Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
300Trip End Nov 04, 2008
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Where I stayed
Chateau Royal - $46 double, ensuite, ac, sat, brekkie
We debated whether to go direct to Leon or to stay at Rivas or midway as Marcos had quite a bad case of stomach bug and basically needs a good rest in an air conditioned "ambience". Reading our travel guides on the ferry we decided on the closest "paradise"...San Juan del Sur which is probably foreign tourist spot number 1 and therefore guaranteed some quality of hotels.
So we took the local bus from Rivas to San Juan which was an experience in itself. This is the first substandard bus we have had to take in Nicaragua, and qualified as such due to the following points:
- Even though the bus was packed (4 people already standing up), it kept stopping to pick more people up. During most of the trip there was at least 3 people hanging out of the bus door.
- The bus engine failed to start and had to be pushed at the bus station at Rivas by all the onlookers until it started.
- When it started raining the windscripers moved hectically and then got stuck next to the rear view mirror
- The driver could not manage to get the fourth gear in so we went along in 3rd all the way
- The brakes did not work very well, reason why the driver drove slowly (not out of good driving but out of precaution)
Given the probabilities that the bus might just not make it to San Juan, when the assistant came along to ask for Cordobas $30 ($1.50) for both of our tickets, Veronika told him in Spanish "we will pay when we get there", much to the enthusiasm of the rest of the passengers...who paid anyway.
We made it and paid at arrival!
Anyway, we quickly discovered that this place is a nice beach resort (although the beaches are better out of the town apparently - still havenīt investigated). However, it is gringo land...full of young backpackers and surfers. Additionally it has the most expensive prices we have seen yet in Nicaragua. A good example is the "coffee index" check. Up to now coffees have been 8 Cordobas ($0.40) in most places, while here they are 20 Cordobas ($1). Just over double. Restaurants also show the same price differences (double or more). In any case, we have been able to find local "sodas" (that is how they call their day to day restaurants with national food) where prices are the usual.
Given Marcosī stomach state we just enjoyed the rest of the day in the comfort of our "luxury" room (clean, large bed, air conditioning, 76 tv channels, good shower) and watched the Eurocup games. Bad show from Germany by the way! They are lucky Poland totally messed their match in the last second, if not they would have been out.
We havenīt taken any pictures yet, so here is a link for those eager for some niceties:
Tara for now.