Day One as a Surfer Wannabe

Published: August 1st 2005EDIT THIS ENTRY

San Juan del SurSan Juan del SurSan Juan del Sur

Coming into town by water taxi
Yikes, how time flies when there are no internet connections around. (I'm backtracking a bit and throwing some stuff in here from my real old fashioned pen and paper journal to keep this kind of up to date, so bear with me if they are kind of lengthy.)

The first daytrip to Majagual lured me back for 3 more days of sun and sea, 2 nights of craziness, and 1 new hobby in the making. We ended up staying in the dorms at the EcoLodge since there were no rooms available at Matilda's and in general, the whole place was pretty full. I really got into my next book, Angels & Demons, so I basically sat around in the sun reading for the whole first day. Actually, someone probably could have set fire to my hair and I wouldn't have noticed because the book is really captivating; I can't wait to find a bookstore to get the DaVinci Code now. Anyhow, once the sun set the party started. The open air beach bar turned into a little dance party, with bartenders passing out free shots of rum and these crazy French Canadian gals dancing on the bar, and local Nicarag├╝enses standing ready for salsa and merengue.... I, of course, was a big fan of that whole part of the setup. My poor travel companion didn't follow my advice to STOP with the free shots of rum and, after about 7 or 8 within 20 minutes, that was the last I saw of him until the following afternoon.

I made pals with the bartender Roberto, who happens to also be a surf instructor, so the next morning I walked down to Playa Madera with him and got my very first surf lesson... a bit informal, but hey, it was free. I did manage to paddle myself out and stand up a few times, albeit very briefly, but I am definitely going to be doing more of it, perhaps in El Salvador. Sorry Pace, no pictures (yet).

Playa Madera has bigger waves than Majagual, which is somewhat protected as a little inlet, so after the surf lesson and a little drying in the sun, we headed back to the beaches at Majagual for lunch and yet another perfect Pacific sunset. The party Saturday night a little bit tamer than Friday, but fun nonetheless, and Sunday I spent swimming and reading on the Matilda's side of Majagual until we caught the ferry back to San Juan del Sur in the afternoon.

Overall, I have to give 5 stars to Majagual; it reminds me a lot of summer camp when I was growing up in southern CA, with the dry dusty roads and the vegetation there, not to mention that the dorm accommodations were much like being at camp. Of course, I don't recall the camp counselors ever giving out shots of rum or tequila at canteen, but you know... small differences. If I had no time restraints, I could have easily stayed in Majagual for a month, just going back to San Juan once a week or so to stock up on more things from the market.

Sunday night who do I run into in San Juan other than Judi and Irene who I met in San Blas. They told me that they were still traveling with the British couple, Brad and Lindsay, so I had to go out with the four of them to catch up on what they had been up to since leaving "the" island. I think I have now run into every person I really met there while traveling throughout Panama and Nicaragua.

The six of us gathered for breakfast at my fave little local place in San Juan, Soda Los Angeles. I had talked up the banana batidos so much that the 4 of them had to come check it out. I love that the milkman still comes by in his horsedrawn cart in the morning with the big old fashioned milk cans and pours out each little business's order as he goes door to door.

On the way to the bus for our next destination, I finally broke down and entered a souvenir type shop and inevitably ended up buying jewelry. They have really great art of Isla de Ometepe there which I am kicking myself now for not buying....I guess this will just give me another reason to go back one day, though; not a bad ploy on my part.

Additional photos below
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This cool guy from Managua sold jewelry in Majagual...we hooked up with him later again in Ometepe

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