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Thread: Pochomil Viejo

  1. #1

    Default Pochomil Viejo

    On Friday the 16th of March 2018, I woke up at 7:00 am and got ready quickly to go to the beach. I wanted to get going early so that I could enjoy the beach and make it back to Managua without needing to be rushed. I ate at La Union at 8:00 am and then walked down to the bus stop across the street (north) of Metrocentro to wait for a bus to Mercado Israel. I took the 110 for C$2.5. I walked through Israel to the bus stop and waited around few 5 to 10 minutes until a bus to Pochomil started to pull away. I climbed on and paid C$30 to the end of the line.

    The bus ride to Pochomil (from Managua) takes about 2 hours. The bus had to snake through San Judas to get around all of the construction around where Velez Pais used to be. We came out on Carretera Sur and hit some more construction as we climbed south upwards towards El Crucero. They've shut down one side of the road for long stretches. It looks like they're trying to widen Carretera Sur to more than just one lane each way.

    We turned at the monument intersection n El Crucero and dropped quickly towards the coast. This road goes through San Rafael del Sur and San Carlos and runs into Masachapa when it reaches the ocean. There, it turns south and follows the coast to Pochomil. The drop from El Crucero to Pochomil was only 40 to 45 minutes, so most of the trip is taken trying to climb out of Managua and get to El Crucero.

    I've been to Pochomil a couple of times. On my previous visits, I spent some time walking up and down the beach looking at all of the houses and hotels and trying to figure out where (exactly) I had been when I visited Pochomil for my honeymoon back in 2001. Everything looked so different that I was never able to find anything that seemed familiar. I assumed that this was because there'd been massive new developments at Pochomil that had left it unrecognizable.

    A few days before I took this trip to Pochomil (on March 16th 2018), I was poking around on Google Earth, and I found a spot south of Pochomil called "Pochomil Viejo." Even from the satellite photos, I could tell that this was the place where I'd gone for my honeymoon. So, when I got to Pochomil (around 11:00am), I immediately started walking down the beach southward.

    I applied sunscreen to my neck and arms as I set out, but I didn't apply any to my legs. At the time, I was thinking that my legs would mostly be in the water as I waded my way up the beach. However, the beach become unwadeable not far south of Pochomil. Rock formations run parallel to the beach. These formations are beautiful. They create tide pools. They are natural breakers. However, they made the sand rougher (jagged larger shards of shells) and they make it too dangerous to stay in the water--because the waves wound break ME into these rock formations. As a result, by the end of the day my legs were badly burned.

    I made it around a couple of points, and I figured that I was getting close to Pochomil Viejo. However, I couldn't tell from the beach. I asked a cute woman who was sunning herself, and she told me (in English) that she doesn't know where Pochomil Viejo might be. She wished me luck on my journey.

    I kept pushing down the beach thinking that I'd go until I passed any buildings, and then double back to ask the people living in those houses.

    A man with a red sack slung over one shoulder came running towards me and the ocean. I looked at him questioningly, but then he ran past me. I turned around to see where he was going, and I saw a sea turtle crawling up out of the ocean right behind me.

    The man with the red sack told me not to get to close to her, because she's "shy." He seemed worried that she wouldn't lay her eggs if she saw people close to her. In contradiction to this claim, the man carried water from the ocean up to the sea turtle and poured it over her. He did this many times. I asked him why, and he told me that she would burn otherwise.

    I took photos and video of this sea turtle as she started to dig the hole for her eggs, but it was hot and sunny and it was taking a long time. I asked the man with the sack how long it takes them to lay eggs, and he gave me a vague answer of "a long time." I decided to leave the sea turtle to her business and try to catch her on my way back.

    I kept going (as planned) until I ran out of civilization. There, I talked to a man eating his lunch in the shade who told me that I had just walked past Pochomil Viejo. So, I turned around and started back (this time closer to the houses). As I transitioned from the damp sand to the super-heated sand, I tried to use my chinelas. The hot sand that bounced up into my chinelas was enough to burn, so I took them off and tried to run back to the damp sand. I ended up burned blisters onto the soles of my feet. The sand gets REALLY hot around mid day. I cooled off in the ocean and then put my socks and shoes back on for the rest of the trip.

    I found a few spots that match up pretty well with my memories from 17 years ago.

    When I made it back to where the sea turtle was laying her eggs I found this:

    I couldn't find turtle marks leading back to the ocean. I'm pretty sure that the "nice" man with the red sack waited until I was gone and then grabbed the turtle to make soup.

    I found some nice shots as I followed the houses and hotels along the beach--but I'm sure that these aren't where I stayed.

    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pochomil Viejo

    I went around a point and found a road/ramp leading up away from the ocean. I followed this for a ways thinking that I could find another way back to Pochomil. It turns out that this road goes way out of the way to connect back to Pochomil, so I doubled back to the coast. While I was up there, I ran into cotton and hay.

    I made it the rest of the way back to Pochomil and stopped in at the Hostal Vista Mar. I'd stayed there on a previous trip. It's grown since then. A couple of waiters walked over as I took a couple of pictures and offered me overpriced food. You know you've arrived as a beach destination in Nicaragua when you can charge C$300 for a C$60 fish.

    I put my camera away after this and played in the ocean for about a half an hour before I decided to head back to Managua. This walk yielded some great eye candy. A sea turtle, pelicans, rocks, the ocean, clouds, women...

    I ended up walking 9 kilometers up and down the beach to scratch my nostalgic itch in Pochomil Viejo, and I got some serious burns (sun and sand) for my trouble. Even so, it was worth it. I recommend Pochomil to one and all--just don't forget to apply sunscreen everywhere and to wear your shoes on the hot sand. I will definitely be coming back this way a few more times before I'm done with Managua.
    Soy el chele mono.

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