Masaya

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I wake up early here, and I feel rested and ready for the day. In fact, I can’t wait for the day to start—I make up plans and go with them, no matter how crazy they here. Eh, that’s the perks of traveling alone, right?

I am staying in a nice hostel in Granada and for $12 I have a room to myself, shared showers and kitchen and a safe place to store my bags. I am using the city as a base to explore the country: it’s convenient and this way, I don’t have to find a new hostel every night.

Today my plan was to visit Masaya, a city famous for its craft market.

I walked to the chaotic market street in Granada to catch one of the chicken buses—yes, like Guatemala, Honduras or Belize, Nicaragua uses these colourful US school as public long-distance buses. Needless to say that rides are long, bumpy and crowded but very fun.

I hopped onto the bus and it took us over an hour to drive the 30 kilometers to Masaya—the bus stopped pretty much every two meters to pick passengers, bags, luggage and various unmarked boxes of stuff that were tied to the roof of the bus when it became clear they really couldn’t fit inside it.

The bus terminal  was in the middle of a huge dusty and muddy parking lot that doubled as a market. First stop for me: Mercado Viejo, the craft market, located a couple of kilometres down the road, into town.

I was expecting a colourful display of goods like in Chichicastenango, all I got was a somewhat sterile and quiet indoor market selling nice but somewhat generic souvenirs. I wandered between the stalls for 30 minutes and left without buying anything.

I walked to the waterfront to see the laguna and was rewarded with a nice view on Volcán Masaya and the water—it looks clean and blue but apparently it is very polluted.

The last thing I wanted to see in Masaya was the Fortaleza El Coyotepe, an old fortress built by president Zelaya, later used as a prison for political enemies. I headed to the Carretera Panaméricana, the Pan-American Highway, eating a couple of empanadas bought at the bakery. I couldn’t help thinking how cool it was to walk on a stretch of the 48,000 kilometre-long highway that links all the mainland nations in the Americas!

The steep climb to the fortress was… well, steep. Like, really steep. Like “fuck-I-shouldn’t-have-had-that-cigarette-but-I-so-deserve-a-cake steep The view was worth it though!

On my way back, I stopped by a fun café that played awesome music from the 1990s, including Nirvana—Masaya rocks!

You can see the com­plete set of Nicaragua on Flickr.

Chicken Bus to Masaya

Chicken Bus to Masaya

Yes, Chicken Buses Come With... A Flat Screen TV!

Yes, Chicken Buses Come With… A Flat Screen TV!

Bus Station in Masaya

Bus Station in Masaya

Chicken Buses in Masaya

Chicken Buses in Masaya

Chicken Buses in Masaya

Chicken Buses in Masaya

Chicken Buses in Masaya

Chicken Buses in Masaya

Market in Masaya

Market in Masaya

Market in Masaya

Market in Masaya

Che Mural

Che Mural

Church in Masaya

Church in Masaya

Masaya

Masaya

Laguna de Masaya

Laguna de Masaya

Laguna de Masaya

Laguna de Masaya

Masaya

Masaya

Round-About on the Panamericana

Roundabout on the Panamericana

La Panamericana

La Panamericana

La Laguna from the Top of the Fortaleza El Coyotepe

La Laguna from the Top of the Fortaleza El Coyotepe

Volcan Masaya from the Top of the Fortaleza El Coyotepe

Volcan Masaya from the Top of the Fortaleza El Coyotepe

Fortaleza El Coyotepe

Fortaleza El Coyotepe

Fortaleza El Coyotepe

Fortaleza El Coyotepe

To the Sandinista Martyrs

To the Sandinista Martyrs

Yeah, Masaya Likes Nirvana!

Yeah, Masaya Likes Nirvana!

Chicken Bus

Chicken Bus

Market by the Station

Market by the Station

Chicken Bus

Chicken Bus

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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