Saturday, July 26, 2008

El Salvador to Nicaragua

Bus from San Salvador to Managua. Sat next to a man, originally from Guatemala, now living in Geneva, but does a lot of travelling for his work through Central America. Stopped at the first border, between Nicaragua and Honduras, and he was escorted off the bus and thoroughly searched and interrogated for an hour. His family in Guatemala were even contacted for verification as to his family background. He was the only black man on the bus and confided in me that this happens to him every single time he crosses that particular border, and nowhere else, and usually no one else is put through the same procedure as he is, time and time again, often by the same border control guard.

A bunch of young kids asked us for money at the border while we were waiting for our passports to be checked. I happened to glance down and notice that one of the small girls, no older than 5 years old, had a large bunch of rolled up notes in her pocket. She was carrying more cash than our busload was carrying combined.

Made it to Managua (the capital of Nicaragua) without too many dramas, checked into a hotel a few doors down from the bus stop, and the owner of the hostel pointed me to a sign on the counter warning guests not to walk around the area, even by day. So, this was going to be an expensive stay here as the taxis are hard to bargain in this part of town. I never did figure out if our safety was her main concern, or if there was some fiscal agreement that existed betwen herself and the taxi drivers. I wasn't about to wander the streets to put it to the test though...
Luckily had a television in the room, so was more than happy to stay in watching fillums (it's all productive when it's in Spanish, don't you know?)