Friday we got to sleep in a bit and had our morning devotions at 7:00 instead of 6:30. After breakfast we said goodbye to the Living Water staff and our new friends from Nebraska and met our driver, Tomas. Tomas brought us to Matagalpa via the pottery village of Ducuale Grande in Esteli. After about two hours, we were in Esteli. Tomas didn’t know where Ducuale Grande was, so we stopped to ask some people on the street. They told us it was some kilometers north and gave directions to Tomas. About one hour later, just when we were pretty sure we were almost in Honduras, we saw a sign for Ducuale Grande at the side of the road. We went down a dirt road and asked another person where the pottery store was. We had to ask another couple of people before we found it. Although there was a sign on the highway and one in front of the store, there weren’t signs at the other two or three turns you had to make.
At Ducuale Grande they make a special style of pottery from the indigenous clay with simple designs and fire them in wood ovens. The ladies were sitting outside near the ovens making the designs. We bought a few things and then got back in the car. We asked Tomas if he knew a restaurant in Esteli to have lunch. Tomas found a very nice Colombian restaurant with a view of the city.
After lunch we got back in the car for about another hour to get to Matagalpa. Tomas explained some of the sights along the way — tobacco farms with drying sheds, rice fields and other things. I understood most, but not all, of what he said. He did not speak a single word of English.
We arrived at Casa Materna in the late afternoon, settled in at the Casita and then walked into town for some wifi at the cafe and then dinner. We had pizza at the Italian restaurant we had eaten at last year. The weather is much cooler here-you almost needed a sweater.
Back at the Casita, we met another Dana who was visiting from Maryland. She was leaving the next day on the public bus to Masaya for several days of Spanish language school. We were impressed with her courage to travel alone on the bus.
Leslie & Dana