28.01.2016 - 01.02.2016 25 °C
Another adventure has begun! I am about to start working in Nicaragua for the next four months working for a company called Global Student Embassy leading trips doing sustainable farming with students from the US. My trip started with two long travel days. Flying from California to Houston and finally to Managua. Flying into Managua was beautiful at night. All over the city there are colorful trees that light up the street and a central area where a rainbow of glowing trees illuminated the night. The following day I took a bus from the bustling Managua bus station to Rivas on my way to Playa Gigante. At every stop different people would make their way on and off of the bus in a calculated system that I could not figure out. Various people would jump on and try to sell empanadas, sweets, dried plantain chips, or beverages from a cooler at the front. At one point two men with their faces painted like clowns got on and conducted a comedy routine. The bus station at Rivas was crowded with people coming and going. Taxi drivers hollering at obvious gringos, like myself - with the stereotypical backpack sandwich, to take their taxi for what of course would be the best price. I ended up sharing a cheap taxi ride with a couple from Quebec down to Playa Gigante, as there is only one bus that you have to catch around 1:30pm. The road was dusty and bumpy and I couldn't imagine how a bus would make it, though it does every day.
Playa Gigante is paradise. Beautiful undeveloped beaches with cerulean blue waves crashing against the sand. There are hammocks galore and the produce truck comes around selling fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs for under $2 total. Lazy days filled with reading and swimming have been the perfect way to relax after two tiring days of non-stop travel.
The first night I had a delicious meal with family friends, Gwen and Brian, where we caught the sunset and enjoyed tostones con queso, which are fried plantains with cheese, plus a typical Nicaraguan meal with rice, beans and protein. We were up there just in time for sunset.
One of the evenings at my hostel everyone in my dorm joined forces to make a big communal meal that was wonderful! We bought fresh fish from a local fisherman and cooked it over the fire, made a fresh salad after soaking our veggies in iodine, that consisted of radishes, cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers. Of course rice and beans were present, we had a cooked vegetable mix, fried yucca - so good! - and boiled chayote which is similar tasting to zucchini. It was a great meal and fun to share with everyone. Later that night we all went out a listened to live music at a local bar, and I finally saw bioluminescence in the crashing waves at night. Beautiful.
My last full day in Playa Gigante I tried surfing for my first time! It was so much fun and I am definitely going to try again the next time I am at the coast. The waves were very small, great for learning and I stood up twice. I have been enjoying trying new things, meeting new people, and seeing new places. Excited for the next four months and what will come.
Next stop is to Granada for a few days before I begin training. All the best!