Published: June 30th 2012June 29th 2012
After leaving Ataco our plans developed quickly...
Once we arrived in San Salvador we decided to head straight for Nicaragua, overall it took 11 different modes of transport over the course of 2 days to finally reach Somoto, our destination in Nicaragua. The journey was long but amusing, especially in Honduras, where we became the center of attation everywhere we went. People wanted to take pictures with us, everyone was very chatty and High-School-Kids wanted to add us on Facebook. We felt like celebrities :)
What we found most interesting were the borders between the countries: to reach "El Amatillo", the border between El Salvador and Honduras, we had to take a "tuk-tuk", which went off the high road and through fields, to finally reach the migration office. From there we had to walk over the bridge to enter Honduras. The second border "El Espino" (between Honduras and Nicaragua) was similar, as no busses drive through but leave you on one side and another bus is waiting on the other side. Overall the borders are somewhat different then the ones we know from Europe, as they close at certain times youneed to make sure you fit within the opening
hours. You will also find people trying to sell you different currencies, however this might not always be a good idea, as the exchange rate is worse and we came across fake bills.
As we crossed the border to Nicaragua after 5pm there were no more busses running to continue our trip, therefore we had to take a taxi for $5 to reach Somoto. We stayed in a hotel with some cucarachas (Diana´s best friends-haha).
The next morning we went on a private tour ($20/p) to visit the famous El Cañon de Somoto
. Our local tour guide, who spoke only Spanish along with two other young boys (13 and 17 years old) took us on a boat some way up the Rio Coco
(the longest river in Nicaragua- according to our guide). At one point we continued swimming against the strong flow of the river, only holding on to a rope and relying on our guides´strength, who were holding each side of the rope. We reached the furthest possible point, at which we climbed the rocks and rested for a bit. Watching the 17 year old boy jump off the 18m cliff into the river, our pride would
-the water looks worse than it was :)
have been hurt if we didn´t do the same. However after standing on the 18m high rock we changed our mind quickly... and jumped off ONLY 15 meters into the river :) It felt like an eternity before reaching the water but it was one of the best things we have done so far! Of course we had to do it again and this time we dared the 16m! We left the 18m jump for the next visit... After this exciting experience we swam down the river, this time with its flow. It´s as fun as it sounds, but definetly more painful than expected: we bruised our bumps on a few rocks, drank half of the river and Tatiana got caught in a whirlpool and had to be rescued by Maudiel, our guide. Overall the trip was worth its money and pain and it is definetly something anyone visiting Nicaragua has to do!
The same day we left Somoto for Leon, however as the trip to the canyon took longer than expected we missed our connection bus and were forced to spend the night in Esteli. In the early morning we took a minivan directly to Leon, having the "blast" of sitting next to a 50-year old Nicaraguan "DJ", who traveled with his portable radio, which seemed to be just as old as him... fun times.
We are now in Leon, staying in a cool hostel called "Chilli Inn", for $5/ppn including 2 cocktails each we think we got ourselves a pretty good deal. So thats where we are heading now... We will be enjoying our cocktails by the swimming pool, thinking about you guys in rainy Europe (whats up with that??).
Sending you lots of sunshine