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Day 23 Teguc-Managua

Written on: Wednesday August 15th, 2007

A journal entry from: Central America Road Trip 2007

Falling behind on my blogs so I'll try to keep this brief. It was also a pretty boring and looonng travel day.

Got to Tica Bus around 8!15 and it turned out I could probably have just as well bought my ticket then since the bus was not that full. Unlike other Tica Bus routes, I believe this one started out in SPS at around 5-6AM and hence the more acceptable departure time.

To start with, the a/c on the bus didn't work. Then just before the border there is an accident ahead on the road with fallen power lines blocking the way and we all had to get out and walk the last small distance up the hill to the border post. And then nothing to do but sit around for 3.5 hours waiting for them to clear the road enough for our bus to get through. I spent most of the time talking with some of my fellow gringo passengers (there was a higher perdentage of them on this trip for some reason). It was nice enough but certainly not how I had hoped to spend my day. And we were all wondering how late we would wind up getting into Managua and how that would effect our travel plans. Most of the others hadn't planned on staying there but meant to go on to Granada that night. To top it off it had started raining on and off again and one of the guys there said something about all the hotels in Managua being booked up because of some sort of convention. I didn't know Managua was a big convention city (watch out Las Vegas) and didn't know whether to believe him but was starting to worry about where I would stay since I didn't have any reservations.

Finally around 3!30 we're back on our way and we wind up getting into the Managua terminal around 8PM. Its dark out, its raining out, the terminal is in a bad part of town and I'm debating whether to take a cab out to the hostal I stayed at last time around at the rtisk of finding them full or just crash out at someplace nearby for the night and start out fresh tomorrow. Unfortunately, I didn't have Brenda's number written down or the number for the hostal and I couldn't look it up on-line or in my email box since the Tica Terminals internet cafe consisted of an empty room with unused network outlets on the wall. They couldn't direct me to any nearby internet place, which were all probably closed by that point anyway. In fact, the Tica personnel were generally unsympathetic, unsmiling and unhelpful. In the end I just took one of their rooms for $15 (shared bath, no fan and probably one of the worst rooms I'd had for the money). With that out of the way, I asked the deskclerk, if there was a nearby place to eat. Of course, she directed me to the terminal cafeteria which was closed anyway. So I ventured across the street to a sidewalk food stand for dinner (whereupon I saw a sign for another Hospadeje with private bath and fan (or a/c?) for $12). Feeling pretty glum, I just finished my dinner, went back to the terminal took a shower and went to bed around 9!30.

Total costs for the day $52 of which $46 in various ways went to Tica Bus. Another gripe I have with Tica bus is the hidden costs. I don't mind paying extra for an a/c ride on comfortable seats and less delays at the border, but on top of that they ask for what seems extra high amounts for border fees ($12 from CR>Nica and $8 for Honduras>Nica vs. the $2-3 I paid from El Sal>Honduras and Nica>CR). The amount is not huge but its the principle. Plus I hear the other major intercountry carriers like Transnica cost a little less and are nicer anyway.