Two and a half weeks left! We fly out on 2/11, from Boston to Atlanta and then on to Managua, Nicaragua. It will be a long day, but the nice thing about traveling south is that we don’t have a big time-zone shift. Nicaragua is on Central time, only one hour behind us here in New England.
Trip planning is proceeding, although in a much looser fashion than is the norm for us. We have so little idea of what to expect that we want to leave ourselves with as much flexibility as possible. However, as previously mentioned, I’m not one to just show up at the airport with a backpack and a guidebook (especially since we’ll be arriving at 9pm). So, as a compromise, we have our first three weeks planned out and will be planning the rest as we go along.
The first two weeks were easy. In fact, our destination is what drove our decision to start in Nicaragua to begin with. We’ll be staying at La Mariposa Spanish School, which looks almost too good to be true. The first time I read about it, I decided then and there that this would be the start of our trip. We’ll be doing one-on-one Spanish lesson in the morning, and excursions to volcanoes and farms and villages and beaches in the afternoons. In the evenings there are movies or salsa lessons or lectures. The school is an eco-lodge in the mountains, surrounded by gardens where they grow their own food and coffee. (And just to make sure Nadia is as happy as the rest of us, they also have 16 horses.) And we’ll be getting all this, including all meals, for $221 per day for the five of us.
We hope to have an opportunity to help out in the local schools and will be bringing what we can for donations. They especially want children’s books in Spanish, so if anyone has any lying around, let me know.
After we leave La Mariposa, we’re headed northwest to the coast and the colonial city of Léon. The plan is to stay there two nights. Léon will be nice to explore in and of itself, and it’s also ringed with volcanoes that we hope to tour.
For our last planned stop, we continue nortwest to the Rancho Esperanza, in the seaside village of Jiquilillo. Again, this place sounds totally amazing. It’s a hostel, so we rented out all the beds in a six-person dorm. (Otherwise I’d pity the poor unsuspecting sixth person stuck in with us.) We’ll be right on the beach, taking surf lessons, kayaking in the mangroves, and relaxing in the beachfront hammocks.
After this, we don’t have set plans, although the idea is to head inland to the mountain town of Esteli and the nearby nature preserve/farming cooperative community of La Miraflor. We’ll keep you posted.