And last but not least, our third and last country visited on our trip through Central America. We headed into Nicaragua by bus. That meant getting up at 4am in Monteverde, CR, and catch the bus down to the main road. It was so bumpy that I nearly fell sick again. Arriving at the main road we played the game of “waiting and waiving at the bus driver”. We then got on a bus to Liberia – this was the most nerve-wracking part of the entire trip. I was still on antibiotics and therefore felt awful all the way. Additionally, Liberia was the poorest location we have been to so far and it saddened me to see this much poverty.
Next stop was the border to Nicaragua. Also a really unique experience. Many Cuban refugees that tried to enter Nicaragua in order to move further north to the US. Then poverty again and people trying to sell all sorts of things. Chaos – that’s what describes the entire experience. We had to pay several admissions/ border fees and then pass military men with machine guns. Honestly, I cannot even put in words what this felt like, at some point I just hoped to get out of there. The next challenge was to get to San Juan del Sur. It is only 40km away, but we did not have any information on bus schedules. Also, since we did not have the local currency yet it was double difficult. After entering the “Nica”-area (the part of the border crossing area where only locals go and tourists are not very welcome) we finally found a taxi that brought us to San Juan. Esther and me were celebrating our lives as soon as we arrived at the hostel “Hola Ola” and I was so exhausted that my circulation was struggling again. Thankfully, they had a nice sun deck at the hostel.
We arrived a day before Christmas. And Clara, the girl from the front desk organised a Christmas dinner party where we all contributed. Since I still could not go to the sun due to the medication I volunteered to go grocery shopping to the local market. A girl from the Netherlands came along with me and Esther was out with the others surfing. This was such a great evening and we all had so much fun. While the others went out for partying I decided to stay in and give my body some rest.
I managed to finish two books while not really being able to do anything. So I spent my days in the hammock with a nice view and lots of fresh water melon.
The next stop was Ometepe. We took a taxi to San Jorge and then waited for the ferry. We were impressed by how many people actually fit on that boat. Esther and me were prepared for a bumpy ride and were again thankful for carrying so much Canadian medication with us. On the ferry we also met a bunch of Germans that then checked in at the same hostel as we did. We stayed in Moyogalpa and the next day we wanted to climb Volcán Concepción. This was breathtaking: first you start on a dusty path and everything is dry around you. Then you slowly enter the rain forest and after some time you exit it and only small bushes surround you. Even higher up there is only lava rocks. The guys made it all the way to the top while Esther and me went down at appx. 1,300m. Afterwards we were full of dirt and I had to wash my gym shoes.
The real adventure started in León! At the hostel we met Jörg, the Swiss guy that we know from the border crossing, again. In the evening we went for dinner on the streets together. The following days we did many different things: we explored the city, the cathedral, went volcano boarding on Cerro Negro and then even hiked all the way to the top of Volcán Telica where we even spent a night in tents.
New Years Eve we decided to visit the beach of Las Peñitas. We splurged on dinner once again and got to witness an amazing sunset. And then it was already time to move to our final stop, Managua, were we visited a friend of my parents. Oliver was so nice to show us some parts of the city and invited us for dinner, before he dropped us off at the airport.