From El Salvador, we went down to Costa Rica in a week, where several projects and Martin’s family were waiting for us. But to get there we had to cross a very small part of Honduras and Nicaragua. The plan for this leg of the trip was to drive, charge the cars, rest and keep going…do it as quickly as possible.. But there are always challenges and distractions!
We arrived in Honduras almost at night, at 6pm, since the border crossing took a long time. There was a charger at a gas station, but the cars were going to be fully charged by 2am. What were we going to do? Wait for the cars there? Were we going to rest at some hostel and trust that nothing would happen to the cars? Remember that the cars are our home, leaving them alone at night in unknown places makes us a little nervous. On the other side, the cars do have cameras as well as an alarm, it alerts you to your cell phone if something happens. Plus there was also a cool guard and we needed to get some rest to keep driving. We decided to rest and come back at 2 am to get the cars. But it was not an easy task to find taxis in the outskirts of a town in Honduras at night. To go to the hostel, Martin basically asked someone who was loading gasoline to please take us. Once in town, we were able to talk to a taxi and arrange to pick us up at 2am to pick up the cars… but that taxi never came. It was impossible to get another one. So the cars ended up staying overnight at the gas station, alone, and we stayed at the hostel. The next morning, when we finally got a taxi, we went to pick up the cars and they were safe and sound, along with some curious people who wanted a photo. It’s always fun to share and show the magic of these cars! They are a novelty in Latin America.
That day we continued on our way to Nicaragua, the border crossing was half an hour away, easy, this should be fast we thought. But we were at that border for more than 5 hours. Without a doubt, it was the most difficult of the trip…difficult because of how long it took and because apparently you cannot enter the country with drones. And they sent the cars to the scanner. We were not going to run the risk of flying a drone in Nicaragua given the current situation, but it was not in our plans for them to take it away from us either. We needed the drone for the rest of the trip. The scanner made us really nervous, what if they saw the drones?
Luckily they found nothing. They only kept us there for 5 hours, waiting, nervous.
Once in Nicaragua we drove to Granada where there was a hotel with a charger and we had to take advantage of it. We were the first people since it was installed 3 years ago to use that charger! They were happy to have us. Of course us too. The best? In Granada there is an active volcano, the Masaya volcano. At sunset we went there and enjoyed how the smoke from the volcano turns red as night falls. Amazing experience.
Before leaving to Costa Rica we had to get to know what caught our attention and what everyone speaks about fro Nicaragua, its beaches and its waves. All the surfers love Nicaragua, so we decided to make Tola our next stop. We spent a few days in Playa Colorada at Hacienda Iguana, super calm and restful. The beach is undoubtedly incredible, the sunsets dye everything with multiple colors, the waves are fun, although the season was coming to an end so they were small… we will have to go back again!
Although this place is incredible, at times you don’t feel as if you’re in Nicaragua since Hacienda Iguana is all private property, we discovered once there. We wanted something more authentic so we decided to go to one of the classics: Popoyo. By chance we went to a hostel that turned out to be from a Uruguayan! Casitas Pacific it is called. The second coincidence? We introduced ourselves, told her about our goal of learning about sustainable initiatives and she told us that she rescued little turtles!!! Chance? I do not think so. It was not the time to see sea turtles spawn or hatchlings, yet her story and the way she conserves was interesting so we decided to interview her.
It all started when she found out that most of the turtles that arrived at the beaches of Tola to lay their eggs, ended up in a restaurant in Managua. He did some research and realized that these turtles were an endangered species and the importance of protecting them. She began independently, gathering eggs on Guasacate beach in Popoyo, those she saw in the beach just in front of her hostel. But she began to have problems with the locals, who counted on this as an extra source of income even though it is illegal to sell turtle eggs. Managua restaurants bought the eggs at a good price. She changed her strategy, after chatting with the locals, she began buying their eggs. They agreed on a fixed price per dozen and every time she saw locals waiting for a turtle to finish spawning she would go and buy the eggs from them. What does she do with the eggs? She takes care of them inside the hostel, she “buries” them in the sand, until they are born and then she brings the little turtles to the shore so that they reach the beach by themselves.
Today she is the representative of the Guasacate beach in Popoyo in the conservation of sea turtles. If someone sees a turtle that comes to lay its eggs, they notify her to make sure they are protected. And all for the love of nature, to protect these animals that arrive at the beaches of Nicaragua, where she has decided to live. This is a great example of the millions of ways to help the conservation, protection and restoration of nature!
Side Note: Only Oliver and Tuti went to Popoyos, Martin continued to Costa Rica as his family was arriving. The route was short, and supposedly good and safe. But of course, when we separate, things happen! On his way he punctured two wheels! Luckily he got people to help him and he arrived on time to pick up his family at the airport…