Nicaragua - Managua and Pochomil
Trip Start Feb 05, 2008
24Trip End Apr 24, 2008
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Where I stayed
Hotel Jardin de Italia
The trip to Managua from Honduras had been long (8hours) and hot (the bus driver refused to put on the aircon and the windows didnīt open) and smelly (a kid threw up in the aisle and on a few passengers) - not a great combination! Anyhow, we decided that we needed a rest day with no travelling, and although the capital of Nicaragua, Managua, isnīt internationally known for itīs charm or beauty we decided to stay for a day.
Managua itself is super congested, smoggy, hot as an oven and dangerous so we decided that the best way to spend the day there would be to take taxis everywhere, and go check out a few museums and main sights (the lack of which means that this is easily done in a few hours!). First stop of the day was Loma de Tiscapa, a hill in the centre of town which offers great views over Lake Managua to one side, and a beatiful emerald green volcano crater lagoon to the other
Next stop was Huellas de Acahualinca which is this cool little "museum" in the dodgiest part of town! Itīs so dodgy that youīre told to take a taxi straight to the door and back, and the museum itself is barricaded behind a huge iron fence and locked gate. So, you might wonder, why did they decide to put a museum there!? Well, thatīs because the museumīs main (actually itīs only!) attraction was found there and canīt be moved! The museum showcases 7,000-year-old traces of civilization - a long line of footprints made by humans, and animals in a flow of volcanic lava
Third and final stop was the Old Quarter and the Natural History Museum which houses a small art gallery and LOTS of displays of local artists and collections of pre-Columbian pottery and sculptures. The Old Quarter was pretty much completely destroyed in the 1972 earthquake and since money is tight, nothing has been done to restore it since then. Itīs a weird ghost-town sort of place on the shore of Lake Managua with lots of derilict buildings. The most touching of it all is perhaps the skeleton of the old Catheral which outershell still stands almost intact, but the windows and everything inside it was completely destroyed in the quake. To add to the spookiness of it all, the large clock on the tower is stuck on the time when the earthquake hit at 12:30am! Eerie. Right next to the old Cathedral is the National History Museum and we decided to pay a short visit! Itīs an incredible building with large rooms surrounding two beautiful courtyards
Anyways, spending one day in Managua I think is enough for most people, and the next day we were on our way. We spent a night by the beach in Pochomil on the Pacific Coast which USED TO BE a popular place for Nicaraguan tourists to spend the weekends. However, as it turns out this place is now a complete ghost town and tourist trap. The place is deserted, the accomodation very, very basic and prices high. After a few weeks of travelling weīve become quick to determine whether a place has something to offer, or whether itīs better to cut our losses and make a quick exit. Pochomil required a quick exit. The next morning we caught a taxi to Granada - as you can read next, it turned out to be the right decision.