Ok, so you're probably wondering why I named this post YMCA...that was the song I heard on the bus into Nicaragua! Yes, that's right, I'm in Nicaragua for the first time in my life!
A funny thing happened when I was in Managua (the capital city). I had been traveling from Honduras so I was pretty tired when I finally got to Managua. I thought about staying the night there and heading down to Granada (a colonial town popular among tourists) tomorrow. But when I got to the bus terminal I met a taxi driver who convinced me that I still had time to make it down to Granada so I decided to have him take me to the bus station. He was an interesting fellow who insisted that I should have him take me straight to Granada for $30 instead of taking the bus. I told him that I was a poor gringo and that I didn't have the money. He then ripped me a new one about how I was from "the world superpower" and how it was impossible that I couldn't pay $30 to have him take me. I told him that I preferred to pay the $1 to have the bus take me but he seemed angry and so I just dropped the conversation. He dropped me off at the bus station after all and immediately popped open the trunk to get my luggage out. I was so relieved to get out of that taxi! He was SSSOOOOO bitter!
Anyway, with the trunk open I went to get my luggage out only to realize that I was in the middle of another fight. Only this time it was a fight between two buses who wanted me to board their bus--both insisting that they were the first one to leave. The bad part was that one bus had my black suitcase and the other bus had my hiking pack. I have no idea how they moved so fast to get the bags into the buses but it was CRAZY! I decided which bus I would take but the bus driver of the "losing" party refused to release my black suitcase insisting that I would get there faster in his bus. I demanded (a bit forcefully) that he return my suitcase (the one with my laptop, digital camera, and pretty much everything valuable) immediately. He told me I could open the back door and get it myself because he refused to help me--RUDE! So, that's exactly what I did. I've never had anything like that happen to me so it was insane!
Anyway, I'm here in Granada and I met three nice travelers from New Zealand, Scotland, and Canada who offered to share a hostel room with me to save money. They're really nice folks and I'm glad I got to meet them!
I can't wait to see this city in the daylight. It looks really pretty. It's colonial (kind of like Antigua Guatemala) and it's by a huge lake with volcanoes all around. If the weather is good I'm going to try to hike one of them!