The Week That Was...San Juan Del Sur!!

Trip Start Mar 24, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

After a week with Limon, our fondly named hire car, it was time to say goodbye (much to our dismay). We drove up to Pinas Blancas, the border town of Costa Rica and Nicaragua and crossed our fingers that the man signing the car off didn't notice all the mud stains inside the car! All went well and they even drove us across the border which was fantastic! So all of a sudden we are in Nicaragua, in a taxi to San Juan and getting dropped off at Hostel Casa Oro!

First impressions of the hostel were good, Steve and I had a nice private room upstairs for $10 each while the girls were downstairs in a dorm for $6. Steve jumped straight on the 'surf shuttle to Playa El Remanso as none of the surf beaches are actually in San Juan town. The three girls went and explored the town, and stopped for a swim in the bay. Meanwhile, we had bumped into Julia (the third girl we met on our cruise through San Blas and who we sadly said goodbye to in San Jose). It was her last night in town, so we arranged to meet at Iguanas around 5pm for sunset drinks. On arriving at Iguanas, we found out it was happy hour from 5pm - 8pm then free drinks (rum, vodka or beer) for girls from 8pm - 10pm (drinks were normally priced $1.50 so Steve could afford to stick around)! We settled in for the evening and had a great night dancing and meeting all the locals! We even bumped into the Aussie crew we met in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica!

The following day in San Juan was sunny, hot and beautiful. We all walked into town stopping at the beach and then the Black Whale for lunch, where Jenna ate a Wiener Schnitzel and Steve tried to finish the biggest chicken burger ever (seriously!). It was then time to say bye to Julia again, so we headed up to the Casa Oro roof top bar for some final beers all together. The view of the sunset from the bar was beautiful so we stayed upstairs until it was time to go for dinner (a tasty seafood affair right on the ocean). We raced out of the restaurant and ran down the road as it was 8pm and that meant Circus time!!!! There was a Nicaraguan Circus in town and for a whopping $1.50 each we weren't going to miss out! It was the most un 'PC' circus ever and involved children under three, a duck with possibly no legs (couldn't tell for sure), a blindfolded man who nearly fell three stories and Snoop Dogg attired teenagers shakily holding the ropes for the trapeze artists not to mention Jenna's carny adventures behind the tent! We laughed so much it hurt but kind of felt a bit dirty being there....only in Nicaragua! Friday night means live Reggae night at the Black Whale, so after the circus wound up, we went and settled in for the show. As well as a live reggae band, there was a reggae DJ and flame throwing shows by some local Rastas! We met loads of the locals at the Black Whale and had a great time but when the show was over, we knew it was time to head back to Iguanas to make the most of the free drinks! At Iguanas, we met a big group of Americans who were on a two week holiday and after a few hours of 'Bieber Fever' and 'Crumping' they invited us back to there apartment which had a view over the ocean. We bought our bottle of Flor de Cana (said to be the best and cheapest rum in the world) from the bar, complete with mixers and limes) and spent the rest of the evening enjoying the view of San Juan!

On Saturday, the three girls decided to head to the beach - Playa Maderas whilst Steve stayed back to run some errands. The girls enjoyed a beautiful day in the sunshine and eating fish tacos and drinking Tona, tasty Nicaraguan Beer at the beach bar (all whilst watching the effects of a local drinking a whole bottle of Flor de Cana in the hot sun and then trying to eat tacos haha). Meanwhile, back in San Juan, there was a fiesta so the whole town came alive with drums, dancing and parades much to Steve's enjoyment! Once all reunited at Casa Oro, it was time to head upstairs to the Roof Top Bar to enjoy the hostel BBQ!

Sunday was a relaxing day, Steve went for a surf at Playa Maderas while the girls hung back, enjoying some shopping and delicious market food. That evening, we made some more friends at Casa Oro; Dave and AJ and Aussie and Kiwi who had been living in Canada the last two years. The were an hilarious pair so we all arranged to head to the beach the following day so they could try our their newly purchased surfboards (and score some free lessons off Steve!).

Monday was the day that Sarah and Dave (Jenna's good uni friend and her boyfriend from home). Jenna was jittering all over the whole day with excitement, but still managed to enjoy Playa Maderas and have a good laugh at AJ the poser! When back at Casa Oro, without even making back to our room, we bumped into Sarah! There was a lot of screaming and perhaps some tears (girls only of course) and we knew it was going to be a fun few days! After a quick drink upstairs, we went to Iguanas to enjoy some dinner and of course the free drinks! We also had with us Ash and Liv, two friends Sarah and Dave had made on their travels and Aj and Dave to provide constant laughs! The dancefloor got a massive workout and we all had so much fun, including Sarah's 'Lady Cigar'! As well as Sarah's arrival, we had something else to celebrate as we had been traveling with Cat and Laura for a month exactly! Our first anniversary!

The following day Steve went with AJ and Dave to the beach whilst the rest of us paid $5 to spend the day in the infinity pool of Pelican Eyes Resort which overlooked the whole of San Juan and the harbour. We spent hours in the pool as well as some chilled Rose in the much to flash for backpackers resort. We were blessed with a stunning sunset which Steve made it up in time for. Casa Oro was hosting another delicious BBQ so we raced back to the bar and spent the evening eating, drinking and laughing with all our new (and of course old) friends.

Wednesday was Cat and Laura's last day in San Juan before they began their journey South and eventually home to NZ. We had all agreed that a boat cruise around San Juan's beaches would be a fabulous send off. At 11am we boarded our sailing boat 'gypsy' which was quite small for our group (Sarah, Dave, Ash, Liv, Cat, Laura, three English girls and us) but we knew it would be a great day when the captain offered us drinks before noon! We spent the day sailing, swimming, eating, drinking, laughing and exploring the beautiful Nicaraguan coast line. When we were back after sunset, we met up with the rest of the crew and went for Mexican at one of the local restaurants. Then it was back to the Black Whale for some good tunes (with a couple of stops at Iguanas on the way there and back for a dance)!

Thursday was a sad day as Cat and Laura left us in the morning. The hostel had movies on, so we all just chilled while we grieved the loss of two great friends, even hearing familiar Spanish hits would make Jenna tear up! That evening Sarah, Dave and us went to a bar on the beach to have some sunset drinks before heading back to Casa Oro for yet another $3.50 amazing BBQ!

Friday meant Sarah and Jenna's final full day together. We had arranged to do a Spa Package at Pelican Eyes Resort while the boys spent the day at the beach. The package included any hour long treatment at the Resort Spa, followed by a three course lunch and use of the infinity pool (not very backpacker esque)! We both chose well needed facials which were amazing and then enjoyed five star restaurant service. The whole thing cost us $50, and after spending the afternoon reading, swimming, napping, drinking cocktails and watching the sunset; we were truly recuperated! That evening, the four of us enjoyed dinner at a beachfront restaurant and then went to the Black Whale for some Friday night Live Reggae!

After a delicious market breakfast this morning, we said our super sad goodbyes to Sarah and Dave. Feeling a little deflated ourselves, we know it was time to head to Dreamcatcher House, the surfcamp we have been looking forward to staying at after the previous week of fun! So we are saying bye to San Juan town, for now, and are ready to enjoy a few days (if not weeks) at the surf camp!
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