Rio San Juan (Its still 100%Nica!)

During our evacuation from the Volcano Explosion in September, I was going stir crazy sitting in a hotel waiting to go back home. I also dont really enjoy being stuck in Managua. So I took a evacuation vacation to Rio San Juan, which is the river that provides part of the southern border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Isn't it Beautiful!

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit RSJ during their annual international fishing tournament. Honestly, I'm a lot better at eating fish than catching it, but it was still really interesting to see some of the fish that were caught during the competition. Fisherman came from a variety of countries to compete in the tournament. All over the Americas and I think maybe as far as Europe...

At the end of the day, when the boats were coming in, the crowd would gather around the scale to see who had the biggest catch of the day!

                       Fried, Grilled, Steamed, lo que sea...
                             just serve me a bit on a platter please!

I also got to catch up with the elusive Rio San Juan Volunteers, all of whom are awesome. I almost never get to see them since our sites are so far away. We visited El Castillo, the Solentainame Islands, and Boca de Sabalos, in addition to spending time enjoying the festivities in San Carlos (the department capital and location of the fish fair). Another fun surprise was that Fuzion 4, a cumbia band I enjoy was performing. I danced on a stage with the band...and won a CD!

Getting ready to visit the artists colony!

After a short boat ride, we arrived at the Solentanaime Islands, which was the home of a artists colony...leaving a legacy of brightly painted, beautifully done handicrafts made from surprisingly light wood. I have a little butterfly as a souvenir! It was really interesting to visit the island. We wondered from house to house just watching the artists work on their figurines or paintings...

Shes hard at work, handpainting each one of those figurines.

I also spent a day visiting El Castillo, which was a fort in whats possibly one of the cutest little towns Ive seen in Nicaragua. My friend from Chinandega is living and working in El Castillo for 2 years with an NGO, so I got to catch up with her as well. The NGO does a bunch of projects in relation to fort preservation and river conservation. Also, she is really into Nica history and so she gave me a full tour of the fort!*( For more history visit- El Castillo Information)

AND to end the post, I also decided to try and swing my way along the river through the tree forests a la Jane from Tarzan...

 It was a fail! That vine snapped 3 seconds after lift-off...Maybe too much gallo pinto in my diet =/

But I loved visiting the Rio and I hope to get back one day and see more of the outdoorsy adventures it has to offer!

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