Six guys. Five days. Four nights. Three hour drives. Two cities. One country.
Most people raised their brow when I told them I was headed to Nicaragua. I was told that it wasn't safe, it's dirty and that Costa Rica was the better option. Well, if you know me, I don't follow crowds. I love venturing off the beaten path and going against the grain. Don't get me wrong, it's very much a third world country. And its recent history with crime and violence doesn't ease the comfort for most. But there's beauty sprinkled throughout the grounds. You just have to know where to look.
The first stop of two. A colonial town an hour south of the capital Managua. The walls are as colorful as a pantone and the locals use horse and carriage to transport goods from one end of town to another. I fell in love with the doors and the look and feel of the facade of the surrounding buildings.
As with most Spanish influenced cities, the plaza is the center of town. And it was no different here in Granda. It's where the locals attend church, gather to eat cheap and delicious street food and simply hang out to and catch up on each other lives.
Another day was spent on Las Isletas de Granada located in Lake Nicaragua. The isletas are made of 365 small islands scattered around the peninsula. All of the iseltas are of volcanic origin. Most of the isletas are covered with vegetation and rich with bird life. Many of the islets are occupied. Some are privately owned and hold homes or vacation houses.
Half of us kayaked. The other half opted for a boat tour. I kayaked and got in a workout and a tan at the same time. A double win for me.
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
This little enclave was once a fisherman's town but over the years it has slowly turned into the center of surf haven for surfers and backpackers alike. Two days here was not enough but we were able to get a taste of of the town and its surrounding beaches.
I've been to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and it's very impressive. This statue in San Juan Del Sur is unique where Jesus' hand is extended and reaching south over the town symbolizing His blessing on the area.
Our sanctuary during our stay. From BBQ's to watching the Warriors playoff game to early morning and a late night dips in the pool. We even managed to make it down to our private beach and swim in the Pacific Ocean only to be pricked by sea urchin.
The sunsets were nothing short of spectacular. But the time spent with the guys superseded it all.
You know that feeling after a trip when you look back and ask yourself if you would come back to that city/country? Nicaragua is a country that I'd re-visit. Corn Island and Leon are other parts of the country that interest me. Getting here wasn't too bad and the US. dollar stretches really far here so a return is imminent.
For now, muchas gracis, Nicaragua. Volvere pronto.