Central America 2007: Richerson

By Willie Richerson

July 11
Briggs and I are in Jaco, got here last night after 24 hours of travel. It was a bit taxing and we are recovering. His bag was lost so we are waiting for TACA to deliver it here. He is not stressing yet, which is lucky. The surf here is a bit meager, head high and mush burger. We are roughly planning to head to San Jose tomorrow and Nicaragua on the next bus. Costa is expensive and we want to get to the land of cheap and less touristy.

July 26
So I have three minutes to set this little message down at the cyber cafe in Managua. Got robbed for 38 bucks by a cab yesterday. I should have known better, got all my shit though. Got Popoyo pretty good Tuesday morning. Headed to Playa Asseradores Saturday and Pauline and I are meeting up tomorrow to check a spot close to Managua.

July 27
Check out the site hotelchancletas.com that is where I am headed today. I was supposed to go out to Pochomil with Pauline the boogie girl from Pismo but she sent me a message this morning backing out. Check out the video clips, the waves look sick at the beach break. I got my camera going too, although there is no zoom…Yeah it was flat here for a long time, pretty much the whole two weeks that Briggs was here. Oh there are ok shots of me on zoomnicaragua.com. Check the archives he has for the 19th and the 25th. The shot from the 25th was a fun overhead session, the last morning Briggs and I were in Popoyo. I will keep you up to abreast of my adventures.

August 3
I am currently in the town of Chinandega, the northern most pacific state and also supposedly the hottest. The sun set about an hour ago and I would say the temperature is around 82 degrees with high humidity. I came back to Chinandega after spending two nights further north in Jiquilillo, exploring an area a bit further off the beaten path. Jiquilillo was a quiet fishing village where they mainly go out in smaller boats at night using nets and lines to catch pargo and white fish. It is also an area where leatherback turtles nest, as is most of the Nicaraguan pacific coast. I stayed at a hostel setup by a cool guy from Maine, he started it after the NGO he worked for ran out of funds. He is headed back to the states after being here three straight years getting his hostel up and running. The atmosphere there was very relaxing and we had some nice times to talk about the country and its people. While there I read a book called “The Country Under My Skin” by Gioconda Belli. It was a great biography of her time as a Sandinista Rebel and then getting married to an American journalist. I finished it in two days! Thats just how good of a book it was for me. Highly recommended.

I am now headed back to Hotel Chancletas for a couple of days to explore an awesome wave that I surfed last week for five days. It is a wonderful beach that is uncrowded and has great waves for boogie boarding. Some of my best waves of the trip so far I had there. A couple I met last week from Miami invited me to head with them to Esteli on Saturday until Sunday or Monday. This is rainforest and coffee country in Nicaragua so I am excited to see areas which will have orchids and bromeliads and habitat similar to what I lived in in Ecuador. Also they make great cigars, so I may have to bring a couple back.

From there I am planning on heading to Peneloya and Leon, which is a bit to the south where there are supposed to be great waves (Peneloya) and awesome culture (Leon). It has been fun just cruising around by bus everywhere as I get to observe typical Nica culture as we drive on the bus, it really is how the average person here gets around. Not to mention it is very cheap.

I am camping some too, which with the afternoon and evening thunderstorms has been exciting to say the least. Luckily my tent has held up well so far.

My Spanish is working out and I have not had any problems other then a taxi driver taking some money from me. My bag was in the trunk and there was not much I could do but yell at him. A good lesson I just wish it wouldn’t have cost me the thirty six bucks it did!

Traveling with Eric was great for the first two weeks, we had a great time and found some good waves in Popoyo. On my own now I feel very reflective and relaxed just going with the flow.

I am going to try and contact a friend of mine who lives in Costa Rica, Rocio, whom I met at a meditation retreat in the states. If that works out we may meet up towards the end of my trip. I will keep you posted.

August 5
I am up in the mountains in coffee country, Esteli to be exact, with a cool couple from Florida that I met. I got some ear drops today as I got a bit of an ear infection working its way around my head. Hopefully it will clear up before I hit the next spot. This standup I met out at Aserradores showed me a picture of this sick reef left called San Diego, or Meatgrinder, that looks sick. I am going to try and figure out the bus route and charge there Monday. The pueblo of San Diego is not even on the map, so the adventure is on.

The first pic is some groms from Bluefields, a town on the Nicaraguan Carribbean coast, that I hung with in Managua. They were staying at the same hotel and their mom would leave at night to go to the movies, I think she was working a corner or something though. They were super rowdy kids and it was trippy to hear them speak the mestizo language, it was like sloppy English.

The second shot is at Playa Aserradores, a sick beach break that I surfed a bunch. This place overhead would be unbelievable, I only got it shoulder to head high but got probably thirty dk in and outs over five days of surfing.

The third shot is of some Florida groms that I taught the mini shaka to, spreading the mini is my life goal!

August 20
Flight tomorrow, back Wednesday! I am in Rivas now, got some sick sick surf the last three days. Surfed a wedge that was six to eight with some bombs that I sketched out on. Rode a long point left and also a rocky shallow left reef where I bounced off the bottom and slapped an urchin with my hand. Luckily I only have one spine stuck in my finger, not too bad. That same session a stand-up got stung by a man-o-war right next to me. Anyhow, home soon, it will be nice. Can´t wait to surf more though, I am stoked on riding more then ever. Give me cold water Cali, I am on it first thing!