I decide to go to Masaya, for some shopping and then to Granda this weekend, my last in Nicaragua as I fly home on Wednesday. I set off on Saturday morning, having to let eight microbuses pass before one has a space for me. This is the first time that I have got the bus into town, and I am grateful for all of the lifts in the past.
Off one bus and onto another to Masaya. The principal for all buses that I have used is that they depart once they are full, or at least over 75% and have waited. The conductors then hustle people on the roads to fill up the spaces or overfill the bus. Overfull buses are very common and I do my best to avoid them. I make my way to the Artesan market in Masaya. There is indeed much to buy. But my suitcase is limited and I do not want heavy things. I am quite successful and head off to the other bus station to Granada. As usual it is situated near a market, but I make the mistake of following the taxis, usually the best thing to do, and end up on the wrong side of the market for the Granada buses.
Straight through the market, Recto! So off I set and the sky quickly disappears as I am in a market and completely surrounded. There is no daylight but I keep going and going and going. I pass pinyata heaven…
and ask if I am still heading in the right direction. Recto, comes the call, so I keep on going. I stop again twice. By my calculations I have been walking in the market for mearly 10 minutes, about half a mile, no sunlight and I am beginning to wonder where I am. But I have just about kept a straight line Recto and finally I see the back of a big yellow object, an old school bus. I have found the bus station.
The first bus is packed, so I wait for the next and in ten minutes am on my way to Granada. I have booked a nice hotel, I have hot water for the first time in a hostel or hotel and air conditioning. I wash my hair and luxuriate at 25C. in the late afternoon. Then out for supper and a walk through the park.
I still find it odd to see Christmas trees in the heat.
On Sunday morning there are lots of people waiting for a procession to arrive at the main square and cathedral. I ask the man shaving ice for cool drinks that he puts into plastic bags and he tells me that it will arrive soon
and a couple of men setting off the large noises that accompany so much here.
They all head into the church
and a definite suggestion that the Hakka has been well known in Central America for quite some time
After a good salad and ice cream, I make my way back on the bus to Managua, back in the land of the guided journey, this is no secular Leon!
I have just completed the notes on the outstanding points, ready for an early start on Monday and if necessary a final catch up on Tuesday. Lots of loose ends to try to catch or at least document.