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San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Well I ended up staying an entire week in San Juan becuase I was having so much fun and loving spending time by the beach.
The live music turned out to be great fun, especially because there was an amazing couple of (relative) oldies who were having a whale of a time, grooving along with more energy than any of the youngsters!
My next few days there were really spent doing much the same as the first. I would spend my mornings wandering round the town, eating big bowels of fresh fruit for breakfast and then reading my book in the beach side cafes whilst sipping on pineapple and mango juice...absolutely wonderful! A group of us had befriended this amazing local guy called Nelson who had a pickup truck so in the afternoons, for a small fee of course, he would ferry us, and all the boys' boards, to whichever beach we fancied, usually either Remanso or Madera. Here the boys would surf whilst I topped up the tan and swam in the sea and wandered up and down the beach taking photo after photo!
There are loads of places to eat in San Juan, but maybe the best was the Chicken Lady (!) who would serve you a big piece of meat from her barbeque, with gallo pinto, salad and plantana chips with a beer for less than $4! Absolute travellers dream. If you were a boy and looked like you needed mothering, she would also dish out huge bear hugs Miss Brown style.
Now Daddy had requeted that I do something cultural so on Monday morning I woke my new best friend, a lovely English guy on his gap year called Tom, bright and early and dragged him up the hill that overlooks San Juan bay to inspect the enormous plastic statue that watches over the town. It was a fun ramble as we really didn't know where we were going and were just wandering in roughly the right direction. We asked a few locals and eventually ended up on the right, and very steep, track. It was a hot and sticky climb, but totally worth it. The Jesus is really quite remarkable! When you're at a distance, the surface which is made to look like carved stone, is really quite convincing. And then you get a bit closer and reaslise the entire structure is made of large plastic panels. Apparently when the boys visisted him a few months ago he was missing a head and an arm, but I'm pleased to say we saw him in his full form, except for the large hole in the back of his head. The views from up there were amazing but as the wind was blowing a gale, photo taking was quite tricky as I couldn't hold the camera still! I think I managed to get a few good ones though. In fact it the wind made the trip even better because it was making the clouds move extremely quickly through the sky, so if you stood at the base of the Jesus and looked up at him, it really seemed as though he was toppling over you.
That evening Tom and I had a budget supper and bought some nachos, avocado and refried beans (something that definitely needs to be introduced to England - basically it's dried kidney beans that they soak and then fry down into a sort of past...absolutely delicious and served with most dishes) which cost about $2 each and was one of the most filling meals I've had yet.
Tuesday was my last day in San Juan so I decided to stay on the main beach for once and not spend money on being taken between beaches. It was a good choice as I bumped into the bar man of the hostel I had stayed at in Granada, a great guy called Dave, who seems like he's constantly on drugs as he has so much energy, but is in fact not, and just has a very hyperactive disposition! So that evening the big group that I had been hanging out with for the week went out for a 'last supper' to a restuarant called Iguana's which serves the BEST cheeseburger and curly fries that I have ever eaten! I know, not particularly local food but great none-the-less.
Unfortunately when I returned to the hostel I'd had a top stolen from my bag which put a bit of a dampener on the evening. I was hoping that I would be as lucky as Lals and not have anything taken my entire trip, but never mind, at least it was nothing valuble....buggers!
On Wednesday morning Tom and I woke fairly early and caught a chicken bus back to Rivas were we parted ways as he was heading off to Ometepe. I was sad to say goodbye to him as he was great company, but as he lives in Cornwall not far from where Jonny goes on holiday, and is friends with my good friend and soon to be house mate Robbie, I'm sure our paths will cross sometime soon.
I jumped on a bus to the border, and had a very slow, but relatively straight forward crossing. It was quite eery really as all the officials were wearing masks and checking everybody's passport for Mexico stamps. I'm not sure what they would have done if they'd found one, but I guess they simply weren't letting people across the border with one.
From there I took a couple of buses and eventually arrived at Playa Tamarindo on the north west coast of Costa Rica, my first stop in a new country.

permalink written by  veritykent on May 3, 2009 from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
from the travel blog: Up, up and away
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