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Thread: Poneloya Strength Test

  1. #1

    Default Poneloya Strength Test

    On Monday the 13th of March, I left my room near the Calvario church and walked down to the market in Sutiava. I climbed on a bus sitting out front and waited inside for what seemed like a half an hour. It was uncomfortably hot.

    Over the last month, I've been walking more and more each day (around Leon) as well as doing exercises to try to strengthen my left ankle and foot. The injury has proven tenacious and long lasting. I decided that the best test would be to try to balance in the surf, and so I was heading to Poneloya to do just that.

    It had been many years since I'd last been to Poneloya, and I was excited to see it again. Once of the reasons that I originally decided to stay in Leon (before I sprained my ankle) was because it has a beach nearby. They charge C$13 from Leon to Poneloya (and the same to get back), so it costs less than $1 to take a trip to the beach. However, because of my injury, I'd spent nearly a month in Leon, and this was my first trip.

    The bus goes north to the Poneloya stop (I got off there), and then it goes south to the Las Penitas stop. Las Penitas is where I spent most of my time on my last visit. There's a cross built out on a rock in the surf at Las Penitas, and it's the more popular destination for tourists.

    I walked north along the beach from Poneloya, and I almost immediately came to a river channel that cuts across the beach. The tide was out, and I found that by following the line of the beach, I was able to wade across the mouth of the channel without the water going above my waist. The ground was more silt than sand, and I sunk into it with each step.

    Once on the north side, I walked until I found a nice spot and then I played in the surf and the wave. My ankle twinged at me a few times, but it held up under the strain. I was pleased, and I decided that this meant that I could once again travel freely around Nicaragua. To further test my ankle, I ran along the beach both on the wet sand and in the surf. It felt good to stretch my legs after so long, so I dug deep and sprinted through the water until my lungs burned and my stomach cramped. I had no trouble running on my ankle.

    I kept going north until I reached some sort of resort. There weren't any signs on the beach, but judging by what I saw later on Google Earth, I'd walked to a beach called Brasiles and to a Surfing Turtle and Lodge. There were lots of tourists there, so it seems to be doing well. I enjoyed swimming on that stretch of beach, so I can vouch for it being a good spot. It's no Boom Beach on Asseradores, but it's really nice.

    I saw crabs and fish and sandpipers and pelicans. The stretch of beach in between Poneloya and Brasiles is untended, so there are leaves and grit on the beach as well as more wildlife.

    I turned around and headed back south after I passed Surfing Turtle and Lodge. I asked a guy for the time. It was 12:30 pm.

    I ran down the beach again, because it felt good--especially with the water kicking up all around with each step.

    When I got back to the channel, the tide was in. I tried to walk back across, but I ended up having to jump to not go completely underwater. I turned around and got back to the northern shore. I walked along the river for a bit to see if there was some other way across. There wasn't. So, I walked back to the mouth of the channel and picked what I thought was a better angle. I thought that maybe I had tried to cut too far in on my first attempt.

    This time, I kept the edge of the far beach in sight the entire time to stay on track. This was difficult, because each wave was pushing me into the channel. Also, I had to hold my backpack with my camera and shoes over my head with both hands the entire way across to keep them dry. Even with the better angle, I was in up to my neck. It was also a much longer crosses with the tide in, and I was constantly worried that the silty ground would drop out from under me.

    I made it across safely, and I felt a sense of accomplishment. I can't recommend trying to cross the channel during high tide, and I imagine that this is why the beach to the north of Poneloya is so pristine. It's dangerous to try to cross, and even if you make it across during low tide, you may get trapped during high tide.

    I walked all the way down Poneloya beach to La Penitas, and then I walked up to the main road to catch a bus back to Leon. I spent too much time in the sun, and I'm badly burned. I almost always do this when I go to the beach. Even so, I enjoyed myself, took some nice photos, and proves that my ankle is well enough to not baby.

    Saludos!

    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    And the rest of the photos:

    Soy el chele mono.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    Got to go there for a few days once. Beautiful place and the great pics bring back some nice memories. There was a nice boat tour of the park there. Buy a ticket, go through the estuary, they even had a little turtle rescue spot.

    Good to see you are almost back up to speed.

  4. #4
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    Hey drlemcor, glad to read your sprained ankle is better. It’s a wonder your strength test - running on the beach - didn’t make it worse.

    Did you notice that the inlet to that estuary had moved some 200 yds North since the last time you visited? Numerous fishermen once kept their ‘lanchas’ behind that large bar-restaurant at what was once the end of the Poneloya bus route. (Now it climbs the hill to the ‘ranchos’.) The abandoned property by the old inlet had built a major stone retaining wall - the channel was deep and swift during tidal changes. Now those waters are so shallow that most fishermen left.

    You don’t mention current during your low & high tide crossings of the inlet so I’m guessing you hit slack water. Trying to cross at high tide with a swift current oceanward could have proved dangerous.

    When my daughter came to visit we spent a day & night at the Surfing Turtle Lodge. It was a big treat for her. The cabin on stilts for 3 with private bath, fans and porch with hammock ran $50. An A/C shuttle took us from Leon to Poneloya for $3, a ‘lancha’ ferried us across the estuary for $1, and a horse & cart carried us thru a surprising amount of beach ‘jungle’ to the hotel. It’s restaurant was very good & reasonably priced. We did run up the bill with cocktails & cold beers that evening under a starlit sky - the place was packed with thirsty Europeans, all speaking English.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Hey drlemcor, glad to read your sprained ankle is better. It’s a wonder your strength test - running on the beach - didn’t make it worse.

    Did you notice that the inlet to that estuary had moved some 200 yds North since the last time you visited? Numerous fishermen once kept their ‘lanchas’ behind that large bar-restaurant at what was once the end of the Poneloya bus route. (Now it climbs the hill to the ‘ranchos’.) The abandoned property by the old inlet had built a major stone retaining wall - the channel was deep and swift during tidal changes. Now those waters are so shallow that most fishermen left.

    You don’t mention current during your low & high tide crossings of the inlet so I’m guessing you hit slack water. Trying to cross at high tide with a swift current oceanward could have proved dangerous.

    When my daughter came to visit we spent a day & night at the Surfing Turtle Lodge. It was a big treat for her. The cabin on stilts for 3 with private bath, fans and porch with hammock ran $50. An A/C shuttle took us from Leon to Poneloya for $3, a ‘lancha’ ferried us across the estuary for $1, and a horse & cart carried us thru a surprising amount of beach ‘jungle’ to the hotel. It’s restaurant was very good & reasonably priced. We did run up the bill with cocktails & cold beers that evening under a starlit sky - the place was packed with thirsty Europeans, all speaking English.
    I've been walking miles a day since my injury and balancing on my bad ankle every day for weeks, so I was fairly certain that I would be able to stop in time to prevent making it worse--if my experiment had proven that it wasn't healed enough yet. Luckily it is healed enough.

    I climbed over the stone retaining wall after I got off the bus. I remember thinking that something was different, because I couldn't place it. I would have had to cut down through the restaurants on the beach before. Thanks for telling me. That makes a lot of sense.

    The current was pushing against me on both crossings, but I leaned into it and powered through. I realize that the crossing was dangerous, and so I reiterate that I do not recommend that others try it. This is probably a good blanket disclaimer for my travel logs.
    Soy el chele mono.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    Gotta check out that Surfing Turtle.
    Sounds like my kind of place.

    Good company is always a plus.

    Interesting how English is becoming the universal language. When I was at Joe's all the foreign surfers spoke English,, some surprisingly well. French could communicate with the Germans and with the Americans.

    Nicaraguans???
    Well,, most also spoke some decent Spanish (talking about the surfers here,, not the Nicaraguans).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    My favorite shots from this bunch: The cabanas and clouds, rolling surf, the vertical shot of surf and clouds, and the lampposts along the walkway by the beach. Sandpipers are my favorites. Love to watch them run. I am impressed again, this time with your therapy regimen. My ankle (sprained years ago) is only barely forgiving me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    "This is probably a good blanket disclaimer for my travel logs." 😂

  9. #9

    Default Re: Poneloya Strength Test

    Quote Originally Posted by songbird27 View Post
    I am impressed again, this time with your therapy regimen. My ankle (sprained years ago) is only barely forgiving me.
    The conventional wisdom seems to be that a person should stay off of a sprained ankle to allow the body to heal. I never stayed completely off of it, but I did rest a lot more than I wanted to while I was in Leon (the first month). During this month, my ankle didn't much improve. I only really started to get better when I would put my weight on it (deliberately and slowly) and moved around as I balanced on it. Doing this hurt...a lot. However, as I pushed through the pain, I found that this physical therapy was strengthening all of the little muscles and tendons and ligaments (whatever was sprained) down there. Based on this experience, I disagree with the conventional wisdom.
    Soy el chele mono.

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