Thursday, April 05, 2007

One Week & Four Countries Later....

The last week has been a cross-section of countries and cultures that reminded me a bit of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride... without that whole blowing up and burning in hell part. In a very short time we have travelled from the soul of Semana Santa in Antigua, to some great surf in El Salvador. From there we cleared the skinny Pacific tip of Honduras on our way to the still bullet-riddled buildings of Nicaragua. Since we've done a lot in a very short time I will leave you with a few tidbits from each country just in case you ever travel in this area.

If you come across to very nice ex-Pats that are now running a down-to-earth retreat in the mountains above Antigua, stay with them for a few days. As Martha Stewart would say, eating gourmet food all day, sweating like hogs in a wood-fire sauna, and hanging out with some friendly Aussies is "a good thing". Especially when you can gaze in wonder at not one, but two volcanoes, while flying like Peter Pan on their rad swing.

El Savador
They are winning. A great country that is surprisingly modern and fast becoming way more comfortable for tourists. There is great surf around El Tunco and the moon rising over volcanoes is just an added plus. BTW if you are on the beach at Zunsal make sure you do something crazy like attack driftwood on the beach. It ensures that no one drops in on you in the surprisingly crowded and rather cut throat breaks.

Get out as fast as you can, but while you are there here's a few good tips. If a rotten corrupt cop tries to collect a "multa" (i.e. bribe) because you don't have a reflective triangle for an emergencies, it's best to politely argue for a while and then convince him that your pack of glow sticks is signal flares. However, if you are driving along close to sunset and a group of about 15 dudes dressed in robes and masks that look exactly like Tuscan Raiders (thats for you Jim) it's best to slam the brakes, assess the situation, and then floor it while pretending to run them over if they don't move.

It's prolly best to avoid talking politics at all unless you lean lefter than left, or you happen to have Joel Woodman with you for backup.

But to get an interesting perspective visit the Museum of Legends and Torture. It's a fabulous collection of Nicaraguan mythology and first hand accounts of the tortures done to dissenters during the Somosa dictatorship. The combo creates an obscene pairing of murals of various acts of torture and strange legends such as the Single-Teated Mujer, Headless Padre, and the Haunted Ox Cart.

We are now in Granada, one of the few places in Nicaragua that seems to have made a considerable comeback since the Contra-era. It's straight up cozy colonialism with horse drawn carraiges, old churches, and $10 surf and turf. Up next, a few days of surf in the Nicaraguan beach breaks and then we meet up with old friends for a week in Nosara, Costa Rica. We can't wait to see some smiling friendly faces, and show off our impressively inadequate Espanol.

- JJ


Blogger James said...

First of all Joe, you star wars joke was lost on me. My first response that they you were refering to the glorious wine country of Italy - Tuscan Warrior. Beautiful pictures, I really miss you guys. Be safe cause everyone needs to pound a haole every now and again


4/5/07, 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop blogging and start driving ... Nosara, 3 days, be there or become the new Front Butt.

4/5/07, 12:16 PM  
Blogger Lindsey & David said...

I'm glad I have Joel Woodman for back up. He's one bad mutha.

Besos, Linds

4/5/07, 1:22 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

So far my favorite one. I like to see all the pictures of you guys..makes it more real. You guys look tan and healthy ( I know a tan doesn't equal health) just in case you want to argue.. My favorite picture is of Rachel with her arms behind her back imitating the picture. Give Jar Jar and Front butt a kiss from me. Peace out.

4/5/07, 6:12 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Looks like my sun-loving friends are having the best time of your lives.

4/5/07, 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see you broke your silence - it was worth the wait


4/6/07, 10:55 AM  
Anonymous joey said...

Wow---you're makin tracks! Good judgement on the 15 robed guys. My dad was just scaring me with stories about rampant crimes against gringoes in Central America. Step on the gas fast and have a blast!!!
Your pictures look two could be models for Nicaragua's Tourist magazine!
Happy Easter and Love you guys....

4/6/07, 4:21 PM  
Anonymous mackenzie said...

you look so tan and happy!

4/7/07, 5:27 PM  
Blogger Liza's Eyeview said...

love your photo with the kids!

4/8/07, 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Lindsay and Tyler said...

hey you guys! we just got back to the states and checked out your blog for the first time. i love your photos!!! we had similar impressions of honduras and nicaragua, and are glad to hear you escaped unscathed. we stopped a few days around lake arenal in costa rica, and would definitely recommend it if it fits into your plan. also, we had a blast in panama and have lots of recs if you're needing any ideas! p.s.-tyler made a full recovery after the san pedro mystery illness. he's alive and well, and safely back at his desk as of today....sniff, sniff

4/9/07, 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Rachel!!
I love your pictures. It looks like you know how to enjoy life.


4/24/07, 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Marie-Claire and Jason said...

Sooo... we finally got around to visiting this incredible and understated blog site of yours. Glad to hear and see that Günther is back on his four wheels and most importantly with functional breaks. Did I tell you Jason is pondering the possibility of changing the shocks all by himself? Pinch me because I'll be his assistant... Oh, and congrats on your PADI. You are now part of an élite, we should be lucky to even speak to you...! We are in Mexico D.F. and I really fell in love with this place. Le coup de foudre! It is truly a great city. By the by, we are headed to Copper Canyon soon and afterwards Bahia Kino where my dad rented a condo by the beach for a month and is meeting us there. Its rented from June 1st to the 21th and there is a camping/parking lot beside the place and plenty of extra room inside. Anyway, if you are around, drop by. It would be great to see you again, really!
All our love (and some to the shades),
Marie-Claire and Jason

5/28/07, 8:47 AM  

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