Sunday, February 25, 2007

Leaving Granada

Tomorrow I say goodbye to Granada. I spent an entire week here which was weird, but it was so easy to. I've quickly learned that long term plans simply don't exist when you're traveling like this. I guess I was just having to much fun with Chris, Conway and Evanya. I have also met some great people at my hostel, The Bearded Monkey. This hostel is a little dangerous as it is so hard to leave. There's hammocks everywhere, a killer restaurant, free internet, movies, books, and best of all a big bunch of other hippie like-minded individuals with whom you can just chat and chill the night away.

I walked through the graveyard here. It is so strange because all over central America, bodies aren't buried. Caskets are placed in little cement aboveground tombs. The rich have huge elegant ones for their entire family and the poor often are buried in the back of the graveyard. As beautiful as the tombs are, I'm a little opposed. Not that I have any issue with dealing with the bodies like that, in fact, I think it's better than putting bodies underground because the tombs can be stacked. The result is sort of like small apartment buildings of corpses. How fun. But what I don't like is how your wealth is so obviously displayed even after you die. In NA grave yards often consist of tombstones that are rather simple and quite similar... everyone is equal...

One other quick thing about Granada... There has always been a fued between Granada and Leon, a City more north. Granada was always the richer, more conservative city, and Leon was always the more liberal city blooming with artists, philosophers, and students. I'd love to visit Leon, but I hear visually it's almost the same and it's farther north than I want to go. Nicaragua has an amazing history. If your interested, check out I think william walker is an animal.

Tomorrow I'm taking the ferry to Ometepe. It's a big island in the middle of big Lake Nicaragua. The cool part is that the island is simply 2 joined volcanoes. I'm kind of excited...

Friday, February 23, 2007

What´s Up?

I´ll tell you what´s up.
Granada, Nicaragua... That´s what´s up. This colonial city is absolutely gorgeous. Every house is painted up so colourful and there are amazing churches and monuments everywhere. Horses and carriages still roam the streets and I feel like I walked back in time 200 years. The people here are super friendly too. Chris, from Costa Rica, just so happened to have a friend, Conway, heading to Granada the same time I was. He managed to get some time off so Conway, Chris, myself, and Evanya (Conway´s friend) have all been having a great time on the town. It´s so nice to see Chris again.

After climbing Rincon de la Vieja, John and I went to La Fortuna. We saw lava spewing down the side of Arenal Volcano, and again, I sat in delicious hot springs.

John went home and I went to San Juan Del Sure in Granada with a wonderful couple from Israel. We clicked immediately. I gave my friend Dreadlocks and he knitted me a tam (a hat of dreadlocks). I was in San Juan for 3 days and now I´m here in Granada and I never want to leave. I swam in a lake in the crator of a volcano and got attacked by 5 monkeys. I don´t know what adventure lie in the immediate future, however I´m just looking to sit in a hammock, read my book, and drink a cold Victoria.

You´ll be sure to hear more ranting from me about this subject later on, but this part of the world is so misunderstood. People do horrible things when they´re desperate. There´s a lot of desperation here; roughly 70% of Nicaragua lives in poverty. However there is also so much beauty, so much culture, so much safety, so much respect, and so much realism. The people here are so genuine. If it´s danger you´re looking for, you can find it easily, but if you want to avoid it, that´s easy too. Central America is a work of art.

Oh ya, and when I was in a hostel in San Juan Del Sur, there was a huge painted map of the world. In southwestern Ontario someone had added in ¨Parkhill¨ in pencil. I slyly added in Ailsa Craig.
Small world though...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Volcan Rincon De La Vieja

This is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. John and I hiked 9km up to the crator of Volcan Rincon De La Vieja, then 2 km over to the Crator of Volcan Van Sebeebachh then 9km back down.

Words can´t describe the beauty of this place, and my pictures don´t do it any justice either.

I´ve never felt so alone, so small, so light..... so good.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

La Casa

Habitat For Humanity was an excellent experience. There isn´t

even a whole lot to say other than I feel good about helping others

out the way I did and I had fun time doing it. I met great people...

lots of people came and left and I became good friends with some

of the locals. My family was great and the Miestro on the

construction site was a riot.

The people in the office were extremely unorganized here, but

once the initial configuriung was done and I was on the site, it was

better. That big group of Canadians had everything all figured out.

It´s obvious which office has their crap together.

As much fun as it was, I was ready to leave when I did. Let´s just

say that hard physical labour in a near-equatorial sun is a little bit

draining. Work was 5 days a week and weekends weren´t always

jam packed with sleep...

John and I are currently in La Fortuna (again for me). We´re

toured around for a few days but John has to go back to the US

on thursday. I however will be going to Nicaragua for

unimaginable good times.

Just a p.s.

There´s going to be a pretty mean blog comming up. We hiked to

the crator of VolcanRincon De La Vieja the other day. I have never

seen anything so beautiful in my entire life. I´ll explain and show

you all later.

I got to start the house... just wish I would have gotten to see it finished.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Tropical Bungee

Have you ever jumped off an 80m high bridge?


Well don´t, it´s scary as shit!
John and I went bungee jumping a few hours ago. It was the most intense thing I have ever done in my entire life. It was pure terror as I started falling, but that´s what made it such a great experience. I think everyone should experience sheer terror on a safe level at some point in their lives.
It was a little painful for a couple reasons. The straps attached to my ankles were really tight and take a hell of a lot of pressure. I was alsounfortunate enough to have the bungee cord smack my left foot on my first bounce, causing some brusing, as well as some bleeding. I don´t know how a massive bungee cord could draw blood through my sock, but I suppose I was falling pretty fast.

However, despite the pain, bungee jumping is great and I highly recommend it.

Edward Forty Hands

Edward Forty Hands is a rather foolish game that is of growing popularity among young adults. Extensive information on the game can be found here.

John and I, having no plans for friday night, decided it would be a perfect opportunity togive the game a try. Technically we weren´t playing Eduard 40 Hands as we were drinking 2 litres of beer, not 80 oz, as 40´s of beer aren´t sold here, but whatever. We had our host-father tape the liters to our hands, then tape the caps to strings attached to the bottles so we could close them. So John with his Pilsen and me with my Imperial set out of a night on the town (drinking in public is legal in Costa Rica). We decided we´d take a bus into Poas, a near-by town, and meet some friends. We paid the bus driver with coins we had previously put in a bag and wedged under my pinkey finger. (We cheated a little bit as we left our pinkeys exposed. However we thought we deserved some slack, seeing as we would have to somewhat function in public). When we got on the bus it was packed... packed with staring Ticos. The bus driver was laughing his ass off, especially because we had to stand the whole time without hands to support ourselves. I accidentally hit a girl in the head with one of my 40hands. However, instead of being upset, after I apologized she preceeded to ask my how old I was and where I lived, then her friend commented on my delectable appearance that evening. (readers take note of the potential for getting picked up when one assaults someone with their beer bottle) We then met our friends (other volunteers and one local) in the park and had a gay old time in a well named bar, Pollo Frito (Fried Chicken), and yes, still with our 40hands.
I give this game 5 Stars.