Saturday, July 29, 2006

Killer´s Central American Travel Log: 2

I attempted an entry a few days ago, but the computer I was using erased my entry as I was posting it. So this is technically travel log 2.5.

I am blogging to you now from San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. But, allow me a moment to back track.
The last I spoke with you, I believe I was in Monte Verde, Costa Rica. Since then we have almost careened off a small muddy road into an extrememly beautiful valley and spent several days attempting to spot a volcano, but for an object that is completely stationary and supposedly glows at night, it is suprisingly hard to spot.
We left Monte Verde and decided to take a short cut through some country side to get around the Arenal Lake. The scenery was breathtaking, but so were the sudden changes in road condition. At the best spots the road was about six feet wide and covered with large rocks, but in many places it was huge craters filled with mud and water. We passed several Costa Rican cowboys on horse back who appeared completely amazed that someone would attempt to drive this path. Our Dahaitsu Terios with really cheap street tires and questionable four wheel drive managed to get through all obstacles better than imagined and we pulled through with only a few moments of impending doom. Since we made through with no physical harm to us or the vehicle it was 100% worth it. The post traumatic stress disorder that I picked up along the way may yet prove to be my undoing, however.
We did get to The Volcano Arenal area, but due to extremely dense, low lying clouds we could not make out any more than a few hundred yards up the sides of the volcano. We also did not get to enjoy any of the much discussed "glowing lava flows" that are visible at night. It is almost debatable on our part as to whether a volcano actually exists in that area or not. Just because there is a tourist shop selling t shirts with a volcano on the front, every ten feet, does not always constitute an actual volcano nearby.
We left the "volcano" area and drove down to the town of Playa del Coco. It is a small beach on the Carribean side. We chartered a fishing boat for the day and spent a miserable three hours trying to catch bait. Considering our charter was for only five hours, we were getting understandly upset. The captain finally gave up on bait and we headed out to deeper water to see what we could catch using artificial bait and finally the fish started biting. We managed to bring in six Mahi Mahi and three Albacore tuna. The charter captain kept us out two hours extra to make up for the live bait fiasco, so it was a pretty cool trip over all. The boat captain cut all the fish into filets, we took a few pieces and left them the rest. We took our fish and went to a local restaurant and the cook fried up our fish and we ate it. It would have been great, but she fried it until it was almost fish jerky. It was still a great experience, and I highly recommend it.
We then returned our rented Terios and caught a bus up the Nicaraguan border. There were about a hundred guys walking around with large stacks of Nicaraguan bills trying to convince us to exchange our money with them. With a little patience, we finally made it over the Nicaraguan border, the bus we were on dumped us on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. We spotted a sign that said 17 kilometers to San Juan Del Sur, our destination. After walking in the general direction for a while we spotted a small, yellow Toyota Corolla parked in front of a little shack. On closer inspection the car actually had "taxi" written on the side, so we had to knock on the covering of the shack, that does not really warrant the title of "door", and wake up the operator of the taxi. After piling our bags into the back he informed us that it would cost 12 dollars american to drive us the 17 kilometers. We had been informed already that it should cost about 4-6 dollars, but since he had us over a barrel we had no choice. He had to push start the car, and then we trundled off towards San Juan Del Sur at a very, very leisurely pace. Once we had gone about 20 yards in the world´s slowest taxi the road was alive with taxis of all shapes and sizes. Mostly they were zipping past us and laughing, one even turned around, came back and drove beside us, apparently making fun of either the driver or our taxi, or his passengers, maybe both.
We made it to San Juan Del Sur and found a hotel after much heated arguments with our original hotel which we had reservations with, and threw our crap down and headed to the beach. We found a small beach front restaurant and settled in. We spent the next six hours drinking ice cold beer and watching the sun set over the ocean. It actually made the whole ordeal worth every minute.
I am about to publish this blog. I can not spell check because I don´t know where the damn spell check button is, everything is in espanol. If this one gets lost also, I might just have to give up the blogging and go back to just emailing.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see most of you soon, and the rest of you eventually.


charapa said...

I'm insanely jealous of all the places you are getting to see. Although not quite the same, it all sounds terribly similar to home (peru). And, FYI, you totally could have bargained witht he taxi driver!!! Never give them what they ask for!!! They will automatically ask for exorbitant fees since you are a gringo.... ;)

Killer said...

You're from Peru? I always thought you were Mexican...:)

Charapa said...

Ooooooh I'll get you for that one!!!!!!!!! :P