Thursday, July 28, 2011

Isla de Ometepe

So I just finished up a 3 day trip on the island of Ometepe, in the middle of the Lake of Nicaragua (which does have sharks), complete with 2 volcanoes on the island. Pretty much jungle and beaches and volcanoes all on one spot. Looks small til you get there. Might actually still be a small island, if it wasn´t for the buses going super slow over the bumpy roads to each village. We spent 3 nights at 3 different spots. The first with the supposed most people and best beach, had neither, but was near a crystal clear water hole called Ojo de Agua. Pretty sweet stuff there, being able to look 10 feet to the bottom no problem.

Santa Cruz was where all the backpackers went and where the best beach was. Pretty chill stuff, relaxing, floating in the water and looking at 2 volcanoes and a huge lake with sharks. I hiked some of the way up the Maderas Volcano before sunset one evening for an amazing view. Nothing like looking down at the island you´re on and seeing water surrounding another volcano, with the sun going down.
We spent the last night at the Monkey Island Hotel, mainly for the use of their free kayaks. Cruised around the local beaches as well as to a couple islands with monkeys on them. Worked up a nice couple of blisters and kept the shoulders in shape after the 4 days surfing down in San Juan del Sur.

Here are photos of the island:"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Loading the ferry.

Here are some pìctures from San Juan Del Sur, my first town in Nicaragua. SPent 6 days there, hanging outwith great people,getting to know thecity, andsurfing 4 of thedays. Got to hike to a huge statue ofJesus another day. A great town, and I miss it alittle bit. Leftthis morning for Ometepe, an island with 2 volcanoes onit, in themiddle of Lake Nicaragua. Took a rusty, bouncy, waterfilled ferry here and then a local chicken bus. Slow traveling, but got here andhad a nice swim. Traveling withmy Israeli mate Barak right now. Meeting some other friends tomorrow to hike on one of the waterfalls and explore.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here´s a pic of what I´m traveling with on the 6 week Central American trip. Nice and light.

Here´s some pics of the grand day out hitching a ride on a horse, waterfalls and jumping off rope swings:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Costa Rica Cowboy Action

Pictures from the amazing day

Riding on Millionaire, the horse who never stoppedHorses without saddles mean free rides
Me with the Costa Rican John Wayne who let us get on the horses on their return trip with the Arenal volcano behind us
Nothin like a cool waterfall after a 3 mile hike in the blazin sun
Solo me

Monday, July 18, 2011

Best day to date

Can´t believe how amazing this day has been. The start which could´ve been cool ( a bus to a boat across a lake to another jeep) was just the beginning. Entered into La Fortuna, a town in northern Costa Rica nearby the volcano Arenal. Volcano was pretty cloudy at the time so I set off to find some waterfalls.

On my way up the 5k hike to the waterfalls, I ran into 2 girls from Portland and found the traveling partners needed for the adventurous day. Sweated our tails off getting up the hills on teh side of the volcano to get to the waterfalls and played around there for a couple hours in bliss. Perfect spot, good pictures and all that.

On the hike back down, we heard cowboys yelling at us and then 2 cowboys went by, followed by about 30 horses, all saddled up with no one on them. A tour going back to the pasture. Of course we yelled that we wanted a horse and lo and behold, we were able to snag 3 horses for ourselves and hop on with the cowboys on the roundup back to the stable. Pretty unbelievable, being on a horse, not knowing how to ride, going down a steep trail with 4 Costa Rica cowboys, 2 Portland girls and 20 odd horses. The clouds went away and we had a great view of the volcano the whole ride, with the cowboys playing ¨paparazzi¨for us and loving it. Good times, sore ass. Nothing finer than hitching a ride with horses going by you. Don´t need to do a horse tour any time soon, as rode down a mountain, crossed 3 rivers and felt like John Wayne.

After that amazing adventure, we walked to a bridge out of town where you can go below the bridge to a trail to a water hole where there´s a rope swing. Swinging out past the rocks, and dropping about 20 feet down. The day keeps getting better. Met some California girls as well and jumped off 10 times.

Followed all that up with some sangria and a chicken casado (chicken, rice, beans, salad, fried plantains) to cap off an amazing day.

Off to Nicaragua at 6:30 tomorrow morning to keep the life amazing.

That´s how it´s done.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keepin it interesting

So had a bit o' a bother last night trying to travel by bus. We took a bus to a ferry and by the time the ferry got in over on the other side in a dirty port city (Puntarenas), we found out all the buses were done for the day at 6pm. We were trying to get up to Monteverde, the town in the clouds with tree walks and such, but the direct buses were done. A taxi driver said it was possible to still get there via another couple buses. As it was just 6:30pm, we figured we could make it. Instead of taking us to the local bus station, the taxi driver took us 15 km away to the Pan-American highway where we could supposedly take a bus. So instead of a cheap ride, it was a very expensive ride.

Got pretty much left on the side of a busy small road, and found out that the buses we wanted would not work for us. So we were stuck out there, and after a while finally managed to get a bus back into town. 2 hours and too much money later, ended back up in Puntarenas at 9pm looking for a room. The town is full of overpriced rooms and we paid twice what we normally paid just for the night before catching the early morning bus up to Monteverde.

Bit of a mission to get up here, especially as the bus broke down on the way. Martijn headed off to San Jose to meet another Dutch friend on Monday, so I'm on my own, up in the clouds, surrounded by mist and rainforests. Pretty nice up here, quiet and relaxing.

Taking a jeep to a boat across a lake, to another jeep to La Fortuna, the town by the volcano Arenal. Keeping the adventure alive and having fun down in Costa Rica.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lizard Lunch
Sweaty Tarzan in Manuel Antonio National Park
Our path through the muddy jungle. Tis the rainy season so its all a bit muddy.
I took a pill and turned into a monkey for an hour. Sexy huh?

Costa Rican monkeys gone wild

Here's a video from the Manuel Antonio park on the pacific coast in Costa Rica. Saw monkeys all over the place, along with raccoons, sloths, butterflies and loads of tourists. Pretty sweet overlooks and beaches along the way in the country's most visited park.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Costa Rica photos!

The life is amazing right now. Back on top of the world.

Im down in remote Costa Rica, in the very southwestern corner, at a crazy beautiful national park called Corcovado. Sleeping with monkeys, insects, trees all making noise all around. Packed full of wildlife. Supposedly there is 12% of the world´´s biodiversity here, and Im definitely getting my fair share. Super quiet, away from the tourists and a perfect spot.

Martin, my Dutch buddy and me, have been exploring the area after a day in the capital San Jose. Long bus ride down here has been worth it so far. rented bikes and road to check out crocodiles (sadly they were not showing themselves or biting us) and then off to a beach called la playa precioso, and it was indeed amazing. perfect waves and no one else there apart from some little kids who beat us 5-4 in a game of soccer. cruising around on a bike never felt so good.

today we got up at 5am to catch the Taxi Collectivo with all the locals and head out to the heart of the park, a bumpy 2 hour ride in, with lots of stops for the locals. after a 3 mile trek along the beach, we entered the jungle to meet anything from 3 species of monkeys, northern racoons (much better than our trash eaters), parrots, lizards, crabs, butterflies and so much more. completely amazing. We had to ford a few rivers, walk along beaches surrounded by blue water and palm trees. Perfect day, capped off by a seafood feast back in town.

We are staying at an awesome Italians farm nearby the town of Puerto Jimínez. Super cool guy, who speaks a little English and has been here for 7 years with a Costa Rican wife and boy. Pretty good life. Kinda envious right now as he has a fun little farm which produces a lot of his food, rents out rooms to people like me and just hangs out. Pretty tempting right now, the easiness and enjoyment is high. Ill give the farming a test run soon working on my friend of friends coffee farm.

this keyboard isnt the best, but the life is, and that is all that matters. here are a few pictures on face book for you to check out. We are living it up down here.

Last day in the USA

As I booked my flight to central america, I had the option to take the cheapest way possible which included a 12 hour layover in Denver. Perfect! Time to make it to Coors Field and check out the Rockies vs. the Royals. Solid baseball in a home run park. Royals whooped the Rockies 16-8 with 4 home runs, in a high scoring game. Got to chow down on a Rockie dog and feel American, plus the stadium went all out Independence Day themed with the players getting the wig treatment.

Scalped a wicked ticket and sat 6 rows behind home plate. Got to see the pros up close and live it up in style in my last day in the US.

After I cruised around Denver, checking out their main mall full of every American shop out there, and checking out the capital area. Thousands of people out to watch the fireworks and celebration, which for some reason comes on July 3rd. Why not beat everyone to it, and celebrate a day early so you´re special, eh?

Good times, then off to Costa Rica to arrive at 5am for the adventures to begin.