We made eyes from across a dodgy border crossing. Cloaked in mystery, rumor and misconception Nicaragua the secret jewel of Central America stole my heart and has left me longing ever since.
As an 80’s baby I can distinctly remember sitting on my fathers lap watching ABC News’ Peter Jennings covering stories of the contra wars. A cold war proxy battle that the led to 10’s of thousands of deaths.
The scars left from over three decades of warfare can still be seen and felt today. They’re manifested in urban ruins and stoic faces. But crack a smile and the hardest of former revolutionaries will respond with a warm “buenas dias”.
Nicaraguans are extremely proud and political. The city of Leon, homebase of the Sandinista uprising was bombed by dictator president Samoza. The residents of Leon. Many in their teens fought street by street for freedom. The damage in many parts of the city remain as an unrepaired rustic reminder that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Today Nicaragua is a safe travel destination with some of the kindest and humblest people in the entire region. The central american giant boasts a wealth of natural beauty second to none. World class surf, volcanic lakes, dense cloud forests and two distinctly unique cultures and landscapes on the both coasts.
My travels through Nicaragua had me retracing steps through the colonial masterpiece Granada, rustic Leon and surf/party town San Juan Del Sur. I simply could not get enough. I had the good fortune of latching onto a few super cool groups of travellers. One sick ass group of dudes chillin the f out all day with surf and beers. Then some sweet Brits plus an Aussie that provided way too many good laughs.
Leaving Nicaragua was so much harder to do than I ever anticipated. Both physically (wierd ass border guards) and emotionally. I left a little piece of me in Nicaragua…and a pair of old shoes. I will always miss her breathtaking beauty and low maintenance lifestyle. If you’re a small footprint, no frills traveller you to make your way here, but if not please disregard this post and preserve her as she is for the rest of us.
Till we meet again amigos.
Lots of love,