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New Cruiser: Expeditions

The travels of an all aluminum Land Cruiser and its owners…

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Granada, Nicaragua

Written by Raenelle on Wednesday, December 31, 2003
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We decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Granada – the small town that we visited in November. New Year’s is a huge celebration here in Central America, and we didn’t want to be stuck in southern Honduras overnight, so we stopped at Granada – a place where we knew we could park the truck safely overnight etc. We arrived around midday and parked the truck at the Fire Station and went and got a room for the night in a small hotel/guest house near the main town plaza. We walked around town and sat listening to some Marimba players in the town square, ate some local food – Chicheronni (crispy pork skin) with salad. We went back to our hotel room for a while where an adorable little ginger kitten adopted us for the night. We headed out later in the evening and had some dinner before returning to our room to get some sleep.

Landcruiser IISince it gets dark so early here in Central America, we’ve gotten into the habit of going to sleep really early (8pm or earlier) and waking up and leaving at about 5am. The schedule suits us well – we are able to get on the road just before sunrise and we’re able to make good distance before the rest of the world wakes up and gets onto the roads. So, needless to say, we were real party-poopers and we went to bed at about 9pm and didn’t stay up to ring in the New Year! There were so many fireworks going off all night though, that we didn’t manage to get much sleep anyways!

In the morning, we were up before the crack of dawn and had already walked the 20 mins to the Fire Station by 5am. The Fire Station master was surprised to see us, and told us that we couldn’t take our truck. We looked into the parking lot and saw that we were completely parked in. Since it was New Year’s Eve the night before, the Fire Station had decided to park more people than usual in their small lot (to make more money for the Fire Station) and clearly decided that it wasn’t important for people to be able to get their vehicles out! “Not possible to get your car today,” he said to us in Spanish, “No possible – solo manana! Only tomorrow you can get your car. Today is a holiday!” Hmm. As we frustratedly considered the idea of being stuck in Granada for a whole day, we tried to figure out a way to get our truck out. It landed up that the Fire Station Master had the keys to two of the vehicles parked near us. The vehicle directly beside us belonged to a man who lived down the street and we had to wait until 8am to wake him up. If he came with his key to move his vehicle, then maybe we could get out!

Well, the long and the short was that we sat in the truck from 5am till 8.30am when we were finally able to inch our way out of our cramped parking spot and get out of Granada! Ah the joys of Central America … you just never know what you are going to come across next. The best advice we can give anyone travelling in these parts is to forget the fast, efficient service and way of life that you are accustomed to back home! Things here work at a different pace and you will drive yourself crazy trying to impose your own standards on things. Just go with the flow and take it easy. Although, having said that, it’s still impossible to predict things sometimes, and the utter stupidity of some situations makes you laugh internally and shudder with astonishment! But I guess that’s what makes a trip like this so unique and memorable!

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