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About chickenbusses and tropical goods

The best way to travel around in Nicaragua is in so called “chickenbusses”, typical old yellow american schoolbuses, which once they get sorted out in the States are sold to Nicaragua. Here, they rip over nicaraguan dirtroads to the most isolated villages until they fall apart. One of those chickenbusses brought us to Masachapa, a small fishing village not far from Managua. When we got out of the bus we almost tripped over some of the countless chicken that live next to pigs and cows free on the dusty roads between the little huts and houses.

In the mornings at sunrise, when the fishermen return home in their tiny nutshells after fishing all night long, they bring treasures of the sea in all kinds of shapes. Boats full of red snapper, tuna, mackerel, stingrays, sometimes even bullsharks, so fresh that the fish smells like nothing but ocean. Besides fish and seafood, you won’t find much variety in those kind of villages. Avocado, rice, beans, bananas, onions. Water, beer, rum, bad coffee. Hammocks. However, when we strolled through the huge labyrinths of the local markets in bigger cities like Managua, Granada or Leon, we found all the tropical goods you can imagine. Starfruit, fresh passionfruit, dragonfruit, pineapples, oranges, you name it.

Also, there are countless litte specialties to be explored on the markets, like for example “Vigorón” in Granada, which is cooked yucca with crispy porkmeat and a coleslaw-saladmix, seasoned with a sour-spicy chili/vinegar-dressing. It is usually served in a bananaleaf and eaten with the fingers. How could it get any better!

The surf in Nica is worldclass

The huge lake Nicaragua, just some kilometers from the coast, produces all year long offshore wind at most of the surfspots

Almost all important spots are to be found within short distance. So we could take a boat to a lefthand pointbreak at high tide in the morning, surf hollow beachbreak barrels in the early afternoon and reefbreak a-frames at sunset. We could’nt surf it alone, though: we had to share our waves with turtles, pelicans and tunas that hunt swarms of billions of sardines jumping out of the water.

Of course we had to share waves with local surfers and tourists, too. But it’s nothing compared to the crowds of many other countries. Also, we had the big luck to get hired for a few days as surf-photographers for a crew of australian surfers, not only enhancing our travel budget, but most of all gaining us access and free transport to some amazing empty waves. In the unlikely case of a flat day, or if you just need some alternation, visit Cerro Negro, a black volcano near the city of León.

For the steep walk to the top, we were rewarded with the most stunning view over the jungle. To summ it up, we can say that we enjoyed the time in Nicaragua to the fullest. It is well worth a visit, and we recommend you to do that before the crowds find out.



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