Having to force ourselves to leave the beautiful island of Utila, afraid we'd stay forever; we were off to Leon, Nicaragua. After the strangest border crossing yet, where we were not allowed in the customs office and the bus driver had to process us all, each person heat tested for illness, the van checked thoroughly for presumably bombs or illegal immigrants and the entire van sprayed down with chemicals, it all left us with one question. They know it’s a land border crossing right?
Our first day in Nicaragua we went volcano boarding. That's right, we scaled to the top of an active volcano, only to climb onto a plank of wood and hurtle back down to where we started. Without a doubt one of the best trips of this entire tour. Going 50KM/H down a volcano is not something I will forget anytime soon. Unfortunately for Cat her speed strip came off half way and she had to push the rest of the way.
That night, still on a natural high from the boarding, we hopped onto an old school bus with a bottle of rum and 30 other backpackers and headed to a beach party on the coast. Something we well and truly regretted the next day on our chicken-bus ride to San Juan del Sur. I don't think the Burger King staff enjoyed it either as Cat threw up on the sidewalk out front.
We didn't party that night in San Juan.
The next day we explored the tiny markets of San Juan, played board games and drank red wine in the sunset while watching a rather great game of beach volleyball. As the party started to get rowdy in the hostel and the Hawaiian flower lays came out, I decided it would be a smart idea to go to bed; a day without a hangover is a good day. Until Pal came in in outrage at my absence and made me feel left out. Therefore 5 minutes later I was beer in hand trying to avoid the acid tripping 50 year old throwing glitter at everyone.
In order to sweat the previous night’s toxins from out systems, we made the roasting-in-the-sun walk across the even hotter sand in order to hike a ridiculously steep hill up to the lookout over the bay of San Juan del Sur, the Pacific and the Christo Rey Statue. Well worth it, definitely recommend it but don't be like us and actually bring some water with you.
The next day was the famous Sunday Funday. An aptly named Pool Crawl Party, going from hostel to hostel all over town, sporting DJ's, free shots, pat downs, a stunner of a sunset, riding on the back of Utes (not the best idea having already visited multiple hostels) and as expected, lots and lots of drunk people. Oh, and a free t-shirt we will all cherish as part of our year in Latin America.