Buenas Tardes Amigos!
It is a lovely day here in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. You’d be pleased to know that I am writing from a rocking chair. Here’s a recap of the past week or so…
We left off last time in Granada where we ended up spending only two nights before venturing to the gorgeous and peaceful Laguna De Apoyo. There isn’t much of a town save for a couple of hostels and a smattering of pulperias, however, everything is centered around a lake that is situated in the crater of a volcano. It almost felt like being in Minneapolis again (what with the lake and all), but a much cooler version. Below is a pic of our beloved hammock and the lake in the distance.
After a very restful and hammock filled few days, we made our way to Ometepe which is an island in the center of a lake that was formed by two enormous volcanoes. Note, there are lots of volcanoes here. On the first night in Ometepe, we stayed in a hostel that had a deer, a duck, lots of kittens and dogs, and two monkeys in the backyard. The deer may have been the cutest thing ever and would give lots of kisses that tickled like none other. Things took a turn for the worse when one of the monkeys started playing with our friend’s hair (the aforementioned Bree) and Zach (her boyfriend) tried to remove her hair from the monkeys grasp. The monkey clamped onto Zach’s finger and held on for dear life. We learned later that the monkey doesn’t like men and was formerly used in dog fights. There was also a sign that said not to mess with the monkeys, but because it was dark the end result was a pretty gnarly bite for good ole Zach. Enjoy this picture of Michelle with the domesticated deer next to Chico, the Makak that attacked Zach. We’ve had a lot of fun with that one.
The rest of our time in Ometepe was spent in a small town called Santo Domingo that had pretty bad food and a tarantula that was the size of my face. The guard dog at our hostel was really funny and spent most of the day reclined in the beach chairs (see photo below). The main highlight was watching the Super Bowl in rocking chairs in an open air patio with the waves splashing up ever so much as to create a mildly refreshing spray. I was certainly very pleased with the Packers victory though I still find myself a bit of an NFL orphan. It’s hard to feel much of anything for Favre now that his character has been so soiled. Michelle felt much greater angst with the win, as she has yet to come to terms with the fact that Rodgers is a stellar qb. Alas, I digress.
From Ometepe, we made our way down to San Juan Del Sur which is only a quick jaunt from the Costa Rican border. It is a sleepy little beach town with lots of great restaurants and more people in rocking chairs and hammocks. We were reminded at breakfast today how many awesome people we have met. As soon as we walked in, we saw a couple from New York named Shelly and Michele that we had met in Ometepe. They used to own a juice bar in SoHo called Lucky’s Juice Joint and will be celebrating their 43rd anniversary next week. While at breakfast, Shelly wrote a poem for us about the Fifty Nifty that we will treasure. We also saw a couple we had met up Jiquilillo with their puppy Tona (named after the local beer) as well as another couple from Alaska that we also met up North. Before breakfast was over, we caught up with and connected with over 10 people that we had met along the way. Meeting so many wonderful people from all over the world is easily one of the greatest parts of traveling. We’ve also met three people from Madison in the past 24 hours which is awesome. Oh Madison, you are so sweet.
Speaking of wonderful people, we’ve been staying at a hostel called Mama Sara’s for the past few nights. We met Mama Sara immediately after getting out of the cab from Ometepe as she was riding around town on her bike. Since then, she has called us her hijos (children) and brings us either lemonade, bananas with milk, mangos, or fried cheese at least once a day. Since sitting out here, she has already brought me some mints to help with my cough or perhaps as a hint that my breath is funky. Either way, she’s awesome.
There are tons of beaches within 30 minutes of San Juan Del Sur, and tomorrow we are going to visit Playa Hermosa where Survivor was recently filmed. It just opened up to the public and is supposed to be stunning. The past couple of weeks have flown by and we were planning on being in Costa Rica a number of days ago, but have been having a hard time leaving. We may just stay here for the rest of our trip and save Costa Rica for another trip. *Update, Mama just brought me a bowl of noodles, rice, and flat bread. Love it.
Nicaragua has been absolutely incredible and we feel so privileged for the experiences we’ve had and for the people we’ve met. It’s hard to give any of it due justice. Tonight the plan is to see some live Blues music at “Big Wave Daves” and eat the “largest burger in Central America” at the Black Whale. God Bless you Nicaragua. Below are some photos from our time at Maderas Beach yesterday. Note Michelle’s huge air, the best tacos in the world, the progress of the stache, and the restroom that consumes its patrons.
A quick Fifty Nifty update: We officially have 2 weddings in the books with a few more looming on the horizon (fingers crossed). Please continue to spread the word and tell all of your friends and acquaintances. The support thus far has been ridiculously humbling and encouraging. We hope this finds you all well and I will leave you with this photo of my best Che impersonation.
Love and kisses,
Jonny + Michelle