TwoBrothersSurf.com Nicaragua Surf Blog

Nicaragua Surfing and Travel

Browsing Posts tagged Popoyo

 

My son is 18 in three days, which has set me to thinking and dreaming.  What a magical crossroads to come to.  He still has one year of high school left and the big question that everyone asks him (and us) is “will he go to college”…  hard question for a kid who learned his alphabet from letter shaped rocks on a New Zealand coastline and algebra from sorting bugs in South Africa.  From the moment he was born, we packed him up and carted him off to surf locations around the globe – a true endless summer – holding school sessions on picnic tables, at the beach, in the car, or in airplanes… I watch fondly as parents proudly post about their kids first day back to school and lament that summer is over – I smile because I know summer is never really over – it is summer somewhere in the world every day of the year!

Did we save for a college fund for our son?  No…  Have we hired special tutors for bettering his chances for scoring higher on the SATs and ACT?  Nope…  Have we expounded the virtues of spending a ton of money for further education?  Not really…

So, what’s a boy to do?  Well, I guess he could LEARN…  Learn to cook his own meals and wash his own clothes – learn to manage his time and his finances – learn to read a map – learn a new language (or two) and practice it in residence – learn how to buy a bus ticket in a far away land…

Do I want him to go to college?  Yes (I think so…)   I don’t really want him to suffer thru more years of algebra or chemistry, but I do want him to be surrounded by other young adults that are THINKING and LEARNING and PLANNING for a better future for themselves and the world.  I want him to have a strong foundation of learning and be able to write convincing letters and argue soundly and intelligently his points.  I want him to know enough math to manage his finances and not get ripped off by others.

So anyone know of a great little surf school accepting applicants from a mellow member of the endless summer tribe not real keen on algebra?

Taking suggestions while waiting for the surf to roll in!

Besos!  Susan

Two Brothers Surf Resort, Nicaragua

 

“Before you try and change the world, let the world change you.” -Semester at Sea Saying

 

 

My childhood was split between a tiny rural farming town in Illinois along the banks of the Mississippi River and the foothills of the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina.  Seemingly, I was an unlikely candidate to marry a thoroughbred waterman and produce two heirs to that surfing legacy that have arguably spent more time in the water during their formative years than on land!

Now I am home in Nicaragua, living once again on a mountain, but this time overlooking one of the prettiest unspoilt stretches of the Pacific and out across gorgeous farming valleys.  I really am home.

Some of my best childhood memories are gathering eggs from my grandfathers chickens, my mother and grandmother hanging clothes on the line to dry, collecting smooth river rocks along the Mississippi, hunting for salamanders in mountain streams, and picking loads of berries along the Appalachian trails.

Funny, life takes many turns to leads you back to where you began!  After many years of travelling and far flung journeys, I am happily living with my watermen on top of my favorite little mountain in Nicaragua, hanging my clothes on the line to dry, buying eggs from my neighbors, picking fruit from the trees, gathering smooth river rocks along the Pacific coastline.  The same as my childhood, only better!  My husband’s kisses taste like salt after a morning of surf and my boys’ beds are filled with sand.  My simple life in a rural village in Nicaragua, atop a small mountain and overlooking a vast expanse of Pacific with the smell of rice  and beans cooking in the kitchen leaves me quite content!

Besos, Susan

Two Brothers Surf Resort, Las Salinas Nicaragua

Surfing Keeps Insanity Away!

 

I don’t really send mail in Nicaragua – the post office is this great corner building in RIVAS – an old colonial building with the entrance sliced diagonally across the corner closest to the street, exposing the two foot thick adobe mud walls.  Inside its dark and cool with just a small glass case of colorful stamps bearing the images of Nicaraguan birds, and insects and fauna and a dark, worn, wooden counter flanked by numbered post boxes.  Our number was 28, the key was on a plastic keychain with an old 50s pinup photo, but it has been years since the box has received any mail.  When we first moved to Nicaragua my mother-in-law would send newspaper articles and birthday cards.  The boys would receive letters covered in hearts from girls at the school they were no longer attending in the states.  I would get postcards from friends travelling other far flung places with postmarks that went back weeks even months.  After a couple of years the mail stopped coming or just got more irregular.  We stopped checking for mail and we most likely neglected the rent on the box.  I should check for mail, maybe there’s something in there waiting to be picked up.  There is nothing better than a handwritten note, postmarked from a far-flung location with an exotic stamp!

Besos y Abrazos de Nicaragua,

Susan, Two Brothers Surf Resort

 

 

Surfline wrote an article calling for the best surf of the 2012 season to be found in NICARAGUA!   And 4th of July did not disappoint – though we were beginning to wonder…  All the models called for an epic southern swell arriving the first week of July with good direction, perfect seconds, and just the right amount of offshore lift from Nicaragua’s ever present offshore winds.  What we got in the days proceeding was a lake effect of sorts – in that it was just about as flat as it ever gets in Nicaragua followed by howling offshore winds that produced massive white caps and blown-out waves…

We went to bed to howling winds on July 3rd – with disappointed and equally bummed out Columbian guests who had flown in at the last minute for the predicted swell… We woke very early July 4th with the moon shining bright on the Pacific to very still winds – a perfect light offshore – the howling winds had laid down and let the swell do its thing…

And do its thing it did – Nicaragua does NOT disappoint!  Who needs fireworks on the 4th of July when the waves are bombs?  Marsh surfed the OUTERREEF with Robert and came away with only a sliced toe, and Auggie initiated local St. Augustine surfer and best buddy Ben Basili to the infamous and firing POPOYO!!  It was a good day…

 

So yesterday was Dia de Padre, Father’s Day in Nicaragua – very close to our own Fathers’s Day in the US last week.  We gave our Chef Henry a very badly needed day off since he’s been cooking nonstop for guests at Two Brothers Surf since March – this week has been our first lull.  Henry helped me prepare a feast of pizza last weekend for Robert’s celebration of Father’s Day and we wanted him to enjoy the day with his own clan.  I think he probably worked on his motorcycle all weekend, because he’s had to huff it up our hill to Casa Loma for the past month on foot.  Our grounds keeper Enrique did work for a couple of hours in the morning to pump water from the well on the farm in the valley below to our property and the holding tank on the top of the hill – an almost daily chore when we have guests.

 

I made sure to wish Enrique a happy fathers day, as he is a somewhat new father, having had his first child just last year.  When I wished him a happy day he replied with a comment that translated roughly into something like “Fathers day is the day that the children show happiness to their father” – this sweet man who lives in a very modest home with a clay tiled roof and immaculately clean mud floor, really hit the nail on the head – gift giving in Nicaragua is so simple – you give yourself, your smile, your laughter, your love, your time.

 

It goes so far beyond the big dollar hallmark holidays where cards cost $5 and roses that normally cost $30/dozen rise to $90/dozen on Mothers Day.  Life truly is that simple and I am so happy to live in Nicaragua and be reminded of the small things that really matter and the big things that don’t!

Surfing in Nicaragua this Summer?

The sun in Nicaragua is intense, and we are living out in it from 6 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock at night most days.  Being good parents (or so we thought) we have our boys in the habit of putting sunscreen on in the morning when they wake up and brush their teeth.  Not just on their face, and not just once, multiple layers and multiple brands.  Then last week I saw on CNN that most sunscreens contain hormone-altering chemicals!  So quite possibly in an effort to protect our kids from skin cancer we are slathering on them toxic gender-bending chemicals that may, in the long run, actually increase the incidence of cancer!!  Not a good thing and it now has me reading labels I should have paid attention to long ago…

Check out what skin Biology has to say about toxic sunscreens:

http://www.skinbiology.com/toxicsunscreens.html

And you can access the CNN study at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/07/01/sunscreen.study/index.html

…from one well meaning mom that will pay more attention to what goes on and in her surfers!

Susan, Two Brothers Surf Resort, Popoyo, Nicaragua

While some foodies love to shop rural markets for local flavor, others like to be served on vacation… And for those of you that fall in the later of the two categories, we have decided to feature some of the best local flavors available along Playa Guasacate in the surf zone of Popoyo, Nicaragua. So surf hard, get hungry, and relax to a good Nicaraguan meal. First up is the garden restaurant of Dona Delores, Amores del Sol, and if the attention she pays to her garden is any indication to the efforts she puts into preparing your food, you should be in for a real satisfying meal …

Amores del Sol, which translates to “Lover of the Sun”, sits at the end of the long dirt road that leads to the southern end of Playa Guasacate and the infamous surf breaks of Popoyo and the Outer Reef. Family owned, the restaurant has been open now for almost 7 years, and you are guaranteed some of the friendliest service and freshest food on the beach. The key to their business is Dolores Mena, the owner of the restaurant, who puts a lot of effort in the kitchen, but even more love into her garden where you will find her every morning! One of the main attractions is Max, a white face monkey from the northern Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and Brenda and Roy, the two crazy “lapas” parrots. Most likely you will also see, Scooby, the house dog that is always around. Manager and family member Angel says, “If you come, you will enjoy good food, good services and friendly people. Don’t worry if you do not speak Spanish, you can always count with me to translate for you and help you with anything you may need. So come on… surf, swim, eat and relax at the Amores del Sol!”

Two Brothers Surf Resort

Las Salinas, Popoyo, Nicaragua

When my son was young and we first moved to Popoyo, he surfed a little local break called Paranoias were the young Nicas from the village would walk from town to Popoyo along the river bank. All of the kids were about ten to twelve and the only words they could manage to communicate were “grande olas” (big waves) and tiburon (shark!). They laughed a lot and snaked plenty of waves from each other. My son was having so much fun being included in their banter that he proudly announced one day that his new Nica buddies now called him a local… What they actually said was “el is loco”, which to his young gringo ears sounded to him like “he rips like a local!’

Yes, there may be some things that are worth giving up today – five dollar cups of coffee, two hundred dollar designer jeans, ten dollar movies… But as families are finding ways to save, they are also finding better ways to spend their money and spend time together. When was the last time you had breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your family? For that matter, when was the last time you caught your dinner! I have to admit, my family is quite lucky… We live in Nicaragua for 6 months out of the year and every day feels like vacation. We wake every morning without an alarm clock to the sun rising over the volcano. The first order of the day is simply walking out on the porch and checking the waves. I make a fresh pot of Nicaraguan coffee (which costs less than 5 dollars for the entire bag of beans!) The family spends the largest portion of the day TOGETHER, usually surfing, swimming or hiking – but most importantly, whatever is it, even if it is nothing or simply reading – we are doing it together.

We invite you to bring your family to Two Brothers Surf Resort on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. It is a short flight from the United States and you will probably spend less on your vacation than the money you would spend at home during the same time!

Bienvenidos!

Susan Gregory (and Robert, Marsh and Auggie)
Two Brothers Surf Resort
Las Salinas, Popoyo, Nicaragua