A Travellerspoint blog

San Juan del Sur

We headed West to check out the beach town of San Juan del Sur which is very close to the Costa Rican border.

Sadly though, we didn't get much chance to enjoy the place. Both of us came down with very tough colds that knocked us flat on our backs. I've also ended up with a fairly dire bacterial infection of the tummy and so am on another round of antibiotics to get sorted. Needless to say, the four days that we spent in this little beach town were spent either reading, sleeping or looking at the four walls of our room (surrounded by piles of used kleenex's and various cold medicines).

One interesting thing about this place is that while we were there, it was experiencing an annual burst of winds that made the place feel like it was on the verge of a hurricane. Folks were losing their roofs, stop signs were sent flying down the street, you name it! At least it gave us something to gaze at from our hostel...

The good news is that we were up for a least a little stroll around on our last day and so got a couple of pics.

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We're feeling much better now and have ventured into Costa Rica. Missing everyone and will blog again soon!

Posted by ReneeJared 18:57 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Granada

We’ve headed South to check out the self proclaimed jewel of Nicaragua, the city of Granada that sits on the shores of Lago de Nicaragua. It is definitely a very pretty city but there wasn’t the same energy to it that Leon had.

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Nicaragua suffers from an energy crisis and while we were in Granada, there was a huge blackout in the city. The locals didn’t even bat an eye and just powered up their generators for the evening. Yet again, Central America reminds us of all the things that we take for granted such as constant power at our finger tips.

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Just outside of Granada is a crater lake in an extinct volcano called Lago Apoyo. There is an underground river that connects the crater to the Pacific Ocean and it feeds the lake with salt water.

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There is also a huge group of islets on the shores of Granada. There’s an old fort where they used to keep an eye out for pirates that made their way to the lake via the San Juan river that connects the lake to the Caribbean.

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Posted by ReneeJared 12:38 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Playas Peneloya & Las Penitas

We headed to the beaches just 20km West of León for a day trip. They were pristine with no garbage (a nice change from the beaches in El Salvador) and covered in shells.

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There was nary a soul to be found and we almost had the place to ourselves. This is one of those places that the world will eventually discover and realize just how gorgeous Nicaragua is.

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Posted by ReneeJared 14:34 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

León

We took a 12 hour bus ride from San Salvador to Managua. The change in terrain was surprising as it went from green and lush to a very arid landscape.

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There are only three words for Managua....sketchy, sketchy, sketchy. This is the first place that we’ve been through that our personal safety was a very serious concern. Our hostel was locked down like Fort Knox and the owners were adamant that we take a taxi to and from the ATM to get cash out as they were watched heavily by crooks. The neighborhoods were patrolled by ‘helpers’ trying to lead us to various hostels amongst other things. When I asked our hostel owner why Managua was so unsafe, she told me that it simply had to do with all the crooks knowing that the tourists had money and so would target them….creepy. Needless to say, we stayed only one night and caught a bus out of there early the next morning to Leon.

Leon is a much different place. It’s a very pretty colonial town with a nice vibe but somewhat reserved locals.

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Nicaragua has suffered much civil war in recent history (with the latest blow out as recent as the early 90’s) and so the place is very politically charged. The (very) short version is that there was a very rich, corrupt family that owned most of Nicaragua through political means on the backs of its nation and the nation finally fought back.

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There were a few fearless leaders of the rebellion that managed to put things right (somewhat) and were martyred for their efforts. There are many memorials all over Leon dedicated to these heroes and any Nicaraguan will tell you how much they were loved.

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An amazing place to visit and we'd happily come back.

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Posted by ReneeJared 14:08 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Playa El Zonte

After two heavenly nights at the hotel, we packed ourselves up (somewhat begrudgingly) and headed for the coast. There are several little surfing villages along a 40km stretch of coastline and we decided to go to one of the least developed beach areas. Playa El Zonte is just a small village with a few hostels and food shacks and absolutely nothing else (no grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, internet…you get the idea). However, what is does have is absolutely beautiful beaches with black sand, wicked surfing for all levels and a whole lot of peace and quiet.

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There are also two turtle nurseries at each end of the village where the locals raise sea turtles to release into the ocean once they’re big enough. We lucked out and happened to be in town for one of these events and got to release two little buddies into the ocean (for a donation of $1 per turtle that goes towards keeping the nurseries going). We met up with a gent who manages one of the nurseries and he gave us a private preview of the sea turtle babies that were to be released.

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This place is so zen that we ended up staying a week to play in the waves (the water is 82 degrees year round) and relax on the beach. It’s a little taste of paradise that we hope to return to someday.

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We’re off tomorrow on a 12 hour bus ride to Managua, Nicaragua. Onto another country we go!

Posted by ReneeJared 16:00 Archived in El Salvador Comments (1)

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