We had an amazing trip to Nicaragua with our friends Bob and Allison Fladung and Scott and Danielle Bernth. We flew in to Managua and stayed a night at the Camino Real Managua before getting up the next day to travel to San Juan Del Sur where we spent the week sailing, horseback riding and surfing.
On our drive to San Juan Del Sur we got to see some interesting things. We got a drive-by view of what it is like for the locals and you never knew when you might see an ox drawn wagon on the road. We also stopped by an open air market next to Laguna de Apoyo, an inactive volcano filled with water.
Finally we made it to our home for the week in the Balcones de Majagual, the Forest and Surf Villa AKA "The Tree House". It was unbelievable and we saw howler monkeys right outside the house.
We got to check out the beaches close by the Tree House; Playa Majagual, Playa Marsella and Playa Maderas. These beaches were beautiful and it was the first time I have seen the Pacific ocean in person.
Finally we made it into town... San Juan Del Sur that is. We ate lunch and went to see the Christ of Mercy statue. It is 26 meters tall and is really an awesome site to see. Then we made our daily stop by Pali, the local market to get groceries. Kudos to Danielle who really knew how to cook the local cuisine!!!
For our next excursion we chartered a private catamaran that sailed us to a secluded beach. On the way I got to fish and caught two Skip Jack tuna and a Red Snapper, which earned me the nick name "The Fish Slayer"!!!
We had to moor the catamaran off the beach once we got there, then the crew filled a float with beverages for us and we swam to shore to "play". Oh and by the way, we shared the beach with a couple of pigs :-).
While on the beach, the crew prepared one of the fish I caught along with the best Ceviche I've ever had. Then, on the ride back we saw one of the most beautiful sun sets I think I've ever seen... my first of one actually setting on the ocean.
Another day we traveled to Rivas Nicaragua to Rancho Chilamate where ranch hands Kate and Spooner took us horseback ridding in the hills down to Playa Escamequita (The beach where Nicaragua Survivor was filmed). Once there, we got to run with the horses on the beach. As much as I love the ocean, I think this was probably my favorite part of the trip!! When we made it back to the ranch, we parted ways after having a shot of rum with Blue the owner of the ranch.
That same day after horseback ridding we went to do a little surfing. This was a first for me but after a short lesson and with a little help from the instructors, I was able to get up and ride a few waves. Allison and Scott held there own on the boards too!
Our last full day in Nicaragua, we had to travel back to Managua so we could catch our plane home the next morning. On our way back we stopped by Volcano Masaya, an active volcano. We were advised that if there were "expulsion of rock, sand or other material to keep away from the area or protect ourselves inside our car". Ummm... I'm pretty sure that in the USA we wouldn't be allowed at the mouth of a volcano that could erupt at any time.