Edit Blog Post
Published: December 22nd 2007
Putting up the tree
Bienvenidos to our last entry for 2007. Our Spanish is slowly improving but we do feel a little bit like a set of twins that have been brought up in isolation as we have developed our own Spanish dialect. Which is no good when we start to converse with the locals, they look at us as if we are talking Martian. Our first stop in Nicaragua was the town of Granada perched on the side of a hugh lake which supposedly contained fresh water sharks, true to form we did'nt see any. We splashed out and hired a guide for the day who told us all about the volatile past of the country and took us up a very volatile volcano that was constantly belching out fumes. We are travelling down part of the ring of fire so volcanoes will keep cropping up now and again. Although Nicaragua has oodles of poverty they also have, as in all countries a jet set who are able to afford their own islands which we toured around on the lake and saw how the other half live. We preferred the hustle and bustle of our market street outside the hostel. The guide book promised
laundry facilities, so I got quite excited until we got there and was presented with my very own wash board. After town life we headed for the coast and back to the Pacific. A sleepy hollow full of surfers called San Juan Del Sur. Our highlight was a visit to a turtle beach. Armed with red flashlights we scoured the sand until 2 am for turtles coming ashore to nest. True to form we didn't see any but we did have the pleasure of seeing a nest hatch out. We had to help the babies down to the water because mum had laid her eggs to far up the beach. Driving around San Juan wasn't easy as we had just had a downpour and the roads were a trifle boggy. I ended up getting stuck in the mud. Nik had plenty of ammunition to rub the women drivers theory in, especially as I am always moaning at his road sense. Luck would have it that a lorry was following close behind us and for the price of a couple of beers he pulled us out. Bye bye Nicaragua hello Costa Rica after our usual palava at the border. Three days
San Juan del Sur
The great escape
of luxury at Playa del Coco, staying at friends of Nik's brother . We don't usually pitch up on complete strangers doorsteps but then we don't usually drive from Alaska to South America everyday. I am so glad we did, our hosts made us very welcome, they had the best house in town, swimming pool, fantastic bay views and a real washing machine......heaven. We did our usual, walking along it, running around it and kayaking across it. A brilliant weekend, thank you Tyler and Deven. The wildlife is also starting to get more prolific and we are managing to see it this time.We have had to share a few meals with giant iguanas plodding around the tables waiting for scraps. I will hand over to the old man now who I am sure will have the odd riskay comment.
I've been especially looking forward to Costa Rica for the rainforest and abundant wildlife described in the books. We headed north east to Lake Arenal, volcano and the surrounding rainforest. We were struck by the dense lush green jungle as Tommy climbed. Volcanoes are starting to get a bit old hat but this one was particulay noisy and
restless. We found a minus one star campsite at the base of the volcano, although only 2.50 a night it was not difficult to see why we were the only visitors. We decided to fork out on a jungle sky trek and zip wire decent through the canopy. Although denting our budget it proved to be well worth it. To start, a slow cable car ride through the forest canopy stopping as needed to view the amazing tropical birds and monkeys in their natural habitat. At the top the opportunity from a large platform to view the jungle, take pictures and suck in all that nature. The decent was via a series of seven wire cables zig zagging down through the forest. You hang onto a pulley, clipped on for safety and hurtle through the canopy at up to 45 mph with the longest run at 750m. Quite a thrill, well worth the cost and the laundry bill. In the afternoon we hiked through the rainforest around the base of the volcano listening to all the jungle noises in harmony with the hissing volcano and the thud of rocks landing......a bit unnerving. The days events must have been on my
mind as I retired on the eve of my birthday. I dreamt June and I were alone in the jungle when the activity of the volcano alarmingly increased. I remembered that the indigenous people of the area believed that the volcano was a god and had successfully passified the gods anger by throwing virgins into the crater. With only June present the only course of action open to me was obvious. I cast June down into the crater, I was deeply saddened as I watched her tumbling into the molten mass, I thought what a good old stick she'd been and how I would miss her pasta bake. At this point a huge explosion occurred, I turned and ran along with screeching and terrified animals, lava and rocks raining down on me. I could only conclude the volcano god had been unimpressed with my offer of damaged goods. At this point I was woken from my slumber by the screech of howler monkeys to the realisation it was my birthday and another year older. As has become customary for birthdays I felt depressed. June already awake said she had just brushed her teeth so I had to settle for my
second choice of birthday treat, the last PG tips tea bag. I had been saving it for the last two weeks since our precious supply had run out. Predictably the stove finally gave up the ghost as did treat number 2. My depression escalated as I looked in the mirror, the effects of another year and my recent exposure to the elements resulting in so many wrinkles I now have to screw my hat on. I turned to June in the vague hope of some comforting words only to be told that since my $2 Nicaraguan hair cut she struggled to believe I could be so ugly with only one head. Our final destination in Costa Rica was a trip to the Northern Caribbean Coast. A completely different feel with the Afro caribbean locals. The classic chilled out, Bob Marley come Rasta personna, so laid back I'm surprised they don't fall over. Stayed three nights in a cabina in Cahuita, days spent in the adjacent national park, coral reefs, palm trees and tropical rainforest. Wildlife galore, howler and white faced monkeys, sloths, lizards, snakes, birds and butterflies. We felt like a couple of extras on a bounty advert. It looks
like our Xmas will be spent in Panama where we have to see if we can get the truck shipped on to South America as there is no road to Columbia. It sounds a bit of an ordeal but on paper, at least possible. To finish up we have included our Christmas Carol for anyone we didn't have e mail for.
We Two Brits
We two Brits a bear and a car;
Wearing crocs we travel so far,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder bar.
O bar of wonder, bar of light,
Bar with draft on tap all night,
Right arm leading, sight receeding,
Guide us through a rowdy night.
Awake at six our heads now in pain;
Straggly hair and clothes are all stained,
Stomachs belching, buttocks squelching,
Promising never again.
No cards or gifts from us will you get;
Thoughts and words won´t put us in debt,
You keep drinking, we´ll be thinking,
That you can surely bet.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year From June and Nik
Tot: 1.979s; Tpl: 0.102s; cc: 15; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0525s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb