A Travellerspoint blog

Last day

how will i cope back in the frozen land?

My last day in Costa Rica today. I can´t believe it, thought this was my life there for a moment. Getting back is going to be a big big shock. The border crossing back to Costa Rica was hot, long and tiring, and quite frustrating because they don´t make it very clear where you have to go to get your exit stamps. Quite relieved to have that out of the way, but so so sorry to say goodbye to Nicaragua. I had the most wonderful wonderful time there. It is a country so rich in culture and history. Costa Rica seems tame in comparison. Nicaragua has such depth to it´s beauty. I stayed a week on a volcanic island. Five days at this really friendly hostel, where I took Spanish classes with a 21 year old called Leonel. He has really helped me to get a better grasp on the past tense, we spent about 13 hours practising it. He was so patient and so lovely to talk to, and like no 21 year old I have ever met before. He has lots of poems memorised in his mind, and he was wrting them down for me and we were translating them and talking about them. So not only was it a lesson in Spanish but also in the art and culture and history of Nicaragua. We had such a good laugh too. Especially when he was teaching me nicañol, which is the spanish used by nicaraguans. So I feel great that I have had a look into Spanish from Spain, Costa Rica and now Nicaragua. It is such an amazingly rich language. I finally feel as if I´m staring to understand things much more. Although my sentences are still really clumsy when I´m trying to have a conversation, but I feel like I´m communicating on such a higher level than I was before. I couldn´t have talked about the history of Nicaragua in Spanish when I first came to Central America. I feel so so sad to leave. I´m dreading only hearing English. The world is going to seem so flat and dull without the Spanish. Like a major part of my life will vanish. Trying to be positive about my return though and not dwell too much on these thoughts.

The photo is me with some kids from Ometepe, they all wanted me to take their photos so they could see themselves on the screen. They took me into the church especially for the photo.

It was big day in Ompetepe because it was the high school graduation. It is a really huge thing to graduate in Nicaragua. There was parties going on everywhere. Leonel invited me to the party. First we went to his auntie´s house, where we had rice and beans and coca cola (a big big treat in Nicaragua, only for very special occassions). Then there was a party at the local school, they had a massive sound system and they really know how to party on that island. It was wonderful dancing and celebrating the high school graduation with all the lovely people. Leonel was introducing me to everyone, quite proud introducing me as his student (i was his first one). Felt a bit bad though when people would talk to me and I struggled to understand what they said. It made him look like a rubbish teacher! I was nervous though meeting all these new people. The brain doesn´t work as quick in that state.

So all in all this truly has been a non stop collection of the most amazing experiences of my life. I´m so happy I took the plunge and came. It feels good to face my fear and find there´s nothing to be scared of after all. In fact life here feels safer than in Britain. I have a looming dread of the metro and all the sadness on it. I´m going to so much miss saying hello to strangers in the street, and looking at the warmth and smiles of the people here. All the fun little encounters and conversations, and having my brain working overtime everyday trying to work out what everyone´s talking about.

I´m intrigued to see how England will look after 4 months away. Hopefully a bit better than the way I saw it when I left. Dreading the cold. A bit scared of all the xmas frenzy, xmas things are so gentle here. No huge plastic santas in the gardens. I keep forgetting it´s xmas in fact, then i look at a xmas tree in the sunshine and it looks very odd.

Thanks for reading my blog. It´s been fun writing it. Happy Christmas everyone, see you when i get back. Looking forward to lots of nice chats with you all when i get back.

Posted by kael 18:44 Comments (0)

Nearing the end of the adventure....

It"s been difficult to put into words my experience of Nicaragua. It has been a completely different experience to Costa Rica. Wonderul to visit the cities of Granada and Leon. So much life and vibrancy and a real feeling of hope and excitement. It was a 7 day festival where the people carry the staute of the Virgin Mary around the streets and set off firecrakers and sparklers everywhere. In Leon all these little boys were running around constantly banging drums. They had such an amazing sense of rhythm. I loved the parks and all the people hanging out talking, spending time together, not drinking or shopping, just spending time enjoying life. I wish we had that more in England. The buildings of those two cities were beautiful. The restaurants had huge high ceilings and lots of wooden chairs and tables, but never anyone in them really. As if the party had ended and Id missed it.

I went to some beach towns too. A couple where there wasn't any other tourists really. Had a wonderful experience with lots of kids. They were all selling necklaces and things on the beach. I was chatting with them and we ended up playing a game. It was a drawing game where you had clues and then everyone would guess the word, and then write it. So they had really basic reading and writing skills so it was good because they were learning how to write new words and they were teaching me spanish words at the same time. It was so wonderful, when I left they were all laughing and playing and having lots of fun. It was lovely to see them acting as children, rather than just working.

Now I'm on a volcanic island. Had another wonderful experience where I had a drink with some locals. One was an artist and he was showing me all these beautiful paintings he had done, all relating to the history of Nicaragua. They were talking to me all about the revolution and one of them was reciting some poems of Ruben Dario. I wished so much my Spanish was better because I was only grasping it on such a basic level and would have loved to have understood completely. But they were so eager to hear my experiences, and were so interested to hear how it is living in a Capitalist country. One of them said i was "muy valiente" very brave, to come to a country with such different politics to my own country. I said it was the whole reason I needed to come here, and that it was an honour to be here.

Well I've had so many wonderful little encounters like this, i could write all day about it. There is so so much to say about Nicaragua. I don't feel like I have the right words to express it really. I'm staying at another town on the volcanic island at the moment. In a brilliant friendly hostel with lots of communal meals, and I'm meeting lots of nice people. It's fun to share lots of stories of travels when I come to the end of my trip. I'll write again before I leave.

Posted by kael 06:01 Comments (0)


Have no time but i made it to Nicaragua and it is like being in a different world.......

Pigs grazing everywhere, horses, everyone selling something, hot hot hot, and lovely warmth in the eyes ad smiles of the people.

Red black flags flying everywhere.

My head is in spin spin.............

Posted by kael 14:57 Comments (0)

I felt the earth move

I was sitting in a cafe today. Feeling happy because they had soya milk and i was drinking my first cup of tea in 2 months. The table started to shake and I wondered why someone was shaking the table so hard, and then it built up and felt like there was a train hurtling through the ground right under my feet. I didn't know what was going on. It was very strange. Then some people (North Americans) started wooping and cheering saying it was an earthquake. Not sure why they were so happy. I suppose they didn't think a really big earthquake would happen when they'd paid to come on holiday. Or maybe it was just because they are used to tremors. And it was quite exhilirating. But i was shaking at the same time! and sort of waiting for the ground to start splitting open........It was the strangest thing. Like the earth growling, reminding us all that there's bigger things at work here.
So it's been a good few hours and there hasn't been anymore. Apparently it's perfectly normal at this time of year, because the rainy season is ending and the summer is here.
I think it will be on my mind, for a while though.........

Posted by kael 16:32 Comments (0)

Tropical wonderland

Corcovado, the tropical paradise was my best experience yet in Costa Rica. You have to go on this really exciting boat ride to get there in a speed boat. You go past crocodiles on the river and then you go on to the sea and you get thrown all over the place and it was raining really heavy the day I went. Then you land on the beach and you have to wade through the sea to get there. So the place I stayed was a little bay with no roads, no shops, no electricity at night, just rain forest and these beautiful little secret beaches. The place I stayed was gorgeous, run by a Costa Rican family and really friendly. I slept in a beautiful cabin on stilts and you could hear the waves all around. At night there was lots of fireflies outside the window. There was coconuts and almonds growing on the beach, and all these beautiful scarlet macaws flying around. Seeing the scarlet macaws in the wild felt so so special. The colours are so vibrant, and they have these huge long, ornate tails. Such a difference to the macaws you see in cages, where they look all sad and their colours have faded. In the wild they are colour that I just can't describe with words, and the red and blue and yellow is even brighter against the green of the trees and the speed of the flight. I wonder how long they can last for. They just look too beautiful for this world. Corcovado has one the biggest populations left in the world. They're still there because it's still hardly inhabited by humans. It is a completely untouched natural landscape, just changed by time and the rain and the waves rather than by humans and their destructiveness. The beach has huge big ornate shells, like treasure. I have a few in my bag. I was so tempted to swop some of my clothes for some more shells! But just can't carry a heavier bag. So at night the electricity would go off, and it would make that sound that electricity makes when it cuts out, like that whirring down sound. Then the place would just pulse and vibrate with insect sounds and all these electronic beeps and buzzes, sometimes made by frogs or other animals that I have no idea what they could possibly be. Using flashlights and candles just gave such a deeper understanding and feel for the place. The darkness felt so soothing and tranquil and so much a part of the place. And so alive with animal life. I wanted to stay there forever. When I had to get on the boat to leave I felt like my heart would break, because I wanted to just stay in that world. Other places in Costa Rica feel natural, but that place was truly wild. Well there's lots more good experiences to be had. Yesterday I swam in a waterfall, and that was so exhilirating and was the full force of nature all around me again. I kept looking at it feeling like it must be made of plastic or some other manmade material. My brain is so detached from something so spectacular. The leaves and twigs I kept finding on my legs though, made it clear that it was really natural and not something created by Disney.
I'm feeling quite exhilirated. On my way up the Pacific coast on my way to Nicaragua........

Posted by kael 05:46 Comments (0)

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