Yo no sé mañana

Trip Start Feb 23, 2010
Trip End Jun 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
San Juan del Sur- Casa Oro
Omnetepe - Casa Iztian
Granada - El Chelero

Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Friday, April 30, 2010

In order to keep a tourist visa u have to leave the country every 90 days for at least 72 hours, so I ran to the Nicaragua border. We were originally told the bus trip takes 11 hours, which almost made me not want to go, but then it changed to 9 and it actually only took 7! It was the first bus I rode that had air conditioning and they definitely took advantage of it. The temperature had to have been like 50 degrees in there! I was getting a brain freeze! We did get to watch some movies which helped pass the time. Our first stop was San Juan del Sur. The bus dropped us off in Rivas and we had to get a taxi to San Juan. It was dark and raining so Sam and I accept the first taxi offer as we get off the bus. We just follow the guy and hop in the car. 2 minutes into the ride, Sam and I realize we didnt even check to see if this guy was really a taxi driver! It's dark outside, not many street lights and we have entered new foreign territory so we have no idea where we are! I start freaking out and begin thinkin of every backpacker horror story imaginable. I get my mase ready for action and pray the whole time until we finally get to our destination! We were meeting up with Sam's old San Jose roommate, Konrad and his friend Meg from Australia and her friend Kevin from England.. We spent our nights drinking at the hostel then bouncing back and forth between the 2 beach bars. The first day I decided to take surf lessons! Surf lessons here $20, costa rica $40! Everything in Nicaragua is half the price of what it is in Costa Rica. I was actually able to stand up quite a few times and I didn't have to go the hospital!! After 2 days in San Juan we move on to the Isle of Omnetepe, which is an island of 2 volcanic islands, Concepcion-active and Malderas-inactive,  connected by an isthmus created by lava. The first day Meg and I rent horses to go to the natural springs while the guys rented bikes. On the way there we trotted along the beach of Lake Nicaragua. When Meg asked if we could get the horses to go fast, our guide said yeah but that I should be careful because my horse was crazy! So i decided to take it easy and hang back. On the way back from the springs we rode on the dirt road and the guide said my horse might do better here than on the beach so I decided to test my crazy horse and told him to giddy up! I guess it took him awhile to understand my English cuz he didn't do anything til 5 minutes later and he just took off, much to my surprise. My stirrups were not up high enough so my feet were flying all over the place and I almost flew over the horses head a few times. I guess being on the road kept him going straight but he ran on the very edge so I kept getting whacked by all the branches sticking out. It was 'fun' but not quite as cool as I had imagined it! At least I can check that off my list. The next day we all hiked up Malderas where you get to climb into the crater. Sounds cool right? Well, it was the hardest thing I have ever physically done and there was not much of a reward at the end. The ascent took 4 hours and it was a constant incline. Towards the end we were trekking through mud and practically rock climbing, which was cool but I was too exhausted to get to really enjoy it. The top of the "volcano", it was really more like a mountain, was in a cloud forest so you didnt really feel like you even reached the top. Then we start are ascent into the crater and to our disappointment it's just a small muddy pond surrounded by a bunch of trees. So we sit there for a few minutes then turn around and begin our 4 hour trip back down. I like a good challenge but there better be a reward at the end damnit! Next city we go to is Grenada, which is the oldest city in the Western hemisphere. It was colonized by Spain so it had a more European feel to it. All the buildings were really colorful and the churches were gorgeous - much different than ugly ol'San Jose. If only Costa Ricans had not kicked Spain out they would have pretty cities too...but nooo they wanted their freedom. Meg and I received flyers for a spa that offered massages and facials for $10, mani and pedis for $8!! My back was so sore after surfing and climbing mountains so I treated myself to a day at the spa. There was a pool that we could use too, which was a nice becuase it was super hot in Grenada. One night we played trivia at an Irish pub and I started talking to the owner, who was an older Irishman and he offered me a bartending job! I was really considering it but Grenada is a little too small for me and not very close to a beach. All in all Nicaragua was pretty and cheap. Just the way I like it! :)

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