Day 51 – Managua, Nicarauga

Day 51 – Friday, August 16, 2013

We left the border station this morning, and after a final document and passport check, headed for Managua, Nicaragua. Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua. We are planning on an overnight stop. Our first choice for a campsite was the Airforce Club facility but it was under construction so we headed for Plan B. Plan B was the Camino Real Hotel and Casino. It is a beautiful first class hotel, part of the Westin chain I was told, with all of the amenities you would expect. We enjoyed a beautiful buffet lunch in the dining room. We then spent the afternoon around the outdoor pool having some drinks and visiting with other guests. We went back for dinner. Julie and I had Chateaubriand for two and some Chilean red wine. It was a big tenderloin of beef with four different sauces and two sides. Julie notes “I don’t think I was the only person a little travel weary of parking lots as ‘Wally Wally’s’ family opted for a nice hotel room here to rejuvenate in. A few days back in Mexico, on an early morning fuel stop, seeing the Pemex Station, Wally was heard saying ‘Daddy are we stopping to sleep again?’ Out of the mouths of babes.”

The Nicaraguan countryside

Julie notes “We are always happy to see as part of the scenery, the big white rear end of the 5th wheel in front of us. A security beacon plus they provide helpful radio banter like ‘pot holes ahead’ it’s clear to pass, just ignore that solid line’, ‘policia is pulling us over, oh nope they’re pulling you over though, haha’ and ‘am I clearing those branches Brad?’ (as part of his vent lid goes bouncing down the road behind him, whoops). The rig is a good indicator for us to slow down or swerve or stop and during one very bumpy stretch, as we followed it through some rough road, the song ‘A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On’ appropriately played on the iTunes. The first few days of this trek for them were spent repairing shelves and unloading their heavy items to locals as they tried to make their house on wheels a bit more Latin American road worthy. We benefitted by receiving some yummy home preserves!”

A local market at one of our rest stops. Julie notes “Brad purchased some jalapenos (we think) from the fellow in the striped shirt. You can see them hanging in the second picture. We also found out what the mysterious green fruit was, the size and shape of oranges, that we’d seen growing on feathery trees in fields and along road sides and in yards. It turns out that they are the very exotic and hard to come by ‘verdes naranja’. (For those of you paying attention, that is Espanola for green oranges. Not so exotic or mysterious after all, just not ripened fully. I got the ‘loco gringo’ look when I asked what they were. Hombre, was my face rojo!)”

Along this particular stretch of highway, locals will sell exotic birds on the side of the road. Only exotic to us, I guess.

Typical street scene. Bicycles, horses, oxen, mules, motorcycles are common modes of transportation.

Having lunch in the dining room at the Camino Real Hotel & Casino Julie notes “It was nice having a crunchy salad. That is something we have been missing. And I will admit I enjoyed my fair share of the other foods as well. We declined dessert but our fellow diners taste tested them all.”

The hotel has an outdoor display of exotic birds. Julie notes “Polly want a cracker? No thanks. But a nice marguerite on the rocks poolside would be excellent!”

The sidekick. She’s a little happier with this campsite, I think. Julie notes “Yes, turns out all parking lots are NOT created equal. A note to Aunt Lynne and Uncle Herb…do you recognize anything in this picture. They have sure been the ticket down here.”

…carry on folks, the muleskinner and his sidekick