Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Letters From Nicaragua: Part 24 - Rivas And The Ride Home

It was getting near the end of our adventure, and although a part of me wanted to see it not end, another part was worried that we hadn't yet made it back home in one piece. I find that I don't really relax until the bags are on the floor at home and I'm sure that the air conditioner hasn't blown up, water pipes are intact, pets are still breathing, and the pool is still blue. But, we were on the downhill side. I had survived the surf, I had managed the traffic in the cities, and as long as there was a bathroom nearby, I could handle the little varmints in my stomach from the local water. So far on this trip, it seemed that only Pam and the kids had gone unscathed from Montezuma's revenge. All the rest of us had at least 3 days of "I think I will just take a nap this afternoon". It wasn't that bad, until you were driving down a dirt road, wondering if you would just stop, jump a barbed wire fence and go in the jungle, or hope that somewhere down the road there was a gas station with a public restroom...since I had seen only 3 gas stations the whole trip, I carried a little bit of toilet paper with me at all times.
We said goodbye to the beach and Pam took in some of the power there, in an effort to get me one with our vehicle and traffic that lay ahead. We decided that Popoyo was awesome and could even deserve a second trip.
We found cool animals right at the Hotel Popoyo and found it was a great place to relax after surfing or sightseeing. They had a driver that could take you to Magnific Rock and it seemed that you could arrange a whole trip here without having to rent a car yourself and drive...and by car, I mean 4x4 truck or SUV.

The drive back to Managua was much easier than the drive out, and my best guess is that I was starting to get used to this country. It helped that I no longer had the big paddleboard to worry about and I knew that the locals probably figured we had no money left, as we weren't hounded at traffic lights going back to the airport hotel.
We went to Rivas along the way and stopped for a quick bite to eat and a short run to the "Poli", which Sam explained was the Latin version of a small Walmart. The walk to the Poli and the shopping inside was something that I am not sure how to describe. A crowded small street town, think Saint Augustine in Florida, maybe after things went really bad for a long time, going into a small grocery store that also carried flat screen TV's, and had guards at the door, and scores of beggars outside waiting for you when you left. You didn't just feel uncomfortable, you felt really bad. I can remember Emily asking her parents if she could leave something in a guy's bowl on the ground. I'm not sure what's worse, seeing that scene or the idea that you could get used to seeing it and have it bother you no longer. Nicaragua has seen a lot of bad times, and I hope that somehow our being there and spending money did a little bit of something. I know that everywhere we went we were told to "tell your friends!". It was as if the country wanted to make sure that we didn't forget they had something special there.
I know that with Pam's blessing, we left a 70% tip to the women that cleaned our rooms and waited on us for the 4 days at the hotel. We were sure that they piled 3 or more on a little motorcycle and rode to homes with dirt floors and no windows.I really wanted to leave behind everything we had in our suitcases with us, but Pam was adamant about keeping her rock collection, which came back to haunt us later...

No comments:

Post a Comment