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Settling in to San Juan del Sur

A normal view down the beach. Occasional it gets a little busy, but this is the norm so far.
A normal view down the beach. Occasional it gets a little busy, but this is the norm so far.

In our first week in San Juan del Sur we have had the opportunity to see a couple of sides to life here. We arrived on Friday and the final two games of the World Cup were Saturday and Sunday. Even though Nicaragua did not have a team playing there was no lack of flags, jerseys, and streamers flying from ceilings in celebration of the event. A very upbeat affair with giant TV’s blocking streets and everyone cheering no matter who scored.

This week had a decidedly different flavour to the festivities, with the celebration of “La Virgen del Carmen, Patrona de los Marineros”. Being a fishing village before it was ever a tourist hotspot this celebration was quite interesting to observe. And lucky for us the start of the celebration took place immediately outside our condo windows. We got an idea of how things were going to be when the local municipal workers dropped off the makings of a stage in front of our place.

Preparing the stage for the upcoming event.
Preparing the stage for the upcoming event.

My understanding is that a vigil is held throughout the night of July 15.

The crowds started gathering around 6pm and stayed throughout the night.
The crowds started gathering around 6pm and stayed throughout the night.
The vigil enjoyed live music periodically throughout the night. Provided by a brass ensemble.
The vigil enjoyed live music periodically throughout the night. Provided by a DJ and a brass ensemble.
There seemed to be a natural recovery period provided in the morning.
There seemed to be a natural recovery period provided in the morning.

There is a bit of a recovery period built in the morning and mid day of July 16 then the Virgen del Carmen is paraded through town with live music to the docks where she is loaded onto a boat and leads a procession around the bay.

The band warming up for the procession through town.
The band warming up for the procession through town.
Oh course everyone loves a parade. The firemen even showed up to make sure everything was safe.
Oh course everyone loves a parade. The firemen even showed up to make sure everything was safe.

This was one of the busiest times we had ever seen the beach as people made their way to the docks or just loaded into boats from the beach. This is all accompanied by frequent explosions as people launch a pyrotechnic into the air that reminds me of  shells used to trigger avalanches in the mountains.

The busiest we've seen the beach as locals come down to watch the procession.
The busiest we’ve seen the beach as locals come down to watch the procession.
Boats filled to the gunnels with participants jockey for position around the vessel caring the statue. What could go wrong.
Boats filled to the gunnels with participants jockey for position around the vessel caring the statue. What could go wrong.

The emergency worker in me was troubled by the apparent free for all as the boats manoeuvred for position in the procession around the bay. But they sorted themselves out and to the best of my knowledge everyone returned intact.

So far life here has been as relaxed or busy as we would like it. It bodes well for our months ahead here.

 

 

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

1 comment on “Settling in to San Juan del Sur

  1. Bryce Sherman

    That was a good article guys. I like the natural recovery. You must of gotten much sleep that night. Looks like fun tho.

    Sent from my iPad

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