I'm getting behind on this blog again.
I'm typing this post sitting in a cab on our way out of Granada again. We're just going out to the edge of town to hitch hike our way back to the border of costa rica.
The rest of the gang are all flying home tomorrow and I'm continuing on to spend new years in samara, costa rica with some new and old friends. We spent our last week riding chicken busses, at volcanic music festivals, hiking waterfalls, adopting a Canadian, hanging out with a monkey, peace sticking, putting out fires scootering to rodeos, scaring German girls, surfing volcanoes, making fun of tourists, meeting some puppies and and raccoon and general debauchery with local and world citizens.
We met a girl working at the bar at our hostel in Granada who told us of a festival on ometepe island for the solstice/ end of the world. Perfect! We planned on heading there anyway and what better way to spend the end of the world than on an actively volcanic island, one with a history of mayan settlements and with a landscape dotted with ancient stone carvings. I imagined a sleepy little town to come Alive with festivities, Mayan celebrations, dancing on the streets, locals from across Nicaragua to be out and about and celebrating life and the possible end of it. What we found out however, from two girls from Frankfurt and Berlin, respectively; just finished with their volunteer work in Granada; was that magma fest was the first ever electronic music in Nicaragua, a beer sponsored, wristband affair with security guards, unculminative house music and more white people than I've seen since leaving Canada. It was like a club downtown Toronto suddenly got placed on a beach and just kept on fist bumping. I ran into our friend from the hostel in the middle of the night and she looked at me wide eyed and says, "there's a lot of coke and speed going around, I'm pretty coke and speeded up, hold on, I've gotta go do something!"And with that she was gone, never to be seen again.
It was a strange place to find yourself in the middle of your travels, when all you expected was some nice hikes and to take in the beauty of the place. The island is actually being penned as a sort of biological reserve to attract that sort of Eco tourism that it deserves. The whole party traveller cheap hostel mentality is scarce on the island and that's how it should be in my opinion. The festival was bad in the sense that it directly contradicts that mentality and a lot of locals on the island are not too impressed, the fear that it could set ometepe up as a party destination is a legitimate concern. it will be interesting to see what it will lead to in future years.
Bur despite all that we still got more liquored up and danced harder then anyone else at the place. We had a great fucking time with our German friends from the ferry and our aforementioned friend shine. You guys are amazing!
Also we snuck in and didn't pay for the party or camping, take that magma fest! The budget prevails.
Our next days on the Isla were amazing, we said goodbye to our friends and headed to a beautiful little town on the southern end called Merida. We stayed at a gorgeous hostel, camping for 3 bucks a night. We met a few lovely young families
And enjoyed The biggest buffet I've ever had in my life, after that we were invited to a post graduation party down the street and the whole town was there! There was a dj with a big old sound system, women selling drinks and smokes from buckets behind a folding table and if you had to piss it was the forest or nothing. The dj set up on a basketball court and all the dancing was there, we had fun salsa dancing with some local hunnies, getting harassed by the town drunks and enjoying the actual humanity of the whole affair, it was an actual community come together to celebrate and have a good time. There was young nica boys grinding up on girls, shy girls asking us to dance and one CRAZY salsa dancer taking these girls for a spin, they could barely keep up! It was a stark contrast to magma fest the night before an we loved it.
We hiked volcan Maderas the next day, well halfway, to a beautiful waterfall spilling down from a hundred feet above us into a little pool we could swim in, there was even a rainbow, it was that fuckin beautiful. On the hike we met zac. We became fast friends and he was soon as important a member in our group as any of us. And he was Canadian, a maritimer! We talked about magma fest, he was there as well and ended up getting a lot of his stuff stolen, iPod, camera, money, his first aid kit? But he never complained however and really had an admirable character. Reminded me to just keep trucking. Don't let individual shitty experiences take away from the whole, not even a little.
On our way back to the hostel we stopped to eat at a little restaurant, not worth mentioning except it was some of the best fucking chicken we ever ate, and spaghetti.. and one of the owners of the place saw us jamming on our ukes and pulled a dusty old beaten up guitar out Of the closet, spent 45 minutes tuning the damn thing then blew our minds with some amazing Spanish guitar an a awesome rendition of la bamba. Just wild.
Zac stayed at our hostel that night, already a good enough friend to crash in out tents and the next morning we were off, a two and half hour drive across the island on a cramped sweaty chicken bus to the port town of moyagulpa. There we rented motorbikes and spent the afternoon driving around the island, where we stumbled upon a rodeo. A genuuuine Nicaraguan rodeo. There were wasted old men fighting with each other as much as the bulls, young kids taking some risks with some seriously pissed off bulls and a pizza truck!
The actual spectacle was super cruel and actually pretty rough to watch, those bulls were being treated very poorly, people throwing garbage at them, anything they could to Piss them off. I think rodeos are a little romanticized. Despite that it was fun and we left feeling like we saw something you don't see everyday.
We took the bikes back eventually to catch the ferry that the guy who rented us the bikes told us left at 530, but of course it was gone at four and he tried to get us to stay at his hostel. Hustler! But it turned out as a blessing because after we ditched him we found a great place to stay, but the story gets weird.
We arrived and found two other friends we had net on the hike, kiia and sophie, two girls from Finland and Quebec. Also the hostel owner had monkeys, capuchins, one Of which was as friendly as any dog and I crossed a check off my bucket list. Playing with a fucking monkey!!! I then had a shower and was walked in on by some Pervy old local dude and that was gross.
Anyway This was Christmas eve so we all went out for dinner but when we returned we found the entire back part of the hostel on fire! It was a Sort of cabinas structure made with a roof of banana leaves That housed the hammocks, which is of course where i was set up to sleep that Night. There were about forty people back there throwing buckets of water on the flames and I had a heart attack finding all my stuff which had been scattered in the chaos. I didn't lose anything expensive or important luckily and eventually the flames went out and we returned to the festivities. Also I got an upgrade to the "master suite" . double beds and a private bathroom, not too shabby. The rest of the night was a blast, hanging with our new friends and salsa dancing at the club next door.
Ive typed a lot on a small keyboard and I'm ready To go eat.
We split into groups this morning, saying goodbye in case we didn't see each other again; Dylan ad Janny fly out of San jose and ross and Kveshe from Liberia, quite a distance from each other; and we successfully hitch hiked across the country to the border. However I made a last minute decision to stay in Nicaragua one more night, I turned into San Juan del sur instead of heading to the border, so I said goodbye to Ross an Kveshe and and I'm goin to surf tommorow and head to costa tommorow night.
It's been some of the best days of my life traveling with you all and I'll miss it dearly.
Pura vida bitches.
I'm ready for chapter two.