Billy Bob's blog

Why live in Nicaragua?

First

There are a lot of people who have some long term relationship with Nicaragua, usually the politics of the revolution or participation in humanitarian or environmental projects. They are bored or have run out of options in the states, and might as well live their dreams down here. Bring some money, start a business, or suck your pension money out of an ATM. To paraphrase Carl Franz, ¨Where ever you are, that´s where you´re at!¨

4 O'Clockish in the AM

So there I was, copping Z´s in my comfy bed way before the gallinas and the air raid siren would normally wake me up, when all of a sudden ¨LET THE MUSIC BEGIN¨! Loud, clear, and unmistakably THERE.

Ticabus

Has fixed up its terminal in Managua. Gone is the world war three exterior, and the inside now looks like an airport, everything new and shiny, including the diner and the restrooms

1Mar 07, new Ticabus terminal in San Jose, a couple blocks from the big Scotia bank on the main drag.

1 O´Clockish in the AM

Interesting day. After doing my rounds in town I stopped by the cybercafé to check my email and blow 10 cords on internet time. Ho, hum, magazine from Escapefromamerica.com had an article on crime in Chile. Since Chile is generally considered a safer place to live than anywhere in Central America, I thought I would check it out. It turned out to be a very interesting hands-on article about how to avoid being a crime victim.

El Esteliano

This magazine has been around for years and is available in bookstores and supermarkets in Esteli. It will set you back a whopping 10 cords. It´s a good general interest magazine for the area and useful if you are studying Spanish because it tends to have different subject matter and vocabulary than a textbook.

Any Tai Chi out there

Anyone know of any Tai Chi or qigong classes out there, especially in the Esteli area. )I´m not interested in yoga, just the Chinese arts)

Money

For those new to travel in Central America, here are some hints for MONEY:

1) Cash, some is good. Come into country with some US dollars. Small bills are handy. You need a fiver to get through immigration, 8 if you are coming by bus from Costa Rica. Twenties are nice, hundreds can be hard to cash at times because people are afraid of counterfeits and are more willing to risk a 20 than a hundred. Bring in clean, untorn, unmarked bills because sometimes even banks will go hinky on you and refuse imperfect bills. Last trip I was in a hurry and wattled off the plane with $600-700 in greenbacks. This was rediculous and I was relieved when I had finally spent it down, which is hard to do in Nicaragua if you are as cheap as I am. You don't need to carry that much cash for casual travel and if you get robbed you are just rewarding the thieves. If you need more greenbacks while in country you can get them at a bank. This trip I will come and go with under $200, US and Nica combined.

Bank account.......

Opened a savings account in usd's recently at the BDF branch in Esteli. No problems doing it, but plan on several hours to wrap it up.

First item, the clerk gave me 2 blank form letters of reference to be filled out by locals who have cedulas and have known me for at least one year. My immigration status was not asked.

Las Manos border crossing

Las Manos is the most direct route to Tegus and points north. It´s really just a wide spot in the road, much cluttered with parked semitrucks.

To cross you find the correct nondescript building that has 4 glass windows. The window to the south is where you check out of Nic. Then you go to the window to the north to check into Honduras. Don´t have a clue what the other 2 windows are for.

Miraflor weekend, part 1

Before I speak on topics of importance, such as the traditional dress of Estelianas, let me get out some facts of use to anyone planning a trip to Miraflor Preserve near Esteli. This particularly applies to the rainy season.

Lost in La Trinidad, Esteli, Aug 06

Made a day trip to La Trinidad, a small town on the carreterra about 20 miles south of Esteli. Took the Bus from Contran Sur, an ordinario gowing to Managua but making stops all along the way.

The entrace to the town is a paved road with a statue at the beginning. It is right across the highway from the Texaco station. I followed the street through a pleasant little town with the usuall stores and puplerias. Overall it was pretty good looking with many paved roads and with many dirt crosstreets. At any given time it seemed that there was just about a 50/50 mix betwen cars and horses on the street.

Billy Bob does Managua.............

Flew in on Continental Wednesday night. Plane was late getting off the ground in Vegas, but the flight from Houston to MGA was even later so me and my baggage connected just fine. About usd700 , I could have got about 100 bucks off on a redeye ,flight but my eyes are already red so I passed on that one.

Medical info in Spanish

Someone was looking for healthy living info in Spanish. MedlinePlus is very informational and I just noticed it has an icon to flip it into Spanish. Spanish edition has lengthy health topics, encyclopedia, and drug list.

Guide books

Here are the web sites for the major guide books, helpful for someone making or contemplating a first trip. Check their websites to see what's available, then buy what you want directly, from Amazon or other online stores, or from your local book store.

Moon Guide Second Edition

Just got in the new edition of Moon Handbooks Nicaragua, which has a copywrite date of Nov., 05 carefully hidden in the back of the book. It's the one with the cover scene of a rural picture with some pink and red flowers in the fourground. Lists at $19.95 US, got it from Amazon.com for $12.97.

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