Buses and bugs
06/07/2010 - 06/08/2010 80 °F
The bus from Monte Verde left at 6:30 in the morning and wound through the mountains and tiny little towns on a dirt road. We stopped to pick up kids going to school and shoppers going to and from different markets. One time we stopped so a little kid could go pee on the side of the road. After an hour and a half or so we hit the main road and a few of us got off. There was nothing remotely resembling a bus stop or station. We stood on the corner waiting for our busses to come, hoping we were in the right place and that the busses would stop. Some of the travellers were waiting for the Tica Bus. I hadn’t heard of this bus before. Apparently this bus runs all up and down Central America on the Pan American Highway. It’s more expensive than the local busses, more for the travelling tourists. I found out later that this bus is really nice for border crossings. My bus to Liberia arrived (and stopped, thankfully) about a half hour after I was dropped off. I transferred to another bus in Liberia and by early afternoon I was in La Cruz, pretty close to the Nicaraguan border.
La Cruz sits on a bluff high above the coast line. I checked into a ‘hotel’ (somebody’s house more like) that had a deck facing the coast line. The view was spectacular. I spent the afternoon walking around La Cruz, grazing, taking pictures. My room had a TV so I decided I would spend the night drinking a bottle of wine and spacing out. Terminator III was on. About half way through the movie I noticed a few bugs flying around the room. By the end of the movie I realized that a full scale invasion had taken place. These things were everywhere. I spent fifteen minutes trying to put a dent in the population by whacking them with my t-shirt. No affect. I finally got smart and turned off all the lights except for the one in the bathroom. Pretty soon I had most of the bugs isolated in there. Bugs are dumb. I slept as far away from the bathroom as I could but any time the sheet touched me or a hair moved I jumped out of my skin. I had a full on case of the willies. I survived the night but I woke up with two huge blisters on my ankles. Initially I thought I had given myself the blisters during the night by rubbing my feet together when I thought I felt a bug. I found out later that I had been invaded by blister beetles. Their insides are toxic. If you squash one and get the goo on your skin, you blister. These things have been known to kill horses that eat grass that has the beetles in it. Nice, huh? I bravely took a quick shower in the infested bathroom and then got the hell out of there. I wasn’t planning on spending more than a night in La Cruz anyway. I just stopped there to split up the long trip from Monte Verde to Granada, Nicaragua.