Pilgrimage to Popoyuapa – A Holy Week Tradition

On the road in Nicaragua.

It’s a long bus ride from the port city of San Juan Del Sur to Masaya Volcano. A couple of weeks ago, I shared photos of our visit to the volcano noting that there was about a 30-minute delay as we sat in stopped traffic. The tour guide wasn’t sure, but he guessed correctly that the delay was due to the passing of the pilgrimage, an annual holy week tradition some 150 years old. We couldn’t quite figure out how the traffic delay worked but we were sitting on the northbound lane in stopped traffic not moving at all, yet traffic appeared to be moving just fine in the southbound lane. At first I thought the single lane traffic would stop in the southbound lane and then we would proceed. It didn’t exactly happen that way. Continue reading

Apoyo Lagoon – Crater Lake Near Catarina Nicaragua

On the road to Catarina, Nicaragua.

It’s a rule of the tour guide. Introduce the bus driver as we begin the tour. Invariably, he just got his license and it’s his first day or week on the job. Everyone laughs. As we left Masaya National Park, we had a 40-minute or so drive to the small town of Catarina. These drivers earn their wages when it comes to navigating the narrow streets of older towns and villages. Such was the case at Catarina when this giant tour bus had to navigate a tight corner with a poorly parked vehicle at precisely the wrong place taking up part of the roadway. After some deft maneuvering, we continued on and the driver got a busload of applause. Continue reading

Masaya – We Visit an Active Volcano

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

Our excursion to Nicaragua’s most active volcano began with a 76-mile (122 km) bus ride to the Volcano Masaya National Park only about 15 miles (25 km) from the capital city of Managua. We were late getting there due to a 30-minute stop for traffic, a pilgrimage of the faithful Catholics that I will share with you in a couple of weeks. That delay and subsequent smaller delays would ultimately get us back to the ship late. Fortunately since the tour is an NCL excursion, the ship waited for us. Continue reading