Backpacking to San Juan del Sur… Crossing the border


This week, Cheryl and I went on a short backpacking trip to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – a fisherman village on the Pacific Coast.

I haven’t backpacked in ages.
(well maybe not – Last trip to Nicalandia I had one, but it wasn’t a backpacking trip)

I did a lot of backpacking when I was younger, traveled Europe for several months and it just seemed normal back then. Now, although I am not a snob by any means, I prefer to use my trolley. I always pack more S*** than I actually need and have more cosmetics ┬áthan Sephora, but I guess it’s part of getting old and comfortable with our routine, things etc.

But this trip was going to be different!

We took our backpacks because we figured that it would be easier to cross the border with something on our back than carry a suitcase.

Did I mention that we crossed the border by foot???

This is a very common thing to do when you park your car on one side of the border and grab a bus or taxi on the other side. We didn’t want to go through all the hassle and paperwork one has to do to pass the car.

So backpacks in hand off we went!

Did I mention that each time we travel together, the stupidest, weirdest things happen to us? We work in the travel industry and each day we deal with fellow travelers. We complain about them, we think that they are borderline retarded etc. But, we are exactly in the same boat as them. When we go somewhere it’s like Dumb and Dumber go on vacation! I swear this is ridiculous.

The drive from Liberia, Costa Rica to Penas Blancas (the border) is gorgeous. The road is surrounded by volcanoes, mountains, valleys, a panoply of lush tropical vegetation and tree tunnels.

As you can see it was not really sunny out, let’s just say that a thunderstorm was on its way. But we are crossing the border by foot… do you think we thought of bringing umbrellas? NOPE! So on the last stretch of the ride, we kept on hoping that the storm will start after we cross. Anyways…

Once at the border, we parked the car in probably the shadiest parking lot ever, but it’s supposed to be secure. And it actually was.

By this time, still not rain… it was just getting darker and darker but all good. We passed Immigration in Costa Rica and started walking towards Nicaragua. This is about 1.5km stretch. Half way through, Cheryl says: “OMG… I think I forgot my phone in the car” so I call her phone, nothing. The phone is in the car which was parked you know where. I tell her to go and get it to be safe… we don’t want them to break a window to steal the phone. More damages there. So we commonly decide that it would be better if we walk to the Nicaraguan Immigration and I would stay with the bags and she will run back.

As we arrive… it starts pouring and pouring… I mean just one of those tropical storms.She still needs to go get the phone… here is what she does:

Hails a bike rider and asks him to take her back!

Morale of my story – if you are too lazy to cross the border by foot or there is a tropical storm: You can opt for this means of transportation!

This was just the beginning of our shenanigans. Stay tuned for the rest of the trip!

Check out my last trip to Nicaragua: Granada and visit of the Mombacho Cigar Factory.

About Mrs. Sasu

Expat from Montreal, now living in beautiful Costa Rica. I am a travel addict, a photography passionate and wine & food lover.
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3 Responses to Backpacking to San Juan del Sur… Crossing the border

  1. carol grant says:

    Cheryl was telling me and she does look like A queen in there!!!!!!!!!

    • Mrs. Sasu says:

      I agree! She was the Queen of the border with her blond locks. She got a lot of Hola Mami, mi amor rica… you know… the usual! Also some blowing kisses! :) Love her!

  2. Cheryl says:

    Leave it to Gransu to head on a beach vaycay and the black clouds and torrential rains come pouring in!!! My bicycle guys were awesome…my favourite part was that the one in the picture was wrapped in saran wrap so I didn’t get wet! Such an awesome little trip :)

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