At the start of the second week in San Juan del Sur, I ventured with several other travelers to this so-called air jump competition at this surf ranch. We took a shuttle from Hostel PachaMama and arrived at Surf Ranch Action Sports Resort. When we arrived, the event looked pretty shady. Since the place is called “surf” ranch, we imagined the event was going to take place on a beach. Nope, it’s in the middle of some random valley.
The surf ranch at the time in March was undergoing extensive construction. So the event literally was a small tent, built up ramp, and very sketchy half blown up landing pad. Of course, who needs safety regulations when you are in Nicaragua? I don’t believe the landing pad ever actually was fully blown up, as some Australian dude, Brett, and I were the first 3 guinea pigs to test out the pad.
As the day carried on, various jump techniques were asked to be done by the announcer. All I did was jump off the ramp. Not particularly fond of doing back or front flips, so I happily sat in the background, drinking my beer, and watching my friends do some back and front flips.
Later in the day, they held a small competition for the best flips for guys and girls. Since Jackie was the only girl that successfully did a back flip, she won a free night stay at a nice condo in San Juan del Sur. I guess guys can’t only do interesting back flips to win, the winner ended up being that Australian guy, who got naked and did the flip to win. Kudos to him.
Since Jackie won the condo at Bahia del Sol, she invited me to stay for that night. It was pretty sweet to have a house to ourselves, overlooking the San Juan del Sur bay and the nearby statue of Jesus. Our one day of luxury.
After my stay at Bahia del Sol, I ventured to another hostel located closer to Playa Maderas called “The Maderas Village“. I had heard about this hostel from fellow travel bloggers who had mentioned it was worth checking out. After reading many reviews, it seemed like an amazing place.
Before seeing the place, a super steep hill stands in the way. I remember first walking up the hill, and thinking, man … can it get any more steeper? But upon reaching the place, The Maderas Village is a collection of cabanas, cottages, and a central house. That central house is called “The Dreamcatcher House”, and it was originally on its own til it was absorbed with The Maderas Village. I climbed to the top of the Dreamcatcher House, where Playa Maderas is viewable, perfect if you wanted to scope out the wave action before heading down to surf.
I tried both yoga and ceviche for the first time there. I had imagined yoga simply as stretching of the arms and legs, but it can be a workout for the body. I definitely plan on continuing yoga to improve my flexibility. And hmmm … I couldn’t get enough of the ceviche. So good! Must have if you eat out in Central America.
After staying two nights at The Maderas Village, I stayed several more nights at Casa Maderas and then Casa Oro. I couldn’t believe that my first two weeks had gone by and that my time in Nicaragua was coming to a close. I definitely didn’t allocate enough time to explore other parts of the country, but now knowing how easy it is to meet and travel with other backpackers, I for sure will come back to see more parts of Nicaragua.
The last three nights in San Juan del Sur were spent with most of the people I met in the first week, plus the “cray-crew” (see photo below). There was a night time beach concert that Saturday night at the bay where we all partied hard til we didn’t quite remember what happened then [or at least I couldn't remember ]. Besides the slight hangover the next morning, I was sad to leave the friends I met in San Juan del Sur, but I ventured off to cross the border into Costa Rica.
Have you ever won a prize while traveling?
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