Since coming to Nicaragua, we have become a bit more careful about watching our step when wandering around towns.
Beautiful, polished tiling arrangements often give way to broken up concrete, which in turn reverts to a relatively even surface, interrupted wherever possible by poles, ramps, steps and holes. Some houses treat the pavement in front as part of the property, so a concrete ramp is erected on the path to access the traditional zaguan, or garage. With a buggy, even our splendid old big-wheeled workhorse of a buggy, a stroll on the paths turns into quite the obstacle course. Small wheelers have no chance. The buggy might get pushed off the paths on to the road several times in one short stretch.
But the biggest reasons to watch where you’re going are the holes that pop up with alarming regularity on the paths. Many’s the time we’ve been ambling along when we realise one of the children is missing. And each time when we turn back to look for them, we discover they’ve dropped into a hole, sometimes of two or three feet in depth. One day, two of the girls fell into the same hole, though not at the same time.
We imagined the holes lacked covers because of a shortage of funding or the will to finish the job. It turns out the lids were removed due to the existence of a good black market for them. This photo shows the injuries sustained by one of our group (ahem) in tripping over a ramp.