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Saturday, August 23, 2014

8.22.14 Last Session in Nicaragua at Colorados; Trip Wrap-Up

I paddled out after not having surfed in seventy hours.  The surf took a turn for the macabre.  The day we were supposed to experience an uptick in swell we lost some size.  Then the day after that, the wind turned onshore for the first time all trip.

My ear was still clogged with Lord knows what but my back was all better, thankfully.

I paddled out with muted expectations and the surf met them.  I caught two or three waves that all closed out immediately and a left that while it was open, raced off without me.  I pumped along never gaining a step on the speedy whitewash.

I eventually decided to go in so as to make sure we were packed for the sixteen-hour trek back awaiting us.


While I won't go as far as to say I got skunked on this trip, it was not up to what I'd hoped.  My goal was to make one barrel and I think I got in six or seven, none of which were makeable.  I spent many hours watching the waves while eating and I think I saw two dudes make barrels, including chandeliers. 

The El Niño conditions have left Central America in a drought and the rivermouths aren't performing up to snuff.  The swell was also affected, as it is common for the surf to not drop under 4' for months at a time during S swell season.

The almost-trip-encompassing offshore winds left me slackjawed.  I didn't know such a place existed that gets waves.  Sure, North Shore is offshore during Kona winds, but these Nicaraguan winds were a trip.

El Salvador and Nicaragua are practically neighbors.  Their borders don't touch thanks to Honduras getting in the way and the Gulf of Fonseca separating the two landmasses.  The countries seemed very different.  Now, it's not a fair comparison as I've spent almost two decades all told in El Salvador and ten days in Nicaragua, but here are the biggest differences.

The graffiti I saw in Nicaragua was religious.  I saw no signs of gangs (shirtless kids hanging out, etc).  Our driver says it's not a problem in Nicaragua as their police force is efficient.

In Nica, there were women going to the store by themselves on their mopeds/motorbikes.  I don't remember ever seeing that in El Salvador.

I saw VERY few soccer fields along the road.  When I asked the driver about it, he said baseball is more popular in the south of the country, but soccer prevails in the north.

The beach was clean in Nicaragua.  Yeah, there was the odd piece of litter, but because there isn't a coastal population center where we were, it was practically pristine.

The streets were also very clean, comparable to the States.  The driver said it was because people collect all recyclables to trade them in.  There was the odd burning of trash here and there, but everything seemed very clean.

At no point did I or my wife feel in danger.

I will definitely be back, especially considering how tenebrous the situation in El Salvador remains.  The set-up in Nicaragua is crazy from a potential standpoint.  Nicaragua is more expensive, but we also stayed in 4-star accommodations, I'd rather die than do that in El Salvador.

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