On Friday we took a taxi from Hilda's to the Mercadito Subtiava where the buses leave for the beaches. It was a traditional Nicaraguan trip on an old US school bus packed with people, food, bags of who knows what and all kinds of things that people bought in the city of Leon. It's only about 20 km but many stops later and after about 45 minutes or an hour we got off at the end of the line in Poneloya.
To get to the Surfing Turtle lodge we hopped on a canoe (with a small motor) and put putted across an inlet to the Isla des Brasiles. Luckily, we could walk along with a local the 1.5 km to the lodge on the edge of the island in the emerging forest.
"Awesome" said Margot ... there were 3 small cabanas and a 2 story building with a dorm room and a couple of private rooms, as well as a covered patio connected to the kitchen where meals and yoga happened. And swings at the bar! Very casual, of course, and right on the beach with humongus crashing waves all day and night. Bigfoot Hostel in Leon operates their surf school there.
It turns out that 2 other American families were also there; one living in Tegulcigalpa, Honduras -- the parents teaching at the English school there, and the other from CA traveling for 2 months ( all the kids under 8!) They were friends from home and quickly made friends with us too.
Margot watched Star Wars on their computer with them the first night! We went swimming, body surfing when we were not worried about the stingrays at low tide, and walked to the end of the island and the inlet/estuary there. It was a great calm place to swim.
We had hoped to do some computer work and start our blog, but the solar power was out, so they only ran the generator for a wee bit at night.
Saturday night they made a huge bonfire on the beach and Pedro, one of the owners, brought his guitar and played for us.
The Surfing Turtle also tries to help protect turtles. Almost every night, either their night watchman or a poacher who has seen a turtle come on to the beach to lay eggs, digs up the eggs and then re-buries them in a secure spot on the Surfing Turtle beach. The Lodge buys the eggs from the poachers at about 12 for a $1, but they can't buy them all...
On Sunday we went back to Leon with one of the families in a private car, so it was very quick compared to the bus! The CA family is staying in Leon now, so we have been visiting each day.....