But it's shaped like a pyramid!!

Day 37 - Managua

The sun was barely up but there is never a better time to leave the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa than that very instant. Short on sights, long on vice and violence, myself, Michael and, Tony had become Tania (ah, travel's unpredictability!) barely strayed from our hotel the previous night. The bus deposited us at the border from where the crossing had to be made by bicycle rickshaw, a strange and amusing experience. Queerer still Nicaraguan immigration refused to accept its own currency in payment of the entry fee. I suspect there is an ongoing competition between the border control agencies of Central Americans countries to devise the most convoluted and quirky entry procedure they can. Nicaragua is leading on points by my scorecard. We stayed a night in the Managuan metropolis and sampled the city's delights such as people smashing each other over the head with motorcycle helmets outside karaoke bars. I tried in vain to induce my fellows into a discotequa shaped like a Mayan Pyramid but Michael was having one of his (worryingly frequent) off nights and couldn't be cajoled. I drowned my sorrows with the help of our new friend Rony Fresca.
Another day, another bus, This one departed the sprawl of the capital for the crumbling colonial charm of Granada. Its time-worn stone edifices were a reminder of Antigua's pretty pastel perpendicularity. I don't generally care for cities set to a grid pattern. The brutal logic of line and and square lacks life and has none of the organic meander that connects it to its inhabitants. Somehow the coldly efficient layout seems to amplify the meaningless swarming of humanity. These Spanish time capsules retain a faded elegance though, the ambience of a world half a millenia past. Broad streets and broader ambitions, high ceilings and high-minded ideals. Are these places the ugly stamp of imperial imposition or valuable architectural reminders of our inexhaustible folly? Perhaps they are brick and stone. "No hablo espaƱol" was becoming a worn phrase and the decision was made that a week's intensive Spanish at a Granadan language school was just the ticket, surely fluency would follow? Tania's impeccable linguistic skills had also made us lazy and rather than pointing at the things we wanted we had simply taken to pointing at her. But she would be flying to the Corn Islands in search of Hammerhead Sharks so somehow we had to cope without our Canadian crutch. Michael bid farewell in his inimitable style by belting out Bryan Adams in Cindy's Karaoke Bar. It assuaged his promise to dance on a table (if only temporarily). Our classes began at 8AM each day which rather curtailed our exploration of the city's nightlife. Or rather it should have. It fairness after one post-session-lesson we swiftly realised that multitudinous beers (in my case) and several strawberry daiquiris (in Michael's) did not aid our learning. A week in Granada also allowed time to fit in my traditional visit to the medical services. A very black, suspiciously thick hair had begun to protrude from the bottom of my leg. Dr.Welsher's own attempts at extraction yielded nothing but a discomforting amount of pain (I doubted his qualifications). Its tenacious grip confirming that it was a remnant stitch. I don't think I've had an operation yet where one wasn't left behind by the surgeon,as if for luck. So, laid out in a doctor's office again he closely mirrored my technique with the important difference that he pulled until I was silently howling and until the damnable thing finally snapped.
Tania, having had her own (predictably unique) limb issues was back after sadly little diving (she got her shark though) and with our lessons finished and Spanish slightly less non-existent than before, travel beckoned. Next stop - 2 volcanoes and a bloody big lake.

No comments:

Post a Comment