Crossing into Nicaragua was not difficult but it cost me $10 US. Honduras wanted $3 and Nicaragua wanted $7. I woke in Choluteca, Honduras and caught a bus to San Marcos for a dollar or so. Then I caught a collectivo to the fronterra of Nicaragua for $.50. After walking across the border a couple hundred meters or so, A guy from a bus offered me a ride to Esteli for $18 US. After I laughed he dropped it to $10. I declined and negotiated a cab for $5 to Somoto which was about an hour away. he wanted $10 but that was too much. I Noticed right off that the people in Nicaragua are much nicer than in Honduras. Many people keep their clothes remarkably clean. Somoto is a very nice town. Everyone I talked to was very helpful and sweet. The central park here is like a botanical garden and really lovely. After talking to my CS host I jumped in a bus for Ocotal which has a rival parque central botanical as well.
As I waited afront Heleen's house waiting for her to get off work, Some kids came to greet and play with me. I handed them my camera and they had fun taking pictures. Heleen was a great host and everyone in Ocotal were very friendly and interested in talking to me just for fun.
After lazing around in the morning, I jumped in a bus for Esteli. My contact here can't host me so I got a hopedaje which is like a hotel with cheap rooms and a shared bath but the fro door is locked all night as the family that runs the place sleeps. I met Hidejiro as soon as I entered. I said, in spanish no less, you are from Japan and he concurred that he indeed was from Japan. After checking in we went out for dinner and I texted Ariana who is a local here. She came to meet us and showed us where to get french fries and Ice cream. YUM!
Second Night in Esteli I went out to a bar and grill called Boulevard with Ariana, her sister, Brenda, Oscar, Marlo and their other friend who only temporarily forgot his name. This is where I heard of the US election results. I was so happy and proud I felt like out Country is finally entering the 21st century. Hours later we went for a short ride to a bar in the jungle which we didn't seem to want to stay at and finally they gave me a ride back to my place.
Next day, Hide agrees to accompany me to Jinotega to try to see some smaller villages. So we are off to see another CS'er named Adrian. After many hours on a dirt road passing herds of cattle, campaigners and a rainbow we arrived in one of the dustiest city's I have seen in the Americas. Jinotege is shabby to say the least but the people here are not so jaded by travelers passed. In fact the are hecka cool and funny. Walking around with Hide is interesting. I listen for all sorts of comments from Guapo, Chino, Chinito and whuu huaaaaa! I have to admit, He does look a tiny bit like Bruce Lee with his hair cut like it is. Adrian is from Switzerland. She is working with coffee trees doing research. I think it might be a little tough for her in Jinotega but she is dealing with it well enough.
Hidejiro was very popular at the comedor (area usually with several places to eat). As soon as we entered we heard hey chino and sounds reminiscent of old karate films. An old lady tried to karate chop Hide but he was too fast. He was easily able to block and counter the attack. Many girls called out "Chinito" and "Chino". When we finally chose a place to eat, I was able to negotiate two new wives for Hidejiro to take back to Japan with him. They were really funny and open. We had a good lunch and conversation for about $1.25 US. Jinotega market is fun.