Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








During the week we did the usual running around. One of the great things about Latin America is that they still have real bakeries. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread. It's one of the things that we've sacrificed in the name of convenience back at home. Where I live real bakeries are few and far between these days and even the few that do exist don't bake bread. Sorry for rambling about bread but it's something that I really enjoy about Latin America.

Juniett Has Her Negocios Face On
Juniett Has Her Negocios Face On
In The Sewing Shop
In The Sewing Shop
Buying Some Baked Goods
Buying Some Baked Goods
I Wish You Could Smell This
I Wish You Could Smell This
Fresh Baked Tarts
Fresh Baked Tarts
These People Just Hang Out Here
These People Just Hang Out Here

On Wednesday the power decided to go out where we live so I had to pack up and move to another location to work. This is one of the downsides to trying to work in Nicaragua when your work requires a computer and internet access. I have a string of backup sites lined up that I can work from when such events invariably occur. I don't think I've ever been able to work from my own house for 10 straight days. I always seem to have to go somewhere else for at least 1 day. This time it was my friend Mario's office. He owns a company called Electronic Solutions so if you're ever in Managua and need some electrical engineering work done he's your man.

Electronic Solutions
Electronic Solutions
The Cold Wife Doctor
The Cold Wife Doctor
The Garden Of Infants
The Garden Of Infants
At The Office
At The Office
My Makeshift Office
My Makeshift Office
Back In The Home Office
Back In The Home Office

On Saturday, due to things going on at work, I needed to stay close to Managua in case I got called. A major conversion was happening at one of our manufacturing plants and if anything went wrong I needed to be able to get to a computer quickly. Since it was a beautiful day and we didn't want to just sit around the house I decided it would be a good day to do a sightseeing tour of Managua. Even though I've been here 13 times there's a lot of things that I've never got around to doing.

One of the things on my "to do" list has always been to visit Acahualinca but I've never gotten around to it. Acahualinca is a site on the shore of Lake Managua where sets of footprints have been preserved in the mud for over 5000 years. In fact, they are the oldest known set of footprints in the Americas. Finding the site of Acahualinca, however, would prove to be quite a challenge.

One of our first stops along the way was to a hardware store. I needed to buy a tape measure so we stopped at ferreteria (hardware store) because I figured that would be the best place to find one. I should note that the concept of "one-stop shopping" hasn't really hit Latin America yet. As a result, you need to try to figure out where the best type of store to find something would be and it's not always obvious. Unlike places like Home Depot that have bin upon bin of merchandise that you help yourself from, hardware stores in Latin America have everything neatly displayed under glass, bolted to the wall, or hidden somewhere out of sight. I assume this is to reduce theft but it makes shopping difficult when your Spanish stinks. (like mine does) Basically, you need to tell them what you want, in my case a tape measure, and the guy behind the counter goes and gets all the models they have and then gives you a 5 minute spiel on the merits of each one. All I wanted was the cheapest tape measure they had and it turned into an hour project. Once I had convinced him to sell me the cheapest one he had to write up a sales slip for it. You then take the slip to a the "caja", a lady in a bulletproof glass booth, and pay for your item. You then take your slip back to another guy and he goes and gets your tape measure. The final step is you have to take the tape measure and the sales slip back to the original saleman so he can stamp it. If he doesn't stamp it the burly security gaurd won't let you leave. (I know because I tried to skip that step) All in all, it's a ridiculous process but I guess it's part of the charm of living in Nicaragua.

The famed "El Arbol"...


Hard At Work
Hard At Work
The Hardware Store
The Hardware Store
The Cashier
The Cashier
Excellent Products
Excellent Products
Only The Best Sold Here
Only The Best Sold Here
My Wife The Spokesmodel
My Wife The Spokesmodel
The Finest Products
The Finest Products
Crunch
Crunch
The Shovel Guy Statue
The Shovel Guy Statue

According to my trusty map Acahualinca is near the mall "Mercado Oriental II" so that's where we headed. I figured from there we would just find it in typical Nicaraguan fashion by stopping and asking for directions at every corner. What I had forgetten, however, is that this is one of the worst and most dangerous areas of Managua. The first person we asked sent us down a road that dead ended at the garbage dump. The dump is kind of an interesting place in Managua. There are about 200 families that actually live in the dump. They make there living by rooting through the trash and pulling out whatever they can salvage. About a year ago the city started pulling out all the aluminum before taking the trash to the dump and it caused a major crisis because the people that live there blocked the dump until they stopped. For about 3 weeks there was no trash collection at all in Managua because of it until the city finally agreed to "improve the quality" of the trash they sent to the dump. Those were the exact words in the paper, I kid you not...

At any rate, when we finally did find what we think was Acahualinca my wife basically said there's no way in the world I'm getting out of the car here. I wasn't real keen on the idea either at that point so we decided to just cut our losses and head off to our next adventure.


The Other Oriental
The Other Oriental
Oriental II
Oriental II
Not The Best Neighborhood
Not The Best Neighborhood
Lakefront Property
Lakefront Property
A Little Scary Here
A Little Scary Here
Ministry Of Work
Ministry Of Work
AK-47 Guy
AK-47 Guy
Peeing In Public
Peeing In Public
A Holy Yaris
A Holy Yaris
Blessed By Christs Blood
Blessed By Christs Blood
Flag Salesman
Flag Salesman


Click Here For More Nicaragua Photos


Google
 




© 2008 David Mayle/PuraVidaTravels.Com
All Rights Reserved