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Sandinista Mural

Lake and Rio San Juan

Rio San Juan

Solentiname Island Painting

Omotepe Island Air

Boats on Lake Nicaragua




Oscar Sogandares

Part four

As far as we were concerned, we continued further East, until we arrived at the little town of San Jorge. Its pastel stucco houses shining lazily in the afternoon sun. It was a Sunday. This time the Lake was in full view and magnificence. The blue volcanic isle I had seen in the distance was now so near and breathtaking. You could literally touch it with your hands. Originally I had thought of borrowing or buying a camera for some snapshots. But then I had thought of just buying some post cards, but had not been able, maybe because of the shortness of the tour to find any. That taught me, never leave the house without a camera. But regardless, this was an unforgettable sight. My friends had gone to a little "fondita" - right on the sands of the lake, to have some beers and appreciate the sight. It was about 3 o' clock in the afternoon. And a fresh, cool, constant, moist breeze was blowing from the lake. I just had to check the water. So I changed over to my bathing trunks - and went for the splash!

I was definitely in for a surprise. I thought for a moment, the water was going to be salty, since I was so much used to going to the beach. But to my surprise, this was cool, fresh, crystal-clear, pure potable water, just like a river. Truly incredible! As far as the scientists say this used to be a giant gulf. Which became isolated as the giant landmass of Central America rose through the last 2-3 million years and eventually becoming the lake, its coasts and beaches giving, as a result of eons of pounding a sand of the finest quality. I also heard of stories about the fresh-water sharks and proceeded with caution. But there were only swarms - that is only swarms of people, and my host told me not to worry that sharks were never in these shallow waters. So I took their word and had a good time. Waves after waves were buffeting me in rapid succession and of course I noticed the total absence of tides. So nothing to worry about!

When I thought I had enough, I went back to the shack, where I found my two friends deeply involved in a beer and "bocas" (BBQ treat) session, just like in Chepe. But only here I noticed the bocas were much bigger. These were real bocas, the real thing. Excellent, fantastic, "pura vida"! We talked about everything, History, Nature, and of course, you've said it - Politics! They even asked me about Mayín Correa the mayoress and politics in Panama. These guys were totally VIOLETA (for President Violeta de Chamorro) - Una Sola Vía - UNO!

We talked about the grand tourist and natural attraction the Lake was; and lets suppose, they mentioned that if the Lake were ever in "Chepelandia" (Costa Rica), those "Ticos" would make this lake the greatest natural wonder, which has ever occurred, in this Natural World. I could see now from my table, the huge and perfect volcanic cone, and the wind playing tricks with clouds perched over its crater in the crystal clear, fiery, orange sunset sky. At times there was this BALL, then a few seconds later a huge flat FLYING SAUCER hat would envelope the summit. A truly science fiction sight. It's sheer majesty, just for tourists to come and see. In the past I had been told even by "ticos" that Costa Rica was pretty, but Nicaragua was beautiful; and at precious moments like this, I could truly see why!

My host was still hungry so he requested the best plate in the house. So after more "boquitas" and "Victoria" beer - it finally came! A huge mammoth dish - with spicey, barbecued meat. Along with onions, peppers, chili's and the like (including a local "bolita" variety)! This absolutely was the culmination of all bocas. This was the "ultimate" boca that did away with all the bocas. A true feast!

It soon became night in this Shangri-La setting and now we could see the moon shining over the lake. My host and myself requested the bill, which was about 210 cordobas oro. The new currency instituted by VIOLETA and which converted into US$ dollars came out to $42.00 bucks, not bad after such a feast. My host el "ingeniero agrónomo" invited us to his house in Rivas, for a next round, but this time with whiskey and dinner with homemade tortillas. His house was just half a block away from the local police HQ. Which he explained was actually the same site as Walker's last stand in Rivas, before he was finally captured and turned over to an American Naval Attaché, who curiously happened to be in the area.

Well anyhow after we've downed a few rounds of whiskey on the rocks and thick, fat tortillas with guacamole. I congratulated his wife telling her these were "real" tortillas - and boy did she feel complimented. And of course her husband the engineer said these were the real thing. Not like the thin slices of tortillas in Chepe. We talked about everything and of course his wife and daughter were looking at the TV with the ever-present "novelas venezolanas". But his daughter gave us an inquisitive glance or two, and an occasional smile.

But the evening progressed and my chauffeur and myself thought it wise to say farewell for the night and proceeded to the nearest hotel lodging. I had run out of cordobas and only had US$ dollars. Therefore we checked several gas stations, until we came across this "coyote" (moneychanger) in this billiard. He told us to come inside the billiards to check the bill. But since I was more comfortable in our car, I waved him outside instead where we completed our transaction. We proceeded to my lodging at this hostel. The night was breezy and tranquil, and with this "slight" hangover. I put on my Walkman radio on this Nicaraguan AM station and after a few minutes I was sound asleep.


| Foreword | Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five |