LEG 1 -Bus Granada to Managua
My plan was to get the first bus to Managua from Granada to ensure i got as far as possible on this day. First bus was leaving at 5 AM but still being kind of dark outside and with a couple being mugged and stabbed outside the hostel two nights before i wasn't to happy to walk on my own, especially with all my possessions. Asked the guy in the reception if its safe to walk at this time of day and got the reply that i should wait 15 minutes. And so i did, had no issues during my 5 minute walk to the bus station except that it was already 28 degrees so was already sweating like i don't know. Quickly paid the correct amount on the bus since if you don't, they rip you off and charge for bag and what ever else they can come up with. Was lucky to get a seat but as we left the bus was sooo full, its amazing how many people they can squeeze on to the buses. It only took an hour to travel the 43 KM, so wasn't to bad.
LEG 2 -Taxi One bus station to an other in Managua
I had failed in figuring out where I would arrive in Managua and i had no idea where i had to get on another bus so in the end i got in to a taxi. Asked for the price beforehand and was told 10 dollars. Have a feeling that i got ripped off but in the end it was a 20 minute taxi ride so again not to bad.
LEG 3 -Managua to El Rama
I knew my original plan on getting the 6 AM bus from Managua was already shit since it was now 615 am. Next bus would leave at 9 AM according to my research but as with everything else here, nothing is ever as it should be so i was lucky enough to get a bus already at 730 AM. So I boarded another chicken bus with rock hard seats covered in PVC. I learned one valuable thing here; if wearing shorts when going by bus then bring something to sit on. If not, you slide around in your own sweat, unless you squashed up against the window because the bus is full to the brim and there is 3 people on a seat suitable for 1.5 persons.
I was very pleased when we left the bus station on the dot only half full. This bus trip takes you over Cowboy land and it made for some great people watching. You had a few men coming on the bus and they were seriously dressed up in their gear. Some in denim on denim with nice leather belt, perfect cowboy hat and awesome cowboy boots. If it wasn't denim on denim they would wear a white shirt with horses across the chest. Oh i forgot, all of them also had a nice leather holder for their mobile phones as well.
After 7 hours of trying to keep my body alive on the rock hard seats, various amount of people on the bus, 200 different people coming on the bus to sell everything from bread, drinks, chicken to tooth brushes and some crazy driving we finally arrived in El Rama.
LEG 4 -Speed boat El Rama to Bluefield
There is sometimes a Speed boat or Panga as they call it leaving El Rama around 3 PM. I really hoped that today was one of those days but i wasn't that lucky so got my ticket for the first Panga that was leaving in the morning. A guy pointed me in the direction of a hospedaje just across the street since i had to stay the night. Room looked clean and had a fan so at the price of NIO 140/ USD 5/ EUR 4.50 I said yes please. My mistake here was that i never checked the shared showers and toilets until later. Shower was a bucket shower, basically a big tub and you take a bucket and throw it over you. No toilet seats on the toilets and not sure when they were cleaned last time... Any how, i was just there to sleep.
Next morning i had to get up at 5 am again to catch the Panga. I was not the only one doing this. There was tons of people waiting so i was happy that i bought my ticket the day before. Before getting on the Panga the military searches your bag. I was hoping for the same experience as at the boarders were they just squees a bit on top of the bag when you say you Swedish. That did not happen here, they searched my bag very thoroughly, which meant i had to pack my bag again, pain in the behind it was. Each Panga takes 20 people + kids + bags down the river. This is the only option to get to Bluefield where the boat departs to Big Corn. Its a beautiful ride as the sun just slowly is getting up, its also very beautiful green landscape around but its only so much green you can take, it does get boring after a while and yes its only wooden benches so not much comfort here either.
LEG 5 - Cargo ship Bluefield to Big Corn
I aimed to take the weekly government run ferry that runs from Bluefield to big corn. Little did i know that this ferry is no long running so i had to get a ticket for the famous Captain D which is a smaller cargo ship going between mainland and the islands. The tricky thing with this one is that they suppose to depart on Wednesdays but sometimes or a lot of time they change departure day. So you could also imagine that they never give you an exact time on when they will depart. I was told it should depart somewhere between 10 am and 3 pm. This is where i met a few peeps to take the journey with and thank god i did. Not sure how i would handle the trip if i wouldn't have. We all stocked up on some snacks, fruit, water and drinks. I skipped the drink parts since i just clearly refuse to go to the toilet on vehicles like this. Once i made a 19 hour train trip in India without going to the loo once!!!
We boarded the ship just before 10 am to be on the safe side. Dumped our bags on some bunk beds and headed to the back of the ship to find somewhere to sit. We found a huge pile of what i thought was sand bags and we settled down there. Only downside except for realising that we were not sitting on sand bags but on bags of fertiliser was the fact that our pile was facing the only two "toilets" on the boat. Other then that there was another pile of bags with fertiliser and two benches in the back so we had pretty good seats compared to others. I was dead happy when the boat left the harbour at 1130 am already, i tried to be the sceptical one thinking we would leave later.
Two hours later we reached another harbour and we stopped to get even more stuff and people on the boat, no one had a clue on how long the stop would be though. Luckily it was only for an hour, i heard stories that this could have been a five hour stop so our group was very pleased when we left, we still didn't have a clue at what time we would reach Big Corn though. So we spend the time chatting, drinking rum, napping, trying to stay comfy through changing "seat" every ten minute, at one point we also acted as toilet guards since someone made a very big number two and messed up the whole toilet and other then this it was not much to do except for doing the guessing game on when we would arrive.
We finally reached big Corn after 9 hours of sitting and lying on bags of rock hard bags of fertilisers, of course it was after dark so couldn't see anything of what it looked like but hey, we were there!!!
More time waiting around for next ride then time on bus or boat!
I decided that it was time for a career break. So handed in my notice to the company who I worked with for the last ten years. It's time to pack my bag and depart from Amsterdam which been my home town for the last 4.5 years. -"Amsterdam, it's not you it's me and I need a break!". Read more
WHERE AM I?