Living la vida loca

I’ve been living large like a rock star for the past two days. I can see how the lifestyle can become addictive….

Buying handbags (which you already know about), indulging at the spa yesterday — mani, pedi, hour massage, facial ($40) in an old colonial house — and hanging out at the uber swanky Hotel Granada pool this afternoon ($7 entry for the day, $7 for lunch, including a drink).

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Yesterday I also got turned around in the hot, close, loud and grungy municipal market. Thankfully I found the right street out pretty quickly. I wanted to take photos, but I knew if I stopped walking, even for a moment, my possessions would walk away without me.

Two such vastly different worlds only scant blocks apart.

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I’ve had an awesome adventure. I’ve broken a sweat just standing still. I’ve eaten a meal of street food that cost me $1 and lived to see the morning. I’ve been helped out in Spanish by locals and travellers alike. I’ve managed to avoid being run over by cars, bicycles, pedicabs, motorcycles and horses, sometimes all on the same street. I’ve been called Chica. Pretty lady. Hello! every day by young men, old men, men with children, men with their girlfriends. I’ve learned the most expensive thing in Nicaragua is electricity. I’ve negotiated the bus station and avoided being pick pocketed. I’ve marvelled that EVERYONE wears jeans in the stifling heat (I’ve even seen a Nica woman in a scarf and one in a turtleneck!). I’ve seen mountains of plastic bags littering the side of the road. I’ve been face to face with 300 year old trees and 500 year old statues. I’ve watched the sun set while standing on the edge of a volcano crater, then looked down into it to see the lava and breathed in the sulfur. I’ve eaten a mango that fell off a tree and landed in front of me. I’ve stood in awe at stunning architecture and buildings that took decades to complete. I’ve fed bread to angry monkeys trapped on a small island (don’t tell PETA), and stepped over the sleeping dogs that seem to be on every sidewalk. I’ve seen incredible wealth next to crushing poverty.

But it’s time to come home. (Please tell me it’s turned into spring!)

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