelings such as warmth, tiredness, surprise, sometime worry, irritation, tenacity and at the end the global pleasure of having done a pure local experience.

The bus was smelling of adventure. It was an old yellow school bus equipped with a yellow intermittent light located on the roof, three green neon lights at the windscreen sides, a giant religious phrase advising that “Dios con Nosotros” (God is with us), other smaller plaques with written “Amo Jesus” (I love Jesus) and a Statue of the Virgin silently and restlessly watching the passengers. Countless were the baggage fixed on the roof. Obviously the last places available were the standing ones. A red light was illuminating the driver place. Notes of Latino America music were spreading all over accompanying this old, smelling and overcrowded bus across the dark night of the desert Nicaragua’s lands. After a stop in the middle of no-where the bus arrived at Rama at first morning lights where, kindly, the bus driver allowed passengers to sleep a bit while waiting the “panga” (local name for a river boat) to Bluefields sailing the Rio Escondido placid waters.

If hunger will approach you, you could eat something at the local market that is just behind the small river dock, where rice, beans, eggs are already waiting for you, the only requirement is not to be picky. If you should need to go to the toilet don’t use the market one, don’t ask me why, just trust me and go to the dock station one.

It is not that sure you can get on board of the panga (local name for a river boat) at the same day you wish to. One thing is sure, you must be there early in the morning and place yourself at the ticket office stating clearly that you want to leave with the next one otherwise everybody else will go ahead of you. You could think to go to Bluefields by an old bus but the panga is far more speedy, comfortable and interesting. Rio Escondido shores are made of pure nature and huts of an ancient sharm.

After more or less one hour sailing the river, you will reach Bluefields, a remote harbour town where the word “tourist” is not written in the dictionaries. In the case you opted for the no stop trip from San José (more than 30 hours) you shall pay attention to your face that could scare, as well as you, the local people!

In the next post I’m going to tell you about Bluefields, where two days looked like a week passed in this town apparently without time. Don’t miss it!

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