The wind feels amazing on our faces with the window down. The air smells like fresh rain and a hint of smoke. An odd combination but nice nonetheless. Outside are several fires on the side of the road to burn the excess vegetation on their property. As the bus merges into a large circle roundabout on the highway, I look down at the car just inches away from us and see a little boy standing up on the passenger seat holding the coat hanger. So dangerous, we literally almost hit that car. I feel my hands clinched into fists around the backpack and realize I can release them. These highways are crazy–no lanes, speed limits and lots of unnecessary honking.
At our next stop, the bread woman gets off as another man boards and gives the bus driver a Coca-Cola. This bus driver is getting hooked up. This time, it’s movies that are being sold. Hundreds of DVDs. The first one the guy offers us is The Avengers. So that defies the rumor of Nicaragua not having any new movies. We can get any movie that just came out in the states on a bootleg DVD for 20 cordobas. $0.85. Crazy.
We start seeing lots of palm trees and less buildings. We’re finally getting out of Managua and it feels so good. It’s quieter. It’s cooler. It’s more colorful. We look at each other and smile. Can’t wait to get to the beach. All of the sudden we come to a stop. The bus driver yells at me and Jon to get off so we grab our stuff and shuffle down’t the aisle.
We get out and realize that we’re not even at beach yet. We’re in Rivas. About 20 miles away.
The bus slowly backs out and is being directed by two men outside who are barefoot. Just as we pull onto the road, a man gets up from his seat and starts yelling out some sort of presentation. He’s selling a pen with features like a calendar which extends on the side and a flashlight. Unique. And relatively expensive at 50 cords for a weird pen ($2.14). He continues to pull out more items for the next 15 mins such as rings and coloring books. “This is really entrepreneurism in its most basic form.” JB says. Interesting thought: because there are very few jobs in Nicaragua, the country has indirectly forced many of these people into creating their own little businesses. He finally sits down, after making a couple of sales, as we make our first stop. A women with a large basket of sweet bread on her head boards the bus. She hands the bus driver a piece in return for letting her board the bus to sell her bread. The bread looked amazing. So good, we had to try it. “Cuantos cordobas?” “Diez cordobas ($0.42).” Jonathon is in heaven. Happily, he pays the woman and she quickly moves on to make another sale. The big piece of sweet bread is just as delicious as it looks and is the first substantial thing we’ve eaten all day.