Thursday, August 1, 2013

Honduras and Nicaragua


Just a word for future travel border jumpers on a budget… do only one border pre month; both for financial and sanctity reasons. It can be a trying and expensive indulgence with the vultures that come out of the wood work both leaving and then again getting into each country that my budget will not allow. I just went through Honduras, and now I am in Nicaragua; I need to stay here for a few weeks cheaply so I may stretch my month to match my money. 

My first day the 25th of July in Nicaragua and with that a rude awakening with the gas prices working out to be $5.55 per gallon… I thought the prices back home in Seattle were bad. It is a good thing that it is a small country and that I need to be in Costa Rica before the first of Sept. I was hoping that I could be there sooner, but dollars are dollars regardless of the country you are in.

As it stands, right now, I am looking forward getting back into the regular routing of a part-time job and collecting my Social Security check each month, as well as enjoying my grandchildren face to face back in Washington State… 

My fist night in Nicaragua I spent in Managua the capital city. I was hoping to get to the Masaya Volcano National Park where I could camp at the visitors’ center, but once in this city the lack of street signage made that awfully hard, even with asking for direction. As it was getting dark I knew that I needed to find a place to stay, sleeping in my car in some parking lot. I was not looking forward to doing. I found a very nice Auto Hotel and got a full night’s sleep, I was up early and found the park right away just a few miles outside of town. You can camp there for $2US per night (no electricity it says water, but I did not find any) and entry fee of $4US. That helps make up for the price of the hotel.    

Masaya Volcano, you can drive right up to the rim of this active volcano. But when I was there the volcano was smoking and smelling a little bit of sulfur. Usually there is a night tour but not for the past few days because the smoke has been too thick and you cannot see down to the lava inside. Since I was the only one here after they closed for the day I did drive up to the rim and looked for myself. They were right just smoke, no glowing lava but a good sunset. I had the whole park to myself. It is undoubtedly worth a visit.

Granada, according to the Church and Church book you can camp on the street in front of the Hotel Central or maybe at Camplejo Turistico by the dock at the lake; but neither looked like anything I would want to do. The town is going through a lot of improvements, better streets and some new buildings. It looks like someone is spending a lot of money to get the tourist in there. 

I left Granada and drove to my next possible spot for camping and again according to Church and Church book there is an Eco-lodge just north of San Juan del Sur at Playa Majagual. Before going, I did try to check it out on-line, but the information was not clear. So I thought I would try it anyway I had nothing to lose and beaches are usually a fair bet for cheap camping. As it turns out the Eco-lodge has been closed since 2006. 

Lucky me there is Camping Matilda’s right on the light brown sandy beach and run by a extremely lovely lady. I am paying 100 Córdoba’s or $4US per night for me and my tent. She has a wide variety of basic accommodation. Guest also has the use of a basic kitchen with a gas stove, small refrigerators are available for a small extra charge. There is a extremely agreeable family run restaurant just up the street they also rent surfboards. You can park an RV (no hookups) in the secure parking lot but with the road being exceedingly narrow and what it is I would not try a long one. It has a beautiful surfing and swimming beach. I highly recommend this place. There are a five unit Castaways place next door to. I will be staying here for a while. The only internet is in down the beach and in San Juan. 

I get to hear the constant soothing rhythm of the ocean waves washing up on the shore; the salty taste to the sea breeze as it blows, watching the sea birds diving for their dinner, lizards scurrying about the sand and up the trees, the hurried scamper of the hermit crabs by the hundreds. I hear the chiming of the seashells that have been strung together and decorate the palapa’s along the beach. I have seen an assortment of different colored butterflies that flit and dart about, hear the laughter and screams of enjoyment from the people playing in the waves, watching sandcastles being washed away, children discovering treasures in the sand, white puffy clouds that dance across the sharply contrasting vivid blue sky. I hear birds all over but have not been able to photograph very many and then there are even monkeys darting about the trees, all of this in the rhythm of a day at the beach here at Playa Majagual.

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