My favorite summer vacation: Nica y Costa '08!!

by kimlarge / Sep 15, 2008 / 1 comments

Best summer vacation? Easily August 2008: Nicaragua --> Costa Rica in 10 days.

 We started our trip by flying into Managua, Nicaragua. We stayed there for one night before moving on to Granada: the oldest city on the continent! It didn't disappoint. The buildings were fabulous and the city was beautiful. Having beento Panama and Costa Rica before I knew what to expect, but I had never seensuch a colorful city before!  


While in Granada we took a boat tour of “Las isletas” which were just little islands inLake Nicaragua where people had built houses and basically just vacationed there. We were lucky in that earlier we had met a guy who agreed to take us out, buy some beer, and he let us get off to swim at one point. My tour book told me not to expect to pay less than $8/pp and we paid just over that but got some refreshments too (there were 4 of us).


After the boat tour we just wandered around the city and took in a show that was going on in the park at night. The next day we went on a horseback riding tour around the city and saw “La casa mas Antigua de Granada” (The Oldest House ofGranada). The only thing that was disconcerting was the condition of the horses! Pobrecitos!


The same day we hopped on a bus to go to Rivas, Nicaragua. Buses in Nicaragua are old yellow school buses from the states that have come to die in Central America.Of course they are decorated and painted and ‘classed up” but it doesn’t take away the fact that windows are duct-taped cellophane and you have to toss your backpack up top to be strapped down.


Once we got to Rivas we were assaulted by “The Poker” when we got off the bus. Just a random guy who poked people as they exited. We had to take a taxi to San Jorge and then we hopped on a ferry to get to La Isla de Ometepe. It was an intense day of travel but worth it once we got to the island.


We spent the next day hiking up to the Waterfall of San Ramon. We hiked up the side of avolcano and then the path turned into rocks where a mudslide 2 weeks earlierhad washed it away. It was semi-dangerous but luckily we had a guide with us. The waterfall was amazing! Later that day we went horseback riding to a lagoon and when swimming in water that was filtered from the volcano!


The next day we headed to the border at Peñas Blancas between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.After a ridiculous hassle of trying to get on the TicaBus we realized if wewalked across the border it would save us a headache. Once we crossed the border we waited at customs again and caught a bus to San Jose. Another day of travel.


Next day we headed to my FAVORITE place in all of Costa Rica: Monteverde! Finally we decided to settle down for a couple days and stayed there 3 days. We went on a canopy tour, ATVing (me and my girl friend didn’t pass the practice course so we had to ride on the back of the ATVS with the tour guides), and horseback riding.


We got back to San Jose and decided our last day we would go white water rafting onthe Pacuaré river. We had heard great things about it and thought it would be a nice way to end the trip.


I was already afraid of white water rafting. I went once when I was 10 in N. Carolina and had to be coaxed to go on a class 1 or 2. I am not a strong swimmer and was terrified of flipping. I asked the tour guides repeatedly how likely it would be that we would flip. We got in a boat with two other brothers who claimed tohave experience. Ours was the smallest boat – 6 plus the guide (everyone else had 8) – and we were the youngest and SEEMINGLY most fit. I figured the chances of something happening were slim to none. We asked our guide how many times he’d flipped and he said 4 times in 4 years. I was calming down. Then hes tarted talking about the next class 4 rapid coming up: “Muy tecnica, muy tecnica”.That didn’t sound good. Before I knew it, we were in the thick of it. “GET DOWN! GET DOWN!” … everyone jumps down, “GET UP! GET UP!” I move to get back upon the right side and before I know it I feel the raft coming up on the rightside. I see my friend’s face as all 5 feet 10 inches of me comes barreling overhis head. I’m in the water trying frantically to swim to the top. But wait, didn’t they tell us not to struggle? It was absolutely the most counter-intuitive thing I’ve ever done to resist swimming up. Basicallyeverything they told us on the way over was forgotten: I was swimming, I forgot to lift my legs (left leg got wrecked among the rocks) and I was facing backwards into the rapid, so I couldn’t see when one was coming and was basically choking on water and air. I finally got to a calm part of the water and saw the safety kayak. I didn’t make any friends when I accidentally pulled his paddle away from him and then I grabbed on to the wrong part of the boat.At this point I couldn’t believe I had beaten death! Then we had to keep going.The last hour of the trip consisted of a terrified me holding my breath everytime we were in a rapid. Did I mention we were the only raft that flipped? Yea.Pretty awesome. Drinks on y’all! 


Comments (1)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 8 months ago

    my goodness - i am SO glad that you are safe. sounds like you packed a lot in, in a short amount of time. thanks for sharing!


    Jessie Voigts


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