After spending almost a month in towns we finally migrated to more rural landscapes. First was the trip via a ferry over to Ometepe, a large freshwater island made up of two volcanoes.
That’s kind of what our days looked like, pictures, car, food, laundry, food…we did attempt a hike but after about 15 minutes got hungry and turned back. It seems we missed much of Nicaragua’s adventures like volcano boarding, hiking and the list goes on. But this was healing time and our insurance would probably not believe us if we filed another hospital claim. A few days later trying to get off the island we arrived early to find that the next three ferries were full and couldn’t leave till sunset. We spent a full day in the little port town mostly scoping out ways to get into bathrooms, something that has become a common theme of van life.
We left the ferry with an extra two passengers: an El Salvadorian traveling busker and a women from San Juan Del Sur, where we were headed for next. This came in handy as we arrived late and got a tour of good spots to park and sleep, as well as an overview of the town. Therefore it took no time to settle in.
We were not really feeling this touristy place and headed to the more secluded beaches. We found what we were looking for in Playa Majagual. With no cost to accommodations we stayed for about a week. Nights were spent gathering at the only little spot that served food, drinks or just provided a place to hang out. This brought the whole place together and within a night we were caught up on the gossip going back about 10 years.
Another late discovery which came from a fellow rock collector was the cool rocks that hid on the beach. My collection of rocks just doubled in awesomeness. Along with the rocks there were many hermit crabs mingling on the beach. Their attire was quite unique, making for a fascinating hermit crab fashion show. We even saw one little fellow try out a new shell, only to decide his old one was better.
Finally our visa was expiring and we needed to move on to Costa Rica. The previous week the border closed shortly as thousands of Cubans were not allowed passage and got stranded at the border. As we approached some week or more later, their presence was still clear. Clothes were hung to dry, make shift cardboard beds and mattresses lined the buildings as the people hoped to make their way to USA. After 4.5 hours of border waiting and sweating we finally made it to our original destination of Costa Rica in exactly 4 months and about 19,000 km since our departure (double the mileage and time we thought it would take).