October 23, 2015: Matagalpa

I got up this morning nice and early and did my usual morning routine of posting and writing.  I get much of my best work done on the rather early side.

We talked this morning about what we might want to do this weekend and decided to look into renting a car, possibly, to go travel this weekend.

Around one I walked down to the Hotel Plaza Colon where we have discovered that the Dollar Rent a Car is hiding.  There is no signage, you just have to know that it is inside.

You have to go into the Hotel Plaza Colon and ask at the front desk and they point you to the Dollar desk which is hidden in a back room and is not visible even if you walk around the hotel a bit.  It is a handy location for people staying on the plaza but impossible to find if you do not know already where it is.

I asked about a car and they provided one to me instantly.  And, of course, it is another awful Toyota Yaris.  At least it is white so not so hot.

The rental was just $38 per day after the insurance and tax and everything.  So I drove it back to the house and surprised Dominica with a car.

I did some more writing for a while while Dominica worked on getting us packed and ready to go.

We did not manage to leave the house in Granada until nearly five.  So it was getting dark by the time that we were on the road.

Our goal tonight, which we did not decide until pretty much the last minute, was to head up into the mountains to Matagalpa.  We really want to see what it is like up there and get a break from the heat too. The mountains are where we are most interested in potentially spending more time long term and really want to see what it is like up there.

We had to start by driving up through Masaya and up to Tipitapa which is the same route that we took to get from the airport to our house in Granada when we first arrived in Nicaragua.  Once through town, though, we were off in the darkness to new parts of the country which we had never seen before.  Unfortunately it was dark so early that we really saw nothing whatsoever of Nicaragua on this drive.  So we did not really learn much about the region other than what little bit we could see in the headlights and quite about about what driving is like.

Driving in Central America is always a challenging experience but not really all that bad.  There are tons of people and animals and non-road worthy vehicles present at all times but unlike Panama there is not a continuous stream of people running across the highway.  A step in the right direction.

The drive was interesting and it was clear that we drove up into the mountains and across a high plateau before heading up even farther.

The hotel that we found was the Hotel Matagalpa Inn for just like $50 per night for two big beds right in town.  The hotel was located right as you enter town and right on the highway so that it was incredibly easy to find.  We drove right to it needing no directions or map.

We got into the hotel without any problem.  We might be the only people staying here tonight.  The room was nice and lots of room.

No one felt like going out tonight so we ended up just staying in since it was late and dark.  We tried getting pizza but nearly everything was closed.  The front desk called around and found us a place that had closed but was willing to open back up just to sell us a pizza!

We ordered a pizza but it was going to take nearly an hour since the ovens were off and they had to fire everything back up again.  So while we were waiting for that I went out to explore where we were.  I went across the street to Pollo Estrella (Chicken Star) and got some fries for everyone.

Pollo Estrella is a smaller Nica chain, much like Tip Top.  They setup is very strange and worth a trip to experience.  A huge outdoor area and waitresses but fast food fried chicken and fries.  The fries were good.

I went over to the Uno gas station on the corner and picked up some snacks and drinks and returned to the hotel.  We just hung out in the room and waiting for the pizza.

The pizza ended up being amazing.  We really loved it, especially the mushroom and veggies pizza that Dominica and I got.  Delicious!

We were off to bed early so that we can explore the mountains tomorrow.