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Nicaragua, Costa Rica + Panama {a travel update}

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It’s been over a month since my last travel update letting you know what modern day gypsying I’ve been up.  And right now I’m feeling super inspired to share some of my journeys with you so here we go!

I left off when I was in the south of Belize about to do a mega border crossing which went like this: a boat over super-turbulent waters from Punta Gorda, to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala, a chicken bus to the frontera (border crossing) where we were helped by an amazing Hondurian woman who knew the immigration officer and immediately placed us to the front of the line, another chicken bus, and then an incredible adventure to one of the most dangerous cities in the world, San Pedro Sula, in Honduras. You can read all about the ridiculous and dangerous predicament I got myself into in the interview I did here, with Soul Riot Magazine.

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We decided not to spend too much time in Honduras, despite the fact that the people we did meet were sweet and wonderful, and country very beautiful. We felt compelled to make it to Nicaragua and ended up in Leon for a few days which was just beautiful. We stayed in a gorgeous little guest house called Hostel Colibri where we whiled away our time writing, walking the beautiful streets and discovering markets and live music in all sorts of places. Then we moved on to Granada which has a real European feel, having been a colonial village at one point. It’s quite touristic and the young boys tend to give us foreign girls a lot of attention in a strange kind of lurid, sexual way, that is far beyond their ages but apart from those comic, awkward moments, Granada captured our hearts. We found an amazing ethical leather store called Soy Nica which supports women in the local communities and gives them an artisan trade of dying, sewing and cutting leather to make hand bags, books, belts and so much more. I bought two really gorgeous purses, one for my money and one for my travel documents, which I know I’ll treasure FOREVER. They are truly special. We also had a incredible breakfast with never-ending coffee refills at Kathy’s Waffle House. I love local food but after weeks of gallo pinto {rice and beans} there’s just something about having a little bit of eggs, salad and bread, the way you like it that makes you feel all loved and nurtured inside!

Heading further south we ended up in San Juan del Sur quite by accident, when we were actually trying to get to Omotepe, but the travel gods are wild and powerful, and I always adhere to their calls. San Juan del Sur is a gorgeous little  surfing village, with spectacular views and sunsets. I shared a few deep spiritual moments on my walks along the beach, gazing up at the infamous and giant statue of Jesus, positioned carefully on top of the cliffs. This sweet surfing village had the most lovely feel, we made new friends and went for daily journeys to do classes at Zen Yoga and for the most incredible green smoothies EVER at El Gato Negro. Seriously, this cafe was amazing and I could never go past the Olas Verdes smoothie and the cream cheese, egg, tomato and salad bagel.

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One morning after about 2 or 3 weeks in Nicaragua we woke up and decided it was time to head to Costa Rica, and closer to the festival site where we were headed and destined to work. We had hitchhiked through many parts of Belize and Nicaragua so far and decided to see how far we would make it like this in CR. early in the morning we headed off to the main road and within minutes were picked up by a green grocer truck heading straight to the border. A couple of Argentinian guys were also by the side of the road, waiting for the bus (clearly not experienced gypsies like us) and decided to join us. We crossed the border and caught another ride, an enormous container lorry, whom drove us the entire 6 hours to CR’s capital San Jose. It was February the 14th, Valentines Day and Lily, my fellow gypsy sister and I spent the day on the drivers bed, snuggled up watching movies and chatting. Such a wonderful way to travel! Our driver was also quite thrilled to have some company on his long drive and we spent hours discussing his lifestyle in Spanish.

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We spent a fast night in San Jose and then took a bus to the stunning Pacific Ocean side town of Manuel Antonio.  This place is beautiful but I was really feeling the American influence which immediately gave me a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. I love the States, I just don’t like it when I feel like I’m there when I’m clearly in Central America. The accents, the prices, the food and the attitudes very much reflected American culture which I found quite disappointing. After a day at the beach we moved on to Uvita, where the festival Envision, was being built. We already had friends in the area whom we had planned to stay with but these plans were intercepted several times, as we met some amazing locals who gave us a deal of a lifetime for the most beautiful self contained apartment with a pool 50 meters from the beach and a short hitchhike from the festival site. Not a day went by that we didn’t praise, love and appreciate our temporary home at Cabinas Felix!

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The festival start date was approaching fast and between lots of writing work, developing The Empowerment Project which goes live in only a couple of days and going for long walks along the beach, the days sped past. I started work on the festival on the 24th; assisting the vendors and craft stalls find their places in the market place, and ensuring everything went smoothly in their set up, as well as finalizing their contracts, names and numbers. On the 27th it was GO time!

Envision Festival has been one of the most magical and special festivals I have been to in about 5 years, since I stopped working in the festival circuit in Europe in 2006. I met so many special and beautiful people, have been completely inspired and had a massive heart healing on the dance floor early Monday morning on the last night of the festival. I danced until all the past was shaken off, didn’t sleep enough, loved and laughed until I remembered what freedom really is. My heart, love and gratitude goes out to all of you whom I shared smiles and glances with one the dance floor, all the beautiful conversations and every single tender touch and embrace I received over those five days. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Due to me being silly on the border in Costa Rica on entering and not realizing that I needed to provide a exit document in order to enter, I managed to charm my way through with the immigration officer who kindly gave me 20 days, which however meant that I had to leave the country on the 5th, only a day after the festival ended. So two days ago, I left, my sweet friend Lily kindly accompanying me, across the border to Panama. We are in the city of David right now, recovering our dancing feet and making plans to head over to the Caribbean side tomorrow morning to spend some time by the beach. So far my impressions of Panama are thus: this tax free country is full of cheap American consumables, and the people are super sweet and friendly. Also the men are highly complimentary…I never manage to walk along the street without a few locals making their appreciation heard! I’ll be back with another update soon my fine feathered friends!

Love,

Vienda xxx

 

2 Responses to Nicaragua, Costa Rica + Panama {a travel update}

  1. Hi Darling,
    something is coming through with you that is amazing and stunning and vast. LIke all the creative space pouring into your Being to find ITS way and expression in this realm. You have stepped up miles and I am so grateful for you. YOU, much more than my daughter, YOU, this universal BEING, I bow my head. My arms around you!