We finally arrived in San Juan del Sur, after what could only be described as an underestimated and epic journey from Panama by bus . Both of us were very tired and craving some time in one place. After 20 minutes of rejuvenation in a cafe, we donned our bags and headed up the hill in search of our new home for the week. It wasn’t far and we soon met up with the owner and he showed us our little house. To say it was basic was an understatement and clearly the “caretaker” of the property was very shy of cleaning. Badly in need of a shower, we went to the bathroom to turn on the “Power Shower,” to our utter disappointment, we soon realised that not only was the shower cold, it was also without any type of pressure and to get the whole body wet, took about 10 minutes. Rather disappointing! Little did we know at the time, we should have been excited about this “trickle of water,” as most days the shower didn’t even produce that! On the days the shower did work, we were usually left without any electricity. A great find from me on the accommodation front!!! Although it was only 20 US$ a night. We decided to head to the supermarket and stock up on food, beer and then spend the afternoon on the one good part of the house, our balcony.
As one day seemed to fade into another, we realised that about four days had passed and we hadn’t actually done anything of any substance, aside from clock up a number of hours in the hammock, on our balcony We managed to come to a decision that it was time to get active. I had started the ball rolling the day before with a morning run and we thought we would follow it up with Anneliese joining me the next day and then some sport fishing the day after. The morning run the next morning was undertaken and finished, although it wasn’t quite with the ease Annie thought it would be, however, she completed it without complaining and knowing that she would be a little sore the next day. With the sport fishing beckoning, we were both rather excited. I have always wanted to do this and Nicaragua is a superb place for it. We decided for an afternoon booking and completed another run in the morning.
On arrival for the fishing, we met the captain of the boat and his deck hand and proceed underway to where the “Big Fish” could be found. Anyone who knows anything about fishing will know that it is all about patience. After the first two hours had passed and we hadn’t had so much as a bite, we were feeling as though it wasn’t as action packed as the word “sport” in the title suggested. As we were beginning to wonder whether we would even achieve one bite in our 5 hours at sea, the line went wild… As we moved towards it, the line then went quiet. The fish had got away! It was only a short wait until the next bite though and we sprung into action. The deck hand passed me the rod and I began fighting and hauling in our catch. After about five minutes, the first fish was in! The ambiance on the boat was different, it was buzzing with excitement and we busy unhooking our catch (a dorado or also called Mahi Mahi) and slapping ourselves on the back for such a sizeable catch. The fish made sure it left it’s mark on us by covering us in blood on it’s way into the “Sea Creature coffin” at the back of the boat. With the excitement over and the re-enactments being performed, we were suddenly interrupted by the magic sound of the line, AGAIN This time it was “Pro Sport Fisherwoman” Annie’s turn. Slightly worried that the fish might haul her in the sea, as opposed to her hauling it into the boat, she grabbed the rod. The person who is sometimes described as “Little / Wee Annie” soon showed everyone that this was not the case. With another Dorado on the line and jumping high out of the water, Annie hauled at the line and wound the reel as fast as she possibly could. As the fish got closer, it was soon evident that she had left my “once enormous catch,” looking rather on the small side. As it got closer to the boat, the deck hand undertook his role of hooking it with the boat rod and hauling it up from the water line. With our camera snapping at high speed and smiles the width of the boat, we soaked up the thrill of our new found sport.
Heading back to our position on the bow of the boat, we grabbed a beer on the way. Both of us were extremely excited and were now poised like Usain Bolt at the start of the Olympic 100m final, waiting for the next sound of the line running. We didn’t have to wait long… This time, Annie grabbed the camera and I grabbed the rod. Eager to ensure that I wasn’t out done, I threw all of my strength into reeling in the line as quickly as possible. In the far distance, we could see our catch jumping out of the water… It was another Dorado and it was massive After a little battle, the fish was at the side of the boat. On lifting it up into the boat, we actually realised that the fish was exactly the same size as Annie’s. After getting a picture with the fish, it then joined the rest of our catch.
A number of times over the next few hours the line ran. We hauled in 11 fish in all; 7 Dorados and 4 Tuna. As the sun began to sink lower on the horizon and the Pacific Ocean began to prepare itself for another beautiful sunset, we headed back towards Port. To our surprise, the deck hand invited us over to demonstrate to us how to filet our catch. Having learnt how to do this before, I was interested in their method in Central America. His way was far more efficient than the way I have been shown and practised in the past. He completed the task of the 11 fish in under 30 mins… A truly impressive speed and end result! We decided that we would keep 2 tuna and 1 of the big Dorados for our dinner, for the next few nights.
That evening we took our fileted Dorado to a local restaurant; where we asked the chef to add some lime and garlic and sat sharing a bottle of red, overlooking the bay in San Juan del Sur. The fish was wonderful and the sense of pride we felt from our new “Hunter Gatherer” lifestyle was very inspirational.