I boarded yet bother chicken bus in the hope of reaching the town of Masaya known for its hand woven hammocks and handy crafts. Seeing as these past two months I have been choosing hostels on whether they have hammocks or not and spending a lot of time in them, I figured it was fitting to see how they are made. The hot, sticky, cramped bus arrived in Masaya dumping us next to the market which practically sat in a garbage site. It was horrific, there was piles of rubbish next to fresh fruit and vegetables being sold.
I pulled out my guide book and started studying the map. Just as I did this a girl from Switzerland approached me asking if I spoke English and if I wanted to hang out for the day. Perfect – a buddy to explore the town with. We asked an old, friendly lady for directions and she walked us a quarter of the way to the handy craft market. She was most kind. We strolled around looking at some beautiful hammocks, handmade leather goods, tshirts, shoes, bracelets, pretty much all touristy gimmicks imaginable.
Next we decided to take a taxi to the hammock factory region. Expecting to see a big factory for hammocks we were pleasantly surprised to see many small home businesses. Men and ladies sat on their porches weaving hammocks and displaying some absolutely stunning masterpieces. I was so tempted to buy them all but they were pretty big and heavy. My rucksack already weighs enough and is on the blink. I don’t think it can take any more weight. Hopefully I’ll see some more hammocks nearer the end of my trip and bring one home. They ranged from $25 US dollars and above, such a worthy investment.
After admitting these artistic wonders, we walked to the waterfront and were treated with some stunning views of Lake Masaya. It was beautiful, peaceful and calm. No other tourists in site just locals sitting on the wall with friends admiring their scenic home.
Walking back to the bus stop, I was horrified to see an old disused canal chocked in more garbage.
It was so ironic next to it was a sign saying welcome to clean and beautiful Masaya – really?
As I took the picture I saw people chucking their plastic food wrappers over the edge, old water and rooting food. It smelt so bad. The rubbish situation in Nicaragua is something which really needs to be addressed. As I sit on these many buses vendors sell food in plastic bags and citizens just throw the bags out the window when done with the food. Is it lack of education or lack of caring? I really hope it’s the former.
The chicken bus back took a while. It was nice to travel with someone else for a change rather than alone – it was refreshing. Then we parted ways and I got back to the hostel ready for a cold shower – lucky this is what I wanted as there is no hot water option here.