A Travellerspoint blog

Nicaragua

much more like it.

sunny 27 °C
View South America - out of Sorts on lidster's travel map.

Well Nicaragua is much more like the central america you would want to see. Roads are still the same or slightly worse but its more like an actual place than a tourist destination in the off season. People doing stuff and generally a bit of a buzz around and about. I'll let Geev inform you about the 10 hour trip to get from where we were to where we are. Not a lot of fun. Chicken buses are recommended for short trips but a whole day is just a little too much. Got here though and that is the main thing.

Picture of a lake in nicaragua for you.

IMG_0918.jpg

Granada itself is a very pretty colonial town. Not too many tourists - this is still the rainy season and not sure when it is supposed to end - just as I leave I imagine. Lots of very pretty buildings and as such photo opportunities. I took 1. The lake is pretty disgusting - its on lago de nicaragua for those of you following with an atlas. Its in Nicaragua for those of you who are not. Nicaragua is in Central America for those of you who are geography fuckwitts. Went to another lago just up the road. Payago I think. Most tranquilo. Hung out and did nothing all day apart from deciding that we would skip Panama as it is too far to travel. We then changed our mind once we had a beer and had to take the fecking bus again. Not that I mind. All sorts of interesting opportunities to buy baked or liquidised goods from local vendors. More than you could ever eat but still better feast than famine I suppose. Am still waiting to get my first tattoo / piercing / souvenier. No rush I suppose.

Anyway - 28 hours later we are in Bocas del toro in Panama. We spent about 20 hours on buses and 8 hours overnight in Puerto Limon - it is probably the worst place I have ever been to. Do not go there under any circumstances. Geev and I were quite proud of getting out alive although that does exaggerate the danger somewhat it was still pretty rough. In any case - the computers here are from the 80's and the keyboards have no letters left printed on them so I am using the force to type. Its also a stunning day outside and we are off snorkeling so please be patient for me to actually make any sense of the above and upload some bus pictures etc.

IMG_0952.jpg

This is the Panama / Costa Rica border at Sixaola. Bit of a shambles all told.

Hope you are all well. Going for a dip in the carib now.

Lid

Posted by lidster 09:37 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Costa Rica

Richish but more for the Rich than anything else.

semi-overcast 30 °C
View South America - out of Sorts on lidster's travel map.

Well best laid plans etc. Apparently taking a hire car from the relatively safe Costa Rica to the comparatively less so nicaragua is not an option. Well we turned up at the border and got dk'd. Not a problem though. We decided to explore off the beaten track. Ended up down a dirt road (although that is not much of a suprise) and got to this place...

IMG_0873.jpg

That is Jeremiah. From the states and a top quality bloke. Geev met him while I struggled to get down here and we have been hitching a ride in his hire car ever since. Most fun. Driving can be somewhat interesting though. You may have trouble imagining but I have some footage.

If that works I'll eat my sombrero.

Went kayaking, Jeremiah saw a turtle swimming around, and ended up on an island that is a bird sanctuary. Very nice all round. Jump high-fives etc. This brings me to an interesting point. Costa Rica is lauded for having a proactive stance towards nature reserves, protecting wildlife and generally leading the way in preserving the beauty of central america. However, sticking eco in front of something does not necessarily make it better for the local ecosystem. The ecoGolf for example. EcoPlaya hotel. Ecotours offering all terrain vehicle jaunts around the local nature reserve, the list is just endless. So the net addition of all of this eco stuff is that when we arrived in Tamarindo (aka Tamagringo) there was an article in the newspaper saying that so much neat sewage had been dumped in the sea that you had a pretty decent chance of getting ecoli - or ecoecoli I suppose in this case. The good news is that they are planning a new water treatment plan - well new in the sense that they don't have one currently - the bad news being that they are building hotels as if the entire USA is going to move down here. Which they may - they should notice little actual difference apart from the smell of shit from the beach and potentially there are more drug dealers here - although it may depend upon from whence you originally hail.

Talking of things eco we went to see a turtle lay some eggs on a beach last night. All red lights and respectful distances etc but it was really cool. The turtle / leatherback / was about 300 kilos apparently and laid about 85 eggs. 50% hatch. Of the total there is a 1% chance of growing to adulthood. So a 0.85% chance of any of said eggs making it. It was pretty awe inspiring stuff. Talking of which have a gander at that.

IMG_0898.jpg

Excellent I think you will agree. All told Costa Rica lacks culture from north to south as far as I can see. Unless culture is hookers and crack. I think not.

Talking of drugs. In Tamarindo there are currently more people offering weed and coke than there are potential customers. An average night out for dinner and a couple of beers will see you approached by 8-10 dealers at least. Those choosing to get high from own supply generally come up every five minutes. Should you not wish to buy drugs then they can also offer girls - and one random dude who looked a little worse for wear offered us "chilled rooms" although as he slurred his words I was a little confused. We drove off at speed.

IMG_0850.jpg

Went to see a volcano. Its behind the trees in this particular shot but I looked tanned and relatively skinny so I chose this picture instead of the decent one. Very active. Smoke etc. Grumbling etc. Whatever etc.

And just to show you how well we are blending in with the locals. Please see below.

IMG_0856.jpg

Oh yeah. Geev pictured above. He gets more coverage in the next installment which will be hosted from Nicaragua. Bus all the way there. Most cool. Happy trails Miah. See you in Vegas or Reno sometime next year.

Hope everyone is fine and dandy. Take care all. But not too much. Everything in moderation.

Live long and prosper.
Lid

Posted by lidster 11:01 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

Rum, fun and baccy.

This island was once inhabited by 5,000 pirates.

storm
View South America - out of Sorts on lidster's travel map.

Morning. Sorry about the delay. Got to Honduras, hit the caribbean, had a rum and got into a hamaca and thats the last thing i remember really. Some weird sort of Black Hole I must have fallen into. In any case I turned up 4 days late to meet Geev but as the guy in the bank said to me, "if you can't do it today whats to say it really needs doing". Logic in there somewhere.

Firstly, one thing to clear up.

IMG_0451.jpg

The Snipple. Lovely animal. Tasted a bit like Chicken.

I took my open water course and then decided to do the advanced. If I had time I would have stayed for the rescue diver etc etc etc. Time (although comparatively plentiful) ran out. Geev arrived in CR Friday and manfully made his way to the beach on the pacific.

IMG_0488.jpg

Above please see the Dive team. Gerry, Rob, Jess, Gutti and Anna. I was taking the picture but I was really there. Super bunch. Liked a drink in the evenings. Probably due to Nitrogen narcosis or some such. Did you know that Oxygen becomes toxic at 58 metres under. Thought not. Although that calculation is assuming a partial pressure of 1.4 which is conservative and if you took 1.6 you could technically get down to 66m. Not sure why you would bother though.

In other news I saw a turtle while diving. Did a night dive and also rolled off the boat backwards a la James Bond. Although to be fair he didn't have to clear his nose of snot 3 or 4 times afterwards. Diving is kind of fun. It's weird when you first start to do it and then subsequently ranges from thrilling to boring. Some dives give you the opportunity to see the plethora of marine life in all of its glory. Others give you the opportunity to see what appears to be an underwater moonscape with one sad and confused lobster (caribbean speckled variety apparently) wondering where all his mates have gone and what the hell all these big lumbering fish with metal tanks on their backs are doing. In any case I am qualified now so all I have to do in future is turn up and throw myself off a boat. Easy.

To continue. Lots of rum availabale in the carib. Drinks are "expensive" compared to the rest of Honduras and "cheap as chips" compared to most places on earth. There has been a bit of traveller economising though and we found a supplier of beer for about 50 cents a bottle. This great opportunity to save money was met with much rejoicing and the traditional walk to the store with a wheelbarrow which was subsequently filled with beer. (Actually this American girl went by herself a couple of times and she was a trifle unusual all told).

IMG_0498.jpg

I imagine most of you have been to the Caribbean so I will not bore you with too much of the details. General stories of people walking insanely slowly, banks having "system problems" from 11 to 3 every day and huge queues at other times. Having been there for almost 2 weeks the ATM was yet to issue a single note as I departed. Although it did say welcome each time I tried. Slow connection speeds (as such no photos uploaded there either) and rum, rum, rum. As you can probably guess, I liked it.

IMG_0781.jpg

This is Avida on the left, Steveo in the middle and David on the right. I think I meant to upload a different photo but this is the one you got.

IMG_0738.jpg

This was dinner one night. We were all a little suprised when a pig turned up at the dive centre but we all relaxed when the dude drove a 6 inch bolt into its head (which I didn't see) and then skinned and disembowled it (which I did). Fried pig skin - quite tasty.

IMG_0709.jpg

This is Dallace and Kara who were making sure I was hydrated, didn't die diving or swimming and were often trying to get me to stop smoking. They were both very kind and we had a lot of fun - so thanks girls - see you around and aboot. Talking of which I was trying to upload a photo of the whole team out and about but seem to have cocked it up and cannot be bothered now. Oh well. You probably get the idea. If you want to dive go to Utila. If you do go to Underwater Vision. If you are there at night go to Tranquila and ask for Brooks and tell him I sent you. Snowballs chance in hell he remembers me but hes a very nice bloke so he should take care of you.

So its adios to the caribbean for the moment. Got a boat. Took a flight and now I am in Jaco. Bit of advice. If you like expensive drinks, lots of loud American toursts and are a sex tourist I highly recommend it. If no to any of the aforementioned do not come to Jaco. Its pretty terrible. We leave manana first thing. Roadtrip to Nicaragua. Most excellent. No map as yet but how hard can it be.

Smile and be happy. See you around.
Lid

Posted by lidster 09:58 Archived in Honduras Comments (1)

(Entries 28 - 30 of 41) « Page .. 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 12 13 14 »