Managua

The flight from Miami was an easy 2.5 hours. Passport and Customs and Hotel shuttle also easy. Managua is a busy city, very similar to cities in Mexico. Lots of kids in school uniforms and lots of people trying to make a buck any way they can, like washing your wind shield and collecting bottles and cans.

The weather is warm, dry and windy. The is a beautiful blue with white puffy clouds. The streets were busy with lots of cars, buses scooters and a few horse drawn carts

I chose the Wayak Hotel because it had a free shuttle, it did. Because of WIFI, it doesn’t work yet, gated and guarded, yes. Bar and restaurant not open. Close to the airport, nope not that either. I went next door to an open air restaurant. Only a few buffet things. Cold, tough meat. No alcohol. There was an interesting condiment on the table, maybe a garlic vinegar. I went back to the hotel to see if I could find a different hotel. No internet. Then I asked where I could get a

cerveza starting to speak Spanish, and they said they could get that for me, so I asked if they had vodka, now two shots in with club soda, I am staying. I can order sushi later and they will deliver. Did I bring Imodium?

I like to do a lot of reading when I travel and usually quite a variety. I Started with The Tuscan Child and How to Relax. Working on 9 Strangers, The Seasons of Life and Seven Strategies to Success and Happiness. So I read for awhile and took a little nap. So much of my travels are in different time zones. Here I am just two hours ahead, but I know to set an alarm. I decided to go out for dinner rather than stay in. I asked the receptionist where J should go. Still not sure what they have to eat here so when asked, I asked for carne. She said that I could walk 2 kilometers and then cross the road at the light. I remembered the Gallaria Mall when we drove in. So I walked down the street, it was still light. Lots of traffic. As I got close to the light I heard and saw a small outdoor concert venue that looked like a tiny paper Rome Collessium. Some one was practicing for later on lots of security all around. Walked tot he mall. There were many high end restaurants. I went to the place that was suggested. It was a steakhouse but everything was huge portions and served with mashed potatos, which I don’t eat. I ordered tuna carpaccio with a white wine and beef carpaccio with a red. It was pretty good. Uber works here if you have Internet. Took a taxi. He apparently couldn’t read. I gave him the business card with the Hotel Wayak listed and he took me to the Hyatt. We worked it out. I was definitely over charged, but in the beginning of a trip it almost seems normal. Never take the firstmode of transportation that you are offered at the airport. A travel tip from experience.

Back at the hotel, I tried to pay my balance but she wanted me to have another drink so I did. It was 7 usd for four shots of vodka and two clubs sodas, reasonable. I wanted to get a good nights sleep so back to the room, a good hot shower, always grateful for a good shower when traveling, then a bit more reading and time to sleep. A couple hours later, the concert down the street woke me up! There had been a nice trickling water feature outside my room but this wasn’t going to let me sleep. Luckily I travel with Ambien.

Corn Island

Early alarm at 4:30, on time shuttle to the airport. Had to ask where La Costena airlines were. Just a little ways away. Stood in line, got a ticket, waited for the plane and then we were off in a small plane. A quick 90 min flight. We had to check luggage, so I was a little worried about not getting my bag. I had changed a few things from my carryon to and from my main bag, especially contact lens. Drove with Marlon, the Namath Jersey wearing native. He charged me a dollar to take me to the ferry. Tickets get sold at 8:30, so after I bought one, I went next door to the Fisher Restaurant. Lots of activity at the wharf. Fishermen coming in, people transporting goods to different islands etc. it is a beautiful day, warm but not too hot.

I am waiting for the panga to take me to Little Corn Island. They say it will go but only if there are enough people to fill it. I am trying to live in the moment, to embrace all of the sights, sounds and smells. Still haven’t figured out if I am supposed to be mindful or mindless. I am the only American for now.

Arrived at Little Corn Island. The panga held about 24 people. A like like the Stars and Stripes ride in San Diego. Rough and wet! The island is bigger than I thought. A man was waiting to pick me up. He put my little bag into a wheel barrow and guided me to my bungalow. Took about 20 minutes past farms, through the jungle mostly dirt paths. Arrived at the Little Corn Beach and Bungalows where a Mai Tai was waiting for me by a cute boy named J. He took my Passport and showed me my bungalow. It is awesome!!!Here are a few pics from inside:

Those are water bottles, cool way to reuse them.

This place has a very comfortable vibe. It’s windy today, but a perfect temperature. Just had a delicious seafood omelet

Nicaragua

A couple weeks ago I was feeling uneasy, nervous, like I ate something bad. Not long after this feeling began, I realized what it was. I had time off from work, and no place planned yet. Ugg, I hate this feeling. I had been thinking of Lebanon, stopping first in Cyprus, since I wanted to use American Airline miles. But it has been so cold in Coronado, where I live that I started looking into warmer places. I only had 10 days off. I looked into Tunisia, too dangerous, but beautiful. Philippines, also beautiful, but I couldn’t chose an island. I also looked at Australia, but I needed more time for Australia. My son and his girlfriend had been to Nicaragua last year. American flew there. I started looking for a hotel in Managua, where the airport is, thinking that I would land and decide what to do when I got there, like I do a lot. But when I saw a bungalow on the beach, I knew this was what I was looking for! Little Corn Island. I didn’t realize quite where it was and that I had to take a plane or a very slow, overnight boat to get there.

So today I will arrive in Managua. Yesterday I left San Diego and flew to Dallas Love Airport, ubered to a Motel 6 at Dallas Fort Worth. Arrived around 11pm. There was a bar and restaurant next door so I ventured over there enduring the 35 degree walk. My early morning flight made for a 3:45 am wake up, another uber to the airport, two and a half flight and now another two and a half flight.

One of my travel buddies, Megan and I are on a World Wide Irish Pub Crawl. We even have jackets! So at the Miami Airport, I satisfied the quest and stopped in for some coffee and Baileys