I am truly thrilled my parents are able to enjoy their retirement. So often, retirement is denied to us because of financial needs, boredom, or an early death. For those whose love their job and can’t wait to walk into work every morning, it’s not so bad. But imagine the poor sop who works his fingers to bone for sixty years, always looking forward to that day when he can retire to the golf course. He’s the one who gets hit by a cab, falls on a dirty oyster fork, and gets rickets.
Having worked reasonably hard their whole lives, it’s fulfilling to see parents live long enough to enjoy a time in their life with no regular day job. They deserve to go on fantastic summer vacations in beautiful Nicaragua. They should get to dangle and drape themselves all over Granda’s parque central and city market. This will be mom’s first trip to San Juan del Sur. Trust me, they are having a good time. They are probably, also spending some money. The fact is, by shredding through their savings account and my meager inheritance on countless, unending vacations, I am forced to revisit my own retirement plans. This is certainly an exciting time for everyone.
At this moment, my parents are using chicken buses to meander through jungles and valleys of, that beautiful area of Nicaragua between the lake and the Pacific. After having dental work done in Managua, they are heading to Granada and the coast. While it is sad and disgusting to watch, it could be much worse. Tamiami and Ma Roux could be in France, with my girlfriend and her brother, where they would be spending decidedly more of my inheritance. It seems like food would be more expensive there. Most things in Nicaragua work for the frugal traveler, from the $20 hotel room, the $3 dinners, and the $2 bus ride. Even Granada, with its fancy, post-Colonial architecture and modern shopping sector, has some of the cheapest, tastiest breakfasts in the western world. I know both of those savages had eggs with black beans this very morning. Tonight, someone will have steak with Nicaraguan jalapeno cream sauce.
These are my folks near Volcan Masaya recently. Near Managua, it has a series of calderas and craters, all of which are quite dangerous. Who’s going to keep the both of them from falling into hot lava? A trip of the step, a crumble of the rock and it would all be over. It would solve a number of retirement questions. And think of all that money wasted at the dentist.
If, God willing, neither of my parents fall into the magma chamber at Volcan Masaya (or both), do not fret. There are plenty of other dangerous hobbies and pastimes available to the Nicaraguan traveler. Although I’ve personally never had a problem in Central America, I’m sure people disappear every day and these folks are pretty clumsy. Each moment they stay there, there’s a greater chance they’re never coming home. At this point, I’m thinking maybe I should go cut their grass so it’s not a problem for me later.
Other Dangerous Activities In Nicaragua
- Motorcycle Rentals: On our last visit to Isla de Ometepe, my father and I rented motorcycles. We rode with skill cast from experience and wisdom, yet there remained an aspect of lingering danger. With the way plantain trucks tear around the wrong side of hairpin, mountainside curves, the average shelf life for a motorcyclist can’t be that great.
- More Volcanoes: With more than twenty volcanoes from the Pacific to the Caribbean, Nicaragua’s landscape boasts all manner of dangerous localities. Sulfur springs, steam vents and boiling pots all contribute to an environment where parents disappear all the time.
- The East: As crowded, tourist destinations like Leon and San Juan del Sur fill up the west coast, forgotten, untouched jungles begin on the far side of Lake Nicaragua and run all the way to the Mosquito Coast. Towns like Siuna and Bonanza are so deep in the Nicaraguan wilderness that they only stand out against the surrounding tribal communities. On these mud roads divided by raging rivers, adventure lurks at every turn. Mystery and adventure.
In Granada, it helps to know your way around. Get in touch with Manny Rocha and let him assist you with anything from tour guides to rental spaces. He can show you all the hidden restaurants and the best way to get up to Volcan Mambacho. Have your own personal interpreter when you get the opportunity to talk to girls or police. Having someone you trust to help you around just makes things easier.
Dental Work In Nicaragua? Who knew? It’s like getting your breasts done in Brazil. Quality doctors doing affordable work is the name of the game. They’ll do more in one sitting than a dentist in this country and they take most insurance. Most importantly, it’ s a reason to tie in your dental visit with a trip to Central America. No. Most importantly, it’s because it’s real affordable. Why not? My folks visit David and Marta Madriz in Las Colinas, Managua and have always been pleased with their service. Apparently, they are rebuilding my mother’s face from the inside. Visit their website and see what affordable options are available for that busted up grill. And you thought you were always going to look like that. I can’t imagine why my parents would even care about their teeth? They’re from Alabama and they’ve been married for a hundred years. Can it still matter? When do you arrive and get to be Ma and Pa Kettle? They’re just lucky to have one good tooth left for eating corn on the cob.
Jobs to Consider In Lieu of Retirement
Grocery bagger? Professional athlete. Volleyball? Nope. Baseball? Maybe. I’m still good. Most of the old injuries have healed. Basketball. No more. So tiring. Maybe in Europe, they have easier teams there. Maybe play in Nicaragua. I would be taller there. Towel boy at a Greek bath house? Sound tech for the GoGos on their 81 tour. Professional orange picker. The guy who helps at the voting booth. Curling? Definitely curling, as long as I get to be the skip.
My parents taught me most of what I know about traveling the western hemisphere. In the jungle, with a large knife and a bottle of rum, you can always find a bag of solid ice and a lime. Even if it has to be taken by force. Tamiami and Ma Roux are a professional photographer team who understand the rules of world travel. Smile and carry toilet paper and a real map wherever you go.
— Jason Nail (@NailTravels) July 8, 2016
Seriously, these people are truly loved and they continue to be the best of teachers. Of course, I don’t want one of them to die in a plane crash. They are my parents. If one perished, I would still be stuck with the other one weeping and wailing all the time, burying mason jars in the rain. Instead, it would just be easier if both of them took their final reward at the same time. I don’t care how. It’s for the best. It could be a stray bullet from a small revolution or a drug deal gone bad. Traveling anywhere can certainly be dangerous business. Keep sending those great photographs and save all of your receipts. Remember, no location is too dangerous and the per diem does not include the pool bar.
Nicaragua. Where inheritance goes to die.