The Afternoon Heat and Jungle Trekking

Trip Start Nov 30, 2005
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Trip End May 13, 2006


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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Thursday, April 20, 2006

Okay- so I have been a little out of touch. I am still in the middle of nowhere and cant even believe I have managed to find internet. There arent even cars here- there isnt even a road except for the river. I am in a town called El Castillo on the San Juan river in southern Nicaragua. The river borders Costa Rica most of the way but right now we are just in Nicaragua. The town is mostly notable for a small fort on top of the hill that the Spanish built to watch out for attacking pirates. Helen and I spent most of the afternoon on top of that hill because the breeze was so nice and the insufferable heat of the afternoon wasnt quite as bad. This is definitely the hottest place I have been so far on my travels.

I think I just have to tell you for now about the last couple of days and will later insert more of my wonderful adventures in the Caribbean with Tammy and other friends. The fun that we had in paradise, if you will.

But basically, I raced through Costa Rica...spent one night in San Jose at Tammys place and then headed onward and upward to Costa Rica. Helen sort of directed me across a very little known border crossing into Nicaragua which just goes to show that we are in a very very remote part of the world. A part that very few people see...and I feel very fortunate to see this small slice.

I was the only foreigner-traveller on the bus from San Jose and the only one crossing the border...so it took a little bit of figuring out, but no problem really. I got my exit stamp in a small town in Costa Rica...then took an hour boat ride down a river to get into Nicaragua. I found Helen there and we stayed that night in San Carlos...a really terrible place. It is okay....but just so hot and unpleasant and nothing in the town seems very fun or interesting. One thing that happened was that the electricity in most of the town went out while Helen and I were eating our dinner of peanut butter sandwiches on a picnic table in front of our hotel. So we had our headlamp on but bugs just started swarming. They were these little green bugs that do not bite but just swarm your face and everywhere. They are so slow moving that if I would rub my hand down my leg I would probably kill 5. We decided to start walking to rid ourselves of them, but that wasnt so easy in the dark with the potholed roads and sidewalks. We got to a part of town that had some electricity and the streetlights were on and you literally could hardly move through that area because the bugs were so intense. You were inhaling them and swatting them and trying to shield them from your eyes! Crazy, huh?

We got out of there ASAP the next day to head down the river to El Castillo. It was a 3 hour boat trip. The boats here in this part of the world are like buses. They stop everywhere to load people on and drop people off. Often you see people get off and you have no idea where the heck they could be going because there is hardly a sign of civilization around.

El Castillo seemed much more pleasant (and we only began discussing the unpleastness of San Carlos once we arrived here). We found ourselves a small cheap room and sort of wandered around. The afternoon heat here is pretty insufferable. I find myself lethargic and sort of unable to move. By the time dinner rolled around I was so dehydrated that I felt sick! So I took ibprofun, pepto bismol, and drank 1500 mL of water and felt much better. Today...I have been much better about hydrating.

We are sort of roughing it! Last night we had no water and no electricity! (not to mention no toilet paper) But it is okay. Today they turned on the water so that we could take showers and I felt really really amazing after a nice cold one. We spent the morning on a small tour. This guy took us in a boat and showed us around this forest. In our first 10 minutes I had already sampled three fruits that he had cut off the trees: Guaya, Cacao, and something else. We chased monkeys off the trail through the forest and got pretty close clear views of them (although Im sure the pictures wont turn out). There were tons of butterflies, and little red frogs, and cool trees, and almond plants. IT was a really cool morning. Another highlight was when he told us to sit down and he went and found a pineapple growing out of the ground and chopped it up for us. Could easily be the best pineapple Ive ever had (I have also become quite obsessed with them on this trip). They are just so sweet! But if you eat too much your mouth hurts...and that happened. But it was worth it.

After another lunch of Peanut Butter and Tuna sandwiches (separate..dont worry) we basically became lethargic in the afternoon as the sun just beats all the energy out of you. We just sat in hammocks in the shade on our balcony and brought out our fan and that combined with the bit of wind off the water made it tolerable.

Tomorrow we head north. We have to catch a 5 am boatride back to San Carlos (suck town) and then hopefully get on a boat at 3 PM to cross Lake Nicaragua and spend a day or town on Ometepe! Im really excited. Everybody who I have told that Im going to Nicaragua has told me to go there.

So...more later! Im having a wonderful time meeting up and travelling with my friends. Still loving speaking Spanish and just moving my way through so many worlds and cultures. Last night I just sat in this little plaza and appreciated so much being able to share that moment in this little town. To be a part of their daily routine for just an hour....anyway.
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