Reflections on Nicaragua
This is a journal entry I wrote the day Leah, Monica, and I arrived in Nicaragua.
After a day’s worth of travel, Leah, Monica and I have arrived in Nicaragua. We decided to leave Montezuma for the weekend and escape to some peace and quiet.
A lot of people tried to psych us out before we left, and many others told us that San Juan del Sur was a lot like Montezuma. A small little surf town that was far less expensive than Costa Rica. Nicaragua may have been similar in some ways (there is a beach, people surf) but to me, it was not like Costa Rica.
The poverty is far more obvious and definitely in plain view. It actually made me feel like a bit of an asshole because here I am taking a “weekend jaunt” so easily across the border from CR to Nicaragua, and I am sure that many people wish to do the same, but for better reasons than just “fun.” The physical beauty of the country- the ocean, the mountains (like fluffy green pillows)- is amazing, and is a very interesting backdrop for the tons of corrugated metal roof homes that dot the hills and spaces a long the road.
The brief moments we spent downtown by the beach gave me a glimpse into a beach town that may not be wild like Cancun, but is still not as sleepy as Montezuma. People are more aggressive. They are nice, but in your face offering taxis, souvenirs, and inviting you into restaurants to eat.
We spent our weekend at El Jardin, an inexpensive, but beautiful hotel in the hilll’s overlooking the best view of San Juan del Sur . The half moon of ocean beneath us, the bright colors of the adobe hotel, and the calm swimming pool made for peas and quiet like I have not heard in forever.
In Montezuma, you can certainly find relaxation, but sometimes it can be harder. For a small town, there can sometimes be a lot of noise. Loud voices in our hotel talking well into the night (including mine), dirt bikes and ATVs running all over the place, the dull thumping of music. Here in San Juan del Sur, I fell asleep to crickets at 8:30 at night after trying to stuff myself with as much Beef Bourguinon as I could handle (bad idea, considering I still have a stomach bug, but I was starving and tired of not eating what I wanted).
I think of all the stress of crossing into a new country. The immigration process can be long and hectic, and after 6 hours on buses and ferrys, and then even more time in Taxis. I couldn’t imagine having to do this every three months in order to stay in Costa Rica. Still, I am so happy we came. Nicaragua is beautiful, and very raw. Tomorrow we go back to Montezuma, fully recharged.