by Martin Nichols
Never been to this part of the world before...will be going back. This is Playa Maderas on Nicaragua's west coast, about 20 minutes north of San Juan Del Sur, and it is as gorgeous as it looks. You're kinda spoiled for choice here, as to the north you have the smaller but equally decorative Playa Majagual, and to the south Playa Marsella, another scenic strip of soft sand and rolling waves. Ah yes, Playa Marsella...location of the incredible Empalme a las Playas eco resort, nestled on the edge of the jungle, messrs. Roy and Karen Goldman, proprietors and all-around fabulous couple.
Our arrival there by taxi from Managua at around midnight was greeted with enthusiasm by not only Roy himself and a bottle of Flor de Cana, but by what sounded like the entire population of the Nicaraguan jungle. Seriously...ever watched a movie in which there's a jungle scene? Well, this was the real thing, and I can tell you those soundtracks do not exaggerate...I was like an excited little kid, wanted to set off into those woods right there and then. So there are Jules and me, a couple of FdCs later, more or less getting used to all the exotic sounds around us when the howler monkeys started up. Now they are like nothing you've ever heard, and nothing I can adequately describe. "What the f**k was that?!" was of course the question hurtling from the newcomers' lips. Chairs were leapt from. Rum was spilt. Unbelievable racket...and a whole lot of them by the sound of it. Apparently there are two tribes of them in the area and they don't get along. Odd thing is, when you see them they're only the size of a small child, but I'm told they have an enlarged vocal chamber to give them the volume of the average AC/DC concert. Look at 'em...butter wouldn't melt in their mouths.
Some pictures of the resort:
And the jungle...
So to recap: jungle, amazing beaches, tropical climate, super people, surfing...what's not to love about this place?
Photographically, I never really did stretch myself on this trip...was more like yer traditional holiday. Sightseeing, checking out the culture, trying to improve my Spanish (lots of room there), meeting new friends, sleeping in and so on. I do however plan on getting a little more serious when we return to this beautiful country.
A couple more posts coming up on this trip though...Popoyo and Granada await.
In case you were wondering about the headline today, well...it just kinda fit with everything: hot beaches, Burning Sand, and oh yes Iggy Pop (about 4:35 in...warning: this is Iggy Pop). Did I mention the beaches?