The Adventures of Princess Traveler, Nicaragua: The Research Phase:
I promised my dream man that I would discuss the proposed Nicaraguan Adventure with him after I’d done some research on the place. Well we discussed at length and have decided to journey to Nicaragua despite some minor reservations. Here’s what I discovered.
Nicaragua is a tropical country with temperatures averaging 70 to 90 degrees year round. Located in Central America the country stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. The geological features include pristine beaches (and some terrific surfing), tropical rainforests, active volcanoes [BTW and active volcano is not necessarily one that is in full eruption.] and associated earthquakes.
Although far from being a rich country, Nicaragua now has one of the most stable governments in Central America. As recently as the 1970s this was not so. The conflict between the Somosa administration and the rebel Sandanists was one of the bloodiest and most tragic revolutions in the region. The war destroyed not only the contemporary culture and infrastructure be demolished historical records and buildings that had stood since the Spanish conquest in the 1500s. Granada one of the country’s largest cities is said to be the oldest Spanish settlement in Central America.
Just because the government is now stable doesn’t mean life in Nicaragua is perfect, far from it. Outside of major cities (like Managua and Granada) the quality of the infrastructure is spotty. Some towns like San Marcos (a college town with connections to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor MI) have superior medical and dental facilities other small towns and villages lack both medical and dental. Roads throughout most of Nicaragua’s interior are reportedly of poor quality. Similarly hotels are not common in smaller towns and villages; hence this princess is quite concerned about her comfort. There is hope. My research indicates that visitors to Nicaragua often lodge with local families (sometimes for extended stays). This custom promises some interesting opportunities for adventure, learning customs and language, and perhaps even making new friends. [I’m very willing to sacrifice a small bit of comfort in the name of adventure and friendship.]
In the course of my research I also discovered that music, art and literature are alive and well. The dream man and I plan to spend an evening in Managua at the Casa de Carlos Meija Godoy [Who appears to be something of a national treasure], soaking up the rhythms and harmonies of the Nica peoples. We’ll tour a few museums, spend some time a the national butterfly reserve outside Granada and take a day to peruse the markets and artisan workshops of Masaya and Los Pueblos Blancos (a series of small villages). Please leave a comment and let me know if you would go or not. Join me in a day or so and I’ll relate the adventure of packing and the VPN (a tale of epic mis-communications).
Below I list some resources for those who want more information about Nicaragua.