Tranquilo in Jiquilillo

Our first ten days in Nicaragua were not very well documented by pictures so this post will be relatively short.  When we think back to these days we remember trying to practice the local state of mind… tranquilo.  Thanks to our friend Steve, who was able to secure us a spot at Monty’s Beach Lodge, we were able to spend our days on the beach sipping “Nica Libres” and exploring the northwest region of Nicaragua.

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We talked before the trip about participating in a volunteer project while we traveled.  We had a hard time finding projects that would work within our budget and our lack of time commitment.  Luckily for us, the campsite we had decided to call home was geared toward volunteer groups mainly coming from Canada.  The group that was residing at the camp was mostly all young ladies that were building a playground at the local community center.  A few of the ladies were very curious as to what/who we were and how our house worked; this turned into a conversation that led us to be invited to come and help the group out the following day.  We feel blessed to have been able to help lend a few extra hands in the process. Perhaps, the most rewarding part of this experience was after the volunteer group had left, we randomly stopped in at the playground, and to our surprise the kids had taken to the grounds as if school were in session and they had just been let outside for the first time that day!

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Call us city slickers or maybe just uninformed, but prior to this trip, both of us were under the impression that roosters were the worst morning wake up call. We can undoubtedly say that the green parrots that reside in the trees around camps put roosters to shame.  Parrots have the wildest banshee calls at precisely dusk and dawn each day and can make a range of sounds from minions to fluent Spanish greetings, catcalls, a song about a man named Roberto and the obvious unforgettable car alarm chime. They may be cute, but we are not planning to take any of them home with us.0114171026_HDR-01.jpeg

If you are curious as to what these birds sometimes sound like, take a listen below!

We can’t talk about our time at Monty’s without mentioning that we met the two sweetest people on earth, Dave and Linda.  And yes, of course they are from Canada!  Meeting Dave and Linda has been one of the highlights of our trip, not only because  they were incredibly supportive of our trip, but because their energy and love for life are intoxicating.  Although we neglected to take a group photo with Dave and Linda, we did go on sunrise estuary tour  and managed to snap a few photos.  Finally, photo credit needs to be given to Linda for snapping the photo of the “three amigos” and Buster Brown in the hammocks.  Thank you for the amazing shot!

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Usually when you decide to go on a volcano hike in Central America, you know before you go where the volcano is and where they trail head begins.  For this particular hike, we left knowing only one of these pieces of critical information.  The journey itself was not ideal, since by the time we found the trail head it was noon and the dead heat of the afternoon was starting to set in.  We did manage to make it to the top and the view was spectacular as we looked upon the Gulf of Fonseca, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.  Below is a brief history of the Cosigüina Volcano.

“The most violent eruption in recent Nicaraguan history occurred January 22, 1835, at the Cosigüina Volcano. A huge part of the crater was blown away and some huge pieces of rock formed islands in the Gulf of Fonseca. Ash rained down in a huge area, reaching as far as Mexico City, 1400 kilometers away. The ash cloud blocked sunlight within a radius of 150 kilometers. After this short but brutal eruption there were only a couple other eruptions before the volcano became dormant in 1859. In 1938 a crater lake developed in the hole left after the eruption.” (https://vianica.com/attraction/52/cosiguina-volcano)

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A typical dish in Nicaragua involves a mixture of rice and beans, fried plantains, fried cheese and your choice of chicken or fish.  On the night prior to our planned departure, we were enjoying one of these meals in town when we were informed that an accident had happened back at Monty’s.  It turned out that one of the patrons got into his car after a few too many drinks and backed straight into Ol’ Blue.  We were disappointed for sure, but we were also thanking our lucky stars that no one was hurt and the damage was repairable.  We also completely lucked out, because the owner at Monty’s had a son in town who owned a body shop and they took care of Ol’ Blue and we were back on the road within a couple of days!

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