Surfing el paraiso en Nicaragua!

Nicaragua is different from Panama and Costa Rica. There is barely any trace of tourism and the people are very nice. Playa Gigante is a great place to visit, but you should go there to appreciate the sports and underwater life, not for partying. The Nicaraguans in the village still live very traditional – I hope you show them the necessary respect when you go there! The kids are great surfers and I bet we will see some of them becoming pros.

An hour after my arrival at the Playa Gigante I have done all the check-in. For my sake I am able to pay up my stay and the food I consume with my credit card – since I don’t have too much cash on me anymore due to the cab ride – this feels like lots of money when you are used to get a full dinner for around two dollars. I will stay the next two nights in a hammock, in a high room without air condition, for seven dollars a night. That’s great and actually what I was looking for. I get a locker and place all my stuff, get me a big bottle of Toñar, a Nicaraguan beer and chill out. It’s a most peaceful mood and the sun sets over the Pacific.

Dani writes me on WhatsApp and we have a lively English / Spanish conversation while the night takes over and the rum starts to make me tipsy. I enjoy a local dinner for pilgrims, which is just two dollars and very tasty. From time to time the power goes down and up again. When it is totally dark I decide to have a swim, naked, it’s awesome! When I lie in my hammock later I can hear the roaring “thunder” of the Pacific, it’s powerful, and a great experience to fall asleep like that.

It’s around 5:30 am when I wake up the next morning. I walk around and take a closer look at the beach. There is not much, mainly just the beach which is most beautiful. My breakfast are cereals with fresh and tasty fruits from the region. I could really get used to this, although I have never really been into breakfast!

I try to rent a surfboard but the guy tells me that there was a group of Americans the last week who broke three of his boards and he doubts my skills and is obviously worried that he will lose just another board. I guarantee him to stick to his advice and that I am a pretty good snowboarder who knows about the dangers of those action focussed sports and that my surfing skills are acceptable for doing it just as short as I do (it will be my 12th time). He agrees to rent a board to me after lunch, says that the surf will be better in the afternoon anyways. So I go snorkeling for the time in between and what I see totally overwhelms me. The current is strong and I have to struggle to get close to the cliffs. Again I really regret not to have a GoPro. There is a mooray eel feasting directly on the cliffs without any fear. It is a white mooray with black spots, one I have never seen before. Different kind of fugu is swimming around, the ones with stings and some without. I see some really colorful and big emperor fish and so many more animals in those 45 minutes it’s unbelievable! The only thing I miss are colorful corals, there are basically none – especially if I compare my snorkeling experience from San Blas – but what I see is new and the fearlessness of those fish is sapid. For my dislike I swim into several nettles of jellyfish, it hurts pretty much…

Lunch is the pilgrims food again, Gallo Pinto with fish. Easy going, good, cheap. And I receive my board thereafter. It is 8’2”, a little bigger than the one I had in Santa Catalina. I follow the surfer dude, who rent the board to me, and two of his buddies. One is a local Nico (male Nicaraguans are called Nicos), the other one a shitfaced American from Colorado – shitfaced because he is already hammered at 1 pm – which I dislike – he is funny, tho. But that’s how they are on vacation and that’s why I chose to skip San Juan del Sur. The surf is not as big as expected, but some bigger waves of 2 m come in and it’s lots of fun to ride here. I basically spend the whole day surfing and later the day I get some company of Matt, who I met already the evening before. He has a very short board and is at the same level as me. We get along very well and while I have a break I start building a sand castle, which arises the interest of some ladies at the beach who come by one after another to ask me what I do there. Being infantile sometimes is just a great thing to do! 😉

On my way back to the hostel I see a scenery I would have loved to take a picture of. But for the respect towards the Nicas and Nicos I don’t do it. A family of six people, the parents very young, live with their animals in a very small hut. The garden is muddy, pigs are lying around, the chicken is going all over the place, and their horse is feasting.  A little baby Nica is sitting in kind of a bucket, having a bath looking at us while we pass by. It’s such a different world, but taking pictures of them is disrespectful so I continue to get my camera just to take some pictures of the beautiful evening at the surfer beach, which is the next bay to the one the hostel is at.

The night comes fast and it’s already my last night here, since my plan is to continue to Granada, from Granada to León and there to meet up with Eric, a friend from Florida to do some vulcano boarding…

There is an open mic session this night at our hostel and I get to know Conrad from England and Sam from New Zealand, who hung out the evening before with Matt already. The four of us have a good time and the boys tell me they want to continue to Isla de Ometepe early the next morning. And of course I’m in…

Chillout in San Blas

If you forget about time and date, like we did, you know you are in paradise. We are there and enjoy, it’s one of the most unique experiences I have made so far…

I get up very early the next morning, around 5:30 am. The last day in San Blas has already come and I am at the reef before 7:30 am.

I remember the days of Egypt in the red sea. When I went early I could see all kinds of animals and there it is, my first tortuga verde (green seaturtle) of this trip! I can’t follow up but it’s pretty and majestic how it swims away into the blue water… I discover a langustino and later I regret I didn’t catch it. And for lunch a collected conch as fresh conch ceviche, freshly prepared by our island chef, awesome! Later I watch him cleaning barracuda for our dinner. He throws all the fish Parts into the water and a shark stops by and gets its portion. It’s a brown shark most likely a nursing shark. Really cool! I have lost the feeling for time, just hang out in the mid of the day, wash my cloth, take photos, and go snorkeling again. What could be better?

Inga gives me some more advice for Nicaragua which is very welcome. She recommends to use the Queztaltrekkers for the vulcano boarding tour, instead of the Bigfoot Hostel due to less crowded groups ( haven’t tried it in the end…). The evening is there in a snap and we used the whole day just to hang out in paradise…

We have another nice and entertaining evening and try to go to bed but it’s so humid that night that I can’t sleep at all. I go out and am not the only one with that idea. So we all stay at the beach till late night and observe plankton which glimmers everytime a wave hits shore. This night is the hottest I have experienced in my whole life so far, humid, tropical – and several thunderstorms go by.

The next morning a golden shine of the rising Sun lies over San Blas. Thunder roars from the distance. The light is very intense and everything seems to shimmer golden red. As if San Blas would send a good bye.

After a horrible breakfast and a final photo with our Kuna family who hosted us, we climb into the small boat. And right how we came here, el Capitano speeds over the waves which are massiv this morning. We pass the settlement of the Kuna Yala and it’s interesting to see how they live in their more populated islands without the beach.

We have to wait over an hour before our shuttle dude decides to bring us back to Panama City. I have the luck to sit on the front seat this time, salsa and raggaton are with us and the djungle goes by like you would ride the metro through a green tunnel. I decide to continue to Costa Rica the same night since I don’t want to stay another night in Luna’s Castle.