Category Archives: Photos

Imaginary lines

imageBy Vicki Barnes
The towns along the Río San Juan are rough around the edges, as one might expect in the distant frontier of a country.
Sandwiched between the river and the rainforest on land that is Nicaragua, but which in some spots is claimed by Costa Rica, it is not surprising that the residents are strong and a bit boisterous. Continue reading

Advertisements

Showering here could be a shocking experience

By Vicki Barnes

Of the things we’ve done without on our trek – television, air conditioning, telephones, washing machines – there is one thing that Steve says he misses one thing more than any of those: a hot shower.

Frankly, with temperatures in the upper 90s most days, I find a cool shower feels far more refreshing.image

It is rare in a hostel to find hot water. A shower here is a place to wash off the grime you have collected during the day. It is not a place to luxuriate under a cascade of warmth.

It is not just hostels where hot water is difficult to find, most of the residents in Central America can not afford a water heater for their home, much less the electricity necessary to heat that cylinder of water and to maintain it at a high temperature. Continue reading

Don’t look up

By Vicki Barnes

It’s amazing that I have seen anything in Nicaragua.

Walking through town, one hops from sidewalk to street and back, depending on traffic, the placement of impromptu stores or where a group has gathered for a chat. Cars are sometimes parked on the sidewalk while the streets are clear.

A walk becomes a dance…a precarious one. Moving both forward and sideways simultaneously. Jumping while moving ahead. Stopping and going to the side…all at once.

All the while, there are hazards like this three foot deep hole, unmarked and without warning. You have to be prepared for these extra dancers on the way while still keeping an eye on the world around you.

image

Getting high in Granada

By Vicki Barnes

One of the best ways to experience the city of Granada in Nicaragua is to get high.

High, that is, above the city in the bell tower of the Iglesia La Merced.

The view of the cathedral from the bell tower at Iglesia La Merced

The view of the cathedral from the bell tower at Iglesia La Merced

The iconic church, just a few blocks from the central park, is a beautiful spot to see at ground level, but when you change your perspective, it becomes an even more amazing trip.

Only about six stories high, the observation platform is high enough in a city where only the churches rise above two stories. From the vantage point near the top of the bell tower, you can see the surrounding volcanoes, the central square and cathedral, Lake Nicaragua and every red tiled roof in the city. (It’s fun to try to guess under which roof you are sleeping that night as they are identical.) Continue reading

Swimming in a volcano

imageBy Vicki Barnes

When someone asks if you want to go swimming in the crater of a volcano, you’ll probably think they’ve lost their mind.

If the volcano is Apayo, a half an hour car ride from Granada, Nicaragua, you should immediately take them up on their offer. This volcano is practically extinct.

The last time it erupted was well before the current age, though there is still an active fumarole (an opening in the earth that emits steam and gas) on the western side of the crater, which means it is only sleeping – sleeping very deeply. Continue reading

What’s this guy doing?

imageThis guy is not picking through the trash outside the bus station. He’s sorting through the packages that have been shipped to town via bus. In a country with few street names and no addresses, packages are usually taken from place to place in the cargo areas of the ever-moving buses. For example, if I wanted to send a birthday present to my Tio Juan in Pinas Blancas, I would take my box, marked with his name and the city to the main bus stop here and put it on the bus. He would go to the main bus stop in his town, show his ID and pick it up. Not as simple as taking it to the post office in the US, but certainly effective. I don’t believe that the packages are guaranteed to arrive undamaged – or to arrive at all.

Budget Nomads’ photostream

DSCF1343DSCF1309DSCF1308DSCF1243DSCF1213DSCF1203
DSCF1198DSCF1197DSCF1181DSCF1134DSCF1125DSCF1104
DSCF1100DSCF1095DSCF1086DSCF1045DSCF1040DSCF1035
DSCF1020DSCF1019DSCF1018DSCF1012DSCF1001DSCF0972

See more photos on our Flickr page