In search of....a Booze Cruise!

Trip Start May 13, 2010
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Trip End Jul 31, 2010


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Where I stayed
Hospedaje Nicaragua

Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Saturday, July 17, 2010

San Juan del Sur was one minor disappointment after another. Nicole's checklist of things to do while in Central America included whale watching or perhaps catching some dolphins at play and maybe doing a night time turtle tour. After our failed attempt to hire a skipper for a sunset sail we thought we would investigate the turtle expedition. Supposedly July-February are great months to watch endangered, Olive Ridley and Leathback turtles come to local beaches and lay their eggs. I had read about arribadas, or night time, mass arrivals of turtles to lay their eggs. Nic and I wanted to get in on that action so we went to Casa Oro to get the scoop. The pale, red-headed, newly-hired Coloradan behind the desk told us that our chances of seeing a turtle was about 50%. The tour was going to cost us $50usd. We would brave mosquito-infested beaches from 8pm-1 or 2am and we would have to pay $50 for a 50/50 opportunity to disturb a mother turtle as she lay her eggs. Sadly that is the nature of well..."nature"; there are no guarantees! Nicole and I thought about it and decided we could find something better to do with our money. Just one sidenote about "Colorado", I didn't catch his name but he told us that he attended Western State College in Gunnison, CO. He just lost his job so he bought a plane ticket to Costa Rica. He then bused it to SJDS and asked for a job at Casa Oro and they miraculously gave him one and that was all but 7 days ago. Bravo, to people with the cajones to take a leap of faith and seize the reigns of their own lives!

Our next brilliant idea was that we should find a water taxi. I had read about a water taxi service that takes you to Playa Maderas via boat, hence "water" taxi. We arrived at the hotdog stand where we could make our reservations and as it turns out, it works the same way as the sailboat. You have to have a minimum # of passengers and guess what; 2 just happens to be a very lonely number because it fails to meet any tour requirement in SJDS, boo!!! No worries though, we weren't out of options yet. Can you say "Booze Cruise"? For those of you that know Nic and I, we don't drink. Actually I might be allergic to alcohol so I pretty much turn as red as a babboon's ass when I get near alcohol. But the promise of the Booze Cruise was 2.5 hours in the glorious, Pacific Ocean culminating in a world turning sunset and believe me, San Juan del Sur has some amazing sunsets so it was worth pursuing hanging out with a bunch of drunks just to watch the Sun kiss the surface of the Pacific. By the way, did I mention that 2 does not meet the minimum passenger requirement?! You can go ahead and check the Booze Cruise off our list of possibilities. So we decided to go back to Playa Maderas for another afternoon of waves. We actually wanted to go to Playa el Coco just south of SJDS but apparently Survivor Nicaragua was being filmed down in those parts so it would have been difficult to reach. Damn you Survivor Series!

Up until Nicole arrived I hadn't really noticed the incredibly needy and annoying tourists that are out there. Don't get me wrong, I've heard some really amazing, inspirational and humbling stories from many of the travelers that I've met but I guess the "annoying" travelers were waiting for Nicole and I to start traveling juntos (together) before they came out of the woodwork. Once we started traveling together we could not avoid these annoying travelers. I've already mentioned in my last entry about the German girls on the overcrowded bus to SJDS. We also ran into a large group of English speaking tourists on our second trip to Playa Maderas. Their first complaint was about how "ugly" Playa Maderas was, so they were "beach afficionados" with a penchant for whining. Nic and I thought Maderas was beautiful but what do a couple of landlocked North Dakotans know about beaches right? Unfortunately we were stuck with the lot of them for the 40 minute truck ride to the beach. They publicly announced that they would be taking the first possible shuttle back to San Juan del Sur but of course, they had not taken the proper channels to inform Casa Oro of their intentions so when the 1pm shuttle came to pick us up, they jumped on board and a "pregnant" lady was left without a seat because Casa Oro sent a vehicle based on the passengers that requested in advanced to be picked up at 1pm. So these jackasses didn't follow the correct protocol and now they were mocking the angry pregnant lady who was left without a seat. The driver eventually managed to cram everyone into the back of the truck and he saved room in the cab of the truck for the lady. So, these tourists were not only obnoxious and ignorant, they were rude and inconsiderate. Their countries should be so honored to claim them as citizens.

Well even though Captain Jim wasn't able to take us on a sailing cruise he did recommend a nice restaurant called Colibrí (Hummingbird). Nic and I waited in anxious anticipation all day for a nice meal at Colibrí. Lonely Planet guide said that it had a romantic ambiance and that their food was really good so we were psyched and we hoped that it would soften the blow of some of our disappointments. We couldn't have been more wrong! The food was good, the ambiance alright but the service, attitude and pretentiousness outweighed anything positive that I would have to say about the restaurant. We should have known that something was up when the restaurant's posted hours read 5pm-10pm. I guess they don't need to be open outside of those hours because people don't eat lunch or breakfast. When we arrived at 7pm, we were approached by a British woman regaled in a runway fashion model outfit, you know the kind that you laugh at and ask, "who wears this stuff"? Apparently this lady wears this stuff. She haughtily asked Nic and I if we had reservations. Sorry...we're in the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere we didn't realize that we had to pretend to be somewhere where one would need reservations! So after some condescension she announced that it would be 40 minutes and if we were not back by then she would have to give our table to someone else because they were so backed up and we were "lucky" they could fit us in. Way to go Captain Jim and Lonely Planet! Thanks for sending us on another wild goose chase!

Anyways Nic and I decided that we would bear with the pomp and circumstance and give this place the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile, it started to rain and we had to wait out the 40 minutes walking around San Juan del Sur. When we returned, slightly soggy from our walk, our table was ready and we hoped that the food and ambiance would outweigh the snobbery and pretension, we were wrong! The British lady it turns out was the owner or manager of this sham of a restaurant and she ceremoniously announced to us that we would probably not get our food at the same time because they were busy and food just comes up whenever it feels like it. Then she sat down at a neighboring table with her phony British friends and ordered the waitstaff to serve them at her beckon call. I'll give her one compliment she smoked her cancer stick just like the glamorous people do in those old black and white movies and she plays a very convincing beyotch. Sad to say that even if Colibrí did have good food, it was way over matched by the snobbery and pomp. I guess we´ll just have to cross that one off our list.

Alright, so at this point, I´ve gone 8+ weeks showering in flip flops. Hospedaje Nicaragua was the cleanest room I had stayed in at this point. We had our own private bathroom and balcony and it only cost $22/night. It was time to take off the flip flops. Sometimes in the face of disappointment we have to celebrate our small victories and hence, I give you the boring flip flop story. Off came the flip flops and I am still alive to tell you about it!

I'll upload some more ugly Playa Maderas pictures for you. Be forewarned, "it's one ugly beach!"
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