During Semana Santa the country of Nicaragua shuts down. I originally thought it was because of religious reasons but I know understand it is because every Nica heads to the beach to be with family and friends, and to of course party.
The first part of Semana Santa I spent with some friends I had met in Matagalpa a few weeks prior. They invited me to go to none other than, the beach! I was game because I love open water because I never get to spend time at a beach. We set out of a local beach called Playa Popoyo on the Pacific side of Niacaragua. That was definetly a trek to get to but it was well worth it.
First, we had to take bus from Granada to Rivas, which takes about 2 hours. That is if, there are not road blocks that make you wait for half an hour. Of course this happened. That just ment more time together on an old school bus, all sweating. YAY! It really wasn't that bad, or maybe I just blocked it out, haha. In Rivas, we had a bit of a wait for the next bus so we got something to eat at a local place. Then we piled on to the next bus that would take us to a road that we needed to walk down in order to get to our hostel. (Even though this drive was only 20 km it still took over 2 hours. This is why it is better to ask, how long?, rather than, how far?) When we got dropped off, some of the people on the bus laughed at us because they knew it was high tide and we had few couple of challenges ahead of us.
We walked about 1km down the road before we can to out first "bridge crossing," this was just a couple of sticks across the river. We all made it over fine, but we went one by one because we could see the logs give a little under our weight. This was also the reason we made the heaviest person go first. Thanks Alex. From here we had another river crossing but there was no bridge of any kind. It took us some time because we couldn't see the bottom of the river but we finally noticed the rocks have been strategically placed in order to cross. Two down, one to go. We got our final water crossing and it looked a bit different because there were waves coming through. We sent Alex across first, and it looked at though the water was only waist deep. Not bad. So then the girls decided to go. (At this point I was feeling a bit too cocky I guess), and I stepped into the river a bit down stream than the other two girls. This of course was my first mistake. We had also heard a local guy say to us in Spanish that a wave was coming. We took that as "go" and we should have taken it differently. Lost in translation. I started to get pushed down streem further and further. Not a good thing. I thought I could just wait it out but the wave was getting stronger and stronger. I didn't care about my pack, all the cared about was my camera in my purse. And with that I started to go down. I tried my best and some Nica guys were able to help me up a bit. Finally, we all made it across. Still laughing as we walked to the front door of our hostel, I realized my leg was bleeding.
We got checked in and headed to the beach for some R&R after our travels and my failed river crossing ability. For dinner that night we decided on a spot close to our hostel. It took a while to get our food but we were sustained by beer and lots of laughs, oh and the geckos. There were two geckos, doing who knows what, above our table, when they suddenly fell and just missed one of the beers on the table. Two of the girls started screaming and everyone in the place stared at us. After explaining what had just happened, they looked at us like we were crazy. Probably rightfully so.