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Managua, Nicaragua

sunny

Went for a nice dip in a volcanic lake yesterday morning. It's funny how heavy we feel in that water after swimming in the ocean! The water was very clear and refreshing.
Returning to Managua, we checked out the statues, monuments, historical buildings, etc. The 1972 earthquake really devastated the middle of this city, and a lot of the demolished buildings remain. A nice man who appeared to be less than 5 feet tall, 75 pounds, and approximately 120 years old pointed out some of the various memorials. He was also trying to sell us water. He was obviously very proud of his city.
As we drove back to our hotel, we found ourselves in the wrong lane at a traffic light, so put on the turn signal and nudged our way into the next lane over. Didn't fly with the moto cop. He pulled us over, asked for our vehicle permit and driver's license. He then said it would cost us 600 Cordobas, and he wanted us to follow him to the bank(?). We stammered around for awhile, apologized, and asked why the bank and not the police station. Oh, and of course, Douglas had given him his fake NCDL, so we weren't too concerned with his threat to keep the thing. So, I suggested we offer him a lesser amount, right there. He wasn't really asking for a bribe, because he pulled us over for a legitimate infraction. We offered 300 Cordobas ($12). Dramatic pause, serious expression on the cop's face. Then, "si." So, we handed him L300. "Shhh! No, no!" Oh, right. We had to be secretive. He handed us a couple pads of tickets, we put the bills between them and handed the pile back to him, and he produced Douglas' fake DL. Easy as pie!
Managua's city center never really recovered from the 1972 earthquake. Consequently, there are numerous neighborhoods, most with a mix of residences, small businesses, tiendas, restaurants and bars. Our hotel is in a friendly neighborhood, which I have become better acquainted with walking the dogs. Beautiful gardens, nice folks, and a lot of dogs who bark at Sunny & Cricket from behind their fences.
Found a sports bar--Woody's (how's that for español?)--and watched the nail-biter national championship game last night.
We are off to the Nicaraguan beaches today!

Posted by ceastburn 08:11 Archived in Nicaragua

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