Nicaragua Day 9: San Juan Del Sur

San Juan Del Sur has a great playground!

Today we had breakfast at a hip surfer restaurant called Republika, where bottomless coffee was included with delicious breakfast options including belgian waffles 🙂 We met a family from Texas with a chatty 6 year old daughter named Ryan. We spent a few hours eating and chatting, then did some grocery shopping, played at the park in the town square and came back to the hostel.

Torre played with a kitten that lives here and learned his first Spanish word – gato. I’m not sure if he knows it’s a word or if he thinks this cat is just named gato, but it was really cute to watch him so fascinated and affectionate, even though I was stressed it would end badly with a bite or scratch (it never did).

We had taken all our laundry (pretty much everything we packed except the clothes on our backs) to be washed and re-learned a critical lesson of Nicaraguan culture: negotiate the price BEFORE you accept the service! We are used to it with taxis and hostels, but we didn’t insist that this laundry woman give us a price when we dropped off our big bag of laundry, and when we went to pick it up she tried to charge us 650 cordobas – ridiculous! We managed to haggle her down to 550, but figure we still overpaid at least 100 cordobas, and Matt was kicking himself for not doing some laundry when we were in Leon. Live and learn, I guess! And I’m sure the money will go to good use for this woman’s family, but it still sucks to get ripped off and to perpetuate the myth that North American travellers have money to burn. We don’t have money to burn, and I really resented having my clothes held hostage.

The rest of our afternoon took a much brighter tone, however. We had a late (cheap) lunch at the market and played at the beach until sunset. This must have been one of my greatest highlights of the trip so far, just the sheer beauty of the beach and the sky – it felt like my eyes were saturated, that they were so full of paradise but still couldn’t take it all in. I told Matt I couldn’t believe anything bad was happening anywhere in the world in light of such a gorgeous moment as what we saw – palm trees towering in golden light over the beach while black and grey pelicans soared and swooped and dove in the surf. As the sun sank low the sky turned purple and all the clouds lit up pink, and it was too beautiful for words or even a camera – it just had to be seen.

Torre took forever to go to bed that night, and it was frustrating to lose so much time of this great day to convincing him to go to sleep over the blaring music from a basketball court next door to the hostel. There were sweet moments between the frustration of course, because he is the cutest, most charming child, but I was so grateful when he finally did go to sleep and Matt and I could sit on the patio of the hostel cafe and chat and laugh and just enjoy the hostel buzz of other languages and second hand smoke and being on a patio with travellers from all over the world.

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