Friday, February 3, 2017


I know right? Nicaragua is simply beautiful and I miss it everyday. But first, sorry for being on a 2 year long hiatus. I haven’t been motivated nor inspired to update this blog. I haven’t even baked as much because I’m just not in the mood. So if you’re still reading this, thank you for sticking around.

This post is long overdue, but I wanted to share with you my backpacking trip through Nicaragua last year. I went solo because I couldn’t find friends to go with me and I was impatient and didn’t want to wait around for travel companions. I couldn’t have been more terrified to go days before my departure, but when I arrived in the capital, Managua, I was overcome with excitement, shock and a big sense of achievement, that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach disappeared.

On my way to my first pueblo, Leon, I took in the sights and smells of the country, there was an old man sitting on a plastic chair in the middle of a the busy street watching the traffic zip by, there were people crammed into local school buses chugging along the highway. The majestic sight of Momotobo, solidified that I was for sure in Central America, miles from home. As I watched the view change from city to farmland, all I could think was I made it, I was here, alone, with nothing more than a backpack and my camera.

The main thing I wanted to do in Leon was volcano boarding. I did this through my hostel,
Big Foot. You hike an hour up Cerro Negro carrying a wooden board, enduring strong winds that grew stronger the higher up we climbed. I tried not to think about being blow away like a kite and just focused on getting to the top. The view though, was spectacular. Seeing miles of greenery plus more volcanoes in the distance with clouds floating by was simply beautiful.


As we got ready to descent, you put on these sexy jumpsuits that make you look like you just escaped prison, cover up your face, strap on googles, so now you look like a mad scientist prisoner escaper bandit. Sit snuggly on the board, hold onto the straps and shivy your bum to the top of the volcano, count to 3 and pray that you don’t fall off your board or tumble sideways. 

I zoomed down the volcano barely able to see anything through my scratched up googles, but whoa, what a rush! I made it down 38km/h and there I was thinking I was going twice as fast. I didn’t fall nor scratch up my face so I was elated. We watched the rest of the group zip/tumble down the volcano in pairs, it was a fun day and kick started my trip perfectly. I spent the rest of my days in Leon exploring the town, hanging out at this cathedral for hours, soaking up the sun and people watching.

My second stop was Ometepe. I had friends raving about the volcano island so I put this place on my itinerary. Let’s just say Ometepe took my breath away, from the moment the ferry left the dock and Volcano Concepcion slowly grew closer, I was taken aback by its imposing grace. Volcano Maderas on the other side was equally stunning, covered by thick forest and clouds drifting by like something out of a postcard. 

I stayed at Finca Mystica and I highly recommend staying there if you can. There’s something truly special about it. The owners and moved there from the States a decade ago, building private cabins and a large dorm, hiring locals to work in the kitchen and around the farm, and the food and drinks are always delicious and fresh.

I bonded with a few other travelers (Canadians too!) and went on adventures together everyday, like hiking Maderas which took a total of 7 hours (no big deal, just equivalent to an average work day!), renting scooters to explore the island, and dive bombing into Ojo de Agua (a mineral pool). At dinner, we feasted on big plates of chicken skewers, quesadillas or fresh sole. We drank our weight in cocktails (the passionfruit juices blended with ice and rum are to die for) and had the best time talking while watching the sun set over the lake.


My third stop was San Juan del Sur, I had high expectations but my experience was disappointing. It was too touristy, expensive and too much of a party scene for me. I had dinner with a friend I met in Costa Rica then moved on to a pueblo a few hours away.  I heard from locals that playa Popoyo was beautiful and if I had time, I should go. So after a little research, I hopped on the bus and found my way to this small beach town north of San Juan. This beach still remains one of my fondest memories of this trip, it was spontaneous (which I’m not usually during travel), the hostel I stayed at was super chill, the beach was peaceful and offered stunning views of the sunset, plus I had the coolest surf teacher ever.

I took 4 surf classes and on my last day graduated from a long board to a smaller board. Surfing is no easy sport, I had some bad wipe outs plus skin rashes and scrapes to prove it but I love a good challenge and being in the ocean with my teacher while we waited for a wave was both exhilarating and chill at the same time. It’s hard to describe it but surfing gives me this feeling that I don't have anywhere else. 

When I’m at work daydreaming about Nicaragua, my mind often wanders to this beach and the brief time I spent there. I don’t usually travel the same country more than once, but I would visit Nicaragua again and definitely spend more time in Popoyo surfing and just chilling on the beach.

To say this trip was life changing sounds like an exaggeration, perhaps, but it’s definitely changed how I see myself, how I behave, how I want to spend my money (travel more!), and it’s helped me reconsider my life goals. Again, sorry for being away for so long! 

Recipe here!

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