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Published: October 28th 2010
I'm only about a week into the trip, but it already feels like it's been longer (in a good way). Was able to quickly get into the traveling mindset this time. I'm currently in San Juan Del Sur, a cool little town in the south west of Nicaragua.
My friend Matt and I flew into San Jose, Costa Rica last week and spent a night in the capital. Got up in the morning and took the first bus to Tamarindo, an extremely touristy surfing town on the Pacific coast. I'd been there before, so I knew the town itself was nothing special, but we just wanted to get in a day of surfing as soon as possible. We found a nice hostel that evening, then spent a good eight hours in the water the next day. Tamarindo is full of thieves. When I was there a couple years ago, I had several hundred dollars stolen from a hostel, and in the couple days we were there this time, three people we were with had their bags stolen. We met up with a French guy named Charlie and a couple Israelis, and we all headed north to Nicaragua the a day
or two later.
It was a good feeling crossing the border. I don't know what it is, but Costa Rica isn't really for me. It's beautiful and the people are nice, but I don't know. Not to mention it's hardly cheaper than being in the States. I'm sure I checked out any of the best spots, so it's partially my fault, but the moment we got to the border, the vibe changed and I liked it better. We all made our way through the gauntlet of toWuts and taxi drivers. The customs office was nothing more than a partially broken window on the side of an old building that everyone sort of lined up at. We jammed onto a local bus and made our way to SJDS.
I was expecting a little two street town, but it's bigger. The center is a tidy grid of streets with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets that end on a long horseshoe bay of dark sand with cliffs rising up on both sides and a big white Jesus statue keeping a watchful eye. Nobody is in a hurry to do anything here. There are countless little hotels and hostels and restaurants. It's
sort of touristy, but the locals haven't become jaded yet. We're staying at a huge hostel called Casa Oro, so every day there are like 15 new faces here. It's easy to get a great meal, complete with fruit drinks and coffee, for $3. But one night Matt and I decided to go all out and get the fresh lobster dinner at a seaside restaurant (how romantic) for all of $11.
The surfing set up here is great. There isn't much surf on the town's beach, but there are several surfing beaches several miles away. Every day a couple shuttles run from the hostel to the beach with the best surf. It costs $8/day for a surf board and a ride to and from the beach. Must be one of the cheapest places on Earth to surf. After three days in a row of going out there, my hands, feet and knees are covered in blisters and 3/4 of my muscles are stiff. Time to take a break and head to a volcanic island on Lake Ometepe. There is a great group of four of us heading out together today- myself, Charlie, a Belgian named Chloe, and an Austrian
named Lacey or Resi or Noemmy (her name doesn't translate well to the English tongue). My friend that I flew in with actually decided that this whole long-term traveling thing isn't for him, so he's already headed back for the airport to catch a flight home. Nothing wrong with that, to each his own.
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