I let out a deep breath as we left Honduras. We had no problems in the country that has the reputation for being the most dangerous and corrupt in Central America. No attempted bribes, and only one break in. This was entirely our fault though and at our request, Mark had locked the keys in the car.
Finally, we crossed the border into Nicaragua. Once again we had the border guards in stitches over our passport photos. They point at us, point at our photos and giggle. I think this might also be why we haven’t had any problems with any police or military personnel so far, they just don’t take us seriously.
Walking along the dusty road towards Gigante, I realized that this is exactly what I hoped to find in Nicaragua. There are no paved roads, farm animals run wild and we camped right on the beach at Playa Amarillo, with hardly anyone else around.
Washing day at Amarillo.
Cabin on the beach.
Gigante was the perfect place to hang out for a few days. The waves at Amarillo were too heavy for me, but we found an amazing spanish school, Pie de Gigante, and finally signed up for lessons. It was great to see such tangible improvements in our spanish, as we started to learn how to conjugate verbs in different tenses. I wish I could say the same for my surfing.
Although the area of coastline in the Rivas region is relatively undeveloped, surfers have definitely found their way here. We camped for a couple of days at Finca Popoyo, the carpark/bar overlooking the popular reef break. The waves were much better here, so it was fun for me to get out of the white wash and try to catch a proper wave.
It has been funny hanging out on the beaches, particularly in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Locals are often borrowing our surfboards or the computer, and the van is becoming a bit like our house in Edmonton – if a meal is being cooked, someone will probably pop over.
Fruit Loops anyone? We had to get them after seeing Toucans…obviously.
Of all the countries in Central America, I was most looking forward to visiting Nicaragua. It well and truly lived up to my expectations.