by Jorge Giraldez-Benard
Later that afternoon we returned to Bluefields with its mix of ethnic groups - including Indians, Blacks and mestizos from the rest of Nicaragua - make it an interesting place, and the people here definitely like to have a good time; they are very friendly and speak English. They are always willing to show you around. Just tell them what you want to do, and they will show you themselves or recommend someone that can accommodate you.
The thought of tourism is on every one's mind it seems. Even the Plant President, Johnny Vogel has purchased a small island that lies between Bluefields and El Bluff and has plans of turning it into an Eco-Lodge, offering Fishing and Hiking expeditions. "Access to all these different activities are only a half an hour's boat ride."
The town was almost completely leveled by a Hurricane, and the towns people built it back up from the ground with very little assistance from the government. The profits on their dealing with the fishing and lumber industries are starting to reflect in the local society. The U$ dollar is passed around with the local currency. You can cash travelers checks at the bank, but it is a long and costly procedure, and credit cards are just starting to arrive here as well.
Two or three places in town take them. Cash is the way to go. There are all sorts of things to do here. Hire a cab by the hour and tour the city. The driver will be your tour guide. (Again, negotiate an rate before beginning) There are also endless waterways and rivers just behind the town that you can rent a PANGA and go fishing, cruising or both. It is a charming place to visit.
To them it is still a novel idea to take people for a ride or go fishing and get paid for it. Later on that evening we ventured out and had dinner and cocktails at a floating restaurant called "El Flotante" with live music and the sounds of laughter echoing off the water. We were very well received and appreciated after paying our check, we just strolled back to the hotel at 11:00PM for some rest before departing up the coast.