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Cam & Suz’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 13 Mar 2005

Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

MapIn our last two weeks in Central America we left Masaya, Nicaragua and our fabulous hosts at Hotel Central. We headed for Nicaraguas most colonial city, Granada. A beautiful city right on Lago de Nicaragua. We decided to do another 5 days of spanish lessons which helped immensely. Nicaraguans are extremely friendly and good natured people, most generous considering the obvious financial situation they live in.
From Granada we headed to the island of Ometepe - the largest lake island in the world. Formed by two volcanos the island looked spectacular as we approached on the ferry. It was hard to believe that the lake had 15 meter waves during hurricane Mitch in 98 and completely decimated all surrounding cities.
We climbed the islands largest volcano, another very tiring climb. The volcano is the second steepest in the world and it felt like it too! A lot of scrambling with hands and feet. It was a major anticlimax at the top as it was totally covered in cloud and very windy and cold. The volcano had a lot of sulphuric acid coming out and the ground was too hot to sit on. We stayed at an ecological farm which was a great experience.
Crossing the border into Costa Rica was another long and frustrating day - 4 buses and 1 boat, dealing with officials and mad money hawkers. The travelling can be both exhausting and challenging at times. Budget travelling means taking (and sometimes sleeping) on the cheapest, oldest, most uncomfortable and slow buses, lugging our heaving backpacks around in very hot and dusty weather to find the best deal for a hotel and being constantly security conscious. We´ve forgotten what it feels like to have a warm shower or the taste of fresh milk! But we´re certainly not complaining as we have seen some great sites and met some great people.
We headed for the south coast of Costa Rica where we camped right on the beach at Montezuma. A fabulous place surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, amazing wildlife and loads of crazy howling monkeys. A few very chilled relaxing days!
We are now in San Jose, by far the most developed city we´ve been to in Central America. It´s a city in transition. Today is our last day in Central America as we fly to Caracas, Venezuela tomorrow to start our South American adventure.