Customs was much easier than I expected after deplaning from the four hour flight from
Ricardo and his trusty 4x4 Toyota drove us past brightly colored houses with tin roofs and school children donned in their navy blue and white uniforms; eventually we were out of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, heading southwest towards the Pacific coast.
We left a trail of dust in our path as Ricardo carved his way down the earthy and rugged roads. After a strenuous and exciting two hours, the sign for the Mango Rosa Adventure Travel and Surf Resort appeared on the right.
Ricardo says, “Monos” (mono means monkey in Spanish) and points up to the tree. The little black howler monkeys were on their afternoon trek through the monkey crossing that the owners of the Mango Rosa Resort would later tell me were specifically planted there for the monkeys to swing upon as if they were traveling on the mono highway. Other than the swish of the tree branches and the shrieks of the monkeys, Mango Rosa was quiet and still.
We grabbed our gear and walked towards the giant palapa-style building covered with a thatched roof. This appeared to be the epicenter of this eco-friendly adventure resort. This was the Grand Rancho Bar/Restaurant. It was there that we snapped up cold Nicaraguan beers —Tonas — and ordered some chicken tacos.
We also met the owners of the Mango Rosa Resort, Greg Bamford and Chad Unser. Greg and
Waking up on day two in
What time was it anyway? 6:45 a.m. - right on time to wake up in the rooster and monkey world. I got up, ecstatic about what the day would bring.
Walking outside onto the open front porch of the “Rancher”, I was blasted with a gust of hot Nicaraguan wind. I became graciously thankful for the air conditioning units that were strategically positioned in certain rooms of our house. I set foot on the small path out front of the Rancher. It was as if the maze of paths on the property were a series of capillaries flowing towards the beating heart and the lifeline of the Mango Rosa, the Grand Rancho Bar/Restaurant.
By 7:30 a.m. the restaurant was filled with life, just the quiet Nican kind of life. I had a cup of Nicaraguan “Joe” spiked with a shot of Kahlua. I needed to get myself into Nica time and get out of the fast pace life of the States. There were other adventure travelers sitting at the bar for coffee and breakfast. We shared the usual traveler talk about our plans for the day and what we did the day before. We had an excellent breakfast with eggs, beans, rice and potatoes.
It was our first full day in
Tired from the trek to the beach, we paid a local guy a few dollars for a ride back to Mango Rosa.
We went back to the central lifeline which was bumping with a fun and energetic vibe and we decided it was time to try the Nica Libre. No, it is not a typo for the Cuba Libre, it is what the locals call one of the national drinks of
Lining the rough roadways of the country are signs emanating with pride, advertising Flor de Cana. It is considered one of the finest rums in the world and comes in many different varieties and ages. An ice-filled glass, some Flor de Cana, a splash of Coca Cola, and a twist of lime are all you need for a good Nica Libre. These thirst quenching Nica Libres quickly became the drink of choice, other than the occasional Tona.
We enjoyed the rest of the day lounging in the beautiful pool adjacent to the Grand Rancho. It has a sloping beach entry and is lined with beautiful tropical flora.
After all of those Nica Libres, we took a siesta in the Hammock Rancho which is a circular palapa-style building that has about a dozen inviting hammocks dangling from the posts in a circular fashion.
Our Rancher house at Mango Rosa was a sublime retreat. Two large bedrooms, a full service kitchen, comfortable living room, and a large narrow bathroom were more than adequate living quarters for four. In the almost two weeks in
The environment is also important to Greg and
We put our names on the board for the Mango Rosa boat at Playa Marsella; we checked out the water, the shoreline, and of course searched for surf. The rugged coast was dry and jagged, with the jungle oasis peeking out in areas. It made for a pretty and unique looking shoreline. We hit up Playa
The nearby town of
One of the best meals that I enjoyed in
We found a driver, Joel who would pack us into his Toyota Corolla and take us back up the bumpy road called the Chocolata. After the 20 minute ride, we arrived back at the Mango Rosa Adventure and Surf Resort for one last night of rest and of course the alarm clock sounds of the monkeys.
— Feature by Michelle Schoser, Jetsetters Magazine San Diego Correspondent; photos courtesy of Lisa Clarr and the Mango Rosa Adventure and Surf Resort.