The jungle adventure on Rio San Juan is coming up!
The road from Laguna de Apoyo towards San Carlos was in a really good condition… still we had to slow down, when meeting the locals with their cows, but there was no big potholes or anything like that.
This day was also my dads birthday (the 27th of July), and we decided to celebrate it with coffee and cake (cinnamon roll), just because my dad loves coffee and cake. The cinnamon roll reminded me of Denmark and my dad. A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dad! Love you!
First the weather was really nice, but already before noon it started to rain. Before getting all the way to San Carlos, we turned of on a dirt road to get to Boca de Sábalos, a jungle port village of about 2000 people at the confluence of Río Sabalos and Río San Juan.
We got to the river, Río Sabalos, that splits the village Boca de Sábalos in two. The locals take a small barge across the river. The road only goes a little bit further on the other side, so we decided not to take the small barge across the river with the motorcycles like the locals.
At the river we asked the locals, if their was a guide, who could take us for a trip into the jungle on Rio San Juan.
Meet our guide Migdonio Treminio, who would lead us safe through the jungle the next day
Treminio only spoke a few words of English, but he had at translator on his phone. We asked him if there was a place, where we could put up our tent, and we were allowed to camp on the property of a local family. Again we had trouble explaining that our tent is waterproof! The family was very nervous when it started to rain, and came by the tent later to see if we were still dry inside it. The family didn’t have much, and the mother and father in the family didn’t even speak Spanish, but an indigenous language. The oldest son and two of the daughters could speak and read Spanish, which they learn in school.
The family house: the closest house was used for cooking over the fire, and the other one for everything else. They all slept in the same room sharing beds.
Setting up our tent in between the “piles” of cow poop. Esben making a great spot for our tent.
The next day we were ready at 6 am, and Esben had packed the big camera with the big lens and all the spare batteries he could find! Río San Juan is also known as El Desaguadero (“the drain”). It is 192 kilometers (119 miles) long, that flows east out of Lake Nicaragua into the Caribbean Sea. Rio San Juan was part, with the lake, of a proposed route for a Nicaragua Canal in the 19th century, but instead the Panama Canal was built (1904-1914). Prior to the Panama Canal, the San Juan River was frequently used as a major part of the route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Many people, including African slaves, were transported via this route (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Juan_River_(Nicaragua)).
On 26 September 2012, the Nicaraguan Government and the newly formed Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Group (HKND) signed a memorandum of understanding that committed HKND to financing and building the “Nicaraguan Canal and Development Project. The building has not begun (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua_Canal).
Just saying that Esben took a lot of pictures, and we have tried to find the best ones for this post. The trip started on the river taking picture of monkeys. We did se tree different kinds of monkeys, but only go the two of them on camera. The black monkeys are Mantled Howler Monkey, and in the right picture just below is a Red-backed Squirrel Monkey hanging in just one arm.
The male and leader of the monkey pack in the left picture (click on the pictures to view it in full size)
Later we left the boat and walked further into the jungle. In the right picture I am walking under a termite nest. I know what you are thinking, wasn’t there a lot of mosquitoes? Yes, there was a lot of mosquitoes! Every time we were standing still more than 3 seconds, the mosquitoes were swarms of mosquitoes around us. Before even going into the jungle we had used 100% DEET (Mosquito repellant).
More cool shots walking through the jungle. Just say that my “fear” of bugs was at it highest while we walked around! I was much more comfortable, when we were in the boat.
When you are not use to being in the jungle it is very hard to notice all the animals, that is around. Everything is camouflaged in green, but Treminio was amazing in pointing out everything on our way. He even knew several bird and monkey calls. The monkeys returned Treminio’s calls.
Here you see the iguanas
We talked Treminio into talking us further up the river to the town El Castillo. We had been told, that the crocodiles were supposed to hang out there. Treminio bought all of us a snack and more gasoline for the boat, before we headed towards El Castillo.
On our way to El Castillo, we say a sloth (In Danish: “dovendyr”). Just sitting in the tree. When we came back on the river, the sloth was still sitting in the tree, didn’t even move an inch.
Getting to El Castillo it looked like it was going to rain
We did make it all the way to the old Spanish fortress from the 17th-century.
Just 2 minutes after the rain just stared pouring down. We could stand inside the fortress and look at the rain, but it just kept raining.
We decided to walk out into the rain… did I say that it rained a lot?
We walked around town and visit a place that produced cocoa. We decided to enjoy a warm cup of cocoa while it was raining. We also looked after crocodiles around El Castillo and on the way back to Boca de Sábalos, but we didn’t find any crocodiles.
This was the end of our amazing jungle adventure… but we still want to see crocodiles and we haven’t forgotten about the nesting sea turtles.