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Published: March 25th 2009
Every day is a good day to go to the beach in San Juan
I said goodbye to Isla de Ometepe and set of for some beach action at San Juan del Sur, a beach town near the border between Nicaragua & Costa Rica. After many discussions the previous night with my newfound kayaking buddies, it turned out that we were all planning on going to the same place the next day - so it was perfect timing as far as I was concerned.
The next morning we all caught the ferry from Moyalgalpa to the port town of San Jorge. It never ceases to amaze me how tiring it can be to just sit doing nothing on a bus, on a ferry or any public transport for that matter, but after 41/2 hours sitting around - we were exhausted, although I’m sure it was also the heat and for the boys, a lack of beer to help them along. Nevertheless, when we arrived at the port, it was a unanimous decision to splurge out and get a taxi directly to the town, thereby bypassing the local buses and the extra 2-hour wait for a mere USD 5.00 per person.
The hostel of choice for our stay was Casa Oro, a dilapidated shack with nothing to recommend it other than the fact that it was cheap and somewhat close to the beach. I couldn’t splurge out on a private room because they were all fully booked out - so I was cheerfully (read “not”) happy with my top bunk (read “not happy” as I am a late night/early morning toilet kinda person) in the very small 10 bed dorm room. There was not enough room to swing a cat let alone put your backpack on the floor - but as they say, I grinned & bore it. (For those of you, who know me and are shaking their heads, yes! I do realise that I am a backpacker, supposedly travelling on a budget - but c’mon, starfish sleeping is so much better than thinking, you might fall of your bed in the middle of the night.)
Hostel woes aside, I loved the town instantly. Sleepy enough to not be filled with hordes of people selling you an assortment of tourist things that you do not need, but busy enough to have access to everything in case you do.
Not 5 minutes there and I already knew that it was going to be a very good choice to visit.
The beach, when we got there was a long strip of sand overlooked by beach bars & restaurants (but not too tacky). The bay was peppered with little fishing boats and a smattering of a few flashy boats. The only thing it did not have was many people swimming in the water and we soon found out why - It was cold! The water was very refreshing, so much so that it numbed your feet if you stayed in the water too long - it was a complete shock to the system and I loved it. I didn’t stay in the water very long (no surprises there!) and after dunking my head in a few times - I made a quick dash out of the water, to be embraced by the wind of sand that hits you as soon as you get out - to make my way back to the beach bar as quickly as possible.
Our stint at our first beach bar “The Iguana Bar” - lasted for quite some time! Countless hours later, we decided
A night of inebriation...
Iguana beach bar - Thomas, Kariljin, Me & Patrick
to change location to the ever popular “Big Wave Dave S?” (I never figured out what the “S” stood for - shop would certainly not be it) where I promptly lost track of the number of Macuas (Guave juice, orange juice and some other stuff with rum - I think) and rum & cokes I had consumed by the end of the evening - Last memory was 24 glasses of rum between 4 people...Ouch!!!
I crawled into my bunk bed at an ungodly hour of the morning with a prayer of not needing to get down from the bunk for what was left of the those very early hours of the morning and hopes of a somewhat decent night sleep - The detox of Isla de Ometepe long since gone.....
I stayed for four nights in San Juan - doing pretty much the same thing as that first night but with less alcohol on my part. The only thing different were the people I met along the way, some of whom I describe below…..
Day 2: “Peter - The Austrian”. I think he lived in the same town as Arnie himself - which would explain his size
The bill at the end of the night
just over USD 1.00 per glass of rum & coke...
and Arnie like accent. After my previous night’s drinking binge I was on liver repair - so I opted out from the drinks - but nooo Peter was not going to let that happen and insisted I consume a rum on the rocks to cure my condition. It didn’t! Yes! I drank it - Weakling - but I did go home well before they did it. It was past my bedtime.
Day 3: “Mary-Ann - The Northerner” and the “Bachelor-Party Boys”. I met Mary-Ann in the dorm room after numerous discussions about Oz & the UK, we headed of for a quite drink (which was to be followed by an early night in) at the Iguana bar. A group American guys who were out celebrating asked to join us. Need I say more - it went all down hill from there again. Note to self: Tequila shots & rum don’t mix.
I was supposed to leave the next day - but no-one was surprised to see me still hovering around the next day, having missed the bus and really not in the mood to shift location in a hurry. Moreover, although they didn’t really believe me when I
told them that I was leaving after day 4. I did - despite the early morning finish at another new bar!. My liver was happy!
Goodbye Nicaragua…Costa Rica here I come!
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