Planet Kapow 31 : Granada to Corn Islands

MANAGUA IS: full of ugly steel sculptures draped in coloured fairy lights. We drive around in the dark, attempting unsuccessfully to procure tickets for the odyssey that awaits us. Nicaragua's capital is an unpleasant city in a region infamous for unpleasant cities; driving around in the dark there hangs a pervasive atmosphere of sleaze and dust and things burning, punctuated at every junction by these ridiculous steel sculptures, blinking at us from the roadside. No capital city in central America could accurately be called pleasant save perhaps Panama City, but Managua ranks alongside Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa and San Salvador as one of the most immediately unlikeable. Later we will find out that it wasn't just a baseless hunch; an Australian we met later, in Colombia, told us that he had gotten off an eight-hour bus in Managua and hopped straight in a cab. The cab had driven around the corner, three armed men had gotten in, and after a brief struggle had proceeded to beat him senseless, driven him from ATM to ATM to withdraw all the money he had, and then stolen his every possession, dropping his passport at his feet when they dumped him on the street. Read the rest of the story: