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Surfing Safari
Nicaragua: Volcanoes, Beaches, and Fireworks

Volcan MomotomboVolcan Momotombo (Marnie Green)
Our big adventure today was focused on surfing. Before we met up with our surf instructors we stopped at the local panaderia (bakery) for some snacks to take to the beach. The bakery is located just across from the Parque Central and the church. Sam has fallen in love with the pineapple cookies. The lady at the bakery knows us now.

We booked our surfing lessons through San Juan Surf and Sport. They are known to be one of the best out-fitters in town and they didn't let us down. After a 20 minute drive through the countryside we landed on the most beautiful beach, Playa Hermosa, which means pretty beach. On Playa Hermosa sits the Playa Hermosa Surf Camp, which was our base for the day. The Surf Camp is newly opened and consists of a 'hotel' of dorm rooms, hammocks, an outside bar and grill, and endless waves. Our instructors Saul and Roberto led us onto the wide, flat beach and explained the fundamentals of surfing. We learned the parts of the board and the technique for getting on it. It was a LOT easier to do on the sand than it was in the water!

After about 20 minutes of instruction we hit the waves. Roberto worked with us while Saul worked with the other guys in our group. So, we basically had private instruction. Unfortunately, that's not enough to make us 'real surfers.' Steve was able to stand up once during our two hour session and Marnie chose to stay on her stomach or knees. Nevertheless, we were amazed at how fast you could go on the long board when you caught the wave just right.

We are grateful that we also had our own photographer with us. The photos are courtesy of Sam, who documented the entire experience.

Two hours in the water was enough for us and we headed back to the surf camp for a few beers and our tasty snacks from the bakery. Another hour or two in a hammock and we were ready to head back to the hotel. We'll never be pro surfers, but today was an experience we won't soon forget. Surfing is really fun!

Our day ended on the beach in San Juan del Sur with grilled whole snapper at a popular restaurant, El Timon. We watched the sunset and enjoyed a live Latin band. Steve and Sam finished up the evening poolside at the hotel drinking Flor de Cana, the local favorite.

Evenings and days like this have made us fall in love with this warm, friendly, and beautiful country. Despite its political and economic challenges, Nicaragua is endearing and we are so happy we've spent our holiday here.

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