Departamento de Chinandega

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17 travelers at this place

  • Day141

    An inconvenient border crossing

    January 26 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    We didn't use our mosquito net as we didn't see any mosquitos when we went to bed. Bad decision! They all came during the night. Plus, it didn't cool down at all and the neighbours had some private party, so we didn't sleep well. Still got up early to make it to the border to Nicaragua.
    We only had some 48 hours in Honduras, but still got some impression of the people and the culture. We saw a lot of poverty, people living from the rubbish of the nearby landfill. At this time of the year, there is also a constant shortage of water and running water is no standard at all in general. People openly express their disgust of the current government and how the politicians steal money from the people. On the other hand, they are amazingly friendly and hospitable, always open for a chat. And the roads were the best so far in Central America.
    When we reached the border, we first had to pass a long line of trucks waiting to cross. I guess they have to wait for a couple of days, as going through customs takes forever. We got a warning that also for tourists, the crossing can be quite tiring, so we were prepared.
    Exiting Honduras was fast. Luckily, we arrived just before a big bus, so no line for us.
    Then, the part for entering Nicaragua started. We crossed a bridge between the two countries where they checked our stamps in the passports. Then they directed us to a building. The entrance was hard to find as everything was under construction and no signs to be seen. We queued in a line until they directed us to another room with scanners for the luggage. Here, they told us we need a declaration form for all the bags, otherwise we cannot enter. They should have given us those forms at the bridge where they checked our stamps. Plus, we had to go to another window for migration. As the people from the bus were behind us, we decided to go to migration first. This was a 20min interview process about our itenary, motivation, jobs, hotel reservations etc. A guy noted everything down on a photocopy of our passports (that we had to provide). Afterwards, we had to go to a different window again. Here we paid 12$ per person and had to answer the same questions again. This time, an unfriendly woman typed the answers into a computer. We also got 3 receipts for the money we paid - all handwritten of course. What a waste of time! But we got our stamps and passed the migration part.
    Then I ran back to the bridge to get the declaration form while Herbert watched the bikes. We quickly filled it out to beat the bus crowd, went to the scanner room again, unloaded the bikes and had all bags scanned (even though nobody looked at the computer). Easy! Loaded the bikes again and off to the next bridge where they checked the passports and stamps again. They also collected the forms - and told us that they lacked a signature from the guys at the scanner and we'd have to go back to get it. Seriously??? I was about to explode (all this was also around midday and it was above 40°C again) when the guy asked his partner if he could confirm that we had all bags scanned. His partner nodded and confirmed (of course he did NOT see it as this was in another building, but good for him he confirmed anyways). So after 1.5 hours, we were finally in Nicaragua.
    We only continued to Somotillo, 5km after a border and decided to call it a day. We were tired and it was hot, so we took a hotel with nice owners and rested for the rest of the day.
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  • Day5

    Rest day

    February 4, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Hmmmm. Something I ate is not setting well with my bowels. This morning I feel pretty bloated and have discomfort in my belly. I think it my have been the Tzaziki that we ate yesterday. Boot Camp is thankfully cancelled as the surf time is at 6:30 am due to the tides.

    Both Ben and I skip surfing this morning. Instead we have coffee and relax. We still head to the beach to watch how the surfers are doing with the waves.

    Yoga starts at 8:30. The session is not extremely challenging but I do not feel any better. Everytime we do a twist my belly tells me to watch out. I listen to my body and make smaller movements or take breaks when needed. At the end of the session I feel awful.

    I'm still hungry even though I don't feel the best. I have a smaller breakfast and avoid foods that could cause some discomfort. I decide to take it easy for the rest of the day ad chill in a shaded area by the beach. Some of the folks decide to go play in the water and it looks like fun. I feel better from time to time but no enough to go out in the ocean or in the direct sun.

    We eat lunch in early afternoon. After having some food there is a padle board activity organized for those who are interested. I decide to give it a try as I'm told it's pretty easy and you can stay in the shade for a good part of the ride.

    We have a 15 minute ride to get to our starting point. Security in vehicles does not follow the same standards as in Canada; seat belts are optional and beer is permitted. The girls decide to sit in the back of the pickup truck for the ride. Travelling on dirt roads we get to our starting point where there are a couple guys on the river with the paddle boards and kayaks waiting for us.

    The mangroves are interesting and the water is nice. We start in a wide area of the river and end up in a narrow section where we need to be precise with our "driving". We Paddle for about an hour and a half before we get to a marina. The pickup truck is there waiting for us to bring us back home. I decide to ride in the back of the pickup for our return.

    Supper is served not too long after we arrive. After dinner the are local dancers who come and give a demonstration of local dancing and also provide some dancing lessons. Some of us are pretty tired so I head of to one of the cabanas for a chat with a glass of rum while Ben gives some dance moves a try with Basia before joining us later.

    Sleep is well invited tonight.
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  • Day2

    First time surfing

    February 1, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

    Sleep was great. They have fans in the rooms to keep us cool and we have the ocean waves providing a nice soothing rhythm. Perfect sleeping conditions for me.

    I wake up at 5:30. It is central time here so it’s really 6:30. I thought others would be up for coffee and the sunrise. Nope, I'm on on my own, I meet Mylena who is part of the morning staff. She brings in the coffee while I try practicing my Spanish and have a small conversation with her. The conversation is short, my vocabulary is still too limited 🤷‍♂️. Mylena offers to help me practice, I need to find more sentences to say for her tomorrow morning.

    After our first breakfast we get our first surfing lesson which is included in our stay. Oscar has a team of instructors ready to help us with our first waves. It's quite the sport, I did not think that I would have been out of breath that much practicing this sport. Battling the crashing waves as you head to sea requires lots of jumping over the break and then trying not to be pulled back to shore. After a couple of attempts to stand on the board we are able to ride the waves. It's a great feeling when you ride the wave.

    After a couple hours of surfing we head back to the Casa Grande for second breakfast. Another great meal is served. Jamie, one of the owners, comes to chat with us. He shares a short version of his story on how he decided to come Nicaragua to build something that will benefit the community. He will share more when the rest of the remaining guests have arrived early next week.

    I then decide to head for a nap as the surfing took quite the toll on my body. Once rested we have a super relaxing yoga session with Nicky who made us go through some great stretch poses. After yoga we eat lunch which is again really tasty and also healthy. I think I may gain 10 pounds this week. Alvaro is the cook and so far all the food he has prepared was amazing.

    We relax for the rest of the afternoon with some reading, swimming and enjoying local rum. Another group of guests arrive around 7:30pm. We know these guys as we met them last year at the retreat in Costa Rica. We will be 18 total, more are arriving at midnight and the remaining will arrive Saturday at different times.

    The day ends with another great meal. I think it will be pretty easy to fall asleep tonight.
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  • Day3

    Another great day

    February 2, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    I wake up at 6:00 to get ready for some boot camp style training this morning. I am leading th session and we are a group of 10 that decide to workout. Pretty good, we have a couple others that will probably join for our next sessions.

    After the sweating session we have a little breakfast and get ready for surfing. We want to see if we can apply what we leaned yesterday. We start on the easy waves and then try some of the bigger ones. I flip head over feet a couple of times when I would try the big waves. I also nose dived other times. I was afraid to get hit by the board, thankfully I only got hit once by Ben's board. I try the easier waves and am able to stand and ride a couple nice ones. After a while my knees and ribs get pretty chafed so I decide to stop for the day and take photos of the others who are still having fun.

    Big breakfast is served after surfing. We stuff ourselves and then chill until 1:30 where we have our first yoga session with Basia. She gets us to do mostly stretching as we did yesterday. Tomorrow will be more of a "Flow" yoga. We will be working harder.

    We spend the rest of the afternoon chatting and meeting the remainder of the guests whom arrived today. We're going to have a great week. The people are great, the food is excellent and the place is amazing. I'm really happy to have accepted the invitation to join.
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  • Day4

    Surf's Up

    February 3, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    We start the day with Boot Camp session number 2. We are 11 this morning so I prepare 6 stations. I also decide to increase the intervals from 50 seconds to 60 seconds. After the workout is done and I have a quick shower and a mini breakfast as yoga starts in 20 minutes.

    Yoga feels like a second workout this morning. My shoulders are screaming for a break. I push through and take a couple of small breaks to get me through the flow work. Near the end we get to more of the stretching movements, I am happy when we reach the last Shavasana.

    Big breakfast is served after yoga. While we eat the crew is preparing a cooler with beer; today the guys will bring us surfing at another beach. We prepare our things and meet everyone at the beach house. There is a pickup truck loaded with the surf board.

    Once everyone is arrived we start our walk toward the other beach, it takes us about 15 minutes to get there. We bring our things to a shaded area and grab a board. Ben and I decide to share a board and take turns. While on is surfing the other tries to take photos of the others surfing.

    It's good surfing for beginners, the waves are not too high and they can take us for a good ride. It's easier for me today to catch the waves and stand quickly. We surf for a couple of hours before we head back to the resort.

    After lunch we have some time to ourselves before our second yoga session. I go take a nap while it's the hottest and stay in the shade.

    The afternoon yoga is a accompanied with music. Cat and Andreas work as a duo to make us feel the music vibrations while performing relaxing yoga poses. It's an interesting experience. I am curious to see what they will do the following days.

    Jamie has setup a TV and plugged it to his computer to stream the Superbowl. Some of the guys here wanted to watch it. The cooks even prepared some finger foods for us like chicken wings, popcorn, fried cheese and other tasty food.

    Before heading to bed, we take a detour to the beach to watch the stars. It's quite the lovely sky without all the pollution caused by light. We also notice many hermit crabs running on the beach. They are quite quick.

    Another great day in Paradise.
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  • Day6

    Mmmm Chocolate

    February 5, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    I'm thankfully feeling better this morning. My belly is still sensitive but there is great improvement. There are not too many activities planned today so I will again chill and relax.

    Yoga feels great and helps me get very deep stretches.

    After breakfast we have a chocolate making workshop. Mylena is our guide and brings out many various ingredients for us to add to our chocolate. We first start by peeling the skin of roasted cocoa beans. Once that is done, we use a hand grinder to smash the cocoa and make it into a powder. We each get a bowl and start our own chocolate mix. We first add a bit of oil and then you do what you want. I add some agave and condensed milk for sweetness, natural peanut butter and a pinch of salt. We mix our ingredient and shape our chocolates. I make Hershey kisses shaped ones and add a couple nuts inside each. Ben shapes his as cubes. We then place our masterpieces in the fridge to set.

    After this session we have another workshop with Jane on the subject of Brainspotting. It is a new therapy pratice where an individual is asked to look at a pointer at different locations and keep your gaze on that point for a while and let yourself just be. It is interesting.

    It's Ben and Marc's birthday today. We asked the crew to do something special. They made a lovely cake for the guys. After desert they have Ben and Marc blindfolded to try and hit a Piñata. It is quite entertaining to watch them.

    We end the evening with some dancing, karaoke and chilling in the pool.
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  • Day7

    Waves of Hope

    February 6, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    I thought I would have a huge head ache this morning. Thankfully is not too bad :) We drank a lot last night celebrating the birthday boys. Ben had lots of fun :)

    This morning we go surfing at 6:30 for optimal conditions. I catch some nice waves, I think I am ready for the next level of surfing higher on the wave. I tried a couple of attempts but have not been able to stand too long. I think I need a few tips and tricks to get on at this height.

    For Yoga we have a different session today. Kathy has asked that we do a typical Ashtanga class. This style of yoga is set of sequences that must be followed and of specific durations based on your breathing. Basia explains the different movements and makes us go through the sequence of movements. We skip many of the movements as it could take us a very long time to complete all the sequences. We also lack the flexibility to perform many of the poses. All in all we still get quite the workout as the movements are to be done without stopping.

    We eat breakfast and then get ready to go see the help and work that was brought to the community from Waves of Hope. Initially Jamie and his friends raised money from family and friends in Canada and today tries to get help from a variety of sources. We start by visiting an elementary school that was recent built and this is their first week of school. The school is well built and has all the basics needed for the kids. A communal water supply was also built and all the houses nearby can come get access to clean water. We also visit a high school where about 200 kids attend. There are about 60 kids that graduate each year. Waves of Hope sponsors 20 kids per year to go to university. It costs around $40 a month per kid to go to university here.

    Once back at the resort we have another great window to go surfing again. Many of us head out, the waves are even better than this morning. We have tons of fun.

    After that great workout we watch the sunset over the ocean. We finish the day with a restorative yoga session. We do very relaxing and supporting poses. It feels great. I almost fall asleep twice. Supper is served around 8 and we chill the rest of the evening.

    Sleep will come easy tonight.
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  • Day8

    Taking in the sun

    February 7, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    This morning my body feels tired. I guess the stuff we did yesterday was more demanding than I thought. Many of us feel this way and decide to take a real rest day.

    After ou stay here at Coco Loco some of us are staying an extra 4 days before heading back to Canada. We decide to look at our options for accommodations and activities that we would like to do. I do some searching on AirBnB and suggest a couple of places to stay. I book a couple places and get help for Jamie from setting up two activities.

    We spend most of the day relaxing by the pool and by the beach. The sunset tonight is amazing. We take interesting photos with the sunset behind us.
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  • Day9

    Last day in Paradise

    February 8, 2019 in Nicaragua ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    Today is our last full day at Coco Loco. We want to take the opportunity to surf. The waves sound and look pretty big this morning so we grab a board and head into the water. The water is pretty warm for 6:30am. We have fun in the waves until we need to get ready for yoga.

    After Yoga and Big Breakfast we chill by the pool and have some drinks. Piña Coladas 🍹are the popular drink this past week.

    After lunch we head to the beach for more surfing. I really enjoyed being on the board. The feeling when you catch the wave and get some speed is really amazing. I will have to do this again.

    We have one last session of Sonic yoga and then have dinner. Tonight the crew has planned a party and a bon fire by the beach.

    We head to the beach around 10pm, the crew brings speakers and coolers with drinks. We have lots of fun dancing under the stars. A great night of fun. We finish the day by going skinny dipping at the pool to cool down before bed. With all the lights off the sky is pretty amazing to watch.
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  • Day11


    March 4 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Today we docked in Corinto and are going to El Viejo and Chinandega. We were welcomed on the pier by two groups of dancers, one modern group accompanied by a percussion group and one traditional group and traditional musicians. They played and danced for about an hour while we waited for our turn to disembark for our tour. About a dozen little girls in traditional dress greeted the first 100 or so passengers with gift bags. This port is industrial so if you want to see anything, you need to take a tour.

    This is the largest country in Central American . It means place with several deposits of water. 27% of the country used to be water. 7 active volcanoes . 6.2million inhabitants in Nicaragua and used to be the safest country in Central America. Political crisis in 2018 changed everything.

    First export is beef, then coffee, then gold. The gold mines are owned by Canadians and of course the currency is printed in Winnipeg.

    We stopped at the minor Basilica in El Viejo dedicate to Mary who is the patron saint of Nicaragua. Such a poor country and the children beg for money when you walk into the church. Th primary children go to school in the afternoon as the secondary students go in the morning.

    It is very dry though not a desert area. September as October are the rainy season.

    Our tour guide Bosco’s cousin’s. Holstein go to the Goethe Schule in Corinto. Bosch hopes to send his oldest son to English school next year.

    The temperature today is 36C though it feels like 40C because of the humidity. Gas is $1.20/litre.

    Visited a museum with artifacts from 3000 BC.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Departamento de Chinandega

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