The weekend started with everyone piling onto a crowded bus to Rivas. We had just finished teaching at the centre Friday afternoon and ran to catch the last bus. After a two hour standing journey over increasingly bumpy roads, we arrived in San Juan del Sur; a focus of tourism in Nicaragua, famous for its beach, waves and statue of jesus, Cristo de la Misericordia.
We spent the whole of Saturday on a beach (a five kilometre hitch hike from the town) half encompassed by cliffs and water that only came up the the waist fifty metres out. Arkaitz, a volunteer from the Basque region of Spain, could already surf so gave us all a quick lesson on the basics before we went out to try it for the first time.
I enjoyed surfing a lot, although catching a wave wrong could result in you being thrown about under the surf like a rag doll in a washing machine until your lungs felt like bursting and your nose was full of water. However, if you caught one right it felt great. There were a few guys out there who were really great surfers and inspiring to watch.
We stayed all day until the tide came in and the sun set over the sea which reminded me of home. One of the beautiful things about Brightlingsea (the town I live in) is the cloudscape over the estuary in the evening when sometimes all types of cloud can be seen together like orange and purple tears in the sky.
Early the next morning, some of the girls and I got up to see the sun rise over the bay next to Cristo de la Misericordia. Though the trek up there was quite tiring for first thing Sunday morning, it was beautiful to see the sunlight slowly flooding the valley. The palette of the sky changed as the sun illuminated the clouds from beneath and the shadows of the mountains cut through the mist rising from the town and the surrounding vegetationt. It was the first time I’d seen a sunset and then the sunrise of the next day which was cool.