Page 2 of crowman Travel Blog Posts

after taking the long route to El Salvador, we were more than ready to spend a few days on the beach. My friend Toby was not ready for us to visit until the 13th, so we decided to head down to the beach and explore the waves that get surfers all excited. We found the area surprisingly affordable. The country is dollarized, and tends to be more expensive than surrounding countries. Nonetheless, our dorm room lodging the first night cost $6 each, and we moved to a place that had a private room and air conditioning with free water and free WIFI (I wrote about 5 blogs from here) for $10pp. Both places are recommended. Comes down to a matter of preference. I wanted to go ahead and spend the extra money on air con and ... read more
Midday surfing
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As we found out, sometimes it is best to stick with what the guidebook says and forget about what the locals say. As we were leaving our guesthouse on the lake, we asked if the border crossing to Perquin was now open. "oh yes, no problem." So, like the dumb tourists we can be, we went down towards Marcala to take the bus over to El Salvador. However, once we got to La Esperanza, we realized that this was going to be much more difficult than we thought. We asked the staff at the terminal we arrived at where the bus to Marcala and the 'Frontiera' was. Lots of head scratching, umm, well..., you want to go where? Not the response we were expecting. They were able to direct us to another terminal that might have ... read more
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Once we arrived at the destination we had tried to get to a day before, we were actually glad that we got stuck in Tegucigalpa because of the curfew. D&D Brewery is a fair bit out of the way. However, the owner is from Oregon and Justin was intrigued by a microbrewery in the Honduran countryside. We ended up taking a taxi there for a couple bucks. Once we got there, we found out that "we don't know where the owner is or when he is coming back...and we are out of beer." Followed up by receptions recommendation that we stay somewhere else. They said cortijo was nice. So we went down to Cartijo and got dorm beds for $10 each. More than we thought the area should cost, especially since our private room in the ... read more
Pineapples for sale along the main road
Pulhapanzak waterfall
old truck and carport

We decided to leave Nicaragua a day early, partially because of the ongoing conflict in Honduras (the thinking was that we might need to add a bit of a time cushion for the country) and also because we were facing a 4 hour wait to get to the place we wanted to go to in Nicaragua. So, spot change of plan, we got on the bus to the border instead. Other than paying a "municipal departure tax" on the Nicaraguan side, nothing was out of ordinary. In fact, everything was rather organized. For the first time this trip, both countries had their immigration officers right next to each other. After looking over our passports, Nicaraguan immigration simply slid them over the counter to Honduran. Ok, so maybe there was a little shenanigan on the Honduran side. ... read more
Central Tegucigalpa
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Tegucigalpa pedestrian walkway

As we headed north from Granada, we saw more and more guys in jeans and cowboy hats. Estili was agriculture country through and through. While the city is not overwhelmed by a number of sights that would qualify for posters designed by the ministry of tourism, it did serve as a very good stop for us. Isle de ommetepe and Granada are very different. As such, I felt that it was very worthwhile to swing by to see a region not as touristy, and what felt like was a more authentic representation of everyday life in Nicaragua. The hostel that we stayed in was nondescript, but clean enough. They had a duck named 'Jose' and three parakeets that I did not learn the name of. All 4 of them had free reign of the atrium. It ... read more
grass on the power lines
breakfast smoothie place
Church off the central square

We were able to take a collectivo bus from the ferry dock to a junction about 5 kilometers from Granada. From there it was a short moto taxi ride from the junction to Granada. Our driver cracked me up. He didn't know where our hostel was, and didn't want to look at the map we were holding to find out. He insisted the central park was his destination. Whatever, the hostel was two blocks off the park. Hostel Oasis is a great place to stay in the city. It has a small dipping pool, hammocks, clean dorms and good decor. Its bathrooms need a helping hand. Nice location though. We found that the city had many minor attractions spread throughout its colonial downtown core. Nothing exceptional happened here. We explored the city the day we arrived, ... read more
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Our moto taxi outside the Italian Consulate
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Knowing that we were going to be heading toward a country that was not as developed as Costa Rica or Panama did nothing to prepare us for the utter incompetence of the Nicaraguan border authorities. Note: the ones we encountered were not corrupt. They were simply not up to the task of running a border crossing. Costa Rican immigration was polished and efficient. We then walked for a few minutes to get to the Nicaraguan side. We were instructed to walk through a chain link fence lined walkway, only to emerge right next to the road we were alongside before entering. No officials to guide us. We found out we had to walk further to get to the place were they process passports. Once we got there, before we could get our passport stamps, we were ... read more
Volcano from the shore
village church
view from our guesthouse

The Lonely Planet guide describes spending a night in the city as a necessary evil. The city write up also mentions it as a cross between cosmopolitan and commercial. If in summery of the above comments were meant to convey that there is nothing to see, they were right on. The most interesting aspect of Costa Rica was the accident we had to wait for after crossing the border with Panama. Another bus had hit the back of a back-hoe and broken the window pane of the door. No other damage. Just the window pane. The back-hoe was not even scratched. Nonetheless, the dear driver refused to pull over to the side of the road, and instead left the bus facing traffic in the right lane and effectively blocked both lanes for a half hour while ... read more
National History Museum
Lobby of Hostel 1110
Sculpture Park

Boquete was one of those destinations which was not really planned on our itinerary, it more or less came into it the night before. Justin and I were having dinner with Arie and Stephan, and they invited us to join them to go to Boquete. Since we knew we could cut costs, and were planning on getting out of Boca Brava after one night anyway, we decided to join them. Besides, going to a coffee growing region was on our to do list. It boiled down to one of those joys of travel, the change in itinerary based on who you meet and where they are going. Another aspect that can change travel and which is not necessarily a joy is the weather. It started to rain while we were on the bus from David (as ... read more
Coffee hills
A peek at the hills from the hostel
Tree by river

I am writing to share my experience with a Panamanian Hostel in the city of Boquete. Namely, the unprofessional conduct of the owner of Hostal Palacios, 'Pancho.' We checked in with 4 people in our traveling group. 2 were staying a day longer before heading out. We had paid for 2 private rooms. Because Pancho charges a fee ($3 a bag) for bags left after checkout (12 noon) and our bus was not until 3, we left our two backpacks in our friends room because they were staying another day. Upon returning to the hostel after hiking around, we did not even close the door behind us before Pancho started a tirade, practically throwing a fit because we were "stealing" from him by not paying him to store our bags in our friends room. We have ... read more
Back of hostel

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