As most seasoned travellers know… things will change. It’s a part of getting out there and experiencing the moveable feast that is travel. With our cycle tours we’ve become accustomed to the feeling of being in some kind of control, gracefully and slowly accepting those things that aren’t. This trip has started out a little different for us. Not bad, just different.
At the risk of belabouring the story, during the journey to Nicaragua, essentially we were treated to a royal miscarriage by the airline Aeromexico. Upon arrival in Vancouver from Prince George, we were told that our connecting flight from Mexico City to Managua was cancelled. Period. No viaje for you guys. At first we were struck with the nonsense of the whole thing and then the reality of it set in. We were probably going to spend a night in Mexico City. As we usually do, we made the best of it and after arriving in one of the 10 largest cities in the world, we went for a walk.
After gazing off our 16th floor balcony of the Century Hotel, we realized how massive the place is. We had seen less than a dot on a map. But, we were in the geographical centre of the city so that was cool. At the risk of being overwhelmed, we attempted to absorb the atmosphere of this part of downtown. It was huge. After leaving our little house on the Fraser River in Central BC, this was a culture change immersion for sure. But, a pleasant one. The only thing challenging was the air quality. People WERE wearing masks and one could feel it on the chest.
After a really good night’s sleep we made our way to the airport again and all went well until Aeromexico threw us another curve ball. We sat on the bus that was to take us out on the tarmac for an hour until someone went and asked and we found out the flight HAD NO PILOT. Nada. We waited for an extra 2 ½ hours for El Capitan to show up. Hard to believe. We felt bad for our Granada Airbnb host Diego. He was coming to pick us up and in the end, he waited for 4 hours with his driver Louis at the Managua airport. So yes, change is OK sometimes, but not when it screws up other people’s plans. Diego and Louis were so cool about it. Thanks guys! It was after all, Dec. 31st. Yes, it was Heather’s birthday too!
On the way to Granada we started to feel the familiar friendly air we remembered from the time we spent here 15 years ago. Already we were starting to chill – putting the Aeromexico debacle behind us.
Diego’s Airbnb is a refuge. Within a short walk of the downtown, it’s perfect. We have our own apartment with shower, comfortable bed, balcony and we also have freedom in his house that he shares with his Mum and Aunt. All for $21 a night.
We were not too tired to take a good walk about to get our bearings. As it was New Year’s Eve, things were starting to get busy on the Calle de Calzada – a no-traffic mecca for touristas and locals alike. We had a celebratory beer and then Heather picked a spot for her birthday dinner. It was all good and really made us feel like were in familiar and welcoming territory again.
After dinner, we took in the local celebration in the neighbourhood next door to Diego’s place. So cool. We saw the whole neighbourhood out enjoying the music, the treats handed out by volunteers, and families enjoying the evening together. Fabulous.
As fatigue set in we toddled back to Diego’s much too early by New Year’s Eve standards. With explosions ricocheting off the walls of our little apartment, with earplugs in, we fell asleep feeling happy, satisfied, and most of all fortunate that we were doing this. We have so many more people to meet, places to go and good vibes to feel. Can’t wait. Bring it on.