And the fateful border crossing!
09.03.2011 - 11.03.2011 26 °C
Well we arrived in Managua a couple of days ago and I can see already it has a much more vibrant personality than Costa Rica, although it seems to be a much poorer country.
Our first attempt at crossing the border was scuppered as Stephen had fewer than 6 months validity left on his passport - Take note that Central American countries seem to take this requirement quite seriously! So we headed back down to Alajuela where we started from to pay a little visit to the British embassy in San Jose. The journey back was very interesting.. The bus driver was supposed to drop us off at the airport but drove right past and dropped us and about 8 locals off in the middle of the Inter American highway in the pitch black. We couldnt cross the road as it was so busy so had to venture up a slip road for about 20 minutes to access a bridge to get us to the right side of the road to get a bus into the centre of Alajuela. The bus drivers answer to all the locals going crazy about them being dropped off in the middle of nowhere was to shut the door and drive off. Nice.
We were issued with an emergency travel document in San Jose which only allows travel to 5 countries so our plans have changed slightly. We are now skipping El Salvador and Belize so the countries on our list next are Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Poor Stephen will have to wait in Mexico while myself and Wendy enjoy a week in Cuba!
So Stephen now requires a US visa as an ESTA doesnt apply to an emergency travel document and myself and Wendy required Cuban visas. So our time in Managua has been spent touring the US and Cuban embassies. We have now made another slight mistake as our Cuban visas are only valid for travel from Managua which has put us in a bit of a pickle. All our plans are up in the air right now! Yesterdays devasting earthquake in Japan and the subsequent tsunamis hitting countries all over the show means we will probably have to sit tight for a day or so and see what the effects actually are before we head anywhere on the coast. Nicaragua is due to be hit at 16:20 local time (22:20 GMT) so we will see what happens.
ANYWAY, Managua does have a bit of a bad reputation according to my lonely planet guide but all the locals here have been great although english speaking people are very few and far between here! It is great for our spanish practice though, and I guess the best way to learn. Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures up on my next entry but im sure I said that last time.
We are thinking about heading to Rivas tonight which is still inland but close to our coastal destination San Juan Del Sur so we can keep an eye on the tsunami situation.
Apologies for bad grammar too, it appears my apostrophe key has gone astray....