Why did the chicken cross the road?

Trip Start Apr 26, 2006
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Trip End Aug 01, 2006


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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Sunday, May 14, 2006

We moved quickly from San Juan Del Sur back to Rivas and on to San Jorge (the Rivas docks) to make an early ferry to Isla Ometepe. We thought they were kidding when they pointed to the rickety old bath toy-looking hunk of junk that docked near us and the locals pointed it out, calling to us that this was the one to Ometepe. Our baggage was stowed on the flat top of the boat (rolling around loose of course because why would you ever tie the things down, right?). Passengers sit downstairs in the "hold" where tarps just about covered the open windows looking out on the very choppy lake. While we were sitting there waiting to go a plank of wood slipped down and frozen whole chickens began to slide down, thudding and bouncing on the floor of the boat. A bloke came down and gathered them in one section while another came in with two moving boxes tied with string and lovingly set them down next to us in the middle of the boat. As we began our journey across Lago de Nicaragua, the boat swayed from side to side and grey lake water sloshed and splashed against the tarps, soaking poor Shane and running up and down the floor of the boat. As the boat dipped and sank, the boxes next to us began to chirp. And cheep. And peep. As we watched them, the mystery was solved when a tiny little beak poked out of the cardboard and chirped in annoyance at it's general situation. Once on land again, we retrieved our packs, which amazingly had remained in the same spot, held in place by other packs and luggage and dry, and hopped on the bus which would take us to the Finca Magdalena on the southern part of the island. It was a hot, humid, sticky day and we were soaked in sweat by the end of the first half hour on the bus. By the end of the first hour, we were beyond wet and by the time we were and hour and a half into the ride we were just tired. Our chicken friends had come with us on the bus and the two boxes were nestled in the back on the seat right next to the door. Their owner was fanning them and trying his best to get some air into the boxes as he had already lost 5 chicks from heat exhaustion. The road became next to impassable and the bus rocked precariously from side to side every time we went over a broken bit of the road or a large rock in the way. All of a sudden, the bus moved sharply to the right and instantly a yell of dismay and chirps of fear and danger were heard from the back of the bus. The jolt had launched the boxes of chicks straight up and out the door of the moving bus! Their owner was frantically trying to collect them while yelling at the driver to STOP! Once we stopped, we looked back to discover chicks running across the road into the bushes, chicks hopping around on the stairs and chicks (unfortunately) flattened by the wheels of the bus. Once collected, the chicken farmer informed us that he had lost about 12 chicks in all. He did this trip with chicks every week and this was a bad week. No frigging kidding!
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