Esteli with the Elephant Hunter: Part Three - Standing Out Like a Gringo

I would say I am a pretty adventurous person. I travel to third world counties for work, and when the wife and I vacation, it usually involves backpacking around Europe. I would say I am well-traveled - enough to get myself around in some pretty crazy places and blend in and not stand out like a silly tourist. Well, on this trip, I was the silly gringo who stood out in the crowd. Below is why.

I don’t speak Spanish, and no one there speaks English. Without Skip, who has learned Spanish, I would have been totally screwed. I was the guy pointing to menus and saying, “me no hablos espanol.” I couldn’t have managed trying to learn, let alone try, to make a cigar without having a translator or speaking Spanish.

You can't trust Diablo Sanchez. Thanks to Diablo Sanchez I had the worst hangover and gambled away 100 dollars of his money.

You must drive like Jeff Gordon racing 500 cars all packed together in one section of the track with random cows and people walking out in front. I thought India was bad, but Nicaragua was worse.

Outside of factory workers (who get to smoke for free while they work, factory owners, and gringos) none of the local people really smoke cigars. They just can’t afford them.

The people who do smoke cigars don’t use butane lighters. I was shocked. I can’t tell you how many people were using Bic Lighters to light their cigars. After a while, I gave up on my butane lighter and just used a Bic. Honestly, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

You must drink Flor de Cana, but only the clear 4-year if you are a local. I have drunk the 7-, 12-, and 18- year as much as the next guy, but apparently this is the drink of the gringos. All of the locals drink the 4-year clear Flor de Cana like it is their job. We visited the Flor de Cana factory, it was a tourist trap.

People walk everywhere. I am a little on the chubby side, and I don’t much care for physical activity.

Forget about having AC while you are in Nicaragua. These are my melted gummy vitamins which were inside Skip's apartment all day.

Even with the points above, I was welcomed with open arms, but only because Skip could speak Spanish! :)

Views: 104

Comment by Shooter on February 27, 2014 at 8:41am

Another great segment, keep it up!

Comment by Generally Useful Jared on February 27, 2014 at 8:57am

When we were in the DR, it was always best that, when driving anywhere, your best bet was to close your eyes and trust your driver!  I never thought I would ever use the phrase, "There's no way a bus is fitting through there" until a trip to Santo Domingo. None of our transfer vans had seatbelts, so I spent a lot of time with my arm braced against the window column, for the frequent tailgating and braking, the rapid acceleration between speedbumps, etc.  Sounds like you had just as much fun in Nica! Close your eyes, trust your driver. What else can you do?

Comment by Bill Williams on February 27, 2014 at 11:20am

I travel by Segway in Panama and was thinking of taking one up to Ometepe, but would not attempt to use one in Managua.. scary stuff!! Great reports Logan..

Comment by Tyler on February 28, 2014 at 9:37am

Gummy vitamins?  Are you twelve?  Just kidding.  Great write up man.  I can't wait to read the rest of the installments.

Comment by Dave Nichols on February 28, 2014 at 9:43am

Sounds fun over there. Can you get the clear 4 year over here?

Comment by Smokin Logan (Man Angel #1) on February 28, 2014 at 9:52am

@Shooter @Bill thanks brother!

@Jared absolutely nothing.

@Tyler you know how I roll homie

@Dave it was a blast. You can get the 4 year clear over there and that is what the locals drink.

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