by Jorge Giraldez-Benard
Bluefields 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 always want to show you around. Just tell them what you want to do, and they will show you or recommend someone that can accommodate you. 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 are starting to reflect in the local society. The U$ dollar is passed around like regular currency. You can cash travelers checks at the bank, but it is a long and costly procedure, and credit cards are 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 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.
The next morning we boarded a Panga, which looks like a working skiff with a very modern outboard engine, and proceeded up the coast towards Peril Lagoon: A 2-1/2 hours boat trip. We stopped and walked through palm tree filled towns while the captain unloaded some passengers and negotiated with others for continuing passage to Tasbapowny. These small towns offer great potential for further development for a number of businesses. Along the way we ventured out along the coast but were mostly stayed in the lagoons that separated us from the ocean by a small strip of land. As we motored through, we saw local fishermen catching a variety of fish. We passed Brown Bank, Grinoco, Set Net Point, Marshall Point to finally arrive in Tasbaponi.