Day 11: Nicaraguan Journal

Started Day 11 by dri­ving 4 hours south to the mar­ket town of Masaya, which is a short dis­tance south of Managua, where we started our trip, which meant that even though, for the past 10 days, we have felt like we were in remote coun­try­side, we were never more than a few hours from the big city. When I got home I fig­ured out that the the whole of Nicaragua is 7 times smaller than the province I live in.

At Masaya we bought gro­ceries at the Pali Supermarket, a big flourescent-lit chain store that was our first indi­ca­tion that we were back in civ­i­liza­tion. After that we were allowed one hour at the Masaya tourist mar­ket (thanks, Robert, we know you hate that kind of thing) where, among other things, we man­aged to find a good map of Nicaragua. I bought a light woven blan­ket that the ven­dor assured me was made in Nicaragua but which we both knew was made in Guatamala.

Then it was on to the wind-swept tourist attrac­tion at Laguna de Masaya, one of many crater lakes in Nicaragua, a land of vol­ca­noes. More sou­venir shop­ping was avail­able here but we pre­ferred to look out over the lagoon and to to avoid get­ting blown down the hill. A cou­ple of us took refuge from the wind in a lit­tle cof­fee shop (that had great cof­fee) and Chris bought a large (2 1/2-foot in diam­e­ter) flat bas­ket that, despite our dire pre­dic­tions and rolled eyes, she did man­age to get back to the States.

Drove from there out to the Monkey Hut at Laguna de Apoyo, along wind­ing roads that are lined with plant nurs­eries. The Monkey Hut is a youth hos­tel (but they let us old folks in any­way) perched above a huge warm crater lake, in the midst of large water­front homes. We spent the rest of the after­noon swim­ming, drink­ing beer and lay­ing about in ham­mocks, then we cooked our own din­ner and went to be early. The Monkey Hut is pic­turesque but I was miss­ing the “real” coun­try­side so I slept out­side on the deck.

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