Namaste Nicaragua

Getting out of Nicaragua turned out to be a very Nicaraguan experience. It took about 40 minutes to check out of my hostel because it was the receptionist's first day, and she had to do a lot of reconciliation between a paper notebook and the computer system. I didn't mind too much because I was recovering from a multi-day stomach situation, so I was just existing in a fog while waiting until the next time I could sit down again. I lugged my backpacks and yoga mat over to a different hostel to catch the airport shuttle, happy to sink into a new seat for a couple hours. Unfortunately, after leaving on time at 9:30am, we had made the journey out of town and then back again to pick up a new rider, so by 10am we were on exactly the same street as where we had started. There was a man from Toronto sucking on a lollipop while yelling at the bus driver to let him off so he could get a taxi instead and a Spanish couple telling everyone to shut up, "¬°Dale gas!", and get a move on. It was all quite a sight to see.

Since the only shared and affordable shuttle left at 9:30 and my flight wasn't until 4:15pm, I had a lot of time in the Managua airport to feel sick and poke at a soggy Subway sandwich. Then there was a flight where i had the whole emergency exit row to myself and I used electronic devices the entire time even though they told me not to and didn't tell anyone I was sick even though the safety pamphlet told me to. Later, a talkative taxi driver rolled me through a new Central American city with more reminders of the comforts of home, like how someone had peeled off the "Mc" letters in the golden sign so that it only said "Donald's" which I thought was funny in an ironic way.

Cobblestone streets told me that we were in Antigua, and I was dropped off in a much nicer hostel than any in which I've ever stayed. One of the very friendly desk employees showed me my capsule bed (in three stories of bunks!) and the bathrooms, including a (hot!) shower. Then he took me up to the rooftop terrace where it was dark, but I found out the next day that it looked like this:

 Hostel Cucuruchos, Antigua, Guatemala
 Hostel Cucuruchos, Antigua, Guatemala

There was a lot waiting for me here.