I’m gonna guess most of you have not seen our beach look like this….ever! For me it was a flashback to my first Semana Santa 4 years ago, but even then it wasn’t as organized as this event was. We had the full on stage setup with lights and a wall of speakers. There were tents to organize the beer selling, food concessions, medical people, volunteers and the police too….the latter sat for most of the day in the shade until the were called out to roughly usher some borracho off the beach. The week scales up day by day and starts around Wednesday. Pickup trucks, busses, donkey carts, tuk-tuks and every other conveyance shows up with bottoms out suspension and full up to the roof with people, hammocks, plastic chairs, and everything else they might need for the week. Every shack that sits abandoned for 51 weeks a year becomes a camp site for any number of people. It’s impossible to get water from the local well because it’s been run dry as all the households take on water to use for the week. The pulperia’s stock up on everything and quickly sell out of it. What you thought was your neighbors shack, has a cardboard sign announcing it’s now a restaurant. What I thought was private property, my home and the surf camp, is looked at as the premier restaurant and place to use the restroom and showers. We chased many people out over the course of the week…although Luke is pretty good as discouraging them. Parking is amazing…if there is a parking spot next to my front gate….they park in front of my gate. If there is a throughway and parking on either side, they park in the middle and block the throughway. If they have a car alarm, they set it to the most sensitive setting they can and the alarms work….very loud and distracting. Nicaraguans when it comes to music cannot get enough volume or enough bass. We were surfing at Salinas Grande, a distance of about 5 miles away and the wind carried the bass from Playa Miramar all the way to Salinas Grande!? Have you ever seen a Nicaraguan EZ-Up? This is two tree branches stuck in the sand with a blanket draped over. At Noon you get about 1 square foot of shade and often times the high tide has pushed everyone back onto the lava hot sand anyway…siesta time.
Saturday morning looked like the beach of Normandy after D-day. Bodies lay strewn across the beach, luckily not dead, just a motley array of drunks that couldn’t make it back to there hammock before passing out. It was a smorgasbord for the local dogs eating away at the leftovers and occasional diaper treat.
Saturday night was also the night of the party at La Cancha. That’s is the basketball court up the street by the church. The speakers for the Cancha party were about 200 feet from the window to room 1. Keep in mind those speakers could be heard at Salinas Grande 5 miles away….that’s about 26,000 feet! It was loud. Instead of sleeping though we joined the party and did some dancing. We were happy to find 1am arrived quickly and they shut the party down. We were actually a little bummed and wished they had played longer.
It felt good to feel a part of the community. I recognized most of the faces I saw and often ones I didn’t recognize knew me. There were no fights. There was no tension…although apparently when Don Gollo shows up he’s supposed to sponsor beer drinking for everyone?! I felt accepted and cared for by the community and I hope that all the donations and mentoring of the kids and putting people to work is why…especially because I wasn’t about to buy beer for everyone;-)
Good times….I love the quiet beach we have here and the sleepy community…but once a year for a few days, for things to cut loose and get crazy is pretty fun. Best news of the week is no drownings! The first year I was here there were several and then the second year there were 11! This year none!!!
Happy Easter all….did I mention the waves were pretty good too?