📓 Entry #2 — “Relaxing” in San Juan del Sur

Maeghan Smulders
A Little Detour
Published in
5 min readNov 24, 2017


November 23, 2017

We landed in Managua, Nicaragua on November 8th and had a shuttle take us to our first stop in Granada (in everything we read, there is nothing to see in Managua so we went right through)— it was about an hour away. We got to our hostel — De Boca En Boca and every backpacker there was French except this one man who was looking for a friendly conversation.

Keith the Caveman a retired cave climber and guide from Kentucky who was traveling Central America looking to climb into some intense caves. He told us all these cool stories of going into the Colossal Cave (Mammoth Cave), the largest cave system in the world(!) and what he was looking forward to during his time here. It was super inspiring to hear his plans and also.. I hope I’m that bad ass when I retire.

We only stayed for a few nights, the town is quite small and more or less a hub for hiking some volcanos in the surrounding area which we will be doing on our trek back up through the country.

So after participating in a good night of Trivia (which I got 10/10 Disney questions right — no big deal.) we headed down to San Juan del Sur for a few weeks to learn how to “relax”.

On the day we arrived to our Airbnb— the air conditioner broke.. and let me tell you.. my body was not ready for +30 weather with all the fire and furry of humidity…

Oli caught a cold at the end of our time in San Francisco so our first few evenings in San Juan were spent tossing and turning in bed from the heat, and poor Oli coughing his lungs out making the first few days here pretty rough.

But instead of dwelling on the tough situation, we turned it into an opportunity to stay in, sleep a bit more, watched Netflix’s Mind Hunter and work on our new website alittledetour.ca! 👈 (so stoked!!)

After about 4 days in bed, the air conditioning turned back on, and the motivation to get out and do stuff was high.

We walked around town, climbed the hill to the big Jesus, and went beach hopping in the now (since our bodies adjusted to the heat) wonderful 30+ degree weather each day! Oli was pretty stoked on surfing… so rented a board at Medaras beach to try for the first time.

He made his break on the water, getting up on the surf board his first attempt while I sat very awkwardly on the side — the beach was not at all sandy and covered in rocks.... with two little beach huts for food and that’s it. So when all of a sudden, I see Oli starting to run back in… I knew something was wrong. His feet were bleeding from falling off the board onto some rocks and later gets heat stroke 😔 poor dude was bed ridden again.

Then the 2nd week went by, and we found a better beach called Hermosa. It’s a private spot with tons of trees, hammocks, tables and all sand. We set up camp there and both got to enjoy the waves, the surf and all the surfer dogs — there were a lot of dogs. The beach has wifi as well — which is hilariously more reliable than the wifi in town! (San Juan’s power has had outages 10 of the 14 days we’ve been here.)

We’ve both been healthy and well since then, hanging out around town and beaching for a bit and making lots of new friends.

We know the best restaurants — like the chicken lady who cooks the meal on the sidewalk and welcomes you into her home to eat. And some activities in the area to keep you busy — like Sunday Funday, the Craft Brewery’s Friday night live music or Trivia nights down at Rupublik (which we won 2nd place AND pretty much won a bottle of Ginger infused rum which is delicious.)

But for some strange reason, I don’t yet feel relaxed.

Today, we’re nearing the end of our stay here and I was thinking to myself — It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road already for 50 days and I’m still feeling this way. I guess I’ve not able to disconnect from things back home and truly understand the magnitude of what we are doing.

But we’ve been pretty settled here, and battling a few challenges as well so the focus hasn’t really been on the bigger picture. But I think our next destination will start to shine light on the reality of what we are doing since we’re heading to Ometepe to climb some Volcanoes.

I’m going to encourage Oli to write the next journal entry — so we can remember things from his perspective. :)

You can read more about our adventures on the publication “A Little Detour🌏✈️👫” or our website



Maeghan Smulders
A Little Detour

Hi! 🙋 I'm a tall, homeschooled, well traveled, terrible speller, who loves ice cream, building things and can be hilarious at times 👉 www.maeghansmulders.com