I love to travel, but I guess that's no secret. I love to meet people and hear their stories. For me, that’s a key part of the travel experience. Actually, I guess it's really part of how I like to experience life. I've struck conversation with grocery store baggers, the guy who collects my garbage in Milwaukee, tollbooth operators. I’ve actually gotten to know one tollbooth operator that I've seen a few times on my way in and out of Chicago. People are interesting and most have a story. Hearing them is what fills in the gaps of being on the road and adds color to the destinations I'm visiting. Sometimes the travel experience I'm after is all about seeking out interesting people and stories. This is what a road trip is all about. On Day Eight I'd like to invite you to join me on a road trip through Costa Rica and Nicaragua. You don't have to say anything, I'll do all the talking. I'll share my story. Ok, let's roll.
On this road trip my travel companions are a guy named Will from Pennsylvania who’s a psychology therapist that works with clients in nature-based therapy programs. He's an avid rock climber and marathon runner. The rest of our road trip tribe is made up of my favorite travel companions, my boys Ryan, Michael, and Will. We were heading north along the Pacific coast in search of some great waves to surf, then crossing over into Nicaragua to check out a few more surf towns. After that the plan was to head East to Lake Nicaragua and the twin volcano island of Ometepe. We set aside a week for this adventure.
Our first stop was Playa Avellana and the beach restaurant known as Lola's, named after a 500 pound pig that hangs out on the beach with the restaurant guests. The beach has a decent right break and
the restaurant has a great ceviche. The pig? Well he was not as impressive as I thought. Kind of looked like Jabba the Hutt sitting in the sand. The surf was good and the food was marginal, but the conversation was lacking. The pig had nothing to say and most of the guests were tee shirt tourists from Tamarindo and the all-inclusive resorts surrounding that area. We packed up and continued north to the border town of Peñas Blancas.
You really get to know people when you're on a road trip with them and often times you discover things you didn't know about them. For example, I didn't know that my buddy from Pennsylvania had anxiety issues with military men holding machine guns barking orders at you in Spanish, or sweaty fat guys telling you to "come over here, I'll take care you, don't worry about it, come here, amigo come here, what's your name, hey what's your name caballero?" This guy Will was sweating bullets and looking like he was going to bolt. He was definitely unraveled.