Sunday, February 2, 2020

May 9, 2019 - San Juan de Sur, Nicaragua - Partly Cloudy - 80s

A much nicer day today in Nicaragua.

We are both on tour today (on the same bus) - "Amayo Hacienda, Lake Nicaragua, and Lunch".  This is a tender port so, after meeting our group in the Lounge, we headed down to the pontoon to catch our tender.

The map below shows where we are and where we are heading to.

The tender ride took about 10 minutes or so (I got a jump seat so I could get some pictures of the ship) and dropped us off at the tender port constructed a couple of years ago.  Before, we left on the tour, I got a shot of the beach area of San Juan de Sur.

San Juan de Sur is usually very warm and humid, but today, the conditions are quite comfortable.  We walked through the tender port area and found our bus in the parking lot.  We introduced ourselves to our guide, Elvis (yes), and found some comfortable seats (the bus was not full so we got on own seats).

Elvis' English is almost perfect and he is easy to understand - the bus is air conditioned and the ride pretty comfortable.

After a short tour of the town, the bus headed East toward Lake Nicaragua.  As we drove along the countryside, we could see the twin volcanoes, V. Maderas (dormant) and V. Concepcion (active and sometimes puffing smoke) situated on the island of Ometepe in the lake.

We drove through the town of Rivas and past its baseball field (baseball is very big in Nicaragua).  One of the times we were here, San Juan del Sur had no electricity since the power comes from Rivas and Rivas was experiences some kind of problem.

The travel time to Amayo Hacienda took about an hour.  The estate, originally given to a family by the King of Spain, is still family owned.  Today, it consists of a main building and a large piece of land, which is right on the shore of the lake.  The estate contains various types of vegetation including several huge palm trees.

There were several chairs available to sit on and enjoy the scenery.  We chose to sit under the overhang to avoid the sun.  There were very few, if any, mosquitoes, or other annoying bugs.  There is also a small pool but no one took advantage of the pool on this trip.

When we arrived, we noticed a framed document on the wall of the building - it was in Spanish but the opening lines were those of the Shema.  We inquired about this document but Elvis and other folks associated with the Hacienda did not know what this was.

Ellen and I ventured onto the estate to see examples of local pottery and to see the horses housed on the Hacienda.

You can go all the way to the shore of the lake and get some great shots of the volcanoes.  There are also several wind turbines along the shore that take advantage of the windy conditions present on the lake.

The conditions were near perfect for viewing the lake and its sites.  The terrain was very uneven and there were several stairs that took you down (and then back up) to the house.  Not everyone in our group went exploring.  It should be noted that L. Nicaragua is home to the only species of freshwater shark in the world.

When we got back to the house after exploring the shoreline, the group was treated to some songs by Elvis and some backup musicians.  A dance group also performed some local dances.

We also got a traditional lunch - we couldn't eat everything but Elvis did help us find some vegetarian items (some kind of veggie tortilla, plantains, and other non-meat goodies) so we did not starve on this trip.  Soft drinks and beer was also provided.  The food was pretty good.

After lunch, we had some more free time, which was spent chatting with some of the passengers.

By mid afternoon, it was time to get on the bus and make our way back to San Juan de Sur.  There was no wait to get on a tender.

We changed for dinner and ate up in Terraces.

A nice day in San Juan de Sur.

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