Friday, August 31, 2007

Arrived in Nicaragua

Well the last couple of days have been a bit of a change up to what I've grown accustomed to.

For one, I don't have my darling Chrissy to get me from point A to point B, nor do I have the girls giggling int he back, calling for toilet breaks and taking those few extra minutes in the morning to get ready.

After I managed to miss my flight I spent that night in a nearby hotel, king size bed, air conditioning, cable television, hot shower, clean towels, drinkable water from the tap.................... all the things that I've pretty much gone without for the past 7 weeks.

But it doesn't have the same charm as a beach side palapa with gratis mozzies.

I managed to get on the flight to Managua in the morning and double checked that my luggage was going to be on he flight. Of course it was they said.

On arriving I was last through customs............... AGAIN!!!!!!! If you ever see me in the line at customs get into the line next to me, they move twice as fast. Oh, and if you see me jump into your line, get out of it and go back to the line I was just in........... it' a guarantee.

One I finally passed customs I wandered into the baggage area to find................ yep, no luggage.

At this point I was really starting to reconsider my trip to Nicaragua, things should never be this difficult if it was meant to be.

I asked one of the airport guys about the luggage, "ahhh, Mr Justin Avery, yes your luggage arrived last night and is sitting at gate 6"........................... so much for the luggage definitely being on this flight.

As I wandered over to gate 6 a guy, taxi driver I was guessing, followed me talking in Spanish. What it was I'm not sure, but I picked up the occasional word.

"No, Gracias" I said over and over again, but he persisted and followed me up to the American Airlines counter.

I asked about the luggage at..........ohhhh 11.43am, but unfortunately the luggage can only be released between 8am and 11.30am and 2.oopm and 4.00pm.

Oh yeah, Nicaragua is working out AWESOMELY!!!!!

The cab driver walked me over to Gate 6, which isn't actually in the airport as you might think, but about 500 meters away outside once you find your way through a few allyways.

The cab driver made a phone call and organised my luggage to come out a it earlier, or so it seemed. I walked back to the arport to change some money, cambia dinero, and get some comida.

When we got back to the gate the luggage was there, and the taxi driver started to load up the cab. He wanted to charge me $70US to drive me to Rivas, but I wanted to head to the bus stop and catch the local bus.

After some very poor spanish bartering we agreed on $55 for the trip, which was about 2 hours. I'm pretty sure I paid too much, but I was pretty happy with that.

On the way we chatted sparingly. Omar, asI learned, had two little girls aged 2 and 4 and worked as a private taxi service. I shared my subway with him and we got a couple of cokes on the way. He pointed out things along the drive and told me how to say them in Spanish.

One incident on the way was quite funny. After 7 weeks driving a gringo licesed car with 5 gringo's we didn't get hassled by the police once (minus the time it looked like I was breaking in to Chrissy), but in the 2 hour trip we were pulled over twice and had to once pay an "on the spot fine".

I met Sherri in Rivas and bid farewell to my new friend Omar.

The road from Rivas back out to the Ranch was........ well lets just say that Chrissy would stuggle.

The ranch itself is AMAZING!!! It's a gated community, and I'm staying with Sherri in the premiere house (her folks own it and hey used to liver here). I've got my own room with aircon, queen bed, ensuite, there's a swimming pool, wireless, sun bed, hammocks, fresh cafe and a roaring ocean just outside.

We had dinner at the Browns on the first night, an awesome couple with 2 kids from CA. The live overlooking a left point break........ tough life.

We've been for a surf every day so far and it's been great. The waves are the same as Casuarina on it's best day, the water is the same temp and colour, and there is always a storm off in the distance. If there were more people out and everyone wasn't speaking spanish I would be sure I was back in Darwin.

There's a storm coming in over the ocean as I write this, and every few moments the ocean lights up with the lightnining.

After all the drama's of getting here, which originated with the silly mistake of missing the flights, this place is a paradise.

It's funny that while you are living at home yo reluctantly drive into the suburbs to meet people, yet once you're on the road travelling it doesn't seem strange to fly to another country to catch up with friends for a couple of days.

I'm looking forward to more random short trips to visit my friends around the world, but I could probably do without missing the flights while I'm on the way.

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