One of things I love about this country is how easy it is to get lost, not like where the heck am I and I can’t get home, but WOW…where the heck am I? We started at a friend’s place (Green Arrow) just up the hill from the Hotel (the square red icon). From his place, 500 meters further up the road, a left turn off the residential street and straight into the middle of nowhere. (Click on the map for more info)
The forest swallowed us up and we stayed lost until we popped back onto the same street 3.5 hours later… dirty, laughing, a little thirsty and entirely refreshed from our little excursion in the middle of nowhere. And best of all it was a Friday afternoon.
At this time of year the vegetation is incredibly green, lush and dense. It covers the ground like a canopy thru which the sun is rarely visible. Around a corner, down a hill and you are in the midst of a pineapple field that has been cleared to allow the sun in. Climb another hill onto the ridge, look below and you see coffee shrubs growing in shade on the side of the hill.
Around the corner on the top of the ridge and unexpectedly you are surrounded by 2 women, their young children, a baby on their hip, 2 or 3 small dogs and a few chickens grouped beside their small concrete or clapboard house.
The kids are shy hiding behind their mother’s leg but break into a wide eyed smile when you wave to them. Even this close to “civilization” (less than 1 km from the city in 3 directions), they rarely see other people, much less a local, 2 gringos and a couple of dune buggies making a lot of noise. How they managed to get all this material here for their houses, fences, etc. is beyond me. The trails are barely passable by ATV much less commercial delivery vehicles. Visions of horse drawn carts, log rollers and pyramids come to mind. Unbelievable and amazing.
We were never far from the city but never so close as to not believe we were a million miles away from civilization. When you occasionally find a vista, the views are incredible. At this time of year, there is so much humidity in the air as to make it seem like all is covered in a haze of smoke, but fortunately, air pollution (other than dust in the dry season) in this country is still a thing of the hopefully distant future.
The forest is too dense to drive just anywhere, or even walk. You would be lost 10 meters from the trail. So we follow the trails that have been cut over the years by the local farmers tending to the pineapple and coffee, made worse/better/more interesting by the torrential rain that happens in the rainy season, and not always sure if we can get there from here. Including this trip, when we finally gave up trying to figure out how to scale a vertical face with our motos and had to back down the trail to the last intersection.
We were riding 900cc side x side dune buggy style ATVs. But if you have a pair of hiking boots or a mountain bike (and are willing to do a little pushing), this back country is just as accessible.
So add 1 to the list of things to do while in Managua. We just posted 10 Things to do in Managua on our FB page written by the owner of a small BnB here in Managua. Now there are 11.
Interested? Intrigued? Tired of that same old beach holiday? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can start planning your next -different- vacation.