Packed up and said my farewells. Surfing Turtle Lodge proved to be a most enjoyable and memorable spot to spend Xmas. It’s very easy to see how some travelers come to spend a few weeks ‘volunteering’ and end up staying on. There is certainly a lot to ‘stay on’ for.
I walked back to catch a lancha over the channel to the mainland. I saw the lancha come in but no one was there when I got to it. I waited for a while looking around and then heard the snap of a twig. The lancha driver had decided to take a moment in the mangroves whilst waiting for passengers. I gave him his privacy and waited. As we were taking off, a large party from the lodge who were catching the shuttle to Leon came around the corner of the mangroves accompanied by a horse driven cart carrying their packs. The cart drove straight through the low water to the lancha while the others waded. It ended up being a very full boat after all and the hombres amongst them were called upon for lancha leverage duty until we were in deeper water for the motor to take over.
Back on dry land I decided I wasn’t in any hurry and stopped for a cerveza at one of the little restaurants dotting the beach. Thus fortified for the hill climb, I returned to where I had left the bus a couple of days ago. I didn’t have to wait long before a bus came lumbering along and after a quick detour of the more touristy Las Penitas, I was on my way back to Leon.
I caught another bus from the mercadito which the beach buses use as transits, to the main mercado to catch a bus heading north. A busker hopped on en route and proceeded to entertain the commuters with guitar and harmonica. As the bus tore through the city streets without heed to anyone’s comfort levels, let alone ones ability to play the guitar whilst standing, I was impressed that he still had a full set of teeth after such antics. Thus I handed over a few Córdoba to assist with what I can only assume will be future dental work needed.
As I came away on this trip carrying a knee injury which is still to rectify itself, I have been struggling with swelling and pain. I did bring the remainder of my post surgery anti inflammatory meds with me, but had exhausted that supply. I had the box they came in so asked at one of the many pharmacies at the mercado if they had anything similar. To my astonishment, the señorita came back with a packet of meds made in Guatemala which appeared to have the exact same dosage of the drug I had been prescribed in Australia. This drug company is no Bayer so I may yet grow a third ear but am finding myself running out of other options.
Armed with my dodgy Guatemalan drugs, I found a bus to Chinandega from where I planned to take another bus to Jiquilillo. A quick check of times to get to both places decided me on changing my mind and heading straight to Corrinto where this particular bus terminated. We drove through the pretty little town of Chichigalpa which is the home of Nicaragua’s famous rum distillery, Flor de Cana. A short stop in Chinendaga and we were heading down to the port city of Corrinto.
The bus terminated and I could see a ship in port in the not too far distance so figured I was probably not far from the centre of town. I got directions for the Central Plaza and found it was only a few blocks away. I asked directions to a hostel I had picked out of the guidebook but got directed to Hostel Garcia which did the job as far as I was concerned. Cheap, basic with an odd little bathroom tucked into one corner. A thick, though shabby monogrammed towel was at my disposal. Ritz!!
The guidebook recommended eating at one of the waterfront restaurants which are known for good seafood so I went in search of one. They all looked quite pricey but I found one a little shabbier than the others which had reasonably priced cerviche. I took the first of my dodgy Guatemalan meds after googling any info I could find on the company that made them. Oh well, another ear could come in handy…