BIG TRIP SOUTH
Hi all! Sorry it´s been a while since my last blog, but let me attempt to compact a wicked 3 week blatt through Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua into a few humble paragraphs...
Johnny had 3 weeks to travel before heading back to NZ, so I took some time off school and we shot off. First stop: Isla de Ometepe - a huge island in the Nicaragua Lake made up of two volcanoes. Awesome. We spent three nights there, exploring the ´beaches´(the lake is so big you really do feel like youre at the ocean), climbing on of the volcanoes, Maderas (atop of which is a swampy crater) and staying with a local family. We really loved our time there, but were keen to keep on the move.
So we did the marathon trip down to Panama City from there - that´s about 36 hours travel, including an evening in San Jose (Costa Rica´s capital) and two very slow border crossings. Worth it though - Panama city is FANTASTIC. We stayed in Casco Viejo - a gorgeous colonial section of the city right on the waterfront. We visited and were impressed by the Panama Canal, and the ruin of the original Panama City. We even had a night out on the town with some wonderful Colombians...
From Panama City we went to San Blas islands, locally known as Kuna Yala - an autonomous secion of Panama made up of about 400 islands in the Carribean ocean. There were so few people on this island it felt like it was ours. Tranquil barely describes it.
So short of time we blatted back up to Costa Rica and went to a place on the Nicoya peninsula called Montezuma. There were cappuchin monkeys literally bouncing on the roof of our hostel,and exotic birds perched on the deck, with iguanas in the trees just beyond. In Montezuma the nature comes to you!! We rented a quad bike and drove around the Peninsula, gorgeous rolling surf beach after surf beach - am I reading
like a tourism brochure? Costa Rica is the most touristy of the central american countries, but this coast was so vast that the places felt empty. A pacific coast to rival new zealand beaches as far as beauty goes, but the water was WARM....
After Montezuma we had a night in Liberia, a northern city of Costa Rica, before slicing up to León, a northern city in Nicaragua. We were there with a more meaningful purpose - to meet Johnny´s world vision sponsored child. What an overwhelming experience. The world vision staff showed us through their offices, and gave us a presentation on the work they do. They do A LOT. We met Nasbi and her family, and went to visit her school - where all the students, staff and parents were gathered to put on a special concert for me and Johnny. Wow. They even made us say a few words, and my Spanish all but failed me!! We spent the rest of the day eating and visiting and going to prize givings - they made such a fuss of us. We felt totally undeserving (especially me, I don´t even sponsor a child!! I will now though..) but it was an amazing thing to witness. I am so sold on World Vision...
So now I´m back here in Granada, happy to working with my little ones again and busy planning the next adventure. If you´ve got a spare mo feel free to write me and let me know what you´ve been up to!! Would be nice to hear from ya :)