Not in love boat

Trip Start Nov 08, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh my god, we've just had the journey from hell. Against better judgement, especially as Paul hates boats, we took a 10hour overnight boat from the island to San Carlos at the bottom of Lake Nicaragua. The lake is so big it takes 10 hours to cross it. Even persuading Paul to part with more money to go in first class didn't help. It looked like a paddle steamer and it wasn't built for comfort. Downstairs in the servants quarters were wooden slatted seats and too many people plus cargo. Upstairs was ooh, luxurious first class. We had air-con and padding. All of this would have been manageable if the selfish Nicaraguans hadn't taken all of the seats for themselves so they could lie down leaving Paul and I perched on the end of one guy who took pity on us and a nice English couple. We couldn't even sit together for our 10 hours of torment. Then the selfish Nicas switched the air-con off at 3am and left the door open so that all the flies came in. These are special flies, like biting clouds, relentless. There were hundreds of them. Actually, the best place to be on that boat was lying on the cargo. That'll teach me to spend money. 10hours later and no sleep we arrived at the port of San Carlos at 5.30am. I hadn't done my homework. Paul informed me that to get to the next town we had to jump on another boat for 3 and a half hours. This was supposed to be the reason for coming here. Its a really beautiful stretch of river and the main highway for this part of the world as the town isn't accessible by road. But i was so cranky and tired and full of loathing - especially for the woman who slept in a hammock outside and left her luggage on the seat [i'm still bitter] - I missed the whole trip and just fell asleep on the boat. Paul said it was lovely.

Found a great little place to stay with a balcony over the enormous river. Went to sleep for the rest of the day. Lazy sloths that we are. The town is tiny. It has one footpath. There are no cars. The main attraction is fort built by the Spanish to keep the Brits out. Apparently we kept trying to sneak up the river so the spanish just fired canons at us until we stopped. There was 3 places to eat. Expensive and crap, cheap and crap and mid-range and crap. The cheap place was complete with crazy demented grandma, so that put us off, especially the dribbling, so we plumped for mid-range and crap. Ended up having dinner with a Belgian who was cycling across Latin America and his bit of fluff that he picked up in Nicaragua. She was hilarious. SheŽd been living in the Costa Del Sol for 8 years but spoke no spanish. She had run a bar and an illegal bookies until it got shut down by the police. She was now trying to find herself. Think she found it in the Beligan bikey. But as he was cycling they had to keep arranging to meet each other in random places. Sometimes sheŽs wait days for him. All very odd.
The following day was lovely when we were visited by the  couple on the boat, they were even more interesting as she used to work on porn films in Barcelona and he was a rich kid from Mexico. Paul thought she was great to talk to.  We looked at the fort together, which involved nearly being scammed by a builder who tried to pretend he was the ticket office, and then sat down for some enormous river shrimp in garlic sauce, mm mm.

The town powercut had us eating dinner in the dark with a dutch couple. We ended up drinking rum on their balcony in the dark as there was not much else to do. This unfortunately meant we got locked out of our hostel, the only thing thing waking the owners was Paul attempting to break in on the upstairs balcony.
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