Nicaragua - last minute changes
18.10.2011 - 20.10.2011
Leaving Granada and making our way to San Juan de la Sur with the gang was standard on a chicken bus and arrived at the most loud annoying market/main hub for all bus terminal ‘Rivas’. As soon as we stepped of the bus we were hounded by dozens of cab drivers literally taking our bags and ushering us to their cars – we had no time to think let along to breath! Due to the rain we had to make a quick decision and got in to 2 cabs and made our way to San Juan. When we arrived in this small surfing town we had to cross over this foot bridge which kind of reminded me of the San Francisco Bridge but in a smaller scale. We arrived at our hostel all soaking drenched lol this was nicely followed by a cold shower! Didn’t do much in San Juan it was a more and less place where I could get my head around on what just happened (being made a lone traveller) so it was more of case of ‘me time’ I did go around the town bumped in to past travellers and even hit the only night-bar which was nice. After a few days I decided that I had to make tracks as my flight to Panama City was approaching very quickly and I wanted to go to Isle de Ometepe.
Leaving very early I made my way to the bus stop jumped on and was dreading going back to Rivas. I took a deep breath and off I went. Go to the shit hole and the only way I was going to the port boarder was to take a taxi. The cost should have been $1.00 but being a effing backpacker they bumped up the price and even through some form hustling I was getting no where and the wankers charged me $4.00. As you can imagine I was pissed and upset but I had learnt that this kind of shit is going to happen throughout this trip. I was approached by a nice guy at the tourist information who had calmed me down and helped me get on the boat and had provided me with other information. Approaching the Volcanic Island just made everything worthwhile. I was happy when I saw other travellers on the boat who I got talking to and I also tried out my Spanish with a local old dude. Arrived at the Island a within an hour and got on to mini van which was rammed full of bags and people. It was about an half an hour bus journey to Charco Verde a further 10minute walk towards my hostel I finally made it. The view was divine, on a small island surrounded by clear waters and the sounds of howling monkey’s lol. I went in to my room and I was glad to see bags…only to suggest that I had company. Once I settled myself in my roomies turned up. Kris and Tom were from Alaska and they had invited me to go a local cold springs. They hired bikes for their stay in the island so I excited and jumped on the back of Kris. My 1st time on a bike and I had such a great time. We were joined by Keeley and her bfriend Mark. Got to the cold springs, it was small hidden gem where I witnessed the fresh water appearing from the ground…does that make sense? I had to make a small video so I can show rather then describe it. Me and Keeley were also interviewed by the tourist police…we went for a long bike ride and saw amazing wildlife, loads of bird spotting, I also came across a coil snake and very loud monkeys. We had dinner at Santa Domingo nothing special just a sandwich but had great company. The ride back was crazy as we were caught in heavy rain that felt like glass (weird) big dragonflies and mosquitoes all hitting your face. Ended up chilling in the bar next door to our hostel where I felt Kris was being rather nice towards me lol.
I had arranged to meet up with another couple who were planning to hike up Merida (one of the Volcanoes) so I had left my hostel for about 7.30 hoping to catch the bus to their hostel. I ended up walking 6km, then I hitched-hiked twice until I managed to hopped on the bus by the time I got to the hostel the owner told me that the couple had already left…arrrgghhhh so luckily the guy decided to take me there obviously for a fee. So the trek/hike I thought it’s going to be more and less straight forward right…I mean I trekked up Volcan Masaya… It took us an hour to just reach the foot of the Volcano at this point I thought this is going to be hard. To cut this log short it took me a whole 8 hours…yes 8 bloody hours to the crater and back. I was going through jungle like conditions combined with rock climbing and being short didn’t help, slipped a few times, very steep going up, slippery coming down, narrow gully’s I mean I felt like Bear Gryrils lol all in humid conditions. When I did reach the crater it was worth while as it was a lagoon – pristine clean waters and I couldn’t wait to get in as I was so hot and my shoes were full of mud and crap. Once I made it down all the other groups and gone their separate ways and I had to figure out how to get back. By this time I was starving as I only had fruit during the 8hrs. The buses are so unreliable and the girl at the bus stop had been waiting for nearly 2hrs. She also surprised me when she did not know where London was! I ended up walking towards Santa Domingo managed to hitch again until I spotted Kris and the other guys…so relieved as it was 7pm and the buses had stopped at 6pm. I ended up going in to town with Kris to get a well deserved pizza. The ride back to my hostel was amazing as the roads were pitch black, scary when going past the cemetery but the night sky was so beautiful as the stars were so bright. I was glad that I got the courage to leave on my own.