Into Nicaragua - San Juan del Sur

Published: November 21st 2006
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Tamarindo to San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur SunsetSan Juan del Sur SunsetSan Juan del Sur Sunset

A beautiful sunset in the harbour of San Juan del Sur.
Well it was decided that since we were already at the northern end of Costa Rica and the buses here are so damn slow (they stop everywhere all the time), we thought we might as well pop our heads into Nicaragua and see whats going on...Other than a new president that the US frowns upon, Nicargua is a beautiful place of similar beauty to Costa Rica but with half the tourists and definately no big resorts and packaged holidays. As the second poorest country in Central America after Haiti, it is substantially cheaper than Costa Rica, yet boasts many of the same features of C.R., including the friendly people. If there has to be a downside to being less of a tourist destination, it would have to be the garbage strewn everywhere you look. But this will only improve as the people begin to discover the benefits that tourism can bring them.

We struck out to the border with our friends Nate and Jenny. After doing a little border crossing (a stamp here, a stamp there, how about an extra stamp just for the hell of it), we were off to the little beach town of San Juan del Sur.
Ben and Dan ChillingBen and Dan ChillingBen and Dan Chilling

Talk about small world, we ran into my brother's friend Dan from Fernie. Ben and Dan chilling after a big day of surfing in front of our hostel.
We arrived in the middle of Nicaragua's first ever International Surf Competition which meant little vacancy but we manged to find a couple rooms in a little family run hospedaje (guesthouse). The next two days took us out to some beautiful beaches that were a hard 4x4 drive away to find some surf. A little side note, other than the PanAmerican Highway, all roads in Central America are horrible. You are lucky to cruise along at 40 km/h on most of them while weaving all over the road dodging potholes. Back to surfing, we hit two awesome surfbreaks in the surrounding area and were awarded great waves, crystal clear water and almost no one else in the water with us. Ben dropped into his first ever overhead wave and almost made it out unscathed (actaully I lost my balance while trying to do a bottom turn and got absolutely cycled!). But it wont be long until I own those waves...haha

Funny story, just after we arrived in town we were walking up the street and who should we meet but our friend Dan who goes to school with Nastassia's brother and has been out on ski trips with us.
Ben Big Surf DinnerBen Big Surf DinnerBen Big Surf Dinner

Ben chowing down on a huge burger from Big Wave Dave's dinner joint. Check out the size of the pineapple, yum!
He was so tanned he looked like a local, three months of sun in Costa Rica has done him well. Pretty random place to meet a familiar face, middle of nowhere in a little surf town in Nicaragua! We surfed with him for the time we stayed in San Juan del Sur.

After two days of surf and sun (maybe a little too much sun as the best surf was 11-2 high noon), Nate, Jenny, Nastassia and Ben all decided to turn in the surfboards and head up to the old Colonial town of Granada on the shores of Lake Nicaragua...


22nd November 2006

-25 and snow blowing
Ben and Nas You guys have lost no time in going for it. Good on ya. Walking behind my Johnny Deer Snowblower and pushing a shovel for 3 hrs. just doesn't cut it for me any more! I will gladly trade in the -25 for +35 any time. For the time being, we will bundle up and take in the odd brandy. We are busy with a Hospital Fund Raiser and will soon roll into volunteering for the Canada Winter Games. In one month Andrew will be home and the traditional hole in the icewill be cut, the sauna fired, hottub turned up and the wall tent put into party mode. We will miss Ben and Nas, however, we know they will have some new found friends to celebrate the Festive Season.
24th November 2006

Sleek as braids on eight grade picture day
Hey guys! Miss you both. Nastassia, don't forget to send me mass amount of emails so I can live vacariously through you from work. Miss you. love dmar
27th November 2006

best surf days
surfing with you guys was the best....we will also be living vicariously thru you from now on, but we will try to meet up again later in your journey, b/c really, that experience shouldn't be missed!

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