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Nicaragua: San Carlos Río San Juan

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San Carlos Río San Juan | Nicaragua | Americas

[Visited: April 2000]

An unforgettable arrival in Nicaragua
Already upon arrival in San Carlos, before even getting through immigration, I was struck by an enormous amount of insects, or zayules, as they were called locally, as well as an awful stench. This problem would only increase dramatically in the evening. When I returned from Solentiname Islands a few hours later, the town was completely dark. No one was allowed to switch on their lights, everyone was hiding in his or her house. Every now and then, a car would pass by, which was a ghostly sight. In the headlights, you could see huge clouds of many ten thousands of insects swarming in the air, always on the move. This was also the case in the town itself. When I tried to walk, I had to struggle against a mosquito storm, very much like a snow storm, but still slightly different.

Picture of San Carlos Río San Juan (Nicaragua): Mosquito plague in San Carlos

Walking around was almost impossible: the street lights were out, there was no moon light, and the streets were in a bad condition anyway, with a lot of water and mud everywhere, because the rainy season was about to start. I had to protect my face as much as possible, but at the same time, I had to try to see as much as I could to determine where to go. I soon found out that everything was closed, and I headed out of town in search of something to eat. It was as if I was escaping a curfew, trying to find my way on the muddy streets, while also trying to detect places that might server food. That is quite difficult, I can tell you, when there is no way you can see the signs!

Picture of San Carlos Río San Juan (Nicaragua): Mosquito plague in San Carlos

At long last I found one, and I was ushered in a room where one of the few lights of the town were on, it was dark red in order not to attract too many insects. I could hardly see what I was eating, but at least I was eating! And I had to eat rapidly in order not to swallow mosquitoes. That night, I used an anti-insect repellent, or rather, I used four at the time. The next morning, I woke up in a bed and a room full of hundreds of dead chayules. When the boat finally pulled out of the San Carlos port the next morning, it almost felt like a liberation.

Picture of San Carlos Río San Juan (Nicaragua): Mosquito plague in San Carlos

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