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Published: June 20th 2010
Hello from Central America!
In case you didn't know, I have begun traveling again and have been on the road now for two weeks. I began my trip in Nicaragua traveling with two friends from high school, Devon and Steve. Steve has been working with the Peace Corps in Tola, Nicaragua for the past ten months and I had been wanting to make it down to visit him during his stay. I started my trip there and will continue down through South America until August.
I am writing today from Panama City, Panama but I first wanted to get a blog up about my travels in Nicaragua. The amazing time that I have had in Costa Rica and Panama will have to wait a few days.
We began our travels in the capital, Managua, on June 10th. We spent one night there to get our bearings about us before heading off to the somewhat gringofied
beach town on the Pacific of San Juan del Sur. As you should know, we are in the midst of a great World Cup right now and admittedly our main reason for getting to San Juan del Sur was to ensure that
Second largest statue of Jesus in the world. The granddaddy of them all being in Rio.
we had a legit TV to watch the United States vs. England game on. Our plan worked out quite well as we got to watch the game with some Brits, on the beach, on flat screen TV's, whilst eating bbq'd chicken. We ended up staying two nights there and got in some really good beach time and had a cool hike up to a massive statue of Jesus which towers over the town (see pictures).
Following our stay in San Juan, we headed to Isla de Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua. This island truly is one of a kind as it is formed solely of two volcanoes that pop up out of the lake with a small isthmus connecting them. One volcano, Concepcion, is still burping up some gases while the other, Maderas, is dormant. It has been dormant so long in fact, that the crater at the top is now a lagoon filled with rain water. We took it upon ourselves to make the 8 hour, MUDDY, hike up to the top and to go for a swim in the lagoon.
Following our expedition on the volcano island, it was time for Steve to show us what he
had been up to for the last 10 months. After some various training sites to start his service down here last year, Steve is now living in a fairly small town named Tola. While living in Tola Steve has been teaching science classes at various schools in the small villages surrounding the town as well as managing the amateur basketball team, the Tola Jaguars, which he is the player/coach and MVP of (hahahaha!).
Steve affectionately refers to these villages that he teaches in as the "campo-campo", roughly translated to English as the "country-country" villages and he wasn't lying. We found that out during a 20 minute bus ride on a retired American school bus and then hiking up a creek that required many jumps back and forth across the muddy waterway. There are no cars in this town, just some motorcycles, ox-drawn carts and bikes. Fortunately, once we got to the school we were able to watch/participate in a small lesson that Steve taught and get in some serious mud-soccer with the kids.
Thats all I've got for now. Please check out the pictures (59 of them, sorry) to get a better grasp on the story. I've added
As with all Nicaragua buses, this one probably covered many miles of the suburban USA before reaching Nicaragua.
captions to most of them. I am now in Panama City for the next couple days and addition to checking out the canal, Devon and I will be trying to find a Panama hat, a cigar and maybe some Caribbean rum. I will try and get another blog up very soon. Hope all is well with everyone back home. PS I added a few of you to the blog subscription list. If you don't want to receive an email when I post a blog, just click on "unsubscribe" in the email.
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