Saturday, August 7, 2010
Leon to Poneloya/Las Pinatas. 14 mile. August 6th.
We know from our travels that many RVers stay at truckstops overnight, particularly at the huge Pemex stations in Mexico but this was our first. Wow. We have gotten used to the sounds of the ocean, the storms which vary in intensity, the crowing of roosters and hens at a variety of parks and the bucolic lowing of cattle at others but nothing except for maybe camping at the pit stop for the Indy 500 prepares you for the noise of 30 or more commercial trucks firing up their diesel engines at 5 o'clock in the morning. They then they idle and idle until finally their air pumps or whatever kick in with a huge whooshing sound and they rev their engines! Then it is the sound of the emergency beeps as some back up and with much honking, the day has started. I can't help but start to giggle which soon turns into laughter. "Dear God, that was horrible", I say to Tom who surely had to be awake or maybe the diesel fumes had sent him comatose. No, he was definitely awake. "We should really stay here more often". He groans. "That was horrible" and tries to go back to sleep. I'm fully awake and get up to start my morning ritual of coffee and reading a guidebook for whichever country we happen to be in. By the time Tom gets up, I have a plan. "Let's go to the cathedral and then to this beach town, Poneloya. It's only about 14 mile and we might find a place to stay for one night". With no other backup plan, Tom agrees. To get to Poneloya, we must drive through Leon and I was hoping to see the Catedral de la Ascuncion, which is supposedly the largest cathedral in Central America and on the main plaza. Naturally we get lost, miss the cathedral but manage to find the road to the beach. Tom assures me we will see the cathedral when we come back through town. As we approach the beach access road, we are stopped by the police. They ask for the usual paperwork and we chat. They advise us not to go to Poneloya but instead turn left at the playa and go to Las Pinatas about 1 mile up the road. Then find Hotel Playa Roca, which they assure us will be able to let us park for the night. We take their advise and find Playa Roca with no problem. Surprise. The hotel and restaurant is owned by Americans, Cookie is from Colorado and Mike is from California. There is a nice restaurant, oceanfront property with waves that are definitely boogie board worthy (Tom's eyes light up), WiFi and we can park and hook into electricity. Now if only we could find a place to dump our tanks! We get set up and it is still not even noon. Tom gets his board and fins and I, a book and with Winston we all head to the beach. I settle under a palapa with a beach chair while Tom prepares to join a group of about 6 surfers and Winston frolics in the surf. The tension of border crossing slips away as we decide we couldn't find a better spot for our first full day in Nicaragua