Dengue fever, earthquakes and cheeky monkeys
13.08.2012 - 20.09.2012
Hola from Nicaragua!
Its about time I got off my butt and wrote a blog for you all. It´s been a busy 5 weeks or so, I have covered 4 countries and am currently in a colonial town called Granada in Nicaragua in a hostel run by a gay Liverpudlian!
So lets start from the beginning!!
Colombia - I spent just over a week here, going from Medellin to Bogota and on to Cartagena where I took a boat to Panama via the San Blas Islands. To be honest I didnt enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but I did have a great night out in Bogota with a few friends. Cartagena was scorchio and I was lucky to get on board a boat called the Gypsy Moth, luckily someone didnt turn up so I stole their place!
San Blas - Captain Sym (from England) took me and 8 other travellers from New Zealand, UK, Italy, Ireland & Holland to the ideallic San Blas islands, the first 2 days were a bit sketchy for me being out in the ocean in a sail boat, even though it was a smooth crossing it didnt feel smooth at the time! We spent 3 days island hopping, playing volleyball and getting drunk, its a tough life! Sym cooked up a storm in the kitchen and was a great captain, he was more of a kid than us travellers, and he got us to Panama, no problemos!!
Panama - Most of us went together to Panama City for a few days. One of the Dutch guys (Daan) wasnt feeling too great, little did we know he had dengue fever! I didnt do much in Panama City, I didnt even see the canal, to be honest there wasnt that much to do, so me and the dutch boys headed off to a little place called Bocas del Torro on an overnight bus where the air conditioning was outrageously cold but the Junior Bocas baseball team kept us amused for the journey!
Bocas del Torro - what a strange place!!! Lots of little islands with no beaches, and you have to take water taxis to get around. After a few days of Daan moping around we took him to the hospital, well I call it a hospital, I have seen cleaner floors in an outside toilet in Thailand. Taking of toilets, they had one in reception, yes, in reception!!!!!! An actual toilet by the desk, obviously it wasnt attached to anything.... and it had a broom sticking out the top of it. Anyway Daan got his results back after 5 hours of messing about and we all went back to the hostel to celebrate, I mean look after him. My only foray to an island was to do some snorkelling but there were so many jellyfish that we had to abandon the trip and go for a beer, which was just as well because we found a midget selling lobsters and had a lovely dinner!
Costa Rica - Puerto Viejo
By this time my dutch friends had abandoned me and I travelled to Puerto Viejo. A stunning little beach town, where you can cycle around to your hearts content. This is where I experienced my first earthquake!! Luckily the quake was miles away but we felt some tremors in the hostel and we were put on tsunami alert for an hour or so, it was very exciting indeed! Even though I I met up with my Hawaiian friend Nick who I met in Bocas and a Spanish girl, Marta, who is living in Puerto Viejo teaching kids. Highlights of Puerto Viejo included kayaking down a river, where I saw lots of turtles and howler monkeys, more snorkelling in the ocean, visiting an animal refuge, frisbee on the beach, and a big night out which involved some sort of tequila competition, I am pretty sure I lost.... I should also point out that the hostel I stayed in I got loads of free stuff from the owners, coffees, cakes, snacks, etc, I shold also point out that they are very camp, thank God I didnt have to give them anything in return!!!!
After 2 days of travelling by bus, I arrived in another beach town called San Juan del Sur with 2 Aussie girls in tow, whose Spanish is about as good as my Russian, so I became their translator/guide for the journey. We cleared customs and whizzed on to San Juan in a taxi and arrived to a rousing reception at a hostel run by a lovely Aussie couple which had a great view of San Juan as we were up in the mountains. ( I have never before been high fived on arrival at any hostel). By this time everyone knew my name as I had booked ahead, so the word was out, Michael Jackson was arriving!!! The hostel also has a pet spider monkey called Buzz, whose hobbies include attacking, biting, swinging, scratching its bum and sleeping. But what a cool monkey, You could watch it for hours, it was more entertaining than Michael Mcintyre, which isnt saying much I know... I spent a good few days here relaxing, swimming, tanning and eating good tucker. It was kind of like being on holiday with your family (if you actually like your family), everyone ate together, drank together and had some good banter.
I was very sorry to leave there but am now in Granada, which is a lovely town. Not sure where my next stop is but probably north of Nicaragua, I have been told there is a place where you can throw yourself off a volcano on some sort of board... sounds very cultural!
Sorry to have droned on but I could have said a hell of a lot more, this was really just to let people know where I am, I will post photos on facebook later on.
And just to let you know, Daan is back in Holland and recovering well! Hooray!
See you soon amigos