San Juan Del Sur: Surviving the Tsunami with the Aussies

Our second week rolled around in San Juan del Sur, but this morning was different than the rest. I felt a strange sensation, as I woke up to my bed rolling like it was on a wave. Keenan was asleep on the floor and he immediately looked up at me, and we both knew what was happening. We have experienced alot of earthquakes on this trip, but ones that wake you up from your sleep usually end up being quite high on the richter scale.

I heard commotion outside the window, and saw people out in the street, and though I did not understand what the people were saying, I did notice the words evacuation and tsunami. Many people in the hostel across the street stood out in the street in their pajamas, hands crossed waiting to be let back in.

I joked around with the usual crew of cab drivers that conglomerated outside our window each morning, my usual alarm clock involved them yelling at eachother or the agua-de-coco man with the megaphone. It’s kind of amusing to me, how during devastating or chaotic events, the latin people never lose their sense of humor. I could just see this same situation taking place in the states and everyone freaking out. I turned on CNN, which showed that just near us was a 7.9 earthquake with an “imminent tsunami” then it said ‘directo a San Juan Del Sur”. Cool. Thats exactly where I was, only a block from the beach.

The church bells began ringing and kids were let out of school. Helicopters flew around our heads and the newscaster vans rolled up ready to report.

We slowly packed up our stuff, and got a cab up the hill where the taxi drivers seemed excited to get extra business from all the scared gringos. Two hostels were located on the hill: Naked Tiger and Casa De Las Olas. We figured we’d spend our Casa de las olas (translation: house of the waves…..eeeeek.) What a great decision we made! This place was so beyond accomodating. Fred and Carla, the aussie owners were a RIOT.  uWe avoided all possible risks of Tsunami and spent the day at the pool, drinking and having a wonderful time. No Tsunami ended up happening, which I am grateful for, but we stayed up there a few days just to be sure ;).  This place by far was our most favorite hostel, and leaving it was damn near impossible. They had family dinners at night, and shared the same slightly crude sense of humor that I did. They made really delicious hot dogs and were not afraid to have a good time, and that is something I can appreciate. They had an amazing pool overlooking the sea, where we could take haven from this supposed tsunami.

They also had a pet monkey named Buzz. She was so entertaining! It is so lovely to interact with a wild animal that isnt locked up in some smelly zoo. Even though she was a pet, and had a lead on her neck, she had alot of freedom and length to explore and swing around independently. It blows my mind how human like she was and like humans, she had her sweet moments, but she also had her bitch moments. As we finally left Casa De Las Olas, she decided she wanted to run towards me with her teeth snarled in attack mode. Her long freedom leash left me no room for escape except for leaping into the pool for salvation, fully clothed. That’s when I destroyed my iPhone. Monkey Bite > Iphone.

I will always remember San Juan Del Sur. We had some good times and we had some bad times, but it couldn’t have ended in a more pleasant note. (besides the broken iPhone)

Beach Volleyball champion

Other Highlights from San Juan Del Sur:

The Faux Golden Gate Bridge

Living on our Arkansanian’s couch for a week AKA Hillbilly Hideout

This is Paul using a box cutter as a knife – sometimes you gotta be creative. Thanks Paul and Chris! We miss you already!

Ridiculously Breathtaking Sunsets todos los noches.


Puppy-Sitting for a day

Hanging out with “Panda” all day was enough to temporarily satisfy the feeling of missing my Pug, Stan. He was so cute and fun to spend time with, we went to the beach had a marvelous time. Also, his owner turned out being the author of a book I was coincidentally reading that Kyle lent me. If you’re in for a good read, check out  “Pushups in the Prayer Room,” Stories of his backpacking around the world for a year. Also, Panda is the cutest little thing to trot down the streets of SJDS.

The Shady Casino

It may be nothing more than a bar and 12 operating slot machines, but sometimes a girl needs to blow off a little steam. Ill never forget the old leatherskinned visor wearing american lady that came up to me with her plastic cup of coins and said in a raspy smokers voice “If you come back here, be very fucking careful.” Thanks leathery Joan Rivers!


Most people go to Church to find Jesus, but we just had to hike up a hill and there he was. The heat + the hike can be exhausting, but the panoramic views of the city and surrounding isolated beaches were absolutely gorgeouso.

The Parties.

San Juan Del Sur really brought out my sometimes  dormant party animal side, and for that, my sweet liver, I am sorry. It was just one of those environments where you could enjoy yourself to the maximum degree all day erry’day.

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