Traveling to Managua at Night

Before we knew it, we were heading back to Nicaragua! One day earlier than what the Boarder Patrol Officer wrote on our passports. Quinn and I were both very excited to see my sister Caira. We took a comfortable two hour bus ride that took us right to the boarder of Costa Rica. We got off the bus we were both surprised to see only two small families in line. We jumped right in, filled out our papers, handed them to the officer and then “stamp, stamp”– we were back in Nicaragua. No problems at all.  We knew the officer that let us into Costa Rica lied to us about how many days we had to stay. I guess everyone’s just trying to get their slice of the pie.

After staying one night at Hostel Elizabeth, we set up a shuttle to pick Quinn and I up at the bus station in Managua, take us to the airport, pick up my sister and then take us back to San Juan Del Sur (a two and a half hour trip). All of this only cost us $50, which really shows how much further money can stretch in Nicaragua compared to rides in Costa Rica. We jumped on the afternoon bus and three hours later, we arrived in Managua at Mercado Huembes.

The last time we were here was when we first arrived in Nicaragua, which was a bit of a culture shock. This time, however, it was night and we were extremely calm. We patiently waited for the shuttle while drinking a 1 liter beer which only costed us C$25 ($1.05). After an hour or so of not being able to find the driver, we started to wonder where the shuttle was. We had no cell phone. Just a small paper with the shuttle owners phone number. We were forced to use… gasp… a pay phone. When was the last time you used a pay phone? For us it had been since middle school. We tried using multiple pay phones located around the perimeter of the bus station, but every single phone immediately hung up on us and stole our money. We finally got a hold of the guy and asked where the shuttle was because we had been waiting at the market for a while. The man responded with, “He is… Click.” The damn phone hung up on us again.

We decided to wait in front of the market in the pouring rain.  There were no tourists, tons of cars on the streets, and it was very dark.  We were scanning all of the cars, hoping that one of them would stop and be our guy. A moment later, a man walked up to us and said, “Jonathon?” We were so relieved. He found us! We both gave him a huge hug and started laughing.

We asked him how he knew it was us and said, “Well my boss told me that you guys were tall and the girl was white.” He was right. Great description, apparently we stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the locals at night. We quickly jumped in the cab and were excited to be our way to pick up little Caira.

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