Traveling by bus in Nicaragua is just crazy. Not because the bus is uncomfortable or something, no. It is because I always have to pay for two. In the beginning I thought that I have to pay for my luggage. However, later I realized that I have to pay for my schizophrenic me, as they also charged me double when I was traveling without luggage…
But in Nicaragua they occasionally do charge for luggage, too. Despite charging a full person price, though, they have a fixed luggage price. And they charge everyone, foreign tourists and locals alike.
|Beach at Playa Madera|
When I arrived at Playa Madera I was lucky enough that my reservation at Café Revolución did not work out. That is why I ended up in the Hostel 3 Hermanos right at the beach. Meaning literally in the sand, jumping into the sea from the balcony (well, maybe not…depending a bit on high or low tide). There was exactly one single room left. For some reason I got even a 50% discount on the normal price. It was supposed to be my personal Christmas discount. The weird thing about it is, that all other hostels in this region increase their prices over the holidays…
After I got bitten by a scorpion in the evening, things started to take its course. I got a cup of dark coffee without milk and sugar (important!), so my tongue will not swell. One after the other all brothers showed up to check out on my hand. From every corner there popped up more and more brothers. So there were definitely more than three. Maybe they forgot a zero when they named their hostel. However, that way I became a part of the family, which can be a nice thing when Christmas is around the corner.
Ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated at the beach in Nicaragua? Of course there is nothing much going on the 24th of December. I think Germans are the only ones who misunderstood something in the history and celebrate Christmas already on the 24th. Or Germans are just impatient and cannot wait. So, Christmas is celebrated the 25th, obviously. What is there to eat? At lunch it is barbecue time. All sorts of meat and potato salad (maybe there is a slight Australian impact here with the potato salad, though). Oh, and ice cream for dessert. Everything accompanied by some beer. All that takes a while, collecting wood, making a fire, roasting the meat. At night we went to the family dinner: rice and chicken stew and more beer. Or rum, the national drink of Nicaragua Flor de Caña.
How do Nicaraguans celebrate? Dancing of course. And singing karaoke songs. The whole family blasts out some karaoke songs first and then dancing part starts. Merengue, bachata, salsa. The party ends already at 10 or 11 o’clock. Time is different here, as it gets dark so early. What about Christmas decoration? It is not like in El Salvador or Guatemala overloaded with Christmas stuff and light. You have to search a bit, but eventually you will find a little star dangling from the bar. Presents? No. Also you can search in vain for Christmas stress and anxiety, or old family issues coming up on Christmas eve.
Time seems to run different at the beach in Nicaragua. It just stands still. Everyday is the same: Relaxing in the hammock, reading a good book, cooling down in the sea, walking along the beach, going for another swim, taking some surf lessons, eating, Hammock again, taking pictures of the beach, going for a last swim, having dinner, watching TV. That is the day. And the next day is the same, maybe in a different order. Suddenly you realised that you have spent already six days at the beach and that the new year is approaching. I could have stayed forever at Playa Madera, but is was time to move on and reach Costa Rica for New Year’s Eve. Maybe a bad decision, but that is a different story.