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Published: October 5th 2011
Las Penitas sunset - Nicaragua.
Hola Amigos! It has been quite some time since the last blog, mainly because of a short of internet access. We left Utila for D&D Brewery on lake Yojoa in Honduras. The travel day was about 7 hours long but a nice cold draft Porter awaited us at D&D. The brewery recently traded hands and the new owner, Bobby, was a joy to spend some time with. He had a wealth of information for us about Honduras and Central America in general. At the brewery we decided our next adventure would be El Salvador, aiming for El Zonte, the beach that Amy had previously fallen in love with in El Sal. An eight hour bus ride and we made it to San Salvador, the capital of El Sal. We were hoping to catch the bus from San Salvador to El Zonte but it was getting late (darkness was approaching) so we decided on a cab, which took nearly an hour to our hostel (Esencia Nativa).
We originally wanted to head to El Zonte to surf, it was the second place Amy tried surfing and she had some success there. Unfortuneatly the beach looked nothing like it did last time she
Note entirely sure if this is an Iguana or what. It was huge! El Salvador
was there - it was all rocks. Apparently a rocky shoreline and ocean floor makes for really good surf, but not so much for learning to surf. Last time Amy was there it was all sand and she said it was easy to learn with the sand. We tested the waters with a swim, but the rocks were all over and I cut my hand twice just trying to wade out into the waves. A day later and a relaxing day at the hostel and we were on the road. Our plan to stay 4-5 days was cut short and we decided to head for Nicaragua.
We took the chicken bus from El Zonte to San Salvador the next morning ($0.90) per person for the 1.5 hour journey - wish we would have been able to do that instead of the cab to El Zonte! We cought an 11:30 bus to Managua, which we changed to Leon just before we left since they stopped at Leon on the way. We spent the night in Leon and went out in the morning to explore some of the city. We went to the cathedral, the largest cathedral in Central America, and
This was in San Salvador while walking to the bus station. Interesting sight that's for sure.
it was quite the sight. Essentially the cathedral was an entire city block. A quick jaunt to the grocery store and a cab ride to Las Penitas and we were at our destination - hostel Oasis. We opted for the beachside cabin. We could probably throw a clam shell to the ocean from just outside our door. As with El Salvador we were hoping to catch some surf, but the waves broke too close to the shore. Replacing a broken surf board was not something either of us wanted to do - so we just chilled on the beach for a few days. I'm still hoping to catch some beginner surf somewhere so I can learn, but we will see if it will happen. The road from Leon to Las Penitas was pretty nice and we learned that the United States had donated $16.5 million to improve/make the road.
I must say that the mosquitoes and other bugs are starting to bother me more than Amy. It seems that a role reversal has happened. In the States it seems that Amy is the preferred target for bugs (mainly mosquitoes). That has changed some in Central America - this is
The largest cathedral in Central America. Leon, Nicaragua
the first time in recent memory that Amy has seen me scratch more than her. Las Penitas on the coast of Nicaragua seems to be particularly bad, seems I have about 5 bites for each of Amy's. She finds it rather comical because it is always her that is bothered by bug bites - I guess I get a chance to see what she always complains about when she gets bit! Now that I've gotten a taste of it, I hope it goes away soon!
Each country seems to have their own "national" food (sometimes a few). In Honduras it was baleadas. In El Salvador Pupusa's were popular. Nicaragua seems to be Tostones, and it is probably my favorite yet! Tostones are smooshed plantains that are fried with salt and served with cheese. In Las Penitas we got our Tostones with beans and they were outstanding. Only C50 (cordoba's), which is about $2.50 and Amy and I were pretty full on Tostones. Try them if you ever get a chance!
Amy and I keep contemplating trying to make it to Panama or just staying in Nicaragua for the next few weeks before meeting with Amy's host family in Costa Rica. We have yet to decide, but we figure when we have had our "fill" of a place if we just move on the timeline will present itself. Just over three weeks in and our travels have already been an awesome experience!
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