Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








On Sunday we decided to take a ride up to Leon to check out some of Nicaragua's northern beaches. I wanted to see how they compare to the Southern ones. Driving out of Managua I snapped some miscellaneous photos along the way. One of my favorite statues in Managua is the one I call "the AK47 guy". It's a reminder of Nicaragua's recent past as well as what's probably in store in the not too distant future. I hate to be a gloomy gus but I don't see a real rosy picture for Nicaragua's future given the current state of affairs. The people are vehemently opposed to having another dictatorship and it's clear that's the direction Ortega is heading. Furthermore, the government is so corrupt that the people have little faith in the democratic institutions as a vehicle for change. When people lose faith in the power of the ballot box then there is only one method available to them for changing the government and one way or another it will involve guns and bloodshed. I honestly hope I'm wrong and that Ortega moderates his positions because the last thing Nicaragua needs is more bloodshed.

Porkys Managua
Porkys Managua
Nice Grafitti
Nice Grafitti
Bad Area Of Town
Bad Area Of Town
Roadside Corn Stand
Roadside Corn Stand
The AK47 Guy Statue
The AK47 Guy Statue
Tallest Building In Nicaragua
Tallest Building In Nicaragua

A couple blocks from the AK47 guy there's a tent city where hundreds of people essentially live in plastic trash bags. These people were poisoned on a government run banana plantation by pesticides and now they can no longer work because they are sick. Since the government was the one that poisoned them they promised to give them something like the equivalent to social security to take care of them. After years of waiting, however, they've yet to see any checks from the government.

Tent City In Downtown Managua
Tent City In Downtown Managua
Tent City In Downtown Managua
Tent City In Downtown Managua
Tent City In Downtown Managua
Tent City In Downtown Managua
Hanging Out In The Rotonda
Hanging Out In The Rotonda
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Leon To The Left Or Right
Leon To The Left Or Right

The picture above that shows the signs to Leon is typical of the confusing road signs in Nicaragua. From Managua there are 2 roads to Leon, the new road and the old road. NEVER take the old road as it's little more than a cattle trail. Of course, the first time I went to Leon I didn't know that so we took the old road by mistake. Just remember the cardinal rule for driving in Nicaragua, when in doubt, ASK! The new road (Neuva Leon) is much better and winds along the shore of Lake Managua for a while so there are some great views along the way.

Fresh Lizards
Fresh Lizards
Volcanoes In Lake Managua
Volcanoes In Lake Managua
Welcome To Nagarote
Welcome To Nagarote
The Ocean Must Be Close
The Ocean Must Be Close
Real Close
Real Close
Welcome To Poneloya
Welcome To Poneloya

It's not exactly easy to find the road to the beach from Leon because there aren't any signs. You kind of have to drive around Leon asking people how to get there until you find the right road. The road is OK and it's a short ride from Leon to Poneloya. Poneloya is a sleepy little town on the Pacific Ocean that looks like it's seen better days. There's a weird mix of new, freshly painted beach houses and those in rubble.


Its A Quiet Town
Its A Quiet Town
Holy Beach
Holy Beach
Local Bar
Local Bar
Where We Had Lunch
Where We Had Lunch
Lunch
Lunch
Octopus Street
Octopus Street
Slight Bomb Damage
Slight Bomb Damage
New Casa
New Casa
Not Much Traffic
Not Much Traffic
The Red House
The Red House
More Pigs
More Pigs
The Whole Family
The Whole Family

Before hitting the beach we decided to eat some lunch at a little restaurant that we found. They had typical Nicaraguan fare and the food was decent. While we were waiting for lunch a kid dropped by selling sea shells. I'm not sure what kind of shells he was selling but since we like to encourage free market capitalism in the children of Nicaragua we bought one of his shells.

An Important Call
An Important Call
A Couple Of Drunks Fighting
A Couple Of Drunks Fighting
Mmmmm, Oranage Juice
Mmmmm, Oranage Juice
Sea Shell Salesman
Sea Shell Salesman
Juniett Bought One
Juniett Bought One
Admiring Her Shell
Admiring Her Shell

The surf in Poneloya is brutal. If you're a surfer I'm guessing this is one of the better spots in Nicaragua because the waves are huge. For a swimmer, however, it's not so great. The beach is rocky so it's tough on the legs. The beach is also very steep and the water gets deep fast. This causes one of the most wicked undertows I've ever encountered anywhere in the world. Because of the combination of the rocks, the undertow, and the depth of the water it forced me to not wander very far from shore for fear of not being able to get back. This placed me square in break most of the time I was in the water and provided a fairly punishing experience. Needless to say, I didn't stay in the water very long.


It's A Beautiful Shell
It's A Beautiful Shell
Wicked Surf
Wicked Surf
Sleepy Town
Sleepy Town


Click Here For More Nicaragua Photos


Google
 




© 2008 David Mayle/PuraVidaTravels.Com
All Rights Reserved