+33C and partly cloudy, Managua was a bit misty today and no winds.
The day started off pretty good… We woke up early, got ourself breakfast and called Don Antonio Tacsan, the Costa Rican embassador at the Embassy in Nicaragua, and he came to pick us up at Hotel TicaBus and left us at the Costa Rican Consulate. My first impression was amazing. Celia had told me that many Nicaraguans wanted Visa approval to get into Costa Rica but I would have never expected lines that were more than 3 blocks long of people wanting to get in …
It belongs to the story that Don Antonio is a neighbour of Celia and her mom Xinnia from Canas. It also belongs to the story that Dona Xinnia was the embassador at the Embassy of Costa Rica in the Nordic and Baltic countries for the last 4 years (ending period in may 2006) and that Celia herself has been a Costa Rican consul in Russia many years ago before she studied in Moscow. The reason we were actually in Managua today was to get her school papers validated.
Don Antonio, a very nice man indeed, presented us for Mario Charpentier that presented us for the Consul, Mr HP Victor Lascares, before he left for a reunion. We presented the papers that Celia wanted validated and Mr Victor told us to go get copies of all the papers. He sent us off with one of the employees of the embassy that worked as our driver. He left us at a copy place and took me to Plaza Inter to search for accomodation in Granada and to search for official prices for validating the documents Celia had to get validated. He also took us for a small driving tour of Managua and down to the Managua Lake to check out the view. Don Mario called him on our way back wondering where we had ended up since he needed a ride to TicaBus to go to CR at mid-day.
Our driver left us at the Consulate and from there on we waited for Don Victor that was out at “La Cancilleria” with some people with Visa problems.
One hour and a half he was STILL not in and we decided to go out for lunch. We were back at 3:15pm and we were attended about half an hour later. Celia got out just in time to close the deal (the office closes at 4pm).
While waiting the receptionist was helping us out to find accomodation and a ride to get to Granada. She called her boyfriend, Don Pedro Lacayo, that not only helped us finding an accomodation at Hostal Oasis Granada, but also covered us about US 35$ from Managua to Granada (45km). That included the drive from Granada in the first place, the waiting time before we were ready to go, a stop at a market place in Masaya with artisane products.
Driving out of Managua I felt relived to be gone even we had a pretty good time as well. Every time we stopped for a red light someone was trying to sell us stuff. Everything from food and beverages to live turtles and birds. I almost bought a turtle because he was just soooo cute but what the H… am I gonna do with a turtle?
On our way to Masaya we saw a couple of grass fires and suddenly a great phenomenon caught my eyes. A lot of smoke coming from some hills at our right side. We had reached the Masaya volcano and it was having an erruption. I had to stop and get pictures. I also decided to go there the following day hiring Don Pedro as a driver. COOOOL. Looking fwd for that.
In Masaya we payed entrance fee at the market place. That is not common. They only charge on thursdays because they have their special night: “Noche de Verbena” where they have live bands playing and traditional dances. Not only was it the regular “Noche de Verbena”. It was the 8th anniversary of the party. The best dancers were the caribbean side dancers dancing with hot movements. It looked impressive. But the kids and the devils were amazing as well.
There was TV coverage and childrens groups dancing and performing in costumes. IT was really great.
While watching the show we had dinner and a couple of beers before we continued our peeking around at the artisane shops. We found some pretty nice stuff and some just weird stuff.
Don Pedro took us all the way to the hotel and checked that we got logged in and all was good before he left. He would pick us up tomorrow at 8am.
Celia and I logged in and immediately had to turn on the aircondition. IT WAS WAY too hot to sleep in that room. After an hour with air we were freezing our buts off and had to turn up the temperature. Hehehe. Never happy. We checked our e-mail and had some tea before going to bed.