Nicaragua y Guatemala y México

June 14, 2018

December 27-28, 2017 & January 1, 2018


Nicaragua’s history is ‘Too much tears and blood.’ So sayeth our guide on the bus ride through hell, or the closest to hell I had seen so far in my sheltered life. I know quite a few people who’ve visited Costa Rica, often on birding or photo expeditions, and they loved it. Many Nicaraguans go to Costa Rica for work. Opening the Canal created Panama’s healthy economy, and Panama City has been compared to Singapore. But the rest of what I saw of Central America...


In Léon, Nicaragua, they care for souls at this beautifully restored church.


They care for bodies at this doctor’s office. There must have been other medical services. The largest country on the isthmus, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Central America-Caribbean region, after Haiti...

At the street market...

I’d rather have an ear of corn...

 ...than a pedicure. ​

It wasn’t all bad. Here’s a tiny bodega... in China, this would be called a ‘shop house.’

I imagine this once had a tile roof ...

While our guide Fito was very open about all the problems in his country, e.g., unsafe water and disease, he was proud of Léon’s university: the oldest in Central America, it is known for its medicine and law programs. He said, ‘Here in Léon, we produce brains.’

Next day, it was off the ship in Guatemala, where we docked at Puerto Quetzal and bussed inland to Antigua, ‘one of the best preserved Spanish colonial cities in the Western Hemisphere,’ the one-time capital of Spain’s Middle American territories. Friends on the cruise had enjoyed living there for a month a few years ago, one of their ‘live among the locals’ adventures.


The Catedral de Santiago dates from 1545...


Iglesia de La Merced, from 1767... too bad we couldn’t see it at night under its web of Christmas lights...

Meanwhile, in the alleys and courtyards off the plaza...


I had never been to Mexico. Luckily, I chose not to stay in the port, the very touristy Cabo San Lucas, aka ‘Cabo,’ but to go on an excursion to San Jose del Cabo, about an hour away. Being New Year’s Day, it was even sleepier than normal. A few shops were open, and it was pleasant just to stroll around this quiet town.



And the sunset back in Cabo was one of the finest of the entire 5-month cruise!


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December 4, 2018

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