We arrived to San Juan del Sur at 7pm, after a two hour long busride where there were no free seats left. So we stood up all the way, Renata and I, and had a long talk about life, work and things that have happened since we met last time two years ago when both living in Barcelona.
In San Juan, we found a room to share for 15$ in a guesthouse close to the beach called Brisas y Olas, and then took a walk around the little town and shared a plate of traditional Nicaraguan Fritanga. On the next day, we went to Playa Hermosa where we had a nice walk but didn’t swim as it was cloudy. After coming back to San Juan and having a shower, we went out for a walk, met a sailor with a parrot, and had a great evening with hours of talking, a setting sun and fantastic seafood at Bambú restaurant.
During the walk back to the hotel we suddenly heard loud music coming from far from a colourful tent. “Is that a circus?” I asked. “That’s random. I have never been to a circus” Renata said. So we went. And indeed, it was. A circus. With clowns, monkeys, an ostrich, a busty girl named “Barbara” doing a sexy dance, and a nervous lion. I felt extremely uneasy about seeing the lion in a small cage with curious kids running around and parents taking photos with flash. The monkey was called Shakira and was forced by a bored clown to “get drunk” by drinking from a bottle and then fall from her chair as the kids were laughing. All I could think of were the magnificent lions I had seen in their natural habitat in Swaziland and Namibia, the abandoned chimpanzees I had seen in the Chimp Eden in South Africa and how wrong it was to see the animals in this context, humiliated, abused, in small cages and funny clothes. I also thought of how little access there is to entertainment for these children, and how much fun it must be to see a circus, and about how “Barbara’s sexy dance” probably was a way to entertain the parents. Still inappropriate.
We went back to the hotel and continued talking, and in the morning the next day it was sunny enough for both of us to drink cocktails on the beach, get a tan, and then get massage preparing for another two hour bus ride.
When arriving at where the bus should be waiting, we found out that the last bus to Managua was broken and wouldn’t be leaving. So we jumped on a bus to Rivas instead, and I was trying to sleep through my stomach cramps. Just before Rivas, the busdriver shouted that the bus going to Managua was leaving, so we jumped out and I got on the bus while Renata ran to the bathroom. The bus was almost completely full and I was in the front looking out the window to see whether Renata was coming. The bus started moving and I shouted “Wait for my friend! I’m going off!” the bus driver answered “Don’t worry, we will wait.” as he continued driving away. Renata came out and noticed that the bus was not where she had seen it before and I yelled out the window, “RENATA!” She saw us and started running and everybody started yelling “Renata! Hurry Renata! Wait for Renata!! Renata, Renata!” and then there was a unison “She’s on!!” as Renata jumped on the bus through the back door. The bus driver asked again “Is Renata with us?” we answered “Yes!” and we drove off on a bumpy ride towards Managua. Renata and I on each far end of the bus. A five-year-old in my lap.