The child’s playground


  • Panama City – Managua
  • My final country

After a very expensive airport meal and causing an argument between two taxi companies over who’d take me from the airport to my hostel in Managua, I was eventually reunited with Zalie at Managua Backpacker’s Inn. It was very hot in Nicaragua so it wasn’t long before I stripped down to my bikini and joined her around the pool. We needed to do some research for the cities and towns around this country and that was exactly what we spent the next hour or so doing. Since I only had two weeks, we needed to make sure we were getting it all in.

When we did eventually decide to get going and see the city, since we were only there for the night, we googled the top attractions in the area. Managua isn’t known to have too much going on but the Salvador Allende Port was the number one thing to see. So we grabbed a cab for the 50 cordobas (the equivalent of about £1.25) and went wondering.

We had to pay 5 Córdoba for entry in to what seemed like a pretty deserted place. As we continued walking, we soon discovered that this port area was full of touristic looking restauarants, all completely empty. There were a few boats moored which could take you around the islands nearby but we opted not to spend more money and wondered further on. Every bench and wall was painted a very bright colour, all different to make the entire area seem like a giant fairground and child’s attraction. Towards the end of the port fairground they even appeared to be constructing a fairground ride.

It wasn’t exactly an incredible attraction down there and as we explored the few market stalls, we were also followed by some creepy Nicaraguan man who insisted on taking our photos, waving at us and then quite literally stalking us for the next 30 minutes. It wasn’t exactly a sight that I’d rush back to!

The port entrance was lined with many giant, brightly coloured metal trees. I’m unsure of their significance and they didn’t seem to attract many extra tourists either but they looked quite cool and you could see them all from above too, when I flew over in the plane that morning. Luckily there was another main square just beyond the trees so that we could see more of the city and not just the extremely bizarre port area. This square was surrounded by the national museum, cathedral and another public building and the surrounding park was full of canoodling couples!

We slowly walked back in the direction of our hostel through the local sports fields. There were loads of little kids playig baseball and a wheelchair basketball game was going on too, which was so lovely to see. Humbled from this, we head to the supermarket for dinner supplies and then back to the hostel for a quick dip in the pool and our chicken salad feast. I honestly felt the health come back to me with each mouthful of lettuce that I ate!

Nothing much was happening in the hostel that evening which suited us perfectly. Instead we settled in the TV room with a load of other guests and sat down to ‘The Truman Show’. A perfect ending to our day! Unfortunately we had to follow this with the world’s hottest hostel room but a bed is still a bed.

So, 208 days in to ‘life from a bag’ and although Managua was an odd one, I can’t wait to see what else Nicaragua has to offer myself and Zalie for my last two weeks away.

Gabby x


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