Attempting to Get to a Resort in Nicaragua
After our (mis)adventures all over Nicaragua, Shana and I were looking forward to ending our vacation by relaxing at a nice resort.
Most of the reason we'd gone from Leon to San Juan del Sur instead of Granada was that we figured it would be quick and cheap to get from there to Punta Teonoste. Google Maps kept giving us this one location for Punta Teonoste that we knew was wrong because it was in the middle of the land, whereas our resort was on the beach. When we finally figured it out in the occasional moments when we could get the wifi at the Royal Chateau to work, it turned out our resort was farther north than we'd thought. It also turned out that there was no road to take us straight up the coast but that we'd have to go all the way out and around.
So what had happened was we had seen that our Bigfoot hostel offered a shuttle to the airport, to Granada and to San Juan at 10am every day (for $8, $12, and $25 USD respectively). They picked up a few of us from Bigfoot and then stopped at three more places in Leon to pick passengers up. By the time we left Leon it was nearly 11am, and then we realized that our "shuttle" - a van - wasn't direct to San Juan del Sur but rather dropping people off at those other destination, and picking up more passengers all along the way, so that the driver said we'd be getting into SJdS at about 3:30, which by this point in our Nicaraguan education we were pretty sure would really mean 5pm at the earliest, especially since this driver was the slowest we had yet encountered, never passing a single car or motorcycle or even chicken bus and at one point coming within inches of colliding with a semi tanker. We decided to get out at the airport and hire a driver to take us straight there. My plan (fantasy) had been to arrive in del Sur by 1:00-1:30.
At the airport, we bartered down from $80 to $60 USD for the taxi to SJdS, though Shana kept insisting on tipping everyone even in all these situations where I was sure you weren't supposed to, so that she would always end up giving at least as much as we had bargained down from in the first place. So $130 and 5 hours later, we had made it to SJdS, which we'd had hopes of really enjoying, relaxing on the beach all day and enjoying fruity cocktails etc., but which kind of sucked since, by the time we got there and got settled into our hotel, which was a disappointment of course, it was already 4:30pm, and we didn't have time to surf or find good food or anything and we were still clinging to the hope that the stupid fucking Footprints guide would steer us to good shit, which all ended up sucking and/or no longer existing.
So. The next morning, by the time we hired a driver for what we'd originally thought would be a twenty to thirty minute drive, but which Google now said would be a 1.75 hour drive, and for which we believed we should be paying about $35, but which our driver assured us should cost $80 as it would be a difficult 3+ hour drive both ways for him because we didn't understand just how bad the road was for the last third of the drive, for which we bargained down to $50 ($60 with Shana's tip!), and which ended up taking exactly 2 hours, the road not really being all that bad, just a stretch of dirt road, a handful of flooded dips and one or two herds of cows to weave through - nothing we hadn't seen before - we were telling ourselves to expect the worst when it came to this resort. Before we came to Nicaragua, we'd been thinking this would be a nice resort like the resorts Shana's been to in the rest of the world. After 7 days in Nica-land, we figured it would be prudent to expect a motel with a two mile hike to a dirty beach.
Still, we couldn't help but hold out some kind of hope, and we were jittery with nervousness as we got closer and closer to Punta Teo, the signs finally reading 10km, 5km, then 2km, and then, and then suddenly we were there.
To be continued...