Monday January 9. Frustrated with my banker and the access here.

Written by Jack van Ommen on January 9th, 2017

The 6.15 am bus for Chinandega showed up a half hour late. But in all stillness of this place there was plenty to keep me entertained. The baker making his rounds on a motor cycle. The song birds, roosters crowing, children pulling hand carts with oil drum size water barrels up the hill.  There is no running water here. The resort has its own generator and wells, propane is used for fuel. The people of the two fishing villages here live very primitively. I am being eaten alive by mosquitoes this evening. The strong wind has let up for the night and that brings the mosquitoes out. They bite right through my shirt. I managed to find a mosquito net for my bunk in Crucecita.

The countryside from the bus is fairly flat, mostly in sugar cane production and dairy pasture. One small Teak plantation. The first town was El Viego, I got off by accident, thinking I was already in Chinandega, but was able to catch another bus right away. There are no buses back from there to the Marina. Chinandega is not a very attractive town, squalor, trash. The 19th century church of Santa Ana is, as you will see from the pictures another quite over decorated/gaudy edifice. The priest had a long sermon and afterward his commentary was the length of a regular sermon. But it was a privilege to be there with my brothers and sisters. Marvin, the Houston-Nicaraguan, hunting guide and translator in the folkloric dance video, has a home here and he attended the same 10.30 mass.  A video can be seen of the Sunday trip at: Chinandega  the bus ride and a short part of the Sunday mass. The pictures below show the contradiction on this bus ride. These loud and annoying videos are a common way to entertain the riders in Central America. They show a lot of female flesh dancing to dumb songs. Macho men, gun violence scenes, etc.

I had spent most of my leftover American cash for the $215 clearing fees in Guatemala and Chinandego has the only ATM machines 40 KM away. The Marina advanced me the $72 for the entry here. And I was to repay this out of the ATM machine on Sunday. But somehow I got confused by the system here, because I wanted both US dollars and Cordobas. and then BofA automatically blocked my account. There was immediately an e-mail from the BofA and they were to un-block it when I answered that it was me doing the transactions. But two hours later there was no way yet for me to use my debit card. I did manage to get $20 worth of Cordobas for the bus ride before it was blocked. I needed to grocery shop because there is nothing nearer than Chinandego. So, when I asked the owner here for help, like me transferring dollars to his account he told me that I could catch a ride to Chinandega today with one of the men working here. But that never came about. And I was told that it may not happen for days. So, no I have to catch that same 6.15 bus tomorrow and spend most of the day riding in that piece of junk and listening to the porno videos. Then, when I get lucky and get some money I have to wait for the four clearing services to show up out of Corinto to clear out. So, instead of two days I’ll have been here for about a week. It looks like my slogan will have to change from Before 80 Years to “in 80 Years”.

Today I heard this strange, like a hacksaw, sound up in a coconut tree. Turned out to be a sloth.

 

The (soft) Porno Queen

The (soft) Porno Queen on the bus

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Santa Ana, Chinandega

Santa Ana, Chinandega

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You can just see the tail of the Sloth

 

 

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