San Juan del Norte

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
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Trip End May 02, 2010


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Flag of Nicaragua  , Río San Juan,
Friday, February 5, 2010

San Juan wasn't rough though it was pricier for a poorer standard of accommodation. Even so, in one of the "better" places, there was a 3 pack of condoms supplied!

Had bumped into John, one of the guys I had hung out with in El Castillo, when I arrived, so ended up in the same lodging as him - traded up later to the far superior & barely pricier place in town. The village is growing fast and there are swanky new waterfront cabanas under construction and 2 newly opened waterfront bars too. They will probably still only have power half of the time!

Suan Juan del Norte, the most southerly of the 2 San Juans, significantly further south than San Juan del Sur, is completely different! It's on the river, with an extensive but unimpressive frontage and most "streets" are concrete walkways, though the main drag, has a median strip! Prices, due to it's remoteness & consequent transportation costs, were high & options very limited. As no electricity during the day, ended up hanging out at M's place on the water which had good breezes - sadly, even at breakfast, was full of drunks insisting Tigres del Norte were on at top volume! M unethically (closed season as embras have eggs) got us some shrimp which we enjoyed al ajillo.

Both of us ended up staying a day longer than hoped as the boat timetable had changed the week before so managed to fill the time as best we could hanging out in the hammock & bar!

For the trip to Bluefields get to the dock at least 15 mins before & push to the front of the queue to get your name on the list as only 16 places in the panga.

This trip, in an uncovered boat in the open ocean, except were cutting through the surf of shallow river bars, is not for those of nervous disposition, pregnant women, those prone to seasickness, with a weak bladder, likely to burn or unwilling to get wet! The trip is a hard pounding and, even in the best conditions & with the engine not breaking down, takes 4 hours if you include the stop in El Bluff to get your baggage searched by the military.
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