first 24 hours in laguna de apoyo (nicaragua)

what do i like?
-a good mix of relaxation with active options as well – there are only 8 cabanas at san simian and it is further from the entrance to the laguna so most daytrippers from granada end up at the closer resorts. it’s very quiet here and we shared the entire grounds with just two other couples. we arrived in the early afternoon and spent some time paddling around the blue/green lake water in free kayaks provided by the resort. very chill days here.
-ending up in the middle of nature – laguna de apoyo is a lake in a volcanic crater that is 6km in diameter. we’ve had our share of volcanos and lakes this trip but i’m still finding the scenery amazing. nicaragua has no shortage of beautiful nature destinations.
-a hammock forest – endless hammocks to choose from around the grounds of the resort which are perfect for mid morning, early afternoon, mid afternoon and early evening naps.
-camera time after dark – with the lake being pitch black at night and very little light pollution, i’ve been playing around more with long exposure shots. we’ve had to find ways to keep ourselves busy in these remote areas

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san simian’s private dock
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the water depth at the pontoon is about 60 feet
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lots of purple skies in this part of the country
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post-dinner shooting off the pier
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we couldn’t even see that bird on the pontoon from where we were standing
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down in central america the constellations are in different areas in the sky
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and there are soooo many stars visible to the naked eye. that, and the moon can shine extra bright

what do i dislike?
-staying here was slightly above our budget (ugh) though i really wanted to make it to laguna to make me feel better about spending three whole days in granada (double ugh). we knew that we were going to be biting the proverbial bullet in terms of eating more hotel/resort food but we’ve been very happy with the menu and pricing thus far. our stays in ometepe (rural island) and maderas (basic beachtown) each lacked something to make our stays homely and comfortable but san simian has all those features at a very reasonable price of 60usd/night with breakfast included.

what do i like/dislike about the new accomodations?
-really comfortable beds – almost every eco-lodge that we’ve stayed in this trip has advertised having ‘orthopedic’ mattresses which i think might be spanish for ‘average’. this bed is great albeit a little on the cozy side for two people especially with a mosquito net draped on top of us.
-showering under the stars – the closet exhibitionist in me is loving this bathroom. half of the bathroom (sink & toilet) is under cover and the shower is open air with plenty of hot water to go around. that’s been one hell of a luxury this trip and i will never take it for granted again.
-ultra quiet – no stray dogs or howler monkeys going ban
anas in the morning which means that i can sleep in all the way until 6am.
-food options are much, much better than what we’ve been offered at our two previous stops. we’ve been walking the plank of death in regards to dining options because we’ve been staying in hotels in remote locations; options are a luxury and food is generally not top priority. the owner of the lodge, daniel, is a quirky and entertaining swiss ex-pat who is brutally honest about his opinions on touristy and non-travel-worthy towns in nicaragua. he didn’t confirm it but i’m inferring that he’s made a point to serve edible and enjoyable options rather than gringo fare.

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getting used to these silly nets. i feel part corpse-like and part-princess when under them
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yay for brushing our teeth outdoors
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and showering under the stars

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?
-no transportation needed. our biggest commute of the day is walking up to the restaurant for breakfast with the second most strenous period being the walk to the dock to take out the kayaks onto the lake.

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our floating bananas for three days
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the water at laguna de apoyo is about 27 degrees celsius thanks to the natural volcanic springs. comfy & super clean!
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a rare photo of me above water not screaming for help

what was our first meal?
-fish enchiladas with spicy pico de gallo and gallo pinto (rice & beans). we were ravenous after having taken out the kayaks and making the mistake of requesting dinner at 7pm which made us the latest eaters. i still haven’t quite gotten used to the skies being pitch black by 530pm which makes every night an early night. i was foolishly under the impression that we would be on the spanish dining schedule and i couldn’t be more wrong. the majority of our fellow guests have turned in by 9pm.

overall impressions?
-we could’ve been here a week ago but better late than never. i like the varying amenities and temperatures we’ve been seeing at our three last stops because it makes me appreciate each one. we’ve been pretty good about staying in more cost-effective accomodations for the first month of our trip and our two splurge days here are a very welcome break from cold showers and dark, dingy rooms. we would’ve liked to spend a day to hike the hills to the town of catarina that overlooks the lake but it is just so relaxing here that we’re planning to do a whole lot of nothing and getting well acquainted with the hammocks.

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