With no previous experience in Central America, I found plenty of things to surprise me here. One delightful thing was the rickshaws we saw in Chinandega. They provide an inexpensive alternative to taxis and can easily maneuver through the crowded streets. Most days there is a regular rickshaw traffic jam at the municipal market.
The amount of chicken that we (and the natives) consume here is staggering. It is cheap, plentiful, and good. This pile was heaped up over plastic-covered ice at the grocery store. I'm not too keen on how it's displayed, but "when in Rome..." In the municipal marketplace, you can even buy your chicken whole; as in head and feet still attached. Notice all the eggs in the background? Chickens provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner here in Central America.
Another surprising thing about Central America is that livestock frequently walk in the road. Cattle, pigs, horses, goats, and donkeys. Cars simply slow to a crawl and the animals plod by with no fanfare. Sometimes the cattle aren't even being herded; they just know when it's time to head home, I guess.
One very unpleasant aspect of Central America is the constant burning. We saw it in El Salvador and we are seeing it here in Nicaragua too. If it's not sugar cane fields in preparation for harvest, it's trash and leaves, or stubble in preparation for planting. My throat is usually sore and my voice is raspy in the mornings. This can't be good for us! And our boat gets filthy inside and out when the ash rains down.
Here is a map of our most recent passage from Bahia del Sol in El Salvador to Puesta del Sol in Nicaragua. We will be leaving this morning and heading to San Juan del Sur, our last Nicaraguan port. We will be away from Internet until at least Monday.