Gringo found in cabbage

By on 25 February 2018

30.01-01.02.2017 Catarina 71km///1710,18km

Step by step I head north. Like thunder came information, that 90 days visa, which I received in border with Nicaragua, is for all countries CA-4: Nicaragua, Honduras, Salvador and Guatemala! I need to walk really fast if I want to cross that part of world in time, see everything what I want and reach 4 most high peaks! Sure, I can leave that region and came here once again to have another visa. Or go to government and do some paper work to new. But it cost a lot of golden coins so… I need to be hurry!

In mean time my musings in how bad situation I’m, stopped passing really near my head… bear foot! Very often huge trucks are passing near by, and on back are guys hangings in hammock like on ships. I don’t know if they paid driver to take them in that way, or they just work on this truck and that’s how they pass long way road. It’s not important, because it’s incredible idea! Unfortunately I don’t have picture because they passing near by so fast that I don’t have time make picture.

I passing next villages and think about time which I can use to cross Nicaragua. One night spend in school where I use hand pump as a shower. Think was, that handle was too short to use in same time handle and blow up water, and to be under that water. So kids had a lot of fun when I jumped from handle to under water to take few drops of them. And once again – handle and quick jump under water. Gringo who’s taking shower is even more interesting as a television.

Wormhole to Buenos Aires

Hope ranch with basketball player

How can I take shower here?

In really stinky Nandaime I make turn to lake and automatically I been once again in wind’s shot line. But it’s better to suffer because of wind than smell of that place. Next night I spend near open church, where at morning one guy told me about party in next village – Divina. So it’s obvious that I gonna be there!

City like city – nothing special, but truly interesting was what happened there. On streets and in front of church during last days man’s build construction with wood and bamboo. Something in shape of carports, where under roof they hanged fruits and vegetables. I was so hungry when I saw it! 😀 But later was only better. On main square grew up few places with cheap attractions – lottery and toys. Classic things. But definitely wasn’t so classical procession with tens dancing groups which came from all country. Every had little orchestra, with obligatory marimba carried by two guys in front of third who play. And he played weeeery well!

Next groups are passing in dancing walk, enter to church and finally end theirs performance in front of altar. From dancer interesting were especially those with mask and colorful clothes. But… something is wrong here. Women from that couple have so big biceps! Because in fact this are guys in women’s clothes! Since hundreds of years mans can participate in that dance. And what is interesting this performance is even on UNESCO list!

And last but not least. Holy Mary. GIANT! Caring by dozens of mans cradling her in trans rhythm. They buckle under weight of monument, but bravely are walking forward with insurance of conductor of that caravan. Someone is putting up electric lines, someone is hinder all march. And I wait when all that gonna collapse, but thankfully nothing is happening.

Square looks like idyll, when beside corner came young guy with covered face with red scarf and with… mortar on arm! It start, I think! Take weapon! Peal the bells! Ghosts of revolution came alive! Covered warrior put heavy dial on cobble, to welded tube put some bundle, and after few seconds… BANG! In Europe so strong fireworks I think that they are prohibited, because You can destroy even piece of wall! That what in Europe can be named as a terrorism, here is a part of carnival 🙂 Boys with cash from government decided to shot so loudly that even Holy Mary somewhere up there, could hear that. There was much more banger – shoot from wooden construction carried in hands (very responsibly!) or in shape of long snake with dozens of explosive bundles. Women, who was on the street exactly in moment when main pyrotechnic (Jorge, farmer) put fire under fireworks, almost had hearth attack when she ran to find shelter. With accompaniment of laughs 😀

Demetrio. Official photographer and now my friend who gave me a lot of information about that celebration

I would stay there much longer, but road called me, so sunset I welcomed in view point in another village Catarina. View for Laguna Apoyo, beautiful but windy, will stay in my memory for long time, but much more important were people who I met there. Not those with pockets full of dollars, but those small one, like me. Sellers of souvenirs, bar tenders and waiters, guy who rent for minutes binoculars, other backpacker who sold handicraft and many others. Waves of laughs, with which we even could crush blows of wind, were ended only for one moment – when on hill were gringos with dollars. In moment information about them came from one person to another, and sellers quickly made circle around them.

2.02.2017 Masaya 14,2km///1724,38km

I walked fast to another city, Masaya. City, as usually don’t have nothing special, but accidentally I met there… Monika and Nil, with who few days before we had meeting night with bottle of rum! We had ready plan in 3 seconds. I gonna walk to Masaya volcano at evening, to warm in heat of lava, and later we gonna meet under volcano. But my walking patch ended really quick, because on gate. “You can’t go there on foot. You need to have car or pay for transport”. I asked few drivers if they don’t have free place. But all cars were full! Damn it, I paid 10$ for entrance and another 5$ for transport and here we go! It’s getting higher and colder after every curve. And on summit… rain is starting! I jumped out of bus and run quickly to see crater before clouds will cover everything. I can’t describe that feeling! Void with hot lava! Bubbles of golden liquid, which You wanna touch. And that sound of working Earth… Is not so easy to forget it.

In museum near volcano I found soooo big bug! 😛

3-5.02.2018 Managua 17km///1741,38km

I will not forget also that evening with Poles. And especially that morning 😉 But that was time to walk to capital city of Nicaragua – Managua. And entering there was like drama! First time I saw 3 lines road with buses, trucks and cars in the middle of city, where is absolutely no side roads! More, in two sides are only holes in ground! And people are walking there, and jumping from one hole between cars to another, to avoid death. But it’s need to be strong, so when huge metal cans with tires touched black foil of my trolley, I only thought to find some side road. I finally there was… after 10km of fear.

I came near market, where I had appointment with Elden, my host from Couchsurfer. But I need to look like garbage, because even guard from that place told me that I should move. There is one plus of that situation, because I looked less attractive not only for guard but also for thieves.

Elden live in small home a little bit outside of that metropolis, but after few kilometers of walk I was in city center. In center, which looks like abandoned. Like after apocalypse! Main street and there is absolutely nobody. I know that people are in work, but still is center of capital! National Cinematic closed, only museum which I found also. Ehh it’s really strange city where slums are almost not ending and are touching city center. But easily You can found there a lot of trash on streets. Problem with side roads or signalizations is similar like in suburbs. And maybe there is no problem because there aren’t also elements of that infrastructure? Managua isn’t best city which I met. First time in my life I had so strong feeling to leave that place. And that what I done.

Elden, my host from Couchsurfing

6.02.-9.02.2017 Leon 99,6km///1840,98km

I walked near lake and came into Nagarote city. In Maps Me app there is no information about interesting places here. Maybe because since many years nobody came here. That’s why I made that and that was really good decision. Quite beautiful main square, nice streets with flowers and flags and interesting colorful view point. People open, friendly and easy going. What more to be happy here? Maybe only rail, which rests I found everywhere here in Nicaragua. But where are trains? Many years ago government of Nicaragua had really “clever” idea and… they sold everything on trash!

River. Or something.

Free Internet on square

Last signs of railroad

Unfortunately empty inside

I walk further. Night is coming and on side roads only fields. I jumped in one of them and started to camp under tower with electric wires, what wasn’t so clever. But than found me there Ramiro. “You wanna camp here? It’s dangerous! I invite You to my home”. Place was really small and characteristic for villages here. Made with metal parts which they found somewhere. But they gave me so much food like for king! I had place to take shower and hammock between trees. And when information went into village, that neighbor found in field quite good gringo – a lot of people came just to see me! And they wanted to take pictures with me 😀

Barbed wire across square. Quite dangerous 😀

Ramiro, Angelica, Sharen, Patricia and gringo found in cabbage

Finally I reached La Paz Centro. City like city, but more interesting was road from there to city Leon. You can’t be sure about nothing in Latin America, so I asked 3 persons about one road if it’s with asphalt. “Yes, yes. Asphalt like new”. To be sure I asked 2 guys more and they told me same. I walked 35 km (!!!) and I didn’t found anything what I can say that is asphalt. Only sand like in beaches and stones which but my tires. And of course when I wanted to repair it came big trucks and rise cloud of dust so big that it changed me into mummy. Also snakes, which ran away, and scorpions which didn’t wanted to ran.

Truly no picture gonna show what happened there. Finally when I came into city and started wash myself in fountain, people looked at me like on cave man 🙂