Existing Member?

Travel Adventure - Backpacking Latin America's Gringo Trail Backpacking Latin America starting in Cuba, then travelling from East to the west coast of Mexico before making our through Central and finishing in South America.

San Juan Del Sur

NICARAGUA | Wednesday, 22 July 2015 | Views [516]

Another breeze of a taxi ride, only taking 2 hours. San Juan is a cool beach town with lots of young tourists and surf etc. Our hostel Buena Onda is situated on the hill and it was a timber/bamboo hut on stilts with an incredible view of the beach from the top, which the window from our room looks straight over. A very spacious bed and room and an eco looking shower with an open window looking straight out over the trees. We only booked here because the couple at Laguna Apoyo had booked here too (but didn't end up coming) I think we got lucky coz it's a beautiful hostel and only $25US for a private room and bathroom. Everything is so cheap over here, probably about half or even lessof what you pay in Oz and we are not skimping on anything. Although we are in budget hostels which can sometimes be good or not so good. Its amazing how cheaply you can travel. And you could probably do it even cheaper with eating out less and just buying local food, catching chicken buses for literally like $2 from major town to major town and DIY tours. I guess just sometimes the quality isn't as good as you'd expect in Oz but as you would expect here as these are developing countries.
It was a short walk to the main square. Matt went for a dip in the beach, which is kind of like a bay with all boats moared in it. It kind of smelled and its not the nicest beach to go swimming, apparently there's three good surf beaches around. But it's extremely hot, it seems to just keep getting hotter and hotter the further down we go so a cool off was nice. We ate at a cool little place called Simon Says which looked like someone's backyard when you went in with quirky, mismatched decorations and old school games to play like jenga and connect 4 etc. the smoothies and sandwiches were delicious but just took ages for it to come out. I guess we are on Nicaraguan time..
It was a hot walk up to our hostel we just chilled for a few hours in hammocks looking over the view. Would be good if they had a pool (I think now I'm just getting picky haha) so had a cold shower instead which was so refreshing and then went back down to beach front street and had a nice dinner of pizza and wine (Chardonnay - which I don't usually drink but good wine is hard to come across in Central America) while we caught the last glimpse of the sunset over the ocean. It looks like San Juan would have incredible sunsets but the clouds came over and were kind of blocking this one. Hopefully we get a good one tomorrow! We were walking to have a drink at a bar and ran in to a French guy who was on our shuttle crossing in to the Nicaragua border. He came with us to the bar which was a pretty cool Canadian themed pub called Loose Moose, we then moved and had a drink on the beach. It was good to have some entertainment coz Matt and I felt like we had no friends anymore once we left Granada haha
Sunday Funday was on the next day which is a massive pool party/ hostel crawl where everyone gets really drunk. We kind of planned on doing it but didn't hear great things and decided against paying $30US for a shirt plus all our drinks on top of that. Instead we had breakfast at a cafe called El Gato Negro (the black cat) which had an outside secret garden and is also a book shop. We had flavoured lattes - mine had chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon in it. And delicious bagels with egg, avocado, tomato, garlic cream cheese and salsa! Plus we also shared Cinnamon French Toast with vanilla custard and poached apple in a caramel syrup. Woah! The quote on the front page of the menu read 'to feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life'. I really liked this quote and had never heard it before. I think its just a good one for me personally at this point in time and just to recognise the people who love and respect me and who want to give their time, energy and show their support to me is the people I should surround myself with and really appreciate those people in my life. Try not let the trivial things get to me too much and to focus my attention elsewhere to those people who do share the same sentiments. Everyone sees things differently and have different perspectives on life and what they hold true which is fine and that's life and makes us all unique and I shouldn't take those differences or trivial things personally or let those things get me down too much, even though sometimes it's hard not to. Focus on the fire that feeds my life instead and keep going in the direction that feels good and right :) travelling with Matt on this trip is definitely fuelling that fire, even if it's not smooth sailing all the way (of course we are going to sometimes get the shits with each other when we are with each other 24/7)- we still have each other's back and I think will definitely make our relationship stronger. Also meeting new people who you have instant connections with too, even if you just know them for just a couple of days and enjoying the fun, adventures and experiences of travelling and what the world has to offer :) 
We then got a pick up truck to one of the surfing beaches called Playa Maderas about half an hour away. The beach had a really cool vibe with a hostel and restaurant/bar right on the beach, great waves with lots of surfers and beach goers. It was a lot more like our beaches in Australia. It's hard to beat our beautiful beaches in Oz! Haven't been to anywhere yet that has a beach as nice as ours. It was a bit windy so we walked around the rocks to the other end of the beach and went for a dip and tried to find some protection behind the rocks to sunbake. We then walked back along the beach to have lunch and watch the surf at the restaurant. When we went back to San Juan there was a huge party of locals drinking and blocking the road. It was some revolutionary party and public holiday. We had to beep and it took a bit longer for us to pass through as they cheered us on the pick up truck. 
We saw a beautiful sunset over the water and went down to the beach to take a few photos, then had to organise a couple of things for Costa Rica where we are travelling to tomorrow. Bridget gave us the heads up that the border crossing is a bit difficult and they require documentation and proof you are leaving their country so we had to pre book a bus to Panama and do a bit of research as we are going to try to cross the border ourselves. So far we have been on organised buses or shuttles who explain how to do everything and take you all the way through. The owner at our hostel said it's much cheaper to do it ourselves and safe to do so. We have booked a taxi to take us to the border then we need to get on a bus once we cross in to Costa Rica and get off at Irma, then hopefully we arrive before 2:30 to apparently get the last bus to Monteverde otherwise we might have to pay an expensive taxi ride or hitchhike. Fingers crossed it all runs smoothly. At least no chicken buses, apparently Costa Rica doesn't have them and they are normal buses. 
There were a lot of drunk people from Sunday Funday at the cheaper taco places we were going to get dinner so ended up going to a cool joint called Republika who did good burgers and I had a delicious falafel taco. A coincidence that Thibaut (the French guy) walked past and ended up having dinner with us again. We saw the footage on the Nicaraguan news of Mick Fanning and had seen all over Facebook that morning about how he almost got attacked by a shark in the surfing finals. We asked Thibaut if he saw it 'Oh yeh my dad knows him coz he's the CEO of a small surf brand called Rip Curl'... um yeh that's huge in Australia! We then finished the night at a place that brews their own Kraft beer. A coincidence that then Thibaut ran in to a friend he met in Guatemala right as we were exiting the bar, they were so happy to see each other and he could spend the rest of the night with her while we tried to get to bed earlyish. Funny how the world works and paths connect and synchronies occur just at the right moment when you least expect it. 
Locals partying in the street

Tags: beach, sunday funday, sunset, surf, view, yummy food



Travel Answers about Nicaragua

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.