San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
13 December 2012
Dec 10, 2012 - We arrived in San Juan del Sur in the southern part of Nicaragua after a 36 hour trip from Bahia del Sol. The weather window was good for the Papagayos winds so we just kept going rather than stopping in Puesta del Sol in northern Nicaragua. We had a great trip down and did some sailing along the way, unfortunately we motored most of the way. When we left Bahia del Sol we realized we had an issue with the charging system, even though we had all new batteries, after some investigation we found that a switch was not quite right and fixed that. Also, when we went to turn the engine off ready for a sail, we found the button to switch off the battery did not work and while underway we did not want to start working in the engine compartment, so we motored the rest of the way to San Juan del Sur. Once we arrived and the anchor was down we then investigated along with a fellow cruiser and found the emergency shut off on the engine itself, so that is now our backup until we determine the problem with the main button.
Wow, San Juan del Sur is an amazingly beautiful anchorage and a great little town. Check in went smoothly and cost us $45 for immigration, nothing for the Port Captain. It is a surfer town and lots of expats live there. We spent the next few days walking around town, visiting the market and testing out who had the best Mojito in town. The Lone star had the best one! We think that this town is the best kept secret around, we met a fellow from the states who visits often and he said he downplays the place to his friends as he wants the town to stay as it is. It was Fran's birthday and she had chosen a restaurant called Culibri, this was the best meal by far. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the meal, it was not heavy and everything was cooked to perfection. Great place, great people.
Dec 13, 2012 - We took a trip into Grenada, I had a picture in hand of a bench that Penny & Craig (sister) had seen and she wanted me to look for it. Penny, unfortunately, we never did find the bench. Nicaragua is a very pleasant surprise, originally we had not planned on visiting here but we are glad we did. On the way to Grenada, we saw several Ox & Carts being used on the farms, horse & carts and ATV's & carts, mostly the first 2 though. There is a lot of farming in Nicaragua, we saw Sugar Cane, Corn, Mango trees, Teak trees, papayas, plantain & banana fields, we are also told they grow Pineapple. The landscape is clean and tidy, the fields sectioned and the homes well taken care off. They obviously have a lot of pride in their properties. They are not fancy but well taken care of. Along the Pan American highway we saw several Wind turbines and 2 or 3 volcanoes. Once in Grenada, we walked around the city, visited a museum and enjoyed the market in the square. The whole trip cost us $90 total for all 4 of us. The driver even stopped at a grocery store for us on the way home and we stopped by the side of the road and bought fresh watermelon. Carole is not a watermelon fan at home but these down here are very tasty and she likes them.
Dec 14, 2012 - It is now time to check out of the country and move farther south to Bahia Santa Elena. We arrived at the Port Captains office at 9:30am and he prepared our Zarpe (paper for checking out) which cost $25 and then advised us that Immigration will not be able to come until 11am, so we had to wait. Immigration came at 11am and processed the paperwork, stamped our passports and charged us $43 which we felt was a little high, we found out later that he charged our friends $30, so I think it changes day by day as to what he charges. All in all though we loved Nicaragua and would go back there for a visit again. We left the anchorage at 12:30 headed for our next stop.