I’ll start this off by just saying, if you are ever thinking about getting a chromebook, don’t do it. This is turning out to be the most frustrating thing ever. The graphics card is basically shit, and so a set of 135 photos that I have to go through and decide which ones to edit and then edit would usually take about 15 minutes on a macbook, but on this computer each photo was so slow to load that it took about 5 or 6 hours in total. Plus, during the editing process, the application shut down at least 10-15 times. Which, for a brand new computer, is just ridiculous. Also, the color and contrast and stuff is so week and the colors are so muted that now i’m afraid that my edits will appear to be over-edits on normal computers viewing my pictures. But I guess thats what you get for a 200 dollar laptop..
oh also, the touchpad is so hypersensitive that while i was trying to edit my photos it kept zooming waaayyy in and then wayyyy out and back and forth without my intending of it whatsoever.
Ok so on day 5, we woke up after a lovely christmas evening and decided to go to the next beach over because we heard it was even nicer and had a bit more going on. Of course no one let us know how crazy the road getting there was so after stalling out and sliding down a hill mutliple times before finally cresting it, we get to the top and look down the road and it was so terrible and so steep that there was no way we would ever be able to get back up it. It was even too steep with too loose of gravel to walk it, so instead we hitchhiked a ride down to the beach (with my grandma!). The beach was a very happening place and was very beautiful.
The sand was super duper soft and the water was perfectly clear and shallow way way out which was perfect. There were lots of beginning surfers and it was filled with young hippie types. There were multiple little open beach shacks with cheap drinks (I got a tasty mojito) and loud reggae music. There was a yoga studio and a hacienda hostel type place with a hammock covered deck. It was super fun. Also, apparently living in Portland has deprived my skin of its much desired color, because just a couple hours in the sun and i was already over-tanned.
After a while at the beach, we hitchhiked back up the hill to our car and headed back to our hotel to spend some time in the pool.
Before dinner we had a sunset yoga class. It was vinyasa yoga, which is definitely a more demanding form of yoga and although I used to do yoga regularly, I’ve been far too busy lately to do it so I was incredibly out of shape and I’m still sore from some of the strength poses now. But despite that, it was really really relaxing because we were on the top floor of our multi-story cliffside hotel and in front of us was the ocean and on either sides of us was the jungle so with the sun setting during our practice, the view was amazing. After that for dinner our hotel happened to be hosting an all you can eat pasta night, and they had homemade raviolis and they were so tasty.
Day 6, we left our hotel in San Juan del Sur and tried to head into the center of town to get gelato, but it was unfortunately closed, so we started the long drive back to managua. Along the way, we stopped at Lake Appoyo, which is essentially the crater lake of nicaragua. Its a very round, very blue, lake that was a crater and filled up with water. We ate lunch at the lookout point while being hasseled by all sorts of vendors.
After that we headed to managua, took a wrong turn, and ended up going the extra long way to the hotel. THen we got to the hotel and something had gone wrong and they only had a reservation for 1 room instead of 3 and they were completely full, and we are 7 people so there was no way that would work out. Fortunately, there was another hotel nearby, and so we gave my grandparents that room since it had a free shuttle to the airport and we were in Managua because they were flying back to the states. So we spent the evening playing around in the hotel pool, drinking pina coladas and chowing down on foods so that we could all hang out together before the grandparents left.
Then yesterday morning (Day 7) we packed up again and drove north through coffee country. It seems like they grow the coffee in the highland rainforests and then bring it down to the lowlands to dry it out. So as we were driving north through the dry areas, there were fields and fields of black tarps covered in drying coffee beans.
We stopped in this little down that had lots and lots of roadside fruit and veggie stands. Really, they had basically every vegetable or fruit I could ever want, it was incredible. It was also so cheap! We got 12 huge passionfruits for the equivalent of 1 dollar, while in the us its 1.50 for an itty bitty single passionfruit. If you can’t tell, passionfruits are my favorite fruit, and thankfully theyre extremely plentiful here!
Slowly we moved out of the dry areas and into the higher elevation cloud forests and stopped for lunch in Matagalpa. It was a really nice city. Its pretty big, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming like Managua and its really nicely tucked into these hillsides and a valley. We walked around Matagalpa for a bit and went in a church that was completely decorated in Bromeliads, which was quite pretty.
Finally we finished our journey as we went out of Matagalpa into the mountains above it. The road was super steep and went up and up until we got to our current hotel, Selva Negra, which is tucked into the rainforest in the mountains above Matagalpa. Its a humongous organic farm/ranch that is ⅓ coffee growing plantation, ⅓ mixed fruit trees, and ⅓ rainforest preserve. THey have lots of little cabanas and haciendas surrounded by rainforest and organic farms and there are multiple lakes and gardens on the property. Its extremely lovely. In the rainforest part, they have a huge network of trails that go up the mountain through the rainforest. We went on one of the loops this evening and it was quite nice.
After the forest there was an old little church. It was so pretty. It had a completely green roof which was covered entirely with moss and bromeliads. A lot of the windows had fallen out but the view that were still there were beautiful stained glass. It was quite lovely and peaceful.
We added a couple of birds to the bird list and saw lots of pretty little plants. Unfortunately it got dark pretty quickly because of the cloud forest-ness and being under so much canopy so we had to head back. Oh and we got extremely muddy. But I think we’re planning on doing some more of that rainforest hiking today.