Blogs from San Juan del Sur, Southern Pacific Coast, Nicaragua, Central America Caribbean

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To Everyone best wishes for an enjoyable Xmas-New Year's break. I'm back here in Nicaragua at the start of a 7 week sunny escape, beginning with San Juan del Sur, a traditional surfer and retired expat community. San Juan del Sur has turned out to be a great tropical acclimatizing spot....very friendly and helpful Nicas, hot sun and breezes, shuttling around in 4WDs with surfers and boards to picture perfect surfing bays, ceviche salads and beer at some really nice but under-utilized beach bars, the occasional parrot with howler monkeys in the bush, beach and headland hiking and swimming. But I guess if you're not an avid surfer, a week is probably enough. Onto Ometepe island next week. Friendly hospitality here has always been a keynote to a Nicaraguan visit, but now with fewer of us ... read more
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On Sunday morning, 22d of April, Rebecka and I left our hostel in Ometepe pretty early to catch a ride to the ferry station of the island. Unfortunately, no bus came by and no cars (most people on the island drive scooters or motorbikes), just taxis... So we decided to take one of those and for 8$US p.P. we got to the ferry station. Our driver was really nice, a young guy from Dominican Republic who lives on the island at the moment, and when he dropped us off, he even offered us a (free) watermelon! :-D He was the first to really tell us about the situation in the rest of Nicaragua. Last Wednesday, José Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s president, signed a new law that makes people pay more taxes and retired people get less money. ... read more
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Sonntag Morgen, den 22. April, haben Rebecka und ich unser Hostel in Ometepe ziemlich früh verlassen um eine Mitfahrgelegenheit zum Hafen der Insel zu erwischen. Leider kam weder ein Bus noch irgendein anderes Auto (die meisten auf der Insel fahren Scooter oder Motorrad), sondern nur Taxis... Wir entschieden also ein Taxi zum Hafen zu nehmen und mussten jeder 8$US zahlen. Unser Taxifahrer war total nett, ein junger Typ aus der Dominikanischen Republik der gerade bei seiner Mutter in Ometepe lebt, der uns sogar eine Wassermelone schenkte als wir am Hafen ankamen. :-D Er war der erste, der uns wirklich etwas über die aktuelle Situation in Nicaragua erzählte. Letzten Mittwoch hat José Daniel Ortega, der Präsident von Nicaragua, ein Gesetz unterschreiben, laut dem die Einwohner mehr Steuer zahlen müssen und Rentner wesentlich weniger Geld erhalten. Das hat ... read more
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13.6. Um 6 Uhr haben wir eine Tour gebucht zu den «Islitas», den angeblich 365 kleinen Inselchen in der Nähe von Granada – bewohnt von einigen Reichen und einer Vielfalt an Vogelarten. Als wir um 5.30h aufstehen regnet es in Strömen. Als ich um 6 Uhr draussen stehe um zu fragen, ob wir eventuell später gehen können, hört es innerhalb weniger Sekunden auf und ein Sonnenstrahl lugt durch die Wolken. Wir sind allerdings erst kurze Zeit mit dem Boot unterwegs, als es wieder zu tröpfeln beginnt. Unser Capitano kann noch gerade vor dem schlimmsten Wolkenbruch in einen Bootsunterstand auf einer der Inseln steuern, dort warten wir das Gröbste ab. Unterhaltung bieten ein paar Kolibris der Grösse von Nachtfaltern, die im Busch nebenan trotz des heftigen Regens fleissig von Blüte zu Blüte schwirren. Es regnet ab und ... read more
Eisvogel
unser herziges Hüsli auf der Finca del Sol, Ometepe
Chillen auf der Veranda


Geo: 11.249, -85.8633The Pacific Princess arrived in the harbor of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua early this morning—about 7 a.m. She anchored very near the port and tenders started running as soon as the ship cleared customs. Our tour was scheduled for the afternoon, so Philip and I had a leisurely breakfast in the dining room. He did the final upload of grades before we left on the tour and checked for messages from students about their grades when we returned in the late afternoon. Everything is fine so far. He'll check again tomorrow, I imagine.Our tour was rated E for easy by the cruise line so that means it would be very, very easy. I only walked about 1800 steps during this tour and that included getting from the tender to the bus which was ... read more
San Juan del Sur Christ Statue and City View
San Juan del Sur Port
On the Highway


Just a quick day trip to this tourist surf town. Dain and I walked up to a surf shop without researching, and they gave us 15 minutes to grab our day bags, order a sandwich and catch a ride in the back of a pick-up truck to the beach. It started raining on the 30 minute, bumpy ride to the beach, and continued the entire lesson. We arrived at high tide and waited for about 2 hours before heading out into the surf. I had some time to play around with photographing the Pacific beach setting during rainy season. Local surfers helped us beginners catch waves and tell us when to stand up. Everyone got to stand-up, and cheer, in our group of 8 and we all fought against the strong current for close to 2 ... read more
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Back in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, it wasn't great getting up at 5.30am - my sixth early start in a row - and it wasn't great doing it after drinking a litre of boxed wine the previous nighteither. So luckily I had a shuttle picking me and then dropping me off over the border at my hostel in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. I will go out there and say it; the Costa Rica-Nicaragua is probably the shadiest border crossing I have ever undertaken and this was despite having a shuttle employee guiding us every step of the way. Even inside the actual building that serves as the Nicaraguan border office, there were jokers trying to scam tips out of you, saying that you needed "papeles" even though we weren't given any at any stage of ... read more
Life's A Beach
Sunset Over Playa Maderas
Playa Tamarindo


Geo: 11.249, -85.8633Puff and blow!...drip......"only a few more steps to go Sir"....."fantastic view.....Sir"......stop....rest...........heart rate down from 400 bpm to 300bpm.....I feel like a Christmas pudding in a blast furnace..........over 150 steep steps and a swing bridge are involved to get to our lofty abode.........we meet a "soft shoed" retired Canadian couple half way up who are billeted in the low level bungalows.....cheekily they remark that we will be "in shape" in a few days.......their varacous veins throb in the bright sun......we are in bungalow 14.....there are only 15.......we collapse through the heavy teak front door of our part open air...part tree house style bijou tazanesque pad which will be our home for the final three nights.The journey from Ometepe to Morgan's Rock was relatively straight forward despite an h... read more
View from our terrace
The swing bridge then a huge climb!
A crowded beach!


Sometimes, you just loose stuff. It's inevitable, especially on a trip like our's so it's no surprise that we lost our 'food bag'. Our best guess is that we left it in the road when we were donning our backpacks just off the bus from Rivas. We were a tad distracted by talking to another couple and it's entirely possible we left it there. It's annoying at worst and we certainly could've misplaced something of much higher value. So after much looking around and asking the bus driver at the stop, we gave up but we always had an eye out for the lost bag, just in case. Although we started our time in San Juan del Sur on a somewhat sour note, it was a fun place to visit. From what we hear, it's a ... read more
Da Canopy Tour
Sunset in San Juan


San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua With high winds blowing we relaxed on the ship, had a leisurely breakfast in one of the dining rooms, then took the elevator down to deck 4 to get a tender to town. Wow what a choppy boat ride into this small port and town. San Juan del Sur is a small town on a horseshoe shaped harbor. Even though we have been told there is not much to see here (many people have opted for the long ride to Grenada or Managua) we elected to poke around today. Today we are happy to just wander around, shop, have a great local lunch and check email. We get off the tender and find ourselves at the far right of the harbor. There is nothing here and only a dirt road heading ... read more
2. Cope at the church
3. Buying hair clips from an artist
4. Lunch with chicken and plantains




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