Nicaragua 1 (San Juan del Sur) – May 2009

– Once I got settled into my hostel in San Juan del Sur, I headed to lunch, the town´s beach and then somehow ended up at happy hour cocktails with Kirsty, Liz and Mel.  We had to have cocktails for our first sunset in town and it ended up being great.

– When we came back to our hostel, we decided to cook dinner together as I was excited to have a kitchen again and even found Kraft Mac and Cheese.  Now I know this doesn´t really count as cooking, but I was able to get some other ingredients and whip up a macaroni casserole like dish that was quite tasty.  The girls trusted me as I told them I made this as home as well and it turned out pretty good.  It look a while for us all to get showered, dressed and ready to eat, so we had to continue to drink cocktails, but since the hostel doesn´t allow hard liquor, we had to be incognito and it brought me back to days in college as we were sneaky with our alcohol.  All in all… it started out to be a fun night.

– At 11:00pm, I was falling asleep as we were all talking and drinking at the hostel (as I woke up at 5:30am and did the 9 hour journey to get to Nicaragua).  I was just exhausted and realized I wouldn´t be fun at a bar and didn´t want to get stuck out late or have to walk home alone at night.  I have to say, that was one of the best decisions I have made on this trip as the night didn´t end up to be as good for the other three girls I was going to go out with.

Really bad night for my friends…
– To make a very long story short…Kirsty, Liz and Mel were walking home from the disco at 2:30am.  As they were walking home, one girl got tackled (football style) by two masked guys.  She was walking ahead of the other two girls (about 20 feet).  As they tackled her to the ground, they were trying to take her purse, but she wouldn´t let go.  They then started to beat her in the face, pull her hair and dragged her along the street.  As this happened, her friend that was just behind her ran up to help pull the guys off her and the other guy pulled a huge knife to her throat.   The third girl ran to try to get help and eventually the guys got away with Kirsty´s bag and the three girls came back to the hostel.  To make it worse, when they got back to the hotel, the hostel´s security guard called the police who later came to meet them at the hotel, walk them to the police station to file a report.  Unfortunately, this may not have been a real officer as when they were walking to the old and closed police station (they later learned) this fake police officer started to grope the third girl and put his hands up the skirt.  So all three of them had a horrible attack on their first night in town.

– When they came back to our dorm room, I woke up as I heard one of them talking loudly about ¨policia¨ and that got me awake.  Then I saw Kirsty shaking and all the girls were so upset.  I was just trying to be there and listen and help.  It was totally scary night for them all.  In the end, it was a good choice for me to stay in and avoid that mess (I`m quite lucky).  I guess being tired paid off for me this time.

– Even when I told a few friends about this night over email, the first reaction was to get out of this town, but I didn´t want to go.  I really liked this town and it felt safe during the day and I just didn´t plan to go out at night or at least make sure I am in a large group.

– So the rest of my time in San Juan del Sur was spent exploring the many beaches and meeting new fun people at my hostel.

– There are two main beaches that I explored.  The hostel had a great shuttle service to and from the beaches, so it was so easy.  My mornings here were made up of walking to the local market each morning to buy fresh produce to take to the beach.

– The first beach I explored was Maderas.  This is the more advanced surf beach and everyone going there were ready to surf…but I didn´t have the energy or desire to do this and ended up hanging with Becca and having a great time.  At the end of the day, we thought we would support the little stand selling beers and just watched all the surfers as the sun was going down.  Plus there were all these crazy crabs walking away from the surf and towards us and it was fun to watch them shovel the sand into their mouths and then spit it out.  When it was time to leave, I grabbed my bag that was sitting on the sand and realized about 30 crabs made a home under it as it was shady.  It made me jump just a little as the crabs all scurried away.

– Next day I was off to Remanso beach and met Mel and Freddie and Caitlin and Alex and the four of us had a great time for the next three days.  It all started with rum and fresca on the beach and we were all instantly friends and enjoyed the day at the beach.

– One thing that has been great is the food here.  I was able to get a jumbo pineapple for 50 cents, so many avocados for nothing and today had 3 lobster tails at a beachside restaurant for $11.  Unreal how fresh and reasonable this seafood is.  I just want to stay and eat all the fish, shrimp and lobsters I can!

– Even though my time in San Juan del Sur started off on the wrong foot with that horrible night for the girls, I really enjoyed my time and kept extending my time here.  I thought I would stay 2-3 nights and ended up staying a week.

– Only bummer with being here, is I got another ear infection.  I think something about the salt water, humidity or something…my ear has been aching so much, but I was able to find a pharmacy that had a doctor in house and when I told them I had an ear infection, they gave me some drops (that looked familiar to me) and sent me on my way.  Hopefully I will be feeling better in a few days.

– Time to head north to Granada for a little more culture and city life

Logistics:
Casa Oro Hostel – www.casaeloro.com – great little place to chill for a few days all for $8.50 a night.

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