Up and going early, bus (24 seater) stops at Finca at 7 am and 11 or 12 of us leaving pretty much fills the small bus. Heading down the hill from Finca it stops at the bottom and more get on. Before long it is packed to the gills. Due to the rough condition of the road (rocks and holes), in addition to the load, we are crawling along. It takes an hour to go the 3 km to the paved road where we get off to catch another to the ferry. It is easy to see why biking it for Nina, Nels, and Greta took an hour to get to Eye of the Water...a clear pool of fresh water and hotel.
We arrive at the ferry dock at 9:15 and eat brkfst while we wait til 10am to board. Meet an Icelandic young fellow who is just 2 mos from completing his journey of 9 mos total S to N from Argentina...spent 3 mos in the Amazon! Another hour and we are off the ferry haggling w/ taxi drivers, they try to get us to pay $2 US, eventually settling on the regular $1 US rate heading to the bus terminal to San Jose del Sur. Unfortunately, our taxi and one other stop at a gas station saying this is where we get the bus to SJ del Sur! I ask "But what bus terminal?" Taxi driver lies and tells us "No buses at terminal, only ones going to Managua leave from there". Not being very aggressive I accept his word since 2 taxis are here now and we think the others are still coming. NOT! After waiting at the stop for 10 min. we realize our taxis dumped us the easiest place, the others went to the terminal. However, when a bus arr going to SJ del Sur they lift our bags to the roof rack and we get on hoping the others are somewhere in the standing-room-only bus! NOT! An hour later the bus arr in SJ del Sur...we've arrived but only half of us.
Sitting at the bus stop another pulls up half hour later and the Icelandic fellow and buddy hop off, "They are waiting for you at the bus terminal" they say. Bon is rightly upset since I don't listen and clueless...the plan at ferry was to meet at the terminal. Now all we can do is hope they won't wait too long. When they arr an hour and 2 buses later they are relieved...they thought we'd been kidnapped or something, which makes us feel even worse that we hadn't just told the lying taxi drivers to take us to the terminal! Now it's 3 and we troop down to the hotel/hostel strip by the coast where after some inspection of 2 of them + discussion we settle on Hotel Estrella. The landlady/manager is a grump...reminds me of a Russian provenitsa...a bit aloof and gruff. Dorm has a good breeze (later, found it had gale force winds coming thru like a wind tunnel or something), and 3 of us (Bon, Monica, & I) stay in dorm for $7 US. John had already booked into Hostel Esperanza, so Greta, Nina, & Nels took a private room for only a buck more each. Thinking we could gather in the large common room later to play Farkel, we all go off doing our own things. By the time we all get together again it's past 9 and our Hotel Estella doesn't allow non-res to enter...John heads to hostel. We enter to discover #1. Guard informs us we must be very quiet #2. Lights go out at 10 #3. He is watching us #4. There is not enuf light in the common room to play Farkel anyway. Real bummer! All are disappointed so we decide to move tomor 1st thing!
The ride always ends, but the transport vehicle never stops. It's what happens afterwards or as a result of our ride that determines where/what next.
Saying in Hotel Esperanza:
Tourists don't know where they've been. Travelers don't know where they're going"
13th a day of R&R...on beach, walking about town, eating, socializing...see Day Trip entry next.