Shuttle from Granada to San Juan del Sur

6:30 and I was up. Melanie sound asleep even though sunshine was streaming in through the window and that morning breeze was starting us off at 28 degrees C. We might be adapting, and if we are it seems to be ever so slowly.

A strong pot of coffee was prepared by our host Brian, and after a spritz of bug repellent we went outside to enjoy that coffee with the Laguna view in clear sight. Last night we had rain. This morning was just still air, which made the surface of the water almost like glass. Since we had to depart in a few hours, a hike down to the water and back wasn’t in the cards. A good morning to sit and observe the dragonflies and hummingbirds in the front yard while banana pancakes and eggs were being prepared for us inside.

We departed for town around 11:00, so we could intercept our shuttle to San Juan del Sur. Scheduled pickup was 12:30, but everything here seems to run on Nica time. Just in case, we parked our bags and ourselves at Cafe de los Suenos again and lunched on a smoothie and savoury crepe. These are some of the best crepes we have had in quite a while. The French Canadian guy, Simon, must have trained his cooks well. Attentive, friendly, and they make super crepes. A great way to depart Granada.

The shuttle showed up exactly 20 minutes after we were expecting it. The timing here is almost getting to be predictable. We tossed our bags in the roof rack, crossing our fingers they would be covered and tied down at some point, and climbed in to a nearly full van. Excellent, a chance to chat with other people heading in the same direction. One more stop where two more bodies piled in and we were off.

These people though were not as chatty, or even mildly friendly though. A bunch of young introverts with their faces pressed into Kindles or their phones. Headphones in to tune out the ride. These kids were simply being driven to their next party destination. No interaction with each other. No interaction with us. A bit disappointing, since I figured the shuttles might be a more fun way to travel than the local chicken buses. Stories and experiences could be shared as well as tips…but no. We will have to rethink our travel strategies.

We dropped 3 girls at San Jorge, the port to Ometepe. We looked at catching a ferry over to the two volcanoes isolated in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, but opted for the beach instead. The water we have enjoyed over the last couple days has been fantastic and will be hard to match anywhere. The jungle hikes down to the water have tested Melanie, and she now knows that although nature hikes are nice…mosquitoes are not so nice. Spending a few days being eaten alive by bugs while hiking up one volcano to get a picture of the next wasn’t going to be part of our calendar.

So off to the beach. Many beaches. San Juan del Sur is a touristy center for visiting a pile of nearby beaches. After a day of enjoying the sand and surf, many people come back to the bigger center to eat tacos and drink inexpensive, yet super tasty rum while trading stories. That is now where we are stationed for the next 3 nights.

After check in, we headed down to the waterfront. Tropical Storm Nate rolled through here a few weeks back and made a bit of a mess. Yes, we see smashed up patios that once extended over the water at high tide. A few large boats remain washed up next to decks where groups of people enjoy happy hour on a Saturday afternoon. Debris has been put in piles and large pieces of formed fibreglass that used to be part of unfortunate vessels is not up on the sidewalk ready for collection. This place is still just fine to visit. Maybe not quite as pretty as before the storm, but within 60 minutes of arrival, I had already downed 2 beer to keep up with Melanie’s passion fruit mojito and we were wondering how to buy a place here.

We like it here. We do need to do more exploring, but this is the first place we have found that feels comfortable and homey, even with the storm debris. Tomorrow we dine on one dollar tacos and beer. Maybe we explore Nicaraguan getaway homes a little further.