Monday, June 8, 2009

COPS Managua

Relieved we were allowed to enter the country we got our rental car and happily headed toward Granada with a poorly hand drawn map and my navigation system with extremely limited Nicaragua data. It was clear very quickly that this is a very poor country with lots of people walking or riding bicycles with not one or two but THREE people on one bicycle! It was not even an hour since I was reluctantly allowed into the country that our next big adventure happened…A police traffic stop.

Apparently we missed a school zone and we were pulled over for speeding. I say ‘apparently’ since I’m still not sure. As mentioned previous we don’t speak much Spanish and the cops didn’t speak any English. A male cop stopped us who looked pretty young and harmless except for the big gun he was carrying. For some reason he decided to send the female cop over to deal with us. (As a side note I was impressed to see a female cop and it’s good to know women have career opportunities there). We assumed she was sent over since she spoke English but no such luck. We struggled to understand what was going on but I didn’t feel too scared since she was very nice and polite.

Finally we realized she wanted to keep my boyfriend’s driver’s license and have us drive to a bank and pay a fine and bring the receipt back to get the license. Now we had already spent all morning in airports getting here and we had no clue where ‘el banco’ was so we started to get a little stressed. So what could we do but ‘bribe’ the cops. Actually we just gave them the fine amount of 300 C√≥rdobas (about $15). I was afraid she would think we were trying to bribe her and we would end up in a Nicaraguan jail! Luckily she accepted the money and let us on our way. I really think she did us a favor since we seemed like your typical clueless tourists and she was tired of dealing with us.

So although it was a bit scary at first we were yet again on our way. This time to something totally safe like the rim of an active volcano!

Cat “Bad Boys Bad Boys What Ya Gonna Do” Cathy

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