Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America

I've come to the conclusion that Nicaragua is the dumping ground for clothing that companies can't sell elsewhere. Stores sell things like Neil O'Donnell Steeler jerseys, shirts originally made for a little league team in East Peoria, IL, clothing styles from 10 years ago, etc. A prime example is the pair of socks my wife is wearing in the photo below. You'll notice that they say "SUCK" on them. I'm convinced some guy in China translated the word "sock" as "suck", made a million pairs of suck socks, and then shipped them to WalMart. WalMart looked at them and said we can't possibly sell these in the USA and shipped them back to China. Faced with a pile of a million "sucks" the guy in China shipped them to Nicaragua figuring no one would know what the word meant there anyway.

When I'm not busy coming up with sock conspiracy theories I wander around aimlessly taking pictures of graffiti. I'm not sure why I find the graffiti in Nicaragua fascinating but I do. It's everywhere and you can even tell what political party rules the roost in the neighborhood you're in by the graffiti. The FSLN (Sandinista's), for example, paint all the telephone poles black and red in their neighborhoods.

These Socks Suck

I Like Graffitti

Here's Some More

Read The Sign...No Dumping

My Garage

Computer School

I took a picture of the bus station for a reason. It's to show how hard it is to find places in Managua. If you look closely at the picture you can see the the "TransNica" sign way off the road where you can't possibly see it until you've missed the turn. Of course, at least they have a sign which is more than most businesses have.

I took pictures of the roadside pet shop before but this time we decided to pay them a visit and check out the puppies. Juniett, of course, immediately wanted one and I had to be the evil husband and say no. I'm sure this will be the first of many times I will disappoint my wife. ;) Managua is full of businesses like this one. They set up shop on the sidewalk, in the middle of the street, or whever they can find an unoccupied space. I was shocked that these guys had a card for each dog complete with it's vaccination records.

TransNica Bus Station

Iron Knot Statue

The Roadside Pet Shop

Juniett Wants A Puppy

Sleepy Hounds


OK, here's a driving tip for Managaua. If you're driving down the road and you see some branches, a box, or a tire laying in the road chances are it's there on purpose. The reason it's probably there is to indicate that a manhole cover is missing. I've asked various people why there are manhole covers missing all over Managua and the best explanation I've gotten is that someone probably stole it to replace the one that was stolen from their neighborhood and so on...

Colorful Tienda

Missed The Shot

Notice The Tire In The Road

On any given day I have between 3 and 5 tons of fruits and vegetables in my house. OK, I'm exaggerating but we usually have so much that I have to find creative uses for it. I thought using a pineapple for a doorstop was particularly clever on my part. Although Nicaragua grows tons of banana's, pineapples, and coffee it's hard to find decent looking produce in Nicaragua. It turns out all of the good stuff gets exported and whatever crap is leftover gets sold in Nicaragua. The fruit tastes great but it looks awful for the most part. Good coffee is also difficult to find. I like to grind my own coffee beans and the selection of Nicaraguan brands in the grocery store is very limited even though it's one of the countries largest exports. Oddly, I've found the most Nicas prefer instant coffee.

Our Fruit Rack

Pineapple Doorstop

Does My But Look Big?

Mmmm, Coffee


The Happy Cow

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