Friday, January 28, 2011

Tramping Around Central America

I´m getting ready to fly back to society tomorrow after spending the past month or so exploring Central America. I´m excited to be heading home but it will mean transitioning from the traveling lifestyle to once again focusing on sponsorship and preparing for my world voyage.

Having already visited Costa Rica, I wanted to get a little off the beaten track and headed north to Nicaragua. Nicaragua is an incredibly poor country, but I found it to be the most unspoiled and beautiful of the three Central American countries I´ve visited.

After a long night at a bus station in the ugly, unsafe Costa Rican city of Liberia, I crossed the border into Nicaragua. A couple buses later, I took an ancient wooden boat that looked as if it would fall apart any moment to the Island of Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua.

The Lake is the largest in all of Latin America and was for the longest time chock full of freshwater bull sharks that swam up the San Juan river and found the lake to their liking. The Nicaraguan´s were understandably afraid of the water until they found a solution in the form of catching all the sharks and sending them off to Japan and god knows where else to be eaten. Now few sharks swim in the lake.

Ometepe is a huge island that was formed by two volcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. It is covered in jungle and is an incredibly beautiful place. I spent five days here hiking, kayaking and exploring before returning to the mainland and exploring the colonial city of Granada and the ocean beaches at San Juan del Sur. There I went out at night to see turtles laying their eggs and babies hatching and that was quite incredible.

Back in Costa Rica a few days later, I headed for Corcovado national park with my Israeli friend Omer and we spent three days trekking through some of the last pristine rainforest in the country. National geographic called Corcovado the most biologically intense place on the planet, and everywhere we went there were all kinds of tropical animals. We traversed the entire Osa peninsula and crossed rivers up to our neck full of poisonous snakes and according to the rangers, crocodiles and bull sharks. Fortunately, all I saw was a small caiman.

All in all, I had a brilliant time exploring Central America and sailing there from the Bahamas. It was the longest solo sail to date and I feel more confident than ever with my sailing skills and with getting ready for my circumnavigation. Now I'm back in society and getting ready for once again focusing on sponsorship...



1 comment:

  1. Ryan,

    Interesting post with many places to look up which I had never heard of before. Sounds like you have that good tired feeling, like after a hard day's work when your head first hits the pillow. Enjoy your next phase back home and good luck with the continued sponsorship quest.