Hit the Road Jack

Trip Start Oct 11, 2006
Trip End Apr 25, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Monday, January 8, 2007

     Our next stop after Granada was the unique Isla de Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua. The island was formed by two volcanoes which over time became connected by an isthsmus. We climbed Volcan Maderas, a gruelling eight hour hike which took us through a cloud forest and into a crater lake. We left the rustic Finca Magdelena, a coffee plantation that exports mostly to Canada, and headed for the coast.
      Once on the coast we went to San Juan del Sur, a laid back surfer town. Here we visted our favourite beach so far, Playa Madera. We both got badly sunburnt while spending an entire day boogie boarding in the hot sun. When we arrived at our hostel that night we encountered a wedding ceremony taking place in the front reception. We waited patiently to get to our room, while watching them kiss the bride, cut the cake, throw the rice and toss the bouquet. Kyle took the role of Vince Vaugh while Fran filled Owen Wilson's part in the "Nicaraguan Wedding Crashers". With this exciting event, our time in Nicaragua came to an end.
     Our first stop in Costa Rica was Samara, another beach town. Due to the higher prices in Costa Rica, we decided to pitch our tent. There was a campground right on the beach and we ended up being the only people there. On the morning of December 18th, we started talking about Melaque, the town in Mexico where Kyle's Family would be going for the holidays. Within two hours we had made the decision to go, and had booked our tickets for December 20th to Mexico City. That night we slept with a full view of the stars and awoke with the sun for an early departure to San Jose. With time to kill before our flight, we went to a mall in San Jose where Kyle bought a few Xbox games for $5 each!
     Once in Mexico City, we spent 8 hours in a bus station waiting to catch a 12 hour bus ride to Manzanillo. We arrived in Melaque in the morning with grand plans of surprising Kyle's parents in their hotel room or on the beach. Our plans quickly changed when we saw Bruce approaching on a sidewalk heading into town. We ducked into a store to avoid him, then Kyle ran after him and gave him an unforgettable christmas surprise - all caught on film. Sooz's reaction later that day was equally memorable, with lots of laughter... and we're pretty sure there was a tear or two under those sunglasses.
     On our first night, like many others to come, we had dinner at a local street taco stand. This particular night we went dancing in Barra de Navidad, and later had a tough hour long walk home on the beach. The night continued at Mike and Kate's room (Kyle's step siblings) where we finished a bottle of tequila and brought out Kate's watercolours for some body art (Mike-Angry Bull, Greg-Nice Nails!). The highlight of the night was a bag of prawns provided by Kyle Milburn. We tried cooking them on the stove and in the microwave which were both broken, so we began to eat them raw. Eventually Fran suggested frying them on the coffee maker element, which worked like a charm! 
     Before we knew it, it was Christmas and we were sitting around a decorated palm tree opening our stockings. We both really appreciated having Kyle's family to spend Christmas with. After a great breakfast, everyone headed to the beach to play in a huge volleyball tournament. Kyle's team defeated Fran's and made it to the finals, but lost in a very close last game:(
     On December 27th, Kyle officially became known as Moustache Kyle when he shaved in preparation for the "Camino Crawl". Fifteen guys dressed up in speedos or hot pants for some drinking and shenanigans. The day started with a beer in the pool, another on the beach, an ocean beer and repeated until the finale - a fifteen man pyramid with Kyle on top.We spent many other days and nights with our friends hanging out on the beach, going to the local bar surfo's, having campfires, and playing some intense games of Cranium.
     We must thank Bruce for a great day of scuba diving. The trip included two dives with the Grand Bay Hotel (very luxurious) and an adventurous lunch on a secluded beach. Note: Do not try to get a boat through the surf... danger! We were very lucky to see a whale and a pod of dolphins from the boat inbetween our dives.  All in all it was a very satisfying day. We would also like to thank Fran's parents for treating us to a wonderful dinner that night.
     New Years we had a delicious potluck dinner, then went to Barra for dancing at the video bar and covered ourselves with glowsticks, necklaces, and balloon animals. Three days later we said our goodbyes and set out on our own again. We spent one great day in the buzzing downtown of Mexico City before flying back to Costa Rica.
     We arrived in San Jose at midnight and slept on the floor in the departures terminal until 6am. We didn't stay long in the big city before arriving in Montezuma, with our new friend Austin.  There weren't any cheap hostels available so we found a campsite right on the beach filled with many characters.  One being a szchisophrenic/multiple peronality gentelman who sing songs, resites poems and fills the air with bazaar information.  He is very interesting for Fran and her Psychology major! 
     Today we visited three beautiful wateralls and did a 10 meter cliff jump.  We recently met some great Argetinians at our campsite who kindly invited us to stay at their house in Santa Teresa.   We will be heading there tomorrow for more camping and boogie boarding.  What a wonderful life... going from beach town to beach town...
Bye for now,
Kyle and Fran
Crib Score To Date:  Kyle 36 wins, 7 skunks / Fran 20 wins, 5 skunks
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