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Getting our groove at Latitude 11

Happy to say the trip here was somewhat uneventful... thankfully!

The Mexico City airport was surprisingly easy to navigate through. We found our hotel for the night then back to check in for our 9am morning flight to Managua, Nicaragua. Getting through customs and immigration was the usual long delay in any Latin country, they do love their paperwork and official stamps!

Our pre-arranged driver met us on time and took us on the 2.5 hour drive south to San Juan del Sur. The countryside is pretty with sugarcane fields, mango trees, rice fields, over hanging trees that reminded us of driving through Mississippi and little towns dotted along the way. A brief downpour and soon we were checking in to the Beach House in SJdS right on the beach.

Beach 'Room' is a more accurate description of our accommodations for the next two nights. (They use a lot of wide angle photos in their online ad promos down here.) I've seen walk-in closets that were larger! It did however, have it's own bathroom and a little seating area facing the beach. The main feature is the restaurant, after a couple of local beers and sushi we decided it was a nice place to land and get our bearings.

Yesterday we moved in to our Airbnb we rented for the next 3 weeks.

Cute, renovated house in the middle of town that was enthusiastically billed as having "Incredible Airflows" to help counter the heat and humidity. Clever!

It's like a flippin' hurricane in here!! LOL

The finished walls go half way up to open wooden slats, topped with a tin roof. The stylish ceiling fans work well under their own power, and just as well without power when the wind is blowing. Every now and then the wind direction shifts and a loose roof panel on our nearest neighbors house? shed? slams violently! It is so loud that at first we thought it was our whole roof that was coming off! Three weeks here?!!

One "benefit" of being right in the heart of town is that practically everything goes right by your doorstep, and the vendors are very assertive to make sure you know they are there! Loudspeakers, honking, shouting, drums, bells, you name it...noisy but fascinating to watch.

We also have some young neighbors right outside our open windows engaging in very lively conversation (and video game playing) until the evening hours. So despite the wind howling through the house, tin roofs crashing, loud neighbors, dogs barking, roosters clucking we both were surprised that we actually had an amazingly good sleep! Hoping it wasn't just because the last 5 days of traveling has caught up to us, but we did say we wanted to experience the local vibe of the town, and so far it has been banging on all cylinders! (Sorry, still a little overwhelmed.)

Today we found the local markets and stocked up on the basics. Found the fish market... (fresh tuna for dinner tonight) and bought fresh fruit and vegetables from a street vendor.

Back home now and the howling wind has died down, so it's getting warmer. There's a light breeze going through, enough to make it enjoyable and not too hot. No more roof banging, the loud neighbors have noted our presence and moved away from our open window, and tonight we are going to join the nightly throng that congregates on the sidewalks (outside their homes that often double as shops during the day). We too will occupy our front "stoop" and watch the town go by.

The general vibe of San Juan del Sur reminds us of Mexico 30 years ago. Especially of one small town, Mulege, on the Baja peninsula (which actually hasn't changed much in 30 years!) SjdS is bigger and busier than Mulege, but, apparently not as busy as it should be for this time of year. Tourism is dead.

Lots - I mean Lots! - of hostels here. The main attraction was/is backpackers and surfers, however, we are seeing expats of every age group, and the majority of the non surfers appear to be long term residents, many of whom have moved here in the last couple of years.

Despite the town beach being beautiful as it is, the local ex-pats say the beaches north and south of here are far superior. In the next week we will check those out and we also want to spend a day at Tree Casa, a resort not too far from town with fabulous pools.

Until next time... NoBadBeachDays



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