Hi there, me again. I’m in an adventure club. Way cool, right? Way cool. My fellow co-founders of the Why Not Adventure Club are two of my favorite friends, Danielle and Callan. By way of introduction: Danielle lives in Austin and knows all the cool stuff, so she keeps me hip. Callan lives in NYC and is the most go-with-the-flow-but-I-get-stuff-done individual on the planet; she keeps me positive. I am the quirky one, and I keep them…confused, mostly. Together we are an unstoppable force.
Finding friends you can travel with is no easy feat. People tend to have different travel “styles” and traveling doesn’t allow you to hide any weird habits, it doesn’t give you space to shield your bad moods, and everyone has to be on the same page with any chosen activities. Aside from Mike, I’ve found my lifelong travel partners in these two, and I am holding on tight.
I made some ground rules for this club, and forced them upon my friends. The rules are:
- We must make one international trip per year and
- We must make one domestic trip per year.
Last year we chose Iceland, this year we decided to sunbathe our trip in beautiful Nicaragua.
I wrote another draft of this post, which upon reading Mike dubbed as “junk”. So here goes take 2. I am not good at the details. I’m a big picture gal, and describing the nitty gritty of our trip is not only boring to write, it was super boring to read. Instead, I will pick out some highlights (and a lowlight or two) for your reading pleasure.
Upon arrival in Managua, we hop in our cab and head 2 hours towards San Juan Del Sur (SJDS).
We stop halfway through to grab a few Tona’s (incidentally, this is also my new nickname. See “Meet Bones” post.) Once we arrive in SJDS we peruse the town. SJDS is by all accounts a Central American surf town. The vibe is a little hippie mixed with wonderful Central American culture. My curly hair likes it here.
The theme of the trip seems to be plantains. We eat them for breakfast, elevensies (doesn’t everyone eat an elevensies meal?), lunch, dinner, and dessert. All of the plantains. I blame Callan.
Our first full day is a day of surfing. Danielle, Callan, and I head into town to hunt down our Surf Instructor, Saul. Saul was the most precious. We hop into a random truck (sorry mom) and head to Hermosa Beach.
Hermosa Beach is idyllic. That’s a dumb word, but it’s the only word that can do this place justice. The backdrop is mountainous jungles, and nothing but blue water in front of us. Who needs beach chairs when there are hammocks tied to every palm tree? It’s a private slice of heaven with a bar. There was a moment where I was sitting on my board waiting for a wave, I took in my surroundings, and thought to myself “I’ll never complain about another thing in my life”. If you’re lucky enough to be at a beach then you’re lucky enough. And I was at THAT beach!
After surfing, cocktails. We’re careful to make sure the ice in our margaritas was bagged. The H2O is a H2No. Saul stuck by us all day long, helped perfect our surf technique, and lounged nearby until it was time to hop back into the random truck and head home.
The next day we ziplined through the jungle, I hung upside down like a monkey while I flew threw the air with the greatest of ease, we monkeyed around, and we saw monkeys in their jungle homes. I bet they eat a lot of plantains…
We watched the sunset from Pelican Eyes, which was the most amazing view; so amazing in fact, that it blinded my judgement when making food choices. We made one very big mistake at Pelican Eyes, which was eating a salad. We can’t be sure, but that error in judgement may have been what caused the E.Coli… remember earlier when I said I wouldn’t complain about anything else? I lied. Don’t get E.Coli in Central America. It’s not the best. Washed produce = Rookie Mistake. You know better, Tona.
E.Coli and all, we pushed through. The following day was full of catamaran fun. The three of us made new friends from all over the world, hung out on board, drank Tona, ate fresh ceviche and yup, more plantains. We sailed to a private beach, docked a ways off and swam, sun bathed, gallivanted about. The day was full of sun, warmth, and tomfoolery. I was ready to call Mike and tell him to meet me in Nica, for I was never coming home.
By the time we made our last stop in Nicaragua, we were spent. E.Coli had taken its toll and we didn’t have much energy for exploring Granada. We used the last of our efforts for a quick outing around town, and I’m glad we did. Granada is no surf town; it’s architecture reminded me of a mix between Eastern Europe and Charleston, South Carolina….seriously. It was beautiful, but 1-2 days in Granada is all you need.
Thinking about Nicaragua has me all aflutter with nostalgia and I’m dying to go back, E.coli and all. Rich culture, incredibly friendly people, unbelievable landscapes, and plantains…be still my heart.