My Surfing Donkey Family

By Em - October 25, 2016

I have to say that San Juan del Sur has been one of the highlights of my trip.  Not for the town itself, though I did enjoy some it it's charm, but for the wonderful people I met there.

My first weekend in San Juan, I arrived at night and was immediately invited out with the employees of the Surfing Donkey, the hostel I stayed at.  The best part of the hostel was the staff, which were unbeatable.  The Donkey had a roof deck for chilling, a pool with volleyball, and a bar with great music and drinks.

I met another Emily, who turned out to be quite a kindred spirit, who teaches yoga on the roof deck three times a week.  I monopolized her time as often as possible.

The town had some unique cafes around town, my favorite being Simon Says with El Gato Negra as a close second.

Simon Says had quite possibly the coolest garden courtyard I've been in.

The beach at San Juan del Sur was less than spectacular, but it took just a quick ride in the back of the truck north or south to arrive at beautiful pristine beaches with palm trees to hang up my hammock, and waves to surf for days.

I was fortunate enough to tag along with Zach and Clay, the resident Cali surf instructors at Surfing Donkey for a surfing beach tour complete with grilled fish and veggies and sunset bonfire.  In exchange for my free ride, I helped build the fire, cook, and load up surf boards for the guests.  I had a blast.

I think my favorite places in the world are ones where you can ride in the back of a truck down dusty roads to empty beaches.

On Sunday I took part in the famous/infamous "Sunday Funday" pool bar crawl.  It was a day full of debauchery and fantastic dancing.  I had an excellent dance partner who managed to make me look good on the dance floor.  Surprisingly, I discovered I have both a left and right foot.

I took off the next day for Ometepe, which was beautiful but sadly I have no photos.  When I returned three days later, I was talked into staying a few more days.

I spent my first night at Emily's apartment, which was a nice change to dorm life, watching a movie and sleeping in a room with less than 10 other people.

The following day I spent on the beach, successfully catching some waves.  The first wave I caught of the day was the most successful I have been on a board without guidance thus far.  I think I could definitely spend a season trading my snowboard for a surfboard.

On Sunday, we skipped the Sunday Funday shenanigans for some shenanigans of our own.  The staff of the Donkey, myself and few others who live in San Juan went out on a catamaran for a gorgeous day on the water.

Ceviche, our guide, took us to a great place for (mom, avert your eyes) cliff jumping.  A few of us decided to take on the challenge.  The jump involved swimming out to a cliff, allowing a wave to push you against a rock wall, grabbing on when the wave is at it's peak, and then climbing up the side of the cliff.  Then you needed to wait for a wave to come back in to ensure that you're jumping into deep water.  It was thrilling and fabulous.  I jumped twice and could have continued all day long.

We hung on the boat, swimming and floating in tubes all afternoon.

We sailed back at sunset to a great beach for drinks and a bonfire before heading back to town.

I left for Granada the following morning with a heavy heart, saying goodbye to a few friends I hope I will hold onto for a lifetime.

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