I hadn’t made an reservations in Managua, because after my one interaction with a hostel in Puerto Viejo, I blithely assumed all hostels would generally have enough room.
In a way, I was right. The second night we were there, they were selling couch space, and I’m pretty sure they would have started offering hammock and pool chair space next.
They “rearranged” things so that there were available beds, and Jonathan and I spent the night in separate dorms, though we made sure to reserve a private room for the following night. (By rearranged, I think he just meant he wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the availability, and they actually had room, or he wanted us to think he was doing us a big favor. Who knows.)
We grabbed some food around the corner and then crashed hard, separating to our dorms.
I woke before anyone else in my dorm, around 6am, which is normal for me, and claimed one of the hammocks by the pool. Around 7am, the fireworks or gun shots began. (We couldn’t decide if it was a military exercise or pre-Semana Santa excitement.)
As people began to filter in and order breakfast at the little hostel-run cafe, I began talking with the other travelers. Jonathan woke around 9am, and we ordered breakfast, and then took off for some sight-seeing with a fellow from Australia who’d got in even later than us. (And somehow, even though they were full before they squeezed us in, they still had room. Imagine that!)
We spent a little time at Lake Managua, which was, well, a lake. Then wandered about taking pictures. But the highlight of the day was going to the market. It was exactly what I think of when I think of open markets. Crowded. Crazy. Buried under tin roofing and buildings pressed closely together. Big enough to get lost in. We saw a billiard room, and there is apparently a church buried in the middle somewhere. The Australian bought a few pairs of socks for $1, and I got a haircut for 40 cordobas, roughly $1.80. One dollar, eighty cents, folks. That’s crazy sauce!
We were pretty exhausted from all the walking, so we headed back and the guys disappeared for nap time. I was in a chatty mood, and trapped anyone who crossed my path in conversation. Which turned out well, and we gathered a dinner party of a Californian, a Norwegian, a fellow originally from Memphis and now in Alabama, the Australian, and us.
The best part of the weekend? (Besides the market and the crazy cheap haircut.) The fellow from Memphis was a friend of a friend. He was best friends growing up with a friend and former co-worker of Jonathan’s.
The older I get and the more I travel, the more the world seems to grow and shrink at the same time.