Day 14 (Jun. 17):
Penas Blancas Border
The Simple Things:
It looks like I may have seen the last of the lengthy bus rides as the Transportes Deldu rolled into the Penas Blancas bus station. 6 hours from San Jose to the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border, a few hours of participant observation on the border, and finally a short 3 hour bus ride with the decked out TransNica Bus Company to Managua, Nicaragua. I have to say that TransNica is top of the line here in Central America. Cup holders for each seat, air conditioning, a bathroom, and even a drink station. Sure $20 is a hefty price to pay for a 3 hour trip, but at this point the comfort is well worth the cost. Now that I can see these thoughts in writing, I’m awestruck by how life on the road has reoriented my standards. To use an overused cliché, I’ve really come to appreciate the small things in life. Some simple amenities and I couldn’t be happier. A few hours of work await me here in Penas Blancas then I get to rest my bones in the cushy seats of TransNica.
By early afternoon I exited my taxi in Managua and checked-in to the quaint Managua Backpacker Inn hostel for a low $15 per night. There isn’t much in the rooms here (my bed consumes about 2/3 of my living space), but there is plenty of comfortable space outside of the room, a number of travelers waiting for a good conversation, and the location is ideal for strolling around the main strip. Since my last stop in San Jose, I decided to develop a routine that will add a bit of adventure to this…well, adventure. Here it is. Two nights in each capital city. Typically, I arrive by mid-afternoon, spend the rest of the day organizing my work- writing, figuring finances, and organizing plans. The following day is my active day. The trend started with the Irazu Volcano in San Jose. Tomorrow, it’s a day trip to the Xiloá Laguna that rests about 35km outside of the city limits. Once again, I set my alarm for 6am in anticipation of an adventurous day.