Yesterday my friend, H and I tried to find the lighthouse of San Juan del Sur. We both have days left and decided we needed a mini excursion, and a break from our daily café stops and pool lounges. I must write of one little adventure before I leave Nicaragua and this not so sleepy beach town. Although we didn’t find the lighthouse, we found our own wonders.
We knew roughly where the lighthouse is, although from the central part of town and the beach, it is not viewable. So we headed in its general direction. Walking through the residential part of town, it was refreshing to see what lay beyond the barefoot surfers and Nica taxi drivers asking for their service. Children were playing in the streets, chickens and dogs wandered about. No tourists here, just Nica life.
The road curved up, so we continued forward, taking note of the property that ran alongside us which was gated and obstructed from view. I joked it was the home of SJDS’s drug lord due to the hidden opulence of the place. We persisted up, up, up. Yeah, it was really steep though…
Alas, a barbed wire fence and grassy lands notified us that the road had ended. Naturally, we went past the barbed wire. Stretches of land lay before us, H and I scanned the rolling hills trying to navigate this lighthouse. With the encouragement of my friend, we squeezed through more barbed wire, our eyes on what looked like a cabana at the top of one of the hills.
We came across this spiraling grassy roadway that went around the entire hill and was lined with flower bushes. What we thought was a cabana was a sheltered hut with a long wooden table and some chairs inside. The thought was romantic, but how the hell would you get food all the way up here?
Around the corner, a stunning view lay before us. But still, no lighthouse. We trudged on. The hills were carved out in dirt paths everywhere, we only needed to get on the right one. Down into the thickets we went, turning into a downhill slide, staying close to the ground I crabbed walked down, down, down. I wondered if the way back up would be more difficult…
Now we were back on the coast, filled with smooth rocks, enclosed from anything and everyone. We explored the rocky beach, picking up little sea treasures. This was our destination.
Wanting to avoid trekking through the dark, H and I took in our secret spot for a brief moment and headed back up before sunset. The way up was much less treacherous, but my legs were feeling it.
This time we followed the spiraling path downwards and realized we were now inside the property we originally had been so curious about. I hesitated going forward. Maybe we should turn back and go around? That sounded tedious. Again, my partner in crime encouraged me forward. Hopefully we wouldn’t get murdered I joked.
Walking through the property, it was extremely well kept. When there had been people about earlier, there was now no one. Where did they all go? Taking each other’s hands we approached the security guard at the locked gate. He walked up casually as my friend tried to explain our misdirection getting to the lighthouse. I’m sure he understood none of it and only nodded and unlocked the gate. As freely as we entered, we exited
After our long trek we grabbed a cerveza from the market and popped them at the beach we know so well to see sunset.
Thank you San Juan del Sur for revealing your secret places, and your everyday life I’ve been so far away from. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you.