Surely it´s just over this next hill


After yesterday´s unpleasant beach experience, we are aching for some relaxing, more beautiful beach time today. Thinking of getting in some exercise before our day of laying around, we rented bicycles from another hostel a few blocks from Casa Oro for $6 each for the day (a bit expensive really, but we are in a rather touristy town).

It took less than 5 minutes to ride to the edge of town to the road that leads to the north beaches but when we got to it, it was closed off for repair. It is partially a dirt and gravel road but they are laying down the nice, decoratively cut stones like the more heavily trafficked roads in Nicaragua. Only slightly deterred by the construction, we decided we would try just walking through with our bicycles in tow and see if anyone tried to stop us. We just got the standard odd looks but no one hassled us. Just beyond the construction, we were back on the dirt road and hopped back onto our bikes.  The countryside in Nicaragua is unlike anything else in Central America. It´s a lush but southwestern USA kind of mix and is just stunning. On both sides of the road, there were massive green fields dotted with horses and a few cows, most of which were lazily lying beneath one of the large shade trees near the fence. What was not so nice was the recycling center that lies far out on this road toward the north beaches. It had a nice sign bearing the sponsorship of another country in alliance with Nicaragua. The recycling center was instead, a massive dumping grounds with piles and piles of burning garbage, no building or facilities in site, unless you count the “guard´s“ tiny shack just beside the gate.

The ride was long, tiring, and soon enough, became somewhat perilous. The ride to the actual beach turned out to be around 45 minutes (quite a bit more than the 20 minutes we were told in town). About midway through our leisurely ride, Lin´s bike got stuck in 2nd gear and the hills became steeper and steeper. On one particularly steep and washed out hill Lin deciede to get off her bike and push.  A quarter way up, pushing and panting already, Lin´s flip flops took a skid, anxiously rebelling against her knees, and down she goes. The bike goes flying the other direction and she lands hard on her backside, with more than a little dust covering her lower half. Needless to say, she was not happy. We pushed on up and over several washed out, rutted and pot-holed hills, being almost squished by several trucks driving way faster than they should have been until finally dirty, tired and a little beat up we reached the beach.

Playa Maderas (photo courtesy of Avi8orn8

Playa Maderas (photo courtesy of Avi8orn8

It was stunning! A gorgeous day on a gorgeous beach with only a few surfers dotting the waves. We found a nice little quiet place and set up camp and promptly lounged about.

The water was cold but pleasant relief from the beating sun. Around 4 o´clock we made the long ride back to San Juan which was surprisingly easier on the way back. We hadn´t eaten all day and were ravished so we decided to go to one of the “fancy“ beach side restaurants for supper. This did not turn out so well. Saben got a cheese burger and Lin got a chicken dish of some sort and both kind of tasted like fish…. Never a good sign. We ate anyway thinking it couldn´t be too bad…

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