Leaving San Juan del Sur behind, we set off for Laguna de Apoyo. We caught a taxi into Rivas for $2 each then caught a bus from Rivas to Granada. We got off in Granada and asked directions to Laguna de Apoyo. The Lonely Planet book says we can walk there from Granada and just follow the dirt road… worst advice we’ve taken all trip.
From the bus station to the main road is about 3km and another 1km to the bus stop at the gas station. We ask a taxi how much to LdA and he say’s $15, we say no and he goes as low as $10, we shrug him off.
There’s a bus going to Managua and the worker says it will drop us off in front of the entrance for 10 cords each. Done.
We get there about 5km down the road. We get off and start walking. A lady sees us trying to hitch hike and tells us Laguna de Apoyo is 38km away and to wait for the bus. We know what she said but she had to mean 3.8km. A nice guy picks us up but says he isn’t going all the way. We accept his ride and he knocks about 1.5km off our hike. He says it’s only about 1km further now. It wasn’t. It was like 2.5km to the park entrance and then a 2-3km walk to the hostel we wanted to stay at.
As I look at google maps, it’s a 6.8km hike from the hwy to Laguna de Apoyo where we were dropped off. No wonder I was grumpy. (so was Kristi)
As we got closer we crossed a bunch of howler monkeys hanging out in the trees no more than 20 feet above us. In retrospect it was really cool. At the time I didn’t give a shit, I’d been hiking for 3 hours in flip flops and wanted to relax.
We arrive at the Monkey Hut and I get irritated as soon as I see that the private room is $29. Our budget is for $30 but it says on the board that Taxes aren’t included. Taxes are 15%. We say forget it and go next door where a friendly guy shows us a really cool room. We ask how much and he responds $40. I tell him that’s way out of our budget and we’re looking to spend $20/night. He says he has a room for $25 and it’s well worth the extra $5. The only reason it is cheaper is because it doesn’t have the view like the room he just showed us. At this point we’re exhausted and say we’ll take it and tell him about our adventure. He tells us to put our bags down, relax and he’ll find a key for the room. While this is happening, a couple from New Zealand walk in. We introduce ourselves and make small talk. The employee can’t find the key and tells us to take the other room for $25.
We gladly accept. Tired and wanting to relax, I ask the couple if they’d like to join us for dinner later. They accept and we go our seperate ways.
After settling in, Kristi and I hit the water. The first 10 feet feels like 100 feet as you step uncomfortably on obtuse shaped rocks. It sucks. Then you hit sand and the water feels amazing. We hung out in the water for just under an hour before going in to have a well deserved beer.
We meet up with the Kiwis just after 6pm and order dinner. The hotel doesn’t have a bar or restaurant but you order there and they go to the comedor for you and bring everything back. It’s quite the system. Dinner was delicious and reasonably priced. We hung out talking with our new friends until about 10pm before calling it a night.
The next morning we ate breakfast together and decided it would be cool to make our own dinner that night. So we went to the tiny convenience store 5 minutes away. We decided we would make sandwiches and bought the necessary ingredients.
We split up after that, Kristi and I went for a walk for an hour before hitting the water. After that we snuck into the pool that is attached to the main Suite (rents for $70 or $80 per night we think) because we knew the people that were in there left that morning. It was pretty awesome with the ledge overlooking the crater lake. The owner did a bunch of work on our room, installing a safe and fixing the toilet and sink. Unfortunately they took our chairs off the patio when they did this and now we have nowhere to sit but bed.
Dinner time rolled around and we started agreeing on who would do what. Kristi had already made Guacamole and was going to cook the potatoes. Matt was in charge of all the prep. Lee was doing the eggs and cut up the pineapple and I was in charge of the rice. I also took on the most important role of buying 2 small bottles of Aguardiente and a big bottle of Fresca.
Everything went smoothly except for the rice. I couldn’t get the burner to stay on a low heat without it going out and we decided we made way too much food already so we could just eat the rice for lunch the following day. Bastards.
Dinner was delicious. Fried egg, pineapple, potatoes, and guacamole on a hamburger bun. I skipped on the guac and heavied on the hot sauce because I’m weird. We ate like royalty, enjoyed a couple drinks and met another couple who the Kiwis had already met in Jiquilillo. We stayed up for a while but still called it a night fairly early. Doing nothing all day poops me out. I kind of enjoy the inactivity we’ve had these last couple days.
We are relaxing today and tonight a taxi will take us and the Kiwis to Masaya.
Here are some random facts we’ve picked up in Apoyo. Some of these will be repeats from the above blog:
- Lonely Planet worded things poorly and the walk from Granada is 16.5km. I don’t recommend trying to walk. There also is no dirt road.
- In 1991, Laguna de Apoyo was declared a National Reserve in Nicaragua
- Our hotel room has 3 walls and overlooks the Lagoon.
- There is no restaurant here. We order here and they run down the street to a Comedor to bring us food and/or beer
- The water in the Lake is great but the first 10 feet walking into the water sucks as it’s filled with jagged rocks that are unpleasant to walk on… maybe I’m just a wimp.
- We made friends with a couple Kiwis here. They’re a solid couple, the guy bought his girlfriend sailing lessons here as her Christmas present. I wish I’d thought of that. I didn’t get Kristi anything.
- A couple we just met last night found an African cave spider in their room. I offered my Axe spray and a lighter. They politely declined. (they ended up have like 20 overnight)
- I slept with one eye open after hearing that they aren’t planning to kill it
- You can go paragliding here… but the people who do the tours aren’t professionals. Just guys practicing their hobby.
- We saw howler monkeys making noise in a tree. Kristi howled at them. They stopped what they were doing and looked at her like she was an idiot.
- We discovered a Bear Grylls drinking game while we were here. We cannot find a Man vs Wild dvd though and I refuse to download that filth on my laptop.
- There are tits on 90% of the pictures around this hotel
- On their bookshelf they off playboy for the casual reader and public masterbater
- My beard is long and gross and Kristi hates it but I refuse to shave until I get home
- The Kiwis have a Hot Tub connected to their room… It doesn’t work.
- All of the rooms have themes. The Kiwis have a Japanese theme and we have an African theme.
- The Japanese room is the first room we’ve seen with pictures up that don’t have tits. Our room doesn’t have pictures but there’s a painting of boobs right outside our room beside the hammock.
- We saw a Tucan sitting in the tree in front of us. We also saw the national bird, a Guardabarranco
- I think when I stand naked in my room, other customers can see me from their rooms. If you read this and saw my hammer, I’m sorry.
- If you saw Kristi… You’re welcome.
- Our Kiwi friends taught us how to fold plastic bags. It’s addicting