Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The way home

We are on the last day of our two months sojourn in Central America. Today Geordie made me walk a couple of kilometers to the old fort where we explored a little (admission free!), then we walked back through the local market, very busy with folk doing their shopping. Somehow the sight of fresh meat lying on a wooden counter in the full air often makes me think being a vegetarian just might be the better way, but tonight I think I´ll still have the Alabama style ribs for dinner. (Sorry James).

After our hot and dusty walk we got back to the park and hired a coach and two for another tour of the city, taking in many of the sites we´d seen already, but in the luxury of our own carriage with a coachman and two lovely hard working horses to do all the heavy work for us. The coachman acted as tour guide too, telling us about the important sites in Spanish as we travelled the streets.It was nice to be a tourist and to have other tourists taking photos of us as we drove by.

This has been a wonderful trip for us, We have enjoyed all the places we have seen, there have been no disasters, although we have had a couple of colds which have put us under the weather for a time. I also had a long lasting cough which I didn´t talk about. It got tiring. Geordie and I laughed (ruefully?) when we saw the sign on some building that said,"if you have had a cough for more than 15 days, you may have tuberculosis." Oh, I don´t think so. But yesterday at the market in Masaya I had a coughing fit that lasted for about 20 mintues. It was a little weird.

We did a tour of Masaya, the craft town near here yesterday all on our own. We walked down to the bus area and found one going to Masaya so hopped on and paid our 20 córdobas each for the pleasure of sitting on relatively comfortable seats. But we were dropped off on the highway, and pointed to the centre of town. It was a hot dusty walk, and part way there we took a taxi and asked the driver to take us to the lagoon side so we could see the volcano across the water. Then we walked back into town, wandered the large old stone fort that has been turned into the craft market (didn´t buy anything), then found the bus station (another long dusty walk to another big dusty field) where the bus was as usual waiting for us. This was not such a comfortable bus, an old Canadian school bus with very worn seats with stuffing hanging out, and thank heaven the windows open in these buses so that at least when we were moving there was a breeze to cool us down. This was a more local bus so stopped to pick up and drop off passengers where ever they wished. It dropped us in the bus area and we walked back to our hotel and had a nice soak in the pool later in the afternoon.

So tomorrow we go home. We have only six weeks then to prepare our bodies for the Camino because once again we are setting off to walk, in May and June. Some of you will be disturbed to know that we are planning to walk separately, I´m sure. But I have wanted to walk the Camino by myself and Geordie must go at the same time so he is considering continuing the walk he did on the Via de la Plata by himself a couple of years ago. We will also take the opportunity to visit with Bertrand and Giorgio in Torremolinos again too. How wonderful to have friends in far places.

We have certainly enjoyed our travels in Central America and I think we have been pleasantly surprised by Nicaragua. It seems the country has come out of it´s bloody war with a positive outlook on the future and less of a militaristic view than El Salvador. It compares in that way with Guatemala, although we have seen fewer guns here than we saw in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. We must remind ourselves though that most, if not all, of the guns we saw were for our protection, or the protection of those who re involved in money collection in some way or other, so it is in fact a safety feature.

You´ll be hearing from us after we get home. I will be looking forward to telling you about my plans for the camino, and sharing that journey with you too.

Thank you all so much for sharing our journey with us again. It has certainly been our pleasure and thank you for your encouragement of our messages as we travelled. It is so wonderful to be able to make these connections.