Ok, I think I have all my junk packed AGAIN.Arriving here in Punta Uva late last month has given me several weeks to realize I still have more stuff than I need, but after some selective elimination I have once again packed a modest sized bag for my trip on wednesday to Nicaragua.
I have taken on a volunteer role at La Esperanza Granada https://www.facebook.com/laesperanzagranada/ a non profit organization that works with the local school system in and around Granada, Nicaragua to help the teachers. I feel a bit intimidated with the prospect of an old guy with studdering spanish being any help to anyone. We shall see.
This is Punta Uva beach about 300 meters along the shore from where I stay and is best for snorkling and swimming as the waves are smaller in behind the point.
The beach becomes increasingly cluttered with branches, trees and garbage during the flat water season of September and October but soon the December winds will come in and in the words of many locals “wash all this shit out sea”. Where it goes and on which beach the stuff finds itself is a mystery.
It takes about 3 weeks to finally acclimate to the night biting bugs and the afternoon heat which will cause my pores to erupt in a sweat and insists you stay quiet with your Kindle for an hour or two. Alcohol seems a likely option for re-hydration but water is in your best interests as the late afternoon temperatures are in the mid to high 30’s and replenishing with a least 2 to 3 liters of water per day is important.
I believe these temperatures are what I recall of April last year. This weather should be much more moderate as I recall actually using a small blanket during the night in 2013.
Selvin has closed the restaurant for a few weeks to get some repairs done before the christmas holiday rush and sees them going 7 days a week into January. I am always happy to be somewhere else at this time of the year leaving the festive Ticos to their celebrations. Neighbor Linda with her pal Skipper.
My concerns for my trip to Nicaragua are offset somewhat by the intrigue of new surroundings and teaching challenges ahead although it is well know that Granada is several degrees warmer than here on the caribbean coast and how that will affect this once cold weather warrior has yet to be determined. It is always easier to pile another log on the fire to get warm but your can get only so close to a fan before losing an ear.
After my 6 weeks of Granada, which I know already and have a fondness for, the buses will take me to the Nicaragua highlands for some cooler adventures in the farming and coffee regions near the Honduras border. I will be meeting my friends Tom and Julia, from my days in Wolfville, in Managua next week and hope to get some ideas on travel to Leon, Somoto and Estril in January. It is hoped I will meet up with another caribbean buddy to cover the last few weeks of travel and then to return the Ometepe and San Carlos by bus back to Punta Uva where I will stay till April.
I really look forward to January, February and March on the beach here in Punta Uva as the both the day and nights come alive with characters from all walks of life, living and loving in their winter skins, shedding a world of worry and obligation for a few weeks or months at a time and sharing their lives in a way that has become foreign to us in our runaway consumer society.
In Costa Rica this year increased costs for food and restaurants have made a huge impression on me and my wallet. Dried goods are at least as expensive as in Canada if not more and only by shopping from the markets can you get your fruit and vegetables for a reasonable sum. The restaurants are all of good quality and accommodation costs, if taken a month at a time, can still represent less than a quarter of your monthly expenses but I have trimmed a lot of extras like beer, chips and sweets and wine with the odd chicken breast or red snapper fish from the local vendors of the sea.
In part my reasoning to go to Nicaragua is to investigate the possibilty of finding an environment that is more temperate as well as a cost of living that best suits my pension. I know from my last visit there in 2013 that it was possible to live on half of what it was costing me in Costa Rica. We shall see.
I shall miss the convenience of my wheels while away but may consider hanging up my helmet and selling my bike when I return as my bouncability has lost some of its’ bounce.
This is, yes, a jesus christ lizard. Aptly named for the cross he bears rather than any miracles he has performed although he does seem to be balancing some rocks on his head. That’s pretty special.