Monday, April 17, 2017

Ten Thousand Miles Away - My Nicaragua Family

Our first foray into Latin America!

The furthest I have been from home (in India) was generally about 8 or 9 thousand kilometres (the East or the West coast of the USA).The furthest I have ever been before this was Niagara falls at some 13000 km. Nicaragua is 10,000 miles away or 16,000 km. And yet I have never felt closer to home...

What would normally take lots of research and planning for a week-long trip to Nicaragua became a case of simply landing at the airport, thanks to our wonderful friends, Ivo and JR who opened their home and family to us.
Nicaragua, as Ivo explained to me when we first met more than 6 years ago, is the centre of Central America. It's a land of volcanoes and lakes, and of revolution. And like most (or all) other Central American countries, it is flanked by the two great oceans. Hence the two blue bands flanking a white band in their flags.

The moment we landed I felt at home, trading cold and wet London for hot and airy tropical Managua. After a home-cooked lunch and a well deserved afternoon siesta, in the evening after the day cooled down, we went around the city, specifically to the beach where there is a mini version of a high street in the city before the 1972 earthquake destroyed most of the city. When I say the beach, I mean the beach of Lake Managua but the lake is so expansive that it might as well have been a sea (more on that later). Noticeably for a capital city, it scarcely has any high-rise buildings due to the aforementioned earthquake and the fear of a repeat. Also noticeable are the new "trees of life" that are colourful tree-like structures littered everywhere in the city that light up in the night, so much so that the night view of Managua is essentially the trees. We ended the day with dinner at a nice place with Ivo and JR's friends and family and met Ivo's.

10,000 miles away - Masaya, NicaraguaNext day, we visited Masaya, JR's hometown with an active Volcano and a Laguna that JR grew up near. We also visited JR's family home and his family.

10,000 miles away - Granada, Nicaragua: The day after we visited Granada, a colonial town, and Mombacho, a luscious green volcano.

Nearly midweek, Ivo planned it as a"relax day". We went to this resort on the Pacific coast called Barcelo Montelimar. Here the resorts do an all-inclusive day pass as well, instead of staying overnight to avail the resort facilities (which you can do of course). I have no idea how large the resort is or how many pools it has, we saw at least 5 pools. We had a huge breakfast and then went into the pool for a while. Then we just lazed around before lunch and then we went to another pool before playing mini golf and then dipped in the main pool again for some time. We went to see the Pacific ocean but it was too hot to stay and there was no shade around much. Basically, we didn't do much except eat and dip into the pools. We ended a well-relaxed day with nice little home cooked meal at Ivo's sister's place.

10,000 miles away - Isla Ometepe: Then we went for an overnight trip to Isla Ometepe, an island in Lake Nicaragua.

10,000 miles away - Leon, Nicaragua: Finally, we went to Cerro Negro, an active volcano, for an adventure trip.

After our trip to Cerro Negro, we went to Ivo and JR's friend's surprise birthday party after a sushi dinner at a local new plaza. On our final day, we have a nice breakfast at home and heading to the airport wishing we didn't have to.
Thank you Ivo and JR !!!

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