02 February 2012

Nicaragua - Postcard 1

These postcards must have gotten lost in the Internet.  I sent them 2 weeks ago from Nicaragua.  (Joking aside, though, Nicaragua may be third-world, but they have amazing Internet coverage in some of the unlikeliest of places.)

MIA (the airport in Miami) is an emotional trip.  Arrival is a big downer -- a mess of terminals and a mass of people.  Our connecting flight to Managua was to depart from gate D32 (See photo for directions.  Who signs off on this stuff?)  and our arriving flight seemed to have arrived several miles away in spite of the moving sidewalks.  We found the AAdminal's Club(R) and were allowed admittance because, although we are merely peasants, we were on an international flight at some level above steerage.   One complimentary beverage coupon plus "We do not announce flight departures here."  Sweet.  When it was time to get on the next flight, we asked the AAdmiral for directions to gate D32 and, luckily, it was close.

Getting on any plane to evacuate MIA is a joy, and once the wheels are off the ground, it's pure elation.  The short 2-1/2 hour flight to MGA (Managua) was quite pleasant, and we arrived a few minutes early at gate 6 (of 6).  MGA is surprisingly modern -- something of a giant Quonset hut with all the modern accoutrements.  Clearly, Nicaragua has planned ahead for the tourists who will spill northward from Costa Rica, now that it has become way over-touristed.  We had only carry-ons, so we were able to proceed directly to Passport Control and Immigration for the quick US$10 (They didn't give a price in cordobas, their local currency.) pass-through.  And just as promised, a driver awaited us holding a paper sign with Tom's name and the resort's name printed in bold letters.  When he showed us to the parked Toyota VX sport-ute (badged a Lexus GX here in the 'States), we knew the 2-hour ride to San Juan del Sur was going to be good.  And it was.

Several images stuck with us along the roadsides to the resort:  cows (not "cattle", as I associate that with groups of cows) and horses grazing unfenced just feet from the pavement; the high quality of said pavement; and the red "Claro" satellite dishes atop the meagerest of residences.  It was doubtful that they had running water inside those homes, but at least they had satellite TV!

Around 3:00 PM, we arrived at Pelican Eyes (the resort), a larger-than-life set of structures strewn up a steep hillside in a jungle on the eastern edge of San Juan del Sur.  Instead of "Resort and Spa", they should call it a "Resort and Gym", because the place is like one giant Stairmaster.  There are clearly no "accessible" accommodations here.

I'll "send" more postcards of our adventure in a few days…

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