Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 28 April 2006

Final Stretch

Unexpectedly back in Granada, (I just can’t seem to stay away from this town…) at the tail end of my trip.

After Hads left for Tegucigalpa and beyond last week, I headed up north to Leon again. Spent a relaxing afternoon wandering around and a fun night out there, and then headed further north into the department of Chinandega. This is widely recognized as the hottest part of the country, and wow, is that ever true. After sweating all the way from Leon to Chinandega on a bus, I strolled around town for an hour or so while waiting for my next bus. I was sad to find that the rumor of live alligators in the central park was false, and retreated into a cafe for fresh pineapple juice. I caught an afternoon bus to Jiquilillo (more ridiculous sweating en route), a tranquil fishing town, very off the beaten path. There is basically just one place to stay, a ranch/hospedaje run by an American guy who is using all of the profits to develop youth programming for local kids. It was excellent.

I relaxed a lot, and slept…no power means early to bed. On Thursday, I walked a few hours down the beach to an estuary. For the majority of the time, I was the only one on the beach. It was awesome. I swam in the estuary (much safer than the rough surf), and wandered through this tiny little village called Padre Ramos. I bought a pair of coconut earrings from a local woman and played with the kids a bit before walking back along the beach at high tide. The surf was huge, and the beach is noticeably eroding away. People are worried that the sea might breach the peninsula that Jiquilillo is on and form an island in the next few years. The way these waves were crashing near the road yesterday, I am led to believe that this could happen sooner rather than later…

Anyway, I left Jiquilillo this morning (mostly because I was running out of cash and had to hit up an ATM), and headed back to Granada for one last night out, and perhaps some shopping in nearby Masaya tomorrow morning. I will return to Jinotepe tomorrow afternoon, and am now scheduled to fly out of Managua on Monday. My Tuesday flight was cancelled…boo…

It’s been an incredible adventure. The last few weeks (and months, for that matter) have been filled with excitement, boredom, insufferable heat, and unbelievable cold (AC on the overnight boat….), more insects than I even imagined could exist in one place (but surprisingly few bites), beautiful swimming and hiking spots, great friends (new and old), very little electricity, lots of laughs and amazing memories.

I will miss this place.

Below are some more catch up photos from my time with Hads and from Chinandega. Enjoy.

Paz. Shalom. Mir. Salaam. Peace. This world is great.

Sunset from the deck of the ferry, just an hour and a half outside of Granada…long way to go still…

Old man enjoying the sunset from the ferry.

Sunrise, 14 hours later, at the dock in San Carlos.

Hads in front of the immigration office in San Carlos. Recognized from the river because it is the PAINTED shack, as opposed to all the other unpainted ones that surround it. Hads crossed into Nicaragua here from Costa Rica via the Rio Frio.

San Carlos at sunset. Don’t let this picture fool you. It is a miserable place.

Alcaldia (mayor’s office) AND Police office of El Castillo…all in this little building. Love it.

Hads and I in El Castillo.

El Castillo. This town has no real roads…save the river, and certainly no cars.

Hads and I in the jungle outside of El Castillo

Our guide, Antonio, found (and chopped!) fresh pineapple from the forest floor. Best pineapple I have ever tasted.

Hads on the boat back into El Castillo after our jungle trek.

View downriver from the fort of El Castillo.

Early morning mist on the Rio San Juan. We were up at 5am to catch the boat back to San Carlos.

Ferry that makes the journey across Lake Nicaragua (the long way) from Granda to San Carlos and back twice a week. I have officially spent 24 hours on this boat.

We woke up on Ometepe (after arriving at 2am from the boat) and found pigs just outside our hostel window. Love this place.

El Tesoro del Pirata. Beautiful beachin the shadow of Concepcion on Ometepe.

On Ometepe (and everywhere in Nicaragua), animals have the right of way. Here we are stopped for both horses and cows.

Hads watching Concepcion from the boat back to the mainland.

Padre Ramos Estuary.


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