"Sometimes you meet someone, and it is clear that the two of you belong together on some level. As lovers, or friends, or as something entirely different. You just work, wether you understand each other or partners in crime. You meet these people throughout life and out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive."
The one thing that always sticks out for me when you travel is all of the interesting people you meet. It all started the moment arrived in Guatemala City at the hostel. I met a young lady by the name of Jamie a college student also from NC studying psychology. We talked about the intricacies and and delicacies of the field but also how fascinating the topic was.
The next morning, I was up and off to the airport. There was Emilio an older gentlemen who studied political science but now pursuing his Ph.D he was on his way to Nicaragua for his mothers funeral. I could sense his nurturing personality, curiosity but also the sadness he was feeling for his trip home.
I boarded the plane and sat beside Alexis, another older gentlemen originally from Guatemala but he was going to Nicaragua to visit his sister whose name was also Tatiana. He was very handsome and so kind. He began explaining how the spanish in Nicaragua was slightly different, and I received a short lesson in spanish. Alexis provided his friends restaurant as a recommendation, that we end up visiting in Granada.
I arrived in Managua on Saturday morning where I waited for my travel companion, Tom. While I waited I made friends with the taxi cab drivers, Olivia y Mauricio. In efforts to make good business. Little did I know about the adventure that was in store for me. This travel duo made BIG splashes in a pond.
First stop was central park and the Cathedral. There were so many tourists up top and the view was extremely tranquil. I took pictures doing yoga poses at the top. As I overlooked on the other side I could see the view from all of Leon the vast hills and green trees.
Volcano Cero Negro: This volcano slide is rated as the number two activity to do while on vacation by CNN. It was incredible the amount of young people traveling. We met Mike, from Germany on the ride to the volcano. He was taking a month to explore Nicaragua. He shared some of his insights about Nicaragua as well and what we thought would be an awesome recommendation for the Isla de Ometepe.
On the way back to the hostel, I met a beautiful girl by the name of Francessa, she was from Switzerland and spoke 3 different languages (English, Spanish, & German.)
Each volcano was distinct in it's character. Arriving in Granada we explored Mombacho. Which was another completely different of its type. The view was beautiful as we had to wait to for the fog to clear before we could see anything at the top of the Mirrador. There was something in the way the tour guide, Manuel interacted that made the experience all that enjoyable. He was gentle but also very intuitive about the things he chose to show us while on the hike.
We met a young girl, from London who just finished up medical school and traveling before starting work in the fall. She was waiting for her boyfriend to come down, so they could travel together and finish their trip in Mexico. On our way back down, we sat down at the finca and conversed with the young girl about life in general.
Later in the afternoon, we drove up to see Volcano Massai and ran into another fellow traveler by the name of Karen. We met Karen back in Leon at the Cathedral. I can't exactly recall where she was from but she too was heading to Ometepe the next morning.
Isla de Ometepe
The boat ride to Ometepe is about 45 minutes. Absolutely beautiful on the way to other side, you could see solar panels, when we reached the other side we learned that the island was huge. On the way to Zipolete, we met a gentlemen by the name of Eric, a current MBA student at Chapel Hill. As we continued to converse I learned of his past experience as Peace Corp Volunteer in Nicaragua. Thirty minutes later we arrived at Zipolite where we stopped and checked in.
Volcano Maderas National Park
The estimated time for the Maderas hike is 8 hours. We reached the middle point of the mirrador where we met a group from Montreal, Canada. We eventually made it to the top and the view was absolutely breathtaking. We said bye to our friends and they left ahead of us. We returned back to Zipolite to rest, conversing, and soaking up the last days of the trip. Still in shock about "sometimes you can't explain what you see in people, what makes you fall into them. It's as if some people end up finding you just at the right time."
We said bye to Zipolite and on the way back to the otherside of the island we saw our Canadian friends once again. Sharing a taxi with two girls currently working in Antigua Guatemala. They were taking their time to vacation before returning home to Germany.
San Juan del Sur
From what I read online, San Juan Del Sur is the most colorful place to be in Nicaragua. As we went along we received mixed reviews about San Juan Del Sur but decided to check it out anyway.
The beaches were interesting because the tide was so far back, there was not really a place to relax. However there were nice restaurants overlooking the water.
Beach playa Hermosa was spectacular. I went for a walk on the beach solo and observed the green trees behind me the further I walked out into the ocean.
The lastnight spent in Granada, overlooking the balcony of the Hotel you could see all of Central Park. There were young people walking with their groups of friends strolling for a night on a town. It was quiet and empty and all of the tourists were gone. It was as if the city could finally rest.
Just like that this travel journey, came to an end, Nicaragua was an indescribable experience but at the end of the day, ¨life is really about people. it´s about who you meet and who you don't. Who forgets about you and who remembers. Who you run after and who chases you down the line. That's what's important. People. The way they look into your eyes right before they're gone and the way they smile right back you when you return home. People it's always about people. Who you can talk to and who makes it hard for you to be yourself. The ones who love you protect you and are there for you when you need them the most." I hope you never forget that.