I have been delaying writing these few post about Nicaragua for about 5 months now. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe the reality of writing them and reflecting on the awesome trip we had, makes it final. And no one wants to see the end of an amazing trip.
Our first full day in Nicaragua started at 9:00 when our driver and tour guide picked us up; Enrique and Gerald (like Gerald Ford he told us). Gerald spoke limited English but had been told over the years that was how to say his name so Americans could understand it. It worked!
Our first stop was the Masaya Volcano. After a quick tour of the museum at the base of the volcano, we headed up to the top. With 5 Craters and 2 volcanos, “the Spanish baptized the active volcano “La Boca del Infierno” or “The Mouth of Hell”. They planted a cross, “La Cruz de Bobadilla” (named after Father Francisco Bobadilla), on the crater lip in the 16th century in order to exorcise the Devil.”
Next it was lunch! We headed to the art market and had an hour to tool around and purchase souvenirs. We sat down at an outdoor snack stand and purchased a large fresh fruit ‘smoothie’, a water and a plate of watermelon for the little one. All for $3 US dollars. You wouldn’t have gotten away with that at Jamba Juice for less then $15.
We strolled the market and purchased a hand crafted pair of leather sandals for the princess. They had flowers on then and she LOVED them. The mistake I made was not purchasing them in a size bigger and a non “thong” sandal; poor girl got blisters in between her toes. At the market I met an older man who had been an expat in the country for nearly 10 years. He owned multiple homes in both Nicaragua and Coast Rica and couldn’t say enough amazing things about the area!
Our next stop was a little town over populated with tourists because of a beautiful overlook that looked out to a water filled crater. With a small band and locals selling their handmade goods, the streets were packed with people. We purchased a bunch of mini bananas for less the $1 and a handmade dress for the little one for $7.
Enrique was a pro at being a tourist and we shared with him that we love to see things that weren’t exactly on the beaten path. So he took us to a friend of his who owned a pottery school. The school and the pottery making is in the side of the home, the shop was in the front and the family lived off the back. This was one of the best experiences we had in Nicaragua. We watched and learned how pottery was made; from spinning the wheel barefoot to etching in the designs with bicycle spokes. While we enjoyed the lesson, our little one danced and made friends with the little girl who lived there. Gerald attended as well and kept and eye on her for us.
When it was time to leave, Enrique said the little girl looked very sad that we had to go. He told us that most Americans who come there, do not let their children play with these kids. The little girl who lived there was almost scared when she started to play with our princess. She had never touched or even interacted with a white child before.
We found this was the reaction ALL the children had with our little girl. They didn’t know how to react when she would run up to them and want to dance and sing! It was great by us, but the local children were very cautious. Once they warmed up to her overflowing personality, they all seemed to have a wonderful time.
When we returned to our villa that evening around 4…the little one was wore out! She fell asleep while carrying her to the corner market and didn’t want up until 7am the next day! I tried to wake her up twice so she wouldn’t be waking up at midnight ready to start the day, but sure enough she slept through the night. She was one tired cookie!