So wait… what? 8 MONTHS HAVE PASSED SINCE MY LAST BLOG POST? That is crazy. I guess I need to catch up a little bit. Let me give you a rundown of what has happened (if I can remember, haha)
OUR FAMILY IS GROWING
So by now you might know that I am the crazy cat lady from Nicaragua. But guess what… it just doesn’t stop! One day, a Swiss couple stopped by my house, asking me if I wanted to adopt a black kittykat they saved from the street but now couldn’t take back home. It took me three days to convince myself that a fourth cat would be indeed a great idea, and I said yes.
So now we have “Tiniebla“, the first guy in the family to support Melvin, haha! He is…. pure CHAOS! And as nearly all of my cats he’s got a psychological disorder due to early separation from his mum, great!
And guess what? It still doesn’t stop there! On day – I’m all on my own – appears a dog at our house and does not make any move to ever leave again. I shout at her, I threaten to beat her, I literally carry her out of the doorstep, but….. she stays. She wants to play with me, is wining when I leave, guards the house at night and barks at everything that moves. So I tell Melvin for weeks to go look for her old owner or a new owner (where did she even come from????) but somehow he doesn’t do anything. After three weeks, we say “f*ck it, we adopt her”.
So now we also do have “Fifi“, and I am absolutely in love with her! We take her for a walk every morning and let her be crazy, playful, sleepy and dumb during the rest of the day. The only problem we’ve really got with her is that she loves to eat shoes!!! 😦
Hahaha, I know. I never thought this would even be possible. Well, immigration laws let me do the impossible and I got married to the man who makes my life wonderfully complicated and joyful. My parents and my sister flew over to see the spectacle with their own eyes, and it was indeed… something different.
Two days before our wedding date there was a tropical storm who destroyed beaches, buildings, bridges and roadways. We were without electricity for one full week!!!!! And my parents saw all of it… I am impressed they didn’t force me to come back to Germany after this chaos 🙂
Melvin’s groomsman was not able to make his journey and his whole family was stuck in a flooded village without phone connection. Melvin did everything possible to get them across the river, but due to the circumstances there where very few people attending the wedding. Which was of course disappointing. We had a wonderful ceremony, but after that, somehow everything turned into chaos. The food didn’t work out as I had planned, people got impatient and the male invitees just got terribly drunk. Oh well…. maybe I just didn’t deserve a picture-perfect wedding after all those years saying “I’ll never get married!”
But what counts is the fact that me and my man are happy and my immigration issues just got a whole lot easier 😉
GETTING TO KNOW THE BEST BEACHES
Just two days after the ceremony we ventured out to visit some spectacular beaches around Nicaragua. Melvin and I wanted to show my parents the hidden gems we had found so far, and it was a great success. The first stop was SURFING TURTLE LODGE near Leon, which you can only reach by boat and horse. For the old, nearly-retired seniors, it was quite an adventure haha. The hostel is the only establishment on an island – well, it’s not the kind of island you might imagine. In fact, the northern coast of Nicaragua is full of rivers, estuaries and mangroves. So the hostel is set on an island because it has rivers all around and the ocean out in front, but it is really lose to the mainland 😉
We then visited a HIGHLY SECRET BEACH (know further below why it is secret), afterwards LOS CARDONES ECOLODGE (where my parents saw a nesting turtle while I had to run back to the hotel because I just had eaten tooooo much, haha!) and finally TUPILAPA, a kind of ghost town.
Why ghosttown? Well…. turns out a lot of rich people from Central America and the US buy beachfront properties, establish their vacational villas on them and then have some local families take care of the place during 360 days of the year. One caretaker can be in charge of up to 10 villas. So all of Tupilapa is really only inhabited by 8 families who all have the same responsibility: Make sure the rich will not have to worry about their own properties. Crazy shit.
WHY DO YOU WASTE PRECIOUS COASTLINES LIKE THAT? WHY DO YOU NEED AN OCEANFRONT VILLA WHEN YOU NEVER REALLY USE IT, JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE STUPID RICH???? I am clearly against this waste of land, building materials and other resources… They could just stay in a luxury apartment instead and leave the coastline for people who actually want to put conservation projects, businesses and their permanent homes there!!!!!
ALL INCLUSIVE MADNESS
So because we did that after-wedding-trip with my parents, we needed a real honeymoon as well 🙂 And what do you do when you’re poor and live in a tropical country? You book a two-night vacation at an All Inclusive Hotel during the low season, when prices are highly in your favor!
I was sooo excited for my first all-inclusive-trip in nearly 10 years! And Melvin just didn’t know what what was to come as he had never been in a place like that before. And oh well…. we spent the days playing games, doing sports and swimming in the pool, as well as eating and drinking and enjoying the wonderfully comfortable, air-conditioned room! BUT… never take a Nica guy to an all-inclusive-hotel who up until then couldn’t even afford to buy himself some beers. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity, Melvin went CRAZY on the drink menu. And I wasn’t really into it. Well…. now I’m stuck with that dude for the rest of my life. What can I do???
As you might know by now, San Juan del Sur is close to La Flor which is one of very few beaches world-wide where arribadas (mass-nesting events) take place. And I always wanted to see one during the day! One day in October we wittnessed our chance and set out to the beach at 4 in the morning in order to wait for the sunrise. And nature didn’t disappoint me. Here are some of the best pictures and one video I was able to take with my camera during a rainy morning.
PREPARING FOR THE BIG MOVE
I tell y’all…. I was getting really fed up with San Juan del Sur! Apparently THE best beachfront town for foreign investors and tourists, but lacking some of the crucial things:
- If you want to do some serious food shopping, you need to drive to the next bigger town which is 40 minutes away.
- Power cuts happen every other day and sometimes they last for hours (when there’s no power there’s no internet and I cannot do my work, which makes it a lot worse…)!
- There’s no running water during specific times of the day.
- Then, the traffic is just horrible as there is exactly one road entering and exiting the whole town!
- There’s so much development, million-$-projects aiming for fat, lazy, old Americans who have no idea how to better use their money.
- You pay hundreds of dollars for an “ocean view” (since when are we monetizing the right to have a look at our natural surroundings?)
- Going out for food is just so expensive!
- There’s party tourists and smelly backpackers all over. They ask Melvin if he’s selling drugs. Girls ask him if he wants to “show them around town a”. Pfffff…
- Local teens think they must act like those weird people, drink and get high and have a new chick every week. Some even have liaisons with older ladies who will just do (pay) anything to feel a bit attractive again.
- I walk the streets and people are approaching me “Taxi? Taxi? Sunglasses, lady?” Ughh… I just wanted to leave! And fortunately we did.
Ooookay okay, San Juan del Sur and its surroundings are actually STUNNING. But it is exploited by foreign investors and I don’t like that. The landscape gets spoilt by huge vacational and residential developments (and somehow foreigners don’t seem to like trees…? So they cut them all down and then complain about the heat and install expensive A/C all over the place). Everyone wants to build their restaurants and bars and surf shops closer and closer to the beach and there isn’t any recreational space left when the tide comes in! Estate agents are more numerous (and annoying) than mosquitos. They are buying heaps of land and then resell it for double the price…. creating a huge problem for those who are not so well off economically. Locals are getting expelled. More and more Nicas move out of town into some kind of ghettos. They will never be able to buy some land in the area, which on the other side creates problems of deforestation as the poor venture into the wild where they can just settle down in piece. And if they don’t do so… Where will they live in the long run? Where will their kids live?
It’s just sad to see and I KNOW that this is happening all over the world! But I just realized how awful it is to be part of it.
So we moved far up north to Chinandega.
Now we are a good 6 hours away from San Juan del Sur. And we are ready to get things going, because we found the PERFECT BEACH and will focus a 100% on building our Turtle Conservation Project / Nature Retreat / Eco-Lodge kind of thing. It’s happening! Finally!
Oh, I forgot…. this is the beach where we’ll be opening our project soon. More infos to come… 🙂