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Festivo de Luna Llena (Full Moon Festival)

Not all Central America’s capital are worthless, Managua is very beautiful, also rich in culture like Leon but slightly more expensive. This is my opinion, I am a city girl and love every thing city. I stayed in this hostel -Managua backpackers inn- the best hostel I have stayed in so far during my travel. Its not expensive USD$8/night for a dorm bed, the same price as you will pay in San Juan del sur or Granada, the living room is very cozy, the kitchen, rooms and bathroom is super clean and they have a swimming pool & a chill area at the back. The staffs are friendly and the owner is cool. Also the hostel is only 10 minutes walk to a big shopping mall, supermarket, bus terminal and restaurants. I stayed here for 3 days and returned to San Juan del sur because two friends I met in Panama were there, we just chilled at the beaches and I watched the guys surf.


On Tuesday, we went to Playa Popoyo – such a beautiful isolated town. It was fun, one night the guys made bonfire at the beach and other nights we just chilled in the hammock. On Friday we returned to San Juan del Sur because of the Full Moon festival on Saturday.

The ‘full moon’ festival was a blast -it started at 12noon and ended at about 1am the next morning, we got to the festival at around 6pm and left reluctantly at 1am. The festival was in a finca (farm house) 15 mins away from town, there was a free shuttle (you just have to tip the driver) to get people in & out, live reggae & rock music band, cheap beer, cheap good food, hippies with fire balls and almost free cover entrance (you donate whatever amount you want – the money is used to support local causes).

Well I left San Juan del Sur for good on Monday to Ometepe Island – I had to go back because I forgot my journal in one of the hostels I stayed in, unfortunately I didn’t find it there either. I was a bit sad because the journal meant a lot to me but oh well what can I do. On Tuesday, I went to Granada for just 3 hours to buy my plane ticket to the Corn Islands before going to Managua. One of the beauty of Nicaragua is that most cities are 2 hours away from each other. So its very easy to travel around.

The Corn Islands (Big & little Corn) are on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, you can get there by bus and boat but I choose to fly because the boat ride from the Bluefield to the Corn Island is 5 hours and there is no way I can do that. I got sick every time I took the 1 hour ferry to Ometepe so there is no way I can do 5 hours on a boat. The flight cost USD$164 round trip and the combination of bus & boat would have cost just USD$60.

Little Corn
I’m looking forward to the Corn Islands, I have heard it is paradise, well my flight is in 4 hours so I have to go prepare……………….

until next time…

!From Pura Vida to Rocking Chairs!

My first blog of the year. Happy New year to everyone and hope it brings all the things you deserved, also do not forget to help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti – I believe Red Cross and other Non profits have information on how to help.

So I only spent a week in Costa Rica, mostly on the Caribbean side -Pueto Viejo. Like I said in my previous blog, Costa Rica is not for poor/broke people – seriously a plate of the food that cost $5 in Panama, cost $10 in Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo has a very strong Reggae/Bob Marley presence – everything pays respect to Bob Marley and 90% of its people wear dreadlocks. That was the only thing I liked about Costa Rica. On Sunday -January 3rd, I left for the border with Nicaragua but we got there 30mins late so I spent the night in the only hotel at the border which was the dirtiest hotel I have been to so far. The border crossing was easy and very busy so get there early.

I got to Leon, Nicaragua same day around 12 noon – I was shocked on how hot the weather was but I was not complaining either. Leon is beautiful, am glad I choose it to spend my first weeks in Nicaragua. It is not too touristy and is very rich in Nicaragua culture. There I learnt about the Sandinista, the US sponsored contra war, the revolution and Ruben Dario (the most celebrated poet & writer). In Leon, I took Spanish class at Metropolis Spanish School for two weeks. I liked the school because it is run by a Nicaraguan Woman and all the teachers are from Nicaragua – also the fact that my teacher did not speak any English at all helped. The school is adjacent the cathedral (the oldest cathedral in Central America I was told) and close to everywhere. For more information on the school, check out their website Metropolis Spanish. My Spanish has improved – am between the upper intermediate and advance level. I pretty much understand everything that is being said to me, even though they do not pronounce their ‘S’ here in Nicaragua.

This past Friday, I left Leon with another student at the school to visit Isla de Ometepe but we stayed the night at Granada which I do not really like.

Granada is very beautiful and has all the colonial building and ‘charm’, however it feels like am in Miami without the beach – very touristy, most of the colonial houses and business are owed by foreigners and there is this one street blocked out from traffic that is filled with just foreign owned restaurants and the disturbing pattern many kids begging foe money from foreigners.


Isla de Ometepe – this city is formed by the formed by two volcanoes, there are two major islands and about 6 smaller ones. It is an experience to travel from the 2 major islands to the smaller ones because the roads are not paved and very rocky. The smaller islands are almost isolated from everything modern -that means no phone service, no internet, no bar, no discotecas and 99.5% of the restaurants are those in the hotel. Also it is very difficult to travel between the smaller islands – the bus run every now and then and on Sunday it doesn’t run, so your only options of getting around is to rent a motorcycle or bicycle or hitchhike, you can walk but it will be painful because the distance is usually more than 1 hour and uphill.

However, it is very, very, very beautiful and a great place if you want to hike, lie by the beach or just relax without distractions. Some of the interesting places to see/do are the waterfall at San Ramon, hike up either one of the Volcanoes -Concepcion & Madera, Ojo de Agua (semi-artificial swimming hole that is rich in a lot of natural minerals) in Santo Domingo, Finca Magdalena (a farm house in the middle of nowhere – reserve a room before showing up or you will get a shity dorm room) in Balgue.

On Monday, I left to San Juan del Sur – the beach town, I was surprised because I was expecting something else. Very beautiful town and a laid back vibe to it, the beach that surround the town is much beautiful and cleaner than that in Costa Rica. However the only people that will really appreciate the town are surfers because that is pretty much all to do in San Juan. I left today Wednesday to Granada because I left my backpack in the storage at the hostel. Tomorrow I will be going to Managua – the capital for the rest of the week.


Oh as for the rocking chair title – it is part of the culture here that every home has at least one rocking chair. As they say, after a hard day work – you need to relax on one of those and it is good for the back ……………. and ‘Pura Vida’ is the most popular phrase in Costa Rica, if you ask them how they are doing, their reply is pura vida -which literally means pure life.