San Juan del Sur(e)!

$25 dollars each got us a comfortable shuttle bus from León through Granada (beautiful Colonial style city), San Jorge (the port for Isla de Ometepe, from which you can see the amazing island formed by two volcanoes) and on all the way to San Juan del Sur in about 6 hours. In an ideal world we would have stopped at both places for a couple of days, but time and money make the rules here.

It was so comfortable that we giggled all the way.

“You could add a Venn diagram to your blog. Venn-erate.”
“Oo, why did you go there?”
“I thought we were just doing words beginning with ‘ven'”
“…. you took the words right out of my mouth…. and you didn’t get my first joke did you?  2 for 2”

It is interesting to watch the change in countries as you travel by shuttle. You only see a snippet of the country, of course, but outside the cities and tourist spots. Guatemala was mostly corrugated shacks, dirt yards and some breeze block structures. El Salvador had more tiled roofs, bigger houses, flowers and fairy lights. Nicaragua has plenty of shacks, but fewer – more tiled/brick buildings with gardens and barb wired boundaries. It is important to remind yourself how most people inhabiting this planet live, and how lucky we are. Its clearly better in some countries than others, you can see the a small differential here but most of the World is significantly less well off than us. Nearly half the World population lives on $2.50 a day, 1/6th in extreme poverty (under $1.25 a day). If we did this trip again, we would choose fewer countries and spend time volunteering.

Arrived in San Juan and walked down the beach into town.

Geared up for tourists. Prices to match. Lots of waterfront restaurants, although the town is still quite small and we could find a couple of cheap eateries with local food.

It has come to our attention that a lot of travellers are sporting moustaches. And not because the ladies no longer have access to beauty salons. Its a curious trend, obvious in its clamouring for identity as opposed to aesthetics. We spent the evening developing a new game… Merv Hughes Cookie Duster Challenge! Its cricket, but you win runs by spotting a tache. Black or brown is one run, grey is a 4, and blonde is a 6. If you spy a ginger one, however, you’re out and its the next person’s go.

Jim is now on 20. And all because older American (or German like Clemens, the owner of our hotel) men have their own trend going on – “the silver lip surfer”. We have had to readjust the scoring in response. Those greys are relegated to 1-pointers.

We spent a good deal of time battling with the terrible wi-fi trying to book onward travel, hotels and a rafting trip. Eventually managed it and went out for a day/night on the town. Plenty of Nica Libres (Flor de Cana rum – yum!- and coke) at Republika chatting to the expat gang.

Not much else to report about San Juan. It has a cliff top Jesus we didn’t end up having time to hike up to, and some nice beaches just outside of the town (Hermosa, Maderas) which we wanted to visit but were reluctant to pay the $35 dollars quoted for transport.. phew!

Got a taxi on our last day to the Tica bus stop. We got our backpacks out of the boot, and just as the driver pulled away we realised we had left the snorkel gear in the boot. We waved frantically but off he went. Nothing to be done. Pretty annoying as we bought the gear in Mexico intending to save money in Costa Rica and Panama, and had taken it across 5 borders.. only to lose it immediately before we needed it. Gah! Always something when you’re en route…

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