Monthly Archives: April 2014

Pura Vida! Costa Rica Pt. 1

Me and The Puppy, we were supposed to be resting.

Me and The Puppy, we were supposed to be resting.

Sorry it’s been so long since my last blog post! We’ve got really good internet right now, and that means that Victoria and Jason are like ALWAYS on the computer. When am I supposed to write while they’re hogging it all the time? Sheesh! Anyway, here’s what’s been happening…

We left Playa Gigante and headed towards the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. My Family always gets a little bit worked up when we have to get through a new border, but the whole thing is really pretty boring to me. Basically I sit in the car panting, then I lay by My Family’s feet panting even more, then I hunt around for a place to pee that’s not right in the burning sun. Eventually there’s a bunch of human papers passed around, stamps handed out, and I’m plunked back down in the Big Truck to pant some more until we’re finally through. This border crossing wouldn’t prove to be much different, but it took a lot longer. I mean, A LOT.

We were standing in like the longest line I’ve ever seen, with people all around us screaming “Fila! Fila!” over and over again, laughing and groaning. Maya wasn’t making things any easier either, basically dragging her feet and peeing where she shouldn’t. I mean, this puppy needs to learn! Jason was running around like a lost chihuaha, hunting down one border agent to stamp a piece of paper, a police officer to sign and stamp the stamp, and then another border agent to restamp the signed stamp and stamp. Sheesh! Victoria realized we probably made a big mistake by crossing a border on Semana Santa. That’s basically the biggest holiday in the world, and it seemed like everyone was trying to get either into Costa Rica or into Nicaragua. By the time we got through the Nicaraguan side we were all seriously sweaty and pretty grumpy. Luckily things went much smoother in Costa Rica. The border office was even air conditioned, and they let me inside! Swanky!

As we left our longest border crossing behind, I noticed the sun was already pretty low in the sky. That made Jason smell very antsy. It was late in the day, we were in a new country and we had to find our next campsite, and fast! By the time we reached Finca Cañas Castilla it was already dark, and we were all more than ready for bed. Luckily the nice people who take care of the farm were cooking dinner for their guests, so we had a chance to relax and take it all in. Jason broke a wine glass, and I didn’t get to taste anything. Some first impression of Costa Rica!

Monkeys in the trees above our campsite.  They aren't that into playing but they sure liked checking us out!

Monkeys in the trees above our campsite. They aren’t that into playing but they sure liked checking us out!

Things improved dramatically in the morning. Maya is finally starting to sleep through more of the night, which means I get more uninterrupted snuggle time with Jason. And first thing in the morning we enjoyed our first up close and personal monkey visit. ‘Finca’ means ‘farm’, and Finca Canas Castillo had everything. Beautiful trees, a pretty river, horses, chickens, roosters, sloths and a whole family of monkeys that spent the morning swinging around in the trees right above our camper. They smelled weird but they seemed pretty nice, and My Family took a ton of pictures of their playtime. The finca’s dogs didn’t seem to like them too much, however. They spent their morning chasing monkeys from tree to tree, barking and clawing at branches. It definitely raised my hair, but I wasn’t about to get involved in any of that. Maya agreed, and basically spent hours hunkered down underneath the Big Truck.

Hiking isn't as much fun as running on the beach, but I'll take it!

Hiking isn’t as much fun as running on the beach, but I’ll take it!

We only spent two days at the Finca, but we all agreed that was way too short. We cooked delicious food, My Family drank coffee sitting on a bench by the river, we went on hikes, ran around with the other dogs, ate a delicious dinner with the owners and their other guests (one of whom played guitar that was so beautiful I would have cried… If I had tear ducts…) and relaxed with the monkeys. One complaint? The ticks. They’re kinda gross, and they were EVERYWHERE. My Family spent what felt like forever picking ticks off of themselves, me and Maya. Seriously, not a fan.

It's pretty dry in Costa Rica, which makes me itchy, but Victoria says 'rainy season' is coming.  Great.

It’s pretty dry in Costa Rica, which makes me itchy, but Victoria says ‘rainy season’ is coming. Great.

Our next road trip was a short one, through the mountains, into a town called Liberia, and out a twisty turny road to a place called Casa Rural Aroma de Campo. This was a really beautiful, huge lawn and a pretty house just outside of one of Costa Rica’s national parks. The man who got us set up was very nice, and there was even a dog kinda like me there! It was very, VERY hot, but we had an entire field to wander all to ourselves. Me and Maya got a ton of time off leash, and I even enjoyed playing with her… When she wasn’t eating cow poo. Our first night there was so bright, with a giant full moon, tons of stars and no other humans or cars around. It was one of those nights when I stop to think about how lucky we are, and how amazing the Big Adventure really is. I mean, I get My Family all to myself (Well, sort of. Stupid puppy.), all day and night, with more time off leash in the grass and the dirt that I ever had before. Besides the fact that Jason gets a little frantic about internet from time to time, Victoria seems to always crave pizza when we’re in the middle of nowhere, and Maya won’t leave me alone for five minutes, life is good.

Cows coming to visit our campsite.  They poop A LOT.

Cows coming to visit our campsite. They poop A LOT.

We spent several days at Casa Rural Aroma de Campo, and they were nice and relaxing. Jason worked, Victoria read and caught up with her online support of my blog, me and Maya laid out avoiding the heat, and we all watched the incredible sunsets and moon rises, listening to the bugs calling out to each other in waves. We were going to go into the national park to see the volcano and some waterfalls, but the volcano is apparently very angry right now and too dangerous to approach, the park doesn’t seem to take too kindly to dogs, and Jason hurt his leg when he was run off the road by banditos. Kidding! He was walking into town and slipped in his sandals. Life is so much easier with paws and four legs.

I have to give Maya credit, she had learnt how to sit for treats super fast. Here we are waiting for our T-bonz.  Yumma!

I have to give Maya credit, she had learnt how to sit for treats super fast. Here we are waiting for our T-bonz. Yumma!

Since the day at the park was out, we packed up and headed off to our next destination, Lake Arenal. I know, another lake! Man, there’s gotta be more lakes than people in Central America! Anyway, the drive to Lake Arenal was super fun. We passed through really pretty jungle and ended up on a dirt road circling the long and winding lake. Our first stop here was an unexpected one. We were looking for a campsite, but the day was getting away from us. As with most of our driving experiences on my Big Adventure, things tend to take longer than expected. The trip to Lake Arenal wasn’t much different, and we soon found ourselves facing sunset with our final destination nowhere close by. Luckily, we saw a sign for a hotel connected to the Lake Arenal Brewing Company, and My Family decided to give it a shot.

These strange creatures were all over the place at the brewery.  They don't move a muscle, no matter how much you bark at them!

These strange creatures were all over the place at the brewery. They don’t move a muscle, no matter how much you bark at them!

Boy, were we all glad we did! This place had everything. A great place to camp, a beautiful view, plenty of space to run around, nice people, a super cute, super friendly dog, and really really good beer (Well, at least Maya liked it. Apparently, she’s a Boozehound). It was nice and cool by the lake too, which was a welcome change from all the heat we’d faced since El Salvador. I didn’t even mind so much when Victoria and Jason decided to have dinner in the restaurant and leave me and Maya in the car. Maya isn’t peeing in the camper anymore, so things between the two of us are much improved. We only spent one night here, but that was way too short. If I have any say in the matter we’ll be back very soon! Somehow I don’t think Jason will have any problem with that.

My first view of the lake from way up high, too far away for Victoria to force me to go swimming!

My first view of the lake from way up high, too far away for Victoria to force me to go swimming!

We left the Brewing Company early in the morning and drove further around the lake. We made a stop way way WAY up a mountain in the jungle. Jason wanted to see these things called hanging bridges. He said something about Indiana Jones, whoever that is. But this was yet ANOTHER place that didn’t want me and Maya there. Man, considering how many dogs there are around here they’ve certainly got a lot of rules! Well, we headed back down the mountain, continued around the lake and stopped off at some natural hot springs. I would have liked a little dip – rivers are way better than lakes or the ocean – but there were so many people there because of Semana Santa that we couldn’t even find anywhere to park. Off we went again, looking for a hospitable place. We found another working farm right outside of the national park entrance that happily accepted campers and dogs, so we settled in for the night.

Pretty sure this is the ugliest bird like, ever.

Pretty sure this is the ugliest bird like, ever.

We only spent one night there, and that was just fine with me. We were far outnumbered by the horses, weird duck-creatures, and the ATVs that were rolling in and out at all hours of the night. It was very pretty there, but it was also kind of rainy, and I don’t think I have to tell you how I feel about rain. We were safe under our awning, but everything outside was soaked, and I was very happy when My Family packed us up to head further down the road. The drive to our next destination was pretty uncomfortable, just a lot of bouncing around and going super slow. We stopped at a cool bakery, and I got to taste a delicious pretzel. Maya needs to work on her sad eyes; she missed out completely.

We crawled the Big Truck down a hill, and rolled to a stop right next to the lake. This is when I started to get worried. Lake Arenal is super pretty, and we were camping out at this spot with a great view of the volcano. I was pretty sure, however, that Victoria was going to make me swim. Not a fan of that. Luckily, the water was kind of cold, so no one was interested in taking a dip. Dodged that bullet.

Arenal, the lake and the volcano.

Arenal, the lake and the volcano.

What a fun night at that campsite! It was super quiet, with no one around but one other family enjoying the lake. We did get some rain, but when it cleared up the volcano was showered in colors. Jason says that’s a rainbow. It was really pretty. We all slept really well, and since Victoria and Jason spent the afternoon making new nets for our windows there were less bugs munching on us than usual. This might have been my favorite spot in Costa Rica yet. At a lake, no less!

Big old tree stump near our campsite.  Perfect for peeing on!

Big old tree stump near our campsite. Perfect for peeing on!

We only enjoyed one night there, too. It was time to leave the lake and head up into the mountains. My Family says there’s something here in Costa Rica called a cloud forest. That’s a bunch of trees that’s so high up you’re actually inside a cloud. Sounds damp, but whatever. I don’t get a vote. Here’s hoping it’s just as much fun as the lake and the farms has been! Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the title of this post, ‘pura vida’ means ‘pure life’, and people say that everywhere in this country. Always with a smile. Costa Ricans are so nice!

Arenal has serious clouds. Glad we got out of there before the rains came!

Arenal has serious clouds. Glad we got out of there before the rains came!

PS: To see some of the photos that My Family took, check out Facebook.  They love monkeys, just sayin’…

30
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Costa Rica

DISCUSSION 6 Comments

Overheated: Nicaragua Part II

Another day, another beach.  Life is hard for us Adventurers.

Another day, another beach. Life is hard for us Adventurers.

I was pretty excited as we drove away from Laguna de Apoyo towards Granada. I knew that this was one of Victoria’s favorite places, and considering how beautiful and fun the lake had been, that could only mean good things. Plus, the drive was nice and short! Maya curled up and fell asleep in her new spot, the comfy hole behind the armrest between seats, and I stood on Victoria’s lap so I could watch the city approaching.

The buildings in Granada are beautiful.  Victoria said it's because they are 'well-maintained'

The buildings in Granada are beautiful. Victoria said it’s because they are ‘well-maintained’

As soon as we got there I realized two things. First, Granada is way pretty! It’s a very old place, and you can tell the buildings have been there a super long time. There’s so many colors everywhere, which probably means there’s a ton more that I can’t even see! It’s right up against another lake too, even bigger than the one we had just left! Sweet. The second thing I realized is that Granada is WAY HOT. Holy. Moly. I’m talking hot like you can see the pavement sweating. As soon as we got out of the car me and Maya were panting, and I don’t think I stopped the whole time we were there. The roads are all cobblestone and tile, and where they hit the sunlight Maya couldn’t even walk. The sun was like some great yellow monster, snarling and spitting heat rays at us all day. As you can tell, I was plenty content to hang out in the shade.

Most of the sidewalks in Granada are tiled, like this, which makes it really easy to drag Maya when she doesn't want to walk (which is basically ALL the time).

Most of the sidewalks in Granada are tiled, like this, which makes it really easy to drag Maya when she doesn’t want to walk (which is basically ALL the time).

Luckily we had a super comfy place to stay! There aren’t any great camping spots in Granada, and since it was so hot My Family decided to find a hotel that would be okay with me and Maya too. We found a great spot called Casa Sacuanjoche. The main room was big and dark and quiet, the perfect place after hustling through Granada. There was even a curious kitten living there. I really REALLY wanted to play with her, but My Family didn’t think that was a good idea. Apparently “dogs never win”, whatever that means?

Jason spent some time working, and regrettably chose the open air courtyard just outside of our room. Nice and close to the food and water, but almost always in the sun. All I could do was lay around with my tongue hanging out. Apparently we were there towards the end of the dry season, which means it’s the driest time of year in Nicaragua. Man… HOT!

In Granada, horses pull carriages full of people around town.

In Granada, horses pull carriages full of people around town.

We spent the next couple of days exploring the area. Granada is really nice to dogs, which meant Maya and I could go pretty much everywhere with Victoria and Jason. Regrettably, the first place we went was to the vet’s office. The stupid puppy needed yet another shot. And this time I had to get looked at too! The vet was really nice, but the half hour walk almost made me cry (and I don’t think Victoria was far behind). Oh, and remember how I said Granada is really nice to dogs? Well, apparently the cab drivers didn’t get that memo.

Otherwise we had a ton of fun here. We went out to restaurants, walked through the main garden (called Parque Central, as it’s called in almost every city we’ve visited on my Big Adventure), and met some really nice and funny Granada residents. There are a lot of people who came from other places to live here, but there’s also a lot of people who were born here that speak at least a little bit of English. I guess they get a lot of Adventurers down here.

Speaking of Adventurers, we met up with Andrew, a friend of My Family’s, to go see his property. Andrew is from back home, but he and his sister visited Granada years ago and loved it so much they wanted to have a place they could call their very own. I was all excited to walk there and check it out, but then we got into a taxi, and the taxi dropped us off on the shore of that huge lake. Yep, they were forcing me onto ANOTHER BOAT! What is it with My Family and boats?! I thought this was supposed to be a driving trip! Sheesh!

This is me on the boat (!!!) out to see Andrew's island.

This is me on the boat (!!!) out to see Andrew’s island.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. It was a very small, very pretty boat, and the waters of Lake Granada are very calm. We moved slowly, and I got to sit on Victoria’s lap the whole time. Maya didn’t seem to mind at all, but still, the whole thing just makes me a little bit uncomfortable. After about twenty minutes we arrived at an island. There are hundreds of them in Lake Granada. They’re called isletas, and you can actually buy them with human money if you want to! Andrew did just that, and he’s building a hotel called El Espino. Pretty cool.

Me and Victoria on Isleta El Espino.

Me and Victoria on Isleta El Espino.

We got to spend the whole morning on Andrew’s isleta, running around off leash, barking at the water, checking out the plants, and playing with our toys. I’ve been sharing my toys with Maya, because she’s just a little baby. I don’t mind. My Family brought along Aardvark, which has become her favorite. It was a Christmas present for me, but you’re supposed to share your things. I may not have chosen to be an older sister, but I’m still going to be a good one. Anyway, our morning on the isleta was the perfect escape from the city. It was so much cooler there, and just really pretty. I guess I can sort of see why someone would want to live on an island, at least for a little while. We headed back to Granada and planted ourselves in the best shade we could find around Parque Central. My Family sipped coffee and shared their breakfast with us, and it was decided we’d leave Granada the next day. I guess we’re going to come back another time, when the weather is just a little bit cooler. Apparently it’s going to start raining around here pretty soon, so the heat isn’t quite so bad. I’m not a fan of the rain, but I would like to spend some more time in Granada! I mean, Victoria and Jason went out for a pretty fancy dinner our last night there, and me and Maya were allowed to come with them! How rad is that?!

Pretty sure there still isn't anything going on in that head.

Pretty sure there still isn’t anything going on in that head.

Goodbye, Aardvark :(

Goodbye, Aardvark :(

The next day we said goodbye to Granada and headed off to the beach. There had been talk of checking out the huge island in the middle of Lake Granada (it’s called Ometepe), but it was decided that we didn’t really have time (phew!). My Family has these things called ‘visas’, and they were about to run out. They were just pieces of paper, where could they go? I found out that humans from one country only give humans from another country a certain amount of time to visit. After that they have to leave, at least for a little while. It’s a pretty complicated process, which is why each border crossing is so long and tiring. I don’t really get this stuff. I mean, if you’re having fun and not being mean to anyone, why can’t you stay as long as you want? I guess it’s just one more of those human things that don’t make a ton of sense, once you stop to really think about it.

So skipping Lake Nicaragua, we were headed for the southern Pacific beaches. Victoria had been there before, to a town called San Juan del Sur, but we were hoping to stop a little further north. I guess San Juan was very busy, and there was another beach that was supposedly much quieter but super pretty. It was called Playa Gigante, and the name had me excited right away. Once we got there, off the highway and after twenty minutes of bouncing down a dirt road I was definitely not disappointed! Playa Gigante is a sleepy little town with a huge, beautiful beach and super nice people. Basically, everything I could ever want.

Leave nothing but paw prints (and poop)...

Leave nothing but paw prints (and poop)…

Maya is still a little bit afraid of the ocean so she spends a lot of our beach time hiding under Jason.

Maya is still a little bit afraid of the ocean so she spends a lot of our beach time hiding under Jason.

We camped at a place called Gigante Bay. This was a really fun hostel with a huge field next door for campers. We looked out our back door at the ocean, and aside from the occasional wandering dog, chicken, pig or frog, we had the place to ourselves. There were also plenty of nice people staying in the hostel, so the funky bar was always full of music, happy voices and the delicious scents of cooking. As you can tell, this stop was right up my alley!

Oh goodie, another boat!  Luckily, we didn't have to go anywhere in this one.

Oh goodie, another boat! Luckily, we didn’t have to go anywhere in this one.

The heat did not leave us alone in Gigante, however. The first day we got there was nice and breezy, and I was content running on the beach, biting at the waves, bowling Maya over and covering her with sand (ha!), and snuggling on laps next to our camper. The next day dawned hot and bright, with none of that beautiful breeze. That meant far more time spent panting on my back, with My Family stuck to the shade, trying to get Maya to come out from under the Big Truck every once in a while. It was still a super cool place to be. Jason was happy because the internet was good and the sunsets were beautiful. Victoria liked the sunny times and the great fish tacos in the bar. Maya’s always happy as long as she’s allowed to wrestle with me and eat and drink a ton. Oh, that reminds me, our meals were switched up this week! Instead of the regular stuff, me and Maya got fish, rice and vegetables for dinner! Man, you’ve never seen two dogs eat so fast! I don’t think the food even hit the side of Maya’s mouth! Trust me, I savored every bite.

Maya trying to beat the heat by laying under the Truck on our out bucket.  Gross.

Maya trying to beat the heat by laying under the Truck on our out bucket. Gross.

Our last day in Gigante was also to be our last day in Nicaragua. We only had a couple days left on those pesky visa things, but also a huge holiday was coming up. Personally, I love holidays. At home that always meant My Family wouldn’t have to work, and we could go do fun things all day. This holiday that was coming up, however, was called Semana Santa, and it was special because absolutely EVERYONE celebrates it in Nicaragua. And most people celebrate by going to the beach. My Family thought that meant serious chaos was coming, and while we were talking about it the ground started shaking. It was almost like a preview! I wasn’t scared, because I’ve been in plenty of earthquakes before. In fact, I notice earthquakes that My Family can’t feel at all. This was a pretty big one, however, and we found out later that some nice people in another part of Nicaragua got hurt from it. Not cool at all.

The sunsets in Gigante were amazing.  My Family took a gazillion photos.

The sunsets in Gigante were amazing. My Family took a gazillion photos.

With the earthquake behind us, we packed up the Big Truck and set out for the border. We were headed for Costa Rica, the seventh country visited on our Big Adventure. I can’t believe it! Seven countries? Maya is a little less than four months old and she’s already been to three countries. That’s more than some grownup people! Man, are we ever lucky dogs! Nicaragua had been a ton of fun, though I wasn’t going to miss the heat much. Victoria promised we’d be back when it was a little bit cooler, and I’m going to hold her to that. If we had had a bit more time we would have stayed anyway; there’s A LOT of the country that we didn’t get to see. For now it’s on to Costa Rica, where I’ve been promised we’ll see a ton of monkeys. What is it with humans and monkeys?

PS: You can see some of the photos My Family took here.

18
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Nicaragua

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

Two Borders, a Beach and a Lake: Nicaragua Pt. 1

Is there anything better than a new beach to explore? Here I am in Las Penitas.

Is there anything better than a new beach to explore? Here I am in Las Penitas.

I knew the day we left El Salvador was going to be a long one. First of all, Victoria and Jason dragged me out of bed just as the sun was rising. Jason’s been getting up with Maya at all hours of the night for weeks now, but I would much rather sleep in. On this morning I didn’t get a choice. We were heading out of El Salvador, through Honduras and into Nicaragua all in the same day, and there was no time for beauty sleep. There was barely time for another sniff around Playa El Cuco before we were packing up and hitting the road. Back down the bumpy dirt road, a couple of hours driving across the last stretch of El Salvador and we were at the border.

By the time we left El Salvador the sun was high and hot, and both me and Maya were panting pretty hard. I’m still not particularly thrilled with this new ‘little sister’, but I did feel bad for her, laid out on the ground while My Family got us through the border. I’m used to this process by now, but everything’s so new for Maya. She’s just a baby! Luckily everything went smoothly and we were soon back in the big truck and heading into Honduras. Since it was going to be such a long drive we gave in to a couple of comforts. There was air conditioning for me and Maya, and soda in a bag for Victoria and Jason. I’ve never seen that before, and it was certainly an adventure for Jason to drink from a bag while driving! Thankfully, that was the most adventurous part of this drive.

Jason and Victoria had been stressed out about Honduras for as long as I could remember. It was the only country we weren’t really going to see so the plan was to drive through this teensy little bit of the country, just enough to get into Nicaragua. It was only eighty miles or so, but My Family had heard the drive could take all day because of police checkpoints. My Family relaxed pretty quickly, however, as we didn’t get stopped even once driving through Honduras! Maya slept through the whole thing; I don’t think she can smell nerves on humans yet.

Although we didn’t hit any issues we did have to get through both borders in a single day, and by the time we entered Nicaragua we were all pretty tired. It was super hot, and after all the stress of a long driving day everyone was super excited to get to our campsite for the night. Luckily, it wasn’t very much further. We got out to our first top in Nicaragua, the beach town of Las Penitas, just before the sunset. We found a great little hotel right on the beach called Playa Roca, and the super nice owners were happy to have us camp there. Even though we were all exhausted, I still got a chance to run on the beach a bit. This part of the Big Adventure was certainly shaping up well. So many beaches to run on! After months of shivering at night in the mountains, all of this sun and sand made me one happy dog.

The beach in Las Penitas was empty most of the time!

The beach in Las Penitas was empty most of the time!

We spent a few days in Las Penitas, and boy was it HOT! It was hard to do much else but lay around, and thankfully there were plenty of shady spots. Maya wants to play all the time, but even she got tired of chewing on my face in this weather. I didn’t even mind so much when Victoria took me in the ocean or under the shower. This was a great beach, with plenty of room to run, lots of nice people and other dogs, and delicious food to taste. Jason didn’t have it quite so good as I did. He had to take the bus into Leon twice to get supplies and find internet so he could work. Even though lots of people go to Las Penitas for fun there are no real shops there, which makes it pretty tricky for Adventurers like us.

Maya is SUPER slow and she trips over her big feet all the time.  I'm slowly teaching her how to run.

Maya is SUPER slow and she trips over her big feet all the time. I’m slowly teaching her how to run.

It kept getting hotter, and then there were crazy dust storms that covered My Family head to foot in sand. Victoria and Jason started to seriously drag. Even Maya was running for cover. After a while we knew it was time to go, so we packed up the big truck and headed for our next stop, Laguna de Apoyo. This drive was nice and short, something I’ve noticed is pretty much normal now. Victoria says that these Central American countries are much smaller than Mexico and even Guatemala, meaning we can see a lot more of them in a short amount of time. We drove through a couple of small towns, stopped on the side of the highway so My Family could get another tank of gas for the truck, scaled a big hill and caught our first look at Laguna de Apoyo. It’s much smaller than Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, and the drive down was way less scary, but this place was just as pretty. It’s in the middle of a volcano! I don’t really know what that is, but it was pretty cool to see a lake that was almost a perfect circle. Victoria also said that this volcano has been a lake for a very long time, so I didn’t think there was anything to be nervous about.

There were lots of steps to get from the lake to our room at the Monkey Hut but I didn't mind!

There were lots of steps to get from the lake to our room at the Monkey Hut but I didn’t mind!

Our first top was a hotel called The Monkey Hut. We didn’t see any monkeys, but we sure heard a lot of them! Not my favorite thing in the world. We weren’t able to camp here, but instead we stayed in a super comfy room! We had our own private patio, which looked right out over the lake. So cool! The weather was much better here, but that didn’t stop Victoria and Jason from forcing me and Maya into the water. I did like this a lot better than the ocean. It’s much less scary. Maya’s a pretty good swimmer too! Finally, something she’s actually good at…

Maya loved laying on the cool tiles in our private room which was fine by me because it meant I had the bed all to myself!

Maya loved laying on the cool tiles in our private room which was fine by me because it meant I had the bed all to myself!

We could only have one night in the comfy room, but instead of leaving the next morning My Family decided to stay in a dorm room. This was definitely a first for us on the Big Adventure. A dorm is basically a big room with lots of beds, and you share it with other Adventurers. Jason wasn’t too sure how this was going to, and he was even less pleased when we found out that the whole dorm was going to be full of girls. Thankfully they turned out to be super nice, and Maya managed not to pee inside or cry or anything. I guess she’s starting to be a little more fun.

Laguna de Apoyo. Better to swim in than the ocean but I'm still not loving it.

Laguna de Apoyo. Better to swim in than the ocean but I’m still not loving it.

We left The Monkey Hut for another spot down the road so we wouldn’t have to share a room with anyone. This place was called Hostel Paradiso, and it was super cool. So pretty, with all sorts of levels, great grassy bits, hammocks to swing in, and delicious food I got to taste. We spent a couple of nights in our own room here, relaxed during the day while Jason worked, and spent the evenings down by the beach, swinging in hammock chairs and meeting all sorts of nice people. I’m happy to report that the travelers we met were just as interested in me as they were in Maya. As it should be.

Lots of stairs at Paradiso but at least Maya is getting better at climbing them (finally).

Lots of stairs at Paradiso but at least Maya is getting better at climbing them (finally).

Hostel Paradiso was probably my favorite spot in Nicaragua so far. This is Victoria’s favorite country, and I could certainly see why. The people were so nice, and there was loads to do. I actually enjoyed swimming here, as long as Jason held me tight. I played a bit with Maya, and got more than enough beauty sleep. We even got to move back into the camper our last night there, and met a nice couple from Switzerland who had been traveling for two years! I have to admit I didn’t really want to leave, and I think Jason felt the same way. But we had to keep moving. Victoria made reservations in a hotel in a city called Granada, so after a couple of days we got back on the road. The stress of our big border crossing day was pretty much forgotten, and it was time to see more of Nicaragua! Maybe we’ll find someone in Granada who would take this puppy off our hands. Just kidding! Well, sort of.

PS:  My Family has been pretty lazy about taking photos lately but you can see some of our time in Nicaragua on Facebook.

09
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Nicaragua

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