The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes

For me, Monday, April 19th began very early. At about 4:30 am I was awake, headed to the Tica Bus terminal in San Jose and was soon aboard a bus headed for Nicaragua. The bus I was on was going all the way to Managua, the capital, but my destination was Peñas Blancas, just over the Costa Rica/Nicaraguan border.

Arriving at the border was a hot, time consuming experience. We had to unload from the bus twice, once when leaving Costa Rica and again when entering Nicaragua. After crossing the border in Peñas Blancas, I got a “taxi” to take me to San Juan del Sur (It wasn’t really a taxi. It was just some guy driving his own car. Kinda sketch).

Traveling all day is tiring, which means the very first thing I wanted to do when arriving in San Juan del Sur was take a nap. But the incredible heat, and the fact that I couldn’t find my AirBnB, kept me from being able to enjoy a quick snooze. After asking around, I was finally able to locate my AirBnB. I apologize to the family where I thought was the right house and were super confused why I was just walking into their home. My bad.

Life in San Juan del Sur is slow paced, which one expects from a small beach town. There are quite a few foreiegn travelers in the area, so one never feels like “the only gringo.” The temperatures are high, but the cool ocean water is the perfect cure. If you are interested in surfing, there are plenty of beaches to choose from, and many instructors willing to teach you. I have yet to learn to surf, but hopefully will have a chance to soon.

There is also a lot of fishing here in San Juan del Sur and I had the opportunity to participate in net fishing on the beach. We caught some fish, crab, and stingrays. The fish we later fried and it was delicious. Nothing beats fresh seafood; here there is plenty.

Overlooking the bay is a large Christ statue. To get there you have to hike up a steep, winding road, which is tiresome, but the view is absolutely worth it. I went around sunset and enjoyed seeing the town and bay lit up in rich orange and yellow colors. After the hike, I stopped at the local fritanga to get a huge plate of gallo pinto, tajadas, and carne asada. At just $2.85, you can’t beat that price. We’ll see what this next week brings.

- Zach

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