Let's go to the beach beach, let's go get a wave

Trip Start Dec 30, 2013
Trip End Mar 25, 2014

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Flag of Nicaragua  , San Jose,
Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 33 - Friday 31 January

A couple hours later we arrived in down town San Juan del Sur. We'd been told by a few people we'd met on our travels about a fab hostel called Casa de Olas so we had ourselves booked in there. Off the bus and with the backpacks on, we asked a local for directions. He kind of laughed and pointed us in the direction of a taxi. We'd heard the hostel was a little outside town but we didn't realise it was a ten minute cab ride back in the direction we had come!

Any reservations we had about booking a place so far from the town evaporated the minute we walked into Casa. The place was a palace...well at least to us three weary backpackers!! The hostel (more like a hotel) is located in the hills just outside San Juan. The property is set around an amazing infinity pool that overlooks the bay of San Juan del Sur. The views are breathtaking, there are no words to describe the beautiful sunsets every evening....this place truly is a little slice of paradise.

We got ourselves checked in and shown to our room. After that it was time to meet the staff and get acquainted with the rules...yes there were rules! These included no web surfing at the bar after 6pm, drinking all alcoholic beverages from your left hand...failure to comply left you open to the "Buffulo" call where said beverage would have to be downed in one go and finally, no feeding Buzz.

Buzz was the hostel's resident monkey. Casa is owned by an Australian couple who relocated to Nicaragua and built the backpacker heaven that is Casa del Olas. About 3 years ago they rescued Buzz after she had been abandoned by her mother. While Buzz may sound cute she's anything but....lets just say she's kept on that long leash for a reason. Judging by the bites and scratches a couple of other travellers had received we all decided keeping our distance from the monkey was for the best!

After a dip in the pool we headed to the bar for dinner. Casa has a family style dinner every weekday which guests can sign up for. We didn't fancy traipsing into the town so we chalked ourselves down for pizza night and got comfortable in our bar stools! The bar is run by three Aussie dudes and a Scottish couple, all really sound and good fun. We got chatting to a Canadian couple and a few other guests. The drinks flowed and the giant Jenga came out. This game is very like the original just with jumbo sized blocks which must be moved with your legs or feet, no hands allowed. Each piece also has a dare such as 'down a shot' or 'chug your drink' along with a number of others that can't be repeated here :)

After the Jenga game one of the English lads staying at Casa got the guitar out and we all had a good old sing song. It was a great night and an awesome introduction to San Juan. There were no complaints when Jenny suggested we stay an extra night than initially planned as we headed to bed...

Day 34 - Saturday 1 February

We were all a bit tender when we woke thanks to the impromptu session the night before. Nothing a good breakfast couldn't cure though! Over brekky we decided we'd hit the beach with our new mates from last night. As Casa is so far out from town they run a complimentary shuttle every two hours. They also arrange for a shuttle to the beach each morning. Today it seemed everyone had the same idea. The hostel cleared out once it was announced the beach shuttle had arrived. About 14 of us piled into the back of a pick up truck and made the 45 minute journey to Madera beach. On arrival we were asked to pay a $3 entry fee which was a bit steep but it meant we could use the hotel amenities for the day. Little did we know this would be a blessing in disguise. There was a really strong cross wind on the beach which made flaking out on our towels nearly impossible....unless we wanted to be covered in a layer of sand that is. Michele joked how it was like a day on an Irish beach.....where's a windbreaker when you need one?! We retreated to the hotel bar where we found a couple of hammocks and sun loungers to relax and nurse our hangovers in. We also had our only flash packer moment to date and treated ourselves to pedicures. They were half the price they'd be back home so it would have be rude not to! About 4pm the shuttle arrived to take us back to Casa. On the drive back everyone agreed to get the 6pm shuttle into town for dinner.

When we arrived in San Juan later that evening we all decided to head to a small little restaurant that's quite popular among the travelling troops, the daily fish special is 60 córdobas which equates to about $2.25 so it's not hard to see why!

Once sufficiently fed we hit the Canadian bar where Jenny sampled her first Caesar which is the Canadian take on a Bloody Mary. Canadian Michelle had raved about them so much Jenny felt she had to see what all the fuzz was about. Verdict - tastes a lot like cold tomato soup with a bit of bacon thrown in. Kathy and Michele decided to sit this taste test out!!

We headed back to Casa about 9pm and hit the hay early. Afterall it was Sunday Funday tomorrow so we needed to rest up!

Day 35 - Sunday 2 February

First call of duty Sunday morning was to figure out a way of watching the Ireland V Scotland Six Nations match. We attempted to stream the first half but our Internet connection was sketchy at best so we headed into town for the second half. Content with Ireland's win we grabbed ourselves an early lunch afterwards. Sunday Funday was due to kick off at 2pm so a good stomach lining was compulsory before then :)
Sunday Funday is essentially a pool bar crawl around four hotels & hostels in San Juan Del Sur. It costs about 10 bucks to participate which includes your transport for the day (we were ferried between locations on the back of pick up trucks) along with a singlet top which is the unofficial uniform for the day...and a nice souvenir too! We had a drink or two in our own hostel with the Casa crew before we all headed next store to the Naked Tiger hostel where our pick up truck chariots awaited. The sun was shining and it was an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Each venue had a DJ and a well stocked bar. The pool party fun lasted well into the night!!

Day 36 - Monday 3 February

There were a few sore heads when we woke so a chilled out day by the pool sounded like a good idea to all. Every Monday the guys at Casa cook up a family style roast dinner for their guests. A movie is usually stuck on after as most people are keen on a quiet night following the shenanigans of Sunday Funday. We signed ourselves up for the roast as we'd heard good things. Wow it didn't disappoint. ...nothing like a good feed to banish the last of the hangovers!! Our disappointment lay elsewhere however when movie night was cancelled. They had been due to screen 'The Wolf of Wall Street' but that plan got shelved earlier on in the day when international DJ "Space Cowboy" checked in. He had played a set at a festival in Granada a few days previous. A couple of the Aussie lads who work at Casa had met him there and had invited him to stay. We knew when he ordered wine for everyone at dinner he was on for a big night. As we were all a bit tender from the night before we turned in early. We also had an early wake up call for our lift to the ferry terminal where we were catching the ferry to Ometepe
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