Surviving in San Juan del Sur

Casa el Oro – San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua      1:38pm local time

The process of leaving Ometepe was pretty similar as the process of getting there but in reverse. I took a ferry from Ometepe back to the main land, a cab from San Jorge (the ferry pier) to Rivas – which only cost me $2 this time instead of $10, and then a bus from Rivas to San Juan del Sur. Instead of a large chicken bus to San Juan del Sur, this time I was in a mini van/bus combo of sorts. I arrived at the bus station at 12pm, found my bus and went in to get a seat without any clue as to when the bus actually leaves. I sweated it out for almost hour in the bus before mustering up some Spanish to ask the man who’s body was pressed up against mine when we leave. “Cuando nosotros vamanos?” I asked. I was fairly confident he replied with 1:30  but was really hoping he said 1 o’clock. Never the less, I should maybe give myself more credit in the Spanish department because it was in fact (and unfortunately) a 1:30pm departure time. At least the ride only cost me 20 Cordobas, less than $1.

Upon arriving in San Juan del Sur, I had a hostel in mind that I was going to check out and it seemed fairly simple to find from the bus station. I asked someone which way the beach was to orient myself and then headed out to find the hostel. Sure enough, they had a bed available in one of their dorms and I’ve been settled in here for the past couple nights.

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My first evening I went to the beach to watch the sun set, ate dinner with an older lady named Susan who has been taking Spanish lessons here for the past three weeks, and then tagged along with two guys staying at my hostel to a local bar for trivia night. Though my team didn’t win, we did come in a commendable third place and I was actually able to contribute some answers…

Q: A woman from which country claimed the title of Miss Universe this week?

A: Colombia

Q: Apl.de.ap. and Taboo are two lesser known members of which American pop group?

A: The Black Eyed Peas

The following day I decided to take a shuttle to what is supposed to be one of the “nicer” beaches about 30 minutes north of San Juan del Sur. The sun was beaming but unfortunately the gale force winds made it difficult to really enjoy the day but I did enjoy watching the surfers and frolicking in the waves and I guess I got a free body exfoliation from all the sand being pelted against my skin.

Today I set off to hike up to the Christ of the Mercy statue, one of the largest statues of Jesus in the world standing at 24 metres tall. It was about a 40 minute walk from my hostel to the very top and mostly uphill. The ascent was steep and winding in some areas but it was worth it when I got to the top. I hung out for a while to recover from the climb, took pictures, enjoyed the view, and used my selfie stick for the first time before heading back down the hill. Overall, it was a good way to kill a couple hours and do something other than just lay around all day.

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Christ of the Mercy Statue

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I wasn’t very good with the selfie stick…it also was just a teensy bit windy.

Maybe I’ve gotten jaded from staying in so many BEAUTIFUL beach towns throughout Asia but I was initially somewhat under impressed by San Juan del Sur. The beach isn’t particularly beautiful and winds blow strong throughout the day which means you are always covered in small layer of sand/dirt. However, the place has started to grow on my so we’ll see what the next couple days bring. The plan is to spend two more nights here and then brave the chaotic process of crossing the Costa Rican border.

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“Son of God’s” view over San Juan del Sur

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